Rivendell has made a bunch of saddle bag designs over the years. The early Baggins Bags were made by Duluth in Minnesota. They were super beefy, looking more like turn of the century canoe bags than bicycle bags. As the years have progressed, Rivendell has refined their bags and sought simpler, lighter solutions. The Sackville line up is as simple as bike bags get. The small Saddlesack has just one main pocket, which sort of loads like a deep drawer. I can fit a Kelly Kettle, Desert Scarf, Emergency Sack of camp supplies (fire starter, first aid, water treatment, headlamp, knife ect), mug, and still have room for food or a jacket or both, if neither are super big.
Made in Connecticut. Waxed canvas, brass fittings and leather. Light mount on the flap. That reflective fabric really works. Waterproof as a bag needs to be. I’ve had mine out over night in heavy rain (heavy enough to make a good tent leak) and in the morning the Sackville bag was dry inside. I’ll call that functionally waterproof. These bags will last as long as your bike, with some modest care. Goop up the leather once a year. Rewax it every 5-10 years. Sew holes up with embroidery thread.
Fitting a traditional saddle bag:
First things first. You need saddle bag loops on your saddle. Brooks has em, and so do a few other leather saddle companies. But anything except a saddle with Ti rails or a saddle with carbon rails can get em, because Carradice makes an adaptor that adds two saddle bag loops to your saddle rails. We’ll have em on the webshop soon, but in the meantime, just call us.
If you are running a fender and rim brakes, most folks can get away with a minimal bag support. I use the Nitto wire guard, which works really well for centerpulls or cantilevers, keeping the bag from mashing the cable and activating your brake. If you are going to go minimal and you don’t have a ton of space between your tire and saddle, running fenders helps keep the bag off the tire. Not always needed, but sometimes… If you don’t want fenders, we stock a few other racks that are still minimal but a bit more substantial. You can check ‘em out on the webshop soon, we promise. If in doubt, call us, we have plenty in stock, lots of models from Nitto and Carradice, and we’re sure to have a good one for ya.