Let’s face it; for some riders who prioritize having a clean, uncluttered look for their bikes, seat packs are one of those items that rate as a necessary evil. Since most road cyclists don’t use the bulky backpacks that our fat-tire brethren rely on to carry their supplies, you need someplace to carry a spare tube, multi-tool, and other random items, and weighing down your jersey pocket is definitely less than ideal. This brings us to the latest sensation in the saddle-bag equation—the roll pack. Here are two of the latest that have come our way.
Speedsleev makes a handful of
different pack designs, ranging from the Seatsleev that straps to the seat rails, the pocket-carried Jersey Sleev and the Endure top-tube case. As for the Seatsleev, it comes in two sizes—small for the roadie crowd and large so that it can fit a mountain bike tube. It uses a simple, minimalist design of three Velcro straps to lock everything in place, and once combined with compression, it holds the contents tight and rattle-free.
We tried a small Seatsleev, which has four elastic pockets that allow stowage of CO2 canisters, tire levers and a small multi-tool, while a tube gets strapped in using a Velcro closure. We had a couple of items, such as a patch kit, that wouldn’t fit into any of the narrow pockets, so we secured them in with the tube. Fitting a second tube in the pack would be very difficult, so if you like to carry multiple tubes, then the large Seatsleev would definitely be more in line with your needs.
After packing the Seatsleev and securing the first two Velcro straps that compress the contents and snug them together, the durable nylon outer strap loops through the seat rails to attach it to the bike. On the bike, it was initially an odd sight to see the contents partially exposed, but there was simply no way anything could fall out while riding as long as it was installed correctly. For those who don’t like the exposed look or want to keep the elements out, the Seatsleev also comes with a removable cover.
Weight: 46 grams
JET ROLL II SUPERSONIC
Jet Roll is working hard to make a seat pack a functional and elegant addition through their U.S.-made roll pack that uses a strap to fasten the roll under the seat rails in a way that’s far more aesthetically pleasing than a typical pack.
Numerous options are available in the Jet Roll line, including the Raven, which is the largest of the Jet Rolls and designed to carry a spare tubular tire. There’s also the Sidewinder that wraps around the seatpost rather than the standard seat-rail mounting location. And, the Supersonic that is a lighter-weight version of the Jet Roll II. Not that weight should be a huge selling point with a quality seat pack, but Jet Roll’s II Supersonic does happen to be quite light at 36 grams (with strap) without reducing size or durability.
We loaded the Supersonic pockets with a tube, two CO2 cartridges with a head, a tire lever, patch kit and multi-tool—everything we normally carry—then rolled, buttoned and attached it via the included strap to the seat rails. It fit snug against the rails and made for a low-profile pack. We found it was important to make the strap as tight as possible to ensure the roll couldn’t slide out of its cradle over bumpy terrain. Getting in then re-securing it is indeed more complicated than simply opening a zipper like on other seat packs, but as long as you’re just stowing flat-tire supplies, we found it to be no big deal if it took an additional 20 seconds to get into.
Weight: 36 grams