We finish our series of gravel bag reviews with a Topeak saddle bag model Wedge Pack II in two sizes: Medium and Micro. This type of bag is very classic and very popular in the MTB world.
It is worth remembering that in these bag reviews, in addition to reviewing the product, we also focus on the suitability of each type of bag, so that you can identify which one is best for your gravel and for you.
Topeak saddle bag – a traditional brand
At the moment I have analyzed four types of bags for your gravel bike. I clarify that they are not for bikepacking, because here we will find other types and sizes of bags. They are bags for “normal” departures of several hours and, if we force or mount several, even for a whole day. Below is a very brief summary:
- Upper tube bag (bento): Ease of access to certain items and maneuvering with the closure. Don’t sacrifice drums.
- Handlebar bag: Same facility but does not interfere with aerodynamics. Don’t sacrifice drums.
- Rear inner frame bag: Complicated access but does not obstruct the view when pedalling. You sacrifice drum in seat tube.
- Front inner frame bag: Less complicated access and doesn’t obstruct your view when pedalling. You sacrifice drum in down tube.
All have their pros and cons as to functionality and aesthetics. To learn more, I recommend reading the respective articles.
- AT THE GRAVEL PLANET STORE YOU CAN PURCHASE ANY TYPE OF BAG FOR YOUR GRAVEL. VISIT HER HERE.
Now it’s time to analyze the saddle bag, the most classic of all because if I remember correctly it was one of the first on the market. As a model of analysis we go to the brand American Topeak, a reference since 1991 in stock markets, but also accessories and tools for cycling. Topeak offers different models of saddle bags, some being Sidekick, Mondopack, Aero Wedge, Propack and the Wedge Pack, which we review and in two sizes: Micro (XS) and Medium (M).
Size M (Left) and XS (Micro): It all depends on what you will be storing.
Topeak also offers two other sizes in this model being small (S) and large (L). Immediately the capacity / weight of each of them:
- Micro (XS): 0.5 L/77g
- Small (S): 0.8 L / 135g
- Medium (M): 0.95 – 1.25 L (expandable) / 152g
- Large (L): 1.25 – 1.65 L (expandable) / 183g
The bags are made of nylon and all have the QuickClick® mechanism, with which it is hooked and unhooked to a fixed base on the saddle. In all four sizes it includes a reflective tape around it.
In size XS (Micro) storage is limited but sufficient for basic items. In size M there is plenty of room.
In sizes S, M and L it includes a ribbon to tie the bag to the pole or stem and also includes a yellow cover to protect it from the rain. That means the bags are not water resistant.
On the back of all bags is one band to hold a rear light that has a clip
- REVIEW: TOPEAK TOPLOADER UPPER TUBE BAG
The difference in capacity between the stock market size XS (0.5L) and M (up to 1.25L) is a considerable thing. In the XS size I was able to store the following:
- Chamber for tire from 28c to 42c.
- Strip punch to cover holes in tubeless tires.
- Small bag with two patches, air valve, air valve remover and a chain link link.
- Tire remover spatula.
- Ultra-thin chain with its closing mechanism.
In the preview image (left side) you can see these items.
Naturally, I was able to store these same items in the size M bag and, by opening the expansion closure, I was able to add the following items:
- door key
- Smartphone (Pixel 6a).
- 100ml bottle of sun cream.
- 100g bag of cocoanuts.
- Protective rain cover, which comes from the factory with the bag.
Undoubtedly, the size M is more useful if you regularly only store items that fill its capacity. If you have room to spare, I suggest wrapping these items in small plastic bags so they don’t make noise when moving.
The difference is noticeable between sizes M (left) and XS.
The structure of the stock market in both sizes is therefore semi-solid is subject to slight deformations depending on the amount and type of load you mount them. It is not like water resistant bags which mostly have a solid structure, making them a bit heavier.
- REVIEW: ROCKBROS BOX BAG
As I previously pointed out bag size XS has only one attachment point with the QuickClick® mechanism, while the M (plus S and L) also have a band that fastens it to the seat post or tube to limit its movement. The band is long enough. The excess band will depend on how far back is the base of the stem or tube that holds the seat. In my case, which has a base back, I had no problem. You can see it in the following image.
In size M (and L) it expands when opening the bottom closure and capacity goes from 0.95L to 1.25L.
If you live in an area where it rains a lot then I do not recommend buying the XS size as it does not have a rain cover, which you can see assembled in the following Topeak image. In my case I didn’t need to use the one that comes included in the bag size M. If you remove the cover of the bag then you will have a little more storage space.
Rain protective bag in sizes S, M and L.
This Wedge Pack II bag model they are only available in black. In fact almost all Topeak saddlebags are sold in this color.
It is difficult to qualify the experience of using this type of saddlebags then you practically only see/use it when you store items in it and this happens when it is stopped. It’s not like other types of bags that you also use while moving.
However, I start with storage. The saw in this bag model opens about 320 degrees for this reason it allows the articles to be easily accommodated. At the bottom of the bag there is like a downward curvature (or ford), therefore I recommend placing patches or valves first. If you do it in a plastic bag better. This will prevent them from walking around in the bag.
After that you can place a spatula to remove wheel tires. In my case, my spatula is a bit long so it was barely. Then you place the camera so that it sits on the bag of patches and other minor items and the putty knife.
Once this is done, you place the items of preference. If your bag is size XS, you will be able to accommodate little else. In size M the space is obviously more generous.
On the other hand, attaching and detaching the bag from the base is quick and easy. It’s a solid mechanism, so it’ll last you a long time. You won’t have any problems here.
As for on-the-go use, the bag holds up well on gravel roads. If you walk on the trails here it tends to be choppy and a bit noisyjust like other parts of the bike so it’s normal.
Now let’s move on to the pros and cons of this type of bag.
- Storage space that can range from 0.4L to 17L if you buy from other brands.
- It is a bag that has evolved a lot in design, materials and size.
- It does not interfere or hit the knees when pedaling.
- Does not obstruct or block the front view and towards the front tire.
- It has a firm attachment to the saddle post and/or seat base, although this will depend on the model and brand.
- Your location allows you to place other bags in the box.
- This model is not waterproof but some are.
- It is aerodynamic due to its location (it does not obstruct the flow of air).
- It does not alter the aesthetics of your bike much, even in large sizes.
- Wide variety of models and designs available.
- It’s a bag that goes unnoticed while you pedal.
- Do not interfere with access to your drums.
- It is impossible to access stored items while in motion.
- The bigger the bag, the more “shrinking” or lateral movement the bag will have, causing noise and bra wear.
- In the rainy season and mud it will get dirty nice and well, at least you put a loder.
- Steals space on the stem to place a rear light. If your stem is short, you will have to place the light in one of the upper pods.
- The ease of disassembly will depend on the type of attachment (bands or hooking).
The saddle bag is ideal for those who they do not want to observe any alteration of the sight while they roll It is the most traditional stock exchange and is closely linked to MTB. But if you like to have your items close at hand or within easy reach, you’ll have to opt for another type of bag.
The price depends on the country. Here is an approximate one.
- Size XS: €12.50 or US $13 approx.
- Size M: €17.30 or US $18 approx.
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The post REVIEW: TOPEAK WEDGE PACK II SADDLE BAG MICRO AND MIDDLE SIZES was published first on totGravel.