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Seeking suggestions for bike bags

Hi REI friends,

My name is Irene, and I am a Co-op member and new bikepacker who is looking for some bike bags.

I own a Trek Crockett bike that has so far brought me to many places! Unfortunately, my bike is not designed to have a rear rack attached, so I may not be able to use panniers to carry my clothes and camping gear during my adventures. I have been using a backpack and a frame bag, but I would prefer to purchase some more bike bags to make the most of my trips, particularly, a saddle (seat) pack/bag and a handlebar pack/bag. I am looking for waterproof bags that can carry a lot of weight but sill fit my small bike (frame 50 cm), and that are not prohibitively expensive. The Link Seat Pack from the Coop looks like a good choice (11 liters is what I am looking for!), do you have any thoughts on that? How does it compare with the more expensive Ortlieb or Revelate Designs bags? I would love to listen to your advice!

Thanks a ton, I really appreciate your help! Happy biking!



6 Replies

Hi @Irene !

Welcome to the wonderful world of bike packing! I am a huge fan of on the bike bags rather than using racks and panniers. The Link Seat Pack as well as the Ortlieb and Revelate Designs are all great options. I've used the Ortlieb Seat Pack for the past 3 years or so. The material is heavy duty and certainly keeps my gear protected. I like that it also has an air purge valve to let me squeeze any extra air out, allowing for a compact air and water tight pack. I’m on a 54cm bike, and I don’t have my seat tube pulled up very high. The large, which has two velco straps, just barely fits. The medium pack only has one velco strap and it would probably be a better fit for your bike.

One thing to note with the Link is that it is considered water resistant and the fabric is treated with DWR (durable water repellent). This will be fine for tire spray or light rain, but if you're planning on being out in excessively wet conditions, you may find that eventually water may permeate through the fabric on this pack. The Link would likely be a good fit since it also just has one velco attachment strap at the seat tube, and has the bungee strap on the outside for quick access storage.

I haven't personally used the Revelate Designs packs, but I know they are also quite popular. One advantage of their Terrapin pack line is that they have a couple additional attachment straps on the outside of their pack if you want to store a jacket or other equipment for quick access. Like the Ortlieb, they also have the air purge valve, and a lot of people are a fan of the two-piece system. The frame of the bag can stay mounted on your bike, and the dry bag with all of your gear inside it can be removed for easier access as well as easier packing and unpacking when you’re at your camp site.

I hope this helps. There are plenty of wonderful seat packs that you can use for bike packing, and I think you'll be happy with any of these bag options! 

Happy Adventures!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@Irene The first thing I would do, and did, was to have Trek install a rear Trek rack on my Trek DS 8.3. I can not imagine that the Crocket would not accept one.

aka "Boonerelli"

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Hi @John ,

Thank you so much for your message! After reading your message, I contacted Trek and, unfortunately, they have just confirmed that the Crockett does not accept rear racks. Apparently, it was designed mostly for racing!

Thanks anyway, John!

@Irene I regret to hear that. If you really want to get into bike packing, you may want to consider selling your Crocket and getting a bike more suitable to bike packing. I think Trek has a trade in program.

aka "Boonerelli"

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Link seat pack is a good choice. I'd stay on that.

Thanks a ton!