Topeak Wedge Drybag (Medium / 1ltr)
Please note that I was sent this saddlebag by GearBest in exchange for an honest review, and I ran with it on my bike during my daily commutes in all Edinburgh weathers for three weeks to give it a good shakedown before writing this.
Link to buy: Topeak Drybag (Medium/1ltr)
Size tested: - Medium (1L )
Durable 210/420 denier nylon fibre weave
Rear light holder
Easy to open/close, with quick-release buckle design
Sonically welded seams; waterproof
3M Reflective detailing
Small: 0.6L (15 x 9 x 9cm / L x W x H)
Medium: 1L (18.5 x 11 x 11cm / L x W x H)
Large: 1.5L (23 x 11 x 13cm / L x W x H)
The waterproof material used is thick and extremely tough, and the welds attaching the rear-light strip are large and secure. (I've been using a previous version of this bag for over three years and it's still as good as the day it was bought, despite lights vibrating and stressing the holder daily in all that time).
Ease of use:
As simple as it comes – squeeze the quick-release buckles, unroll the folded end of the bag (which also has a velcro closure under its lip) and you're in. There are stretchy pockets on both sides internally to hold items secure, and the main compartment is very capacious.
This model comes with adjustable straps and QR-buckles to quickly attach it to your saddle rails, and a velcro loop to secure the nose of the bag against the seatpost. It fixes securely and doesn't move about. I can't give it full marks as I'd like to see how these straps hold up to a year of commuting. My existing pack attaches by clipping into a bracket which is screwed onto the saddle rails and has lasted 3 years so far, but I don't know as yet if the simple strap attachment will be as durable).
It's completely waterproof – no amount of heavy Edinburgh rain or spray off the rear wheel has got into the bag at all. (I've owned a non-waterproof Topeak wedge bag in the distant past, and my original Topeak Hexus II multitool was left a rusted wreck after a week of wet commuting. No risk of that happening here!)
It holds everything that my current large Topeak drybag holds, albeit at a slight push. However, it's everything required for dealing with your everyday visit from the puncture fairy,or general roadside adjustments. The items I packed in were:
- Spare inner tube
- Rema TipTop Touring puncture repair kit (spare chain quicklink & zipties added to box)
- 3 x Park Tyre Levers
- Spare 16g CO2 cartridge
- Proflate CO2 Inflator loaded with a 16g cartridge
- Halfords metal tyre lever (for when the tyres prove extremely tough to remove)
- Topeak Hexus II Multitool
Value for money
Available for $27.59 on GearBest with free postage , which at current exchange rates is about £19.15. If you don't mind the slightly longer wait for delivery that's a saving of £2.81 on the current sale price on Wiggle. If you value the contents of what you put in your saddlebag, there's no better option at this price.
I'm a big fan of the Topeak Drybag, being a long-term user of the previous and larger version of this item. It took the ruin of the contents of a non-waterproof bag (and subsequent expense of replacing them) before I came to my senses and discovered the peace of mind you get with these drybags. Not only that, but if – like me - you hate cleaning your bike and wasting hours scraping the crud and dried-on muck off your components, you'll love the fact that you can simply wipe the Topeak clean (or hose it down if you so desire) without worrying about getting the contents wet.
My only concern is the longevity of the attachment straps, compared to the old saddle-rail attachment clip-in bracket system that older versions of this bag had. I'm sure they'll be fine (and since they no longer produce the clip-in version, I guess they've proved durable enough to be the replacement attachment), but I'd like to be able to jump three years into the future to confirm it!
However, that's a minor niggle and if you want a way to carry essential items without weighing down the pockets at the back of your cycling jersey or getting them wet when it rains, there's no better way to do it than in one of these. I wouldn't be without mine – and I'm pleased to say that the newest incarnation of these bags is every bit as good as my old faithful one.