The Topeak Backloader - one of our favourite pieces of outdoor gear

The Topeak Backloader: A Great Piece Of Outdoor Gear

So, we’re cheating a little bit today by bringing you a review of something that’s not for hiking or camping! Nevertheless, it’s one of our favourite pieces of outdoor gear – the Topeak Backloader. It’s a seat post bag designed for people who don’t have, or don’t want to use, mounts for panniers. So let’s dive in and take a look!

Overview / Specs

One of the things that first attracted us to this bag is that it fits on the seat post of pretty much any bike. A simple thing for sure, but it gives you the power to turn your everyday commuter into a touring bike! No more worrying about having the right mounts for pannier bags. In fact, no more worrying about panniers period.

Between this seat bag and a small backpack, you have more than enough room to take everything you need for a short and sweet overnight camping trip. That’s assuming you’re going ultralight, of course.

The bag comes in 5, 10 or 15 litre versions. The one we have pictured here is the 15 litre, which weighs in at just 565 grams (~1lb 4 oz.).  The outer bag is made of Polyethylene and Nylon and is ‘water-resistant’ (not waterproof!)

However the Topeak Backloader comes with a handy internal dry bag included, so you can be sure your outdoor gear stays dry. We’d recommend this approach when using the bag anyway. Better to have a removable dry bag inside than have to keep detaching the whole thing all the time!

The Topeak Backloader needs lots of clearance between bag and tyre!
I was worried about clearance between the Topeak Backloader bag and tyre, but this turned out to be a non-issue!

Testing, Testing

So, that’s it for the dry statistics – how does this thing hold up when it’s strapped to your bike and you’re hurtling down a hill!?

We took this bag out on a recent trip to the countryside and managed to pack in a down jacket, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, some food and a few other bits and bobs. That left just the tent and the rest of our outdoor gear to go in the rucksack.

The bag is slightly fiddly to attach to the seat post for the first time, as there are a few straps to reckon with. But it gets very easy after the first go. The most important thing is to cinch the bag up tight, so you get plenty of clearance between the bag and your rear tyre.

In fact my biggest worry about the bag was ‘the rub’, but it never once touched the rear tyre even after 6 hours of riding! The bag is generally pretty rock steady once it’s attached, you’ll hardly even notice it’s there.

It didn’t rain during our trip, so I can’t speak for the water resistance of the bag. However the design and construction looks completely solid, so I’d be surprised if there were any issues there.

The Topeak Backloader, fully loaded with our outdoor gear!
The Topeak Backloader, fully loaded

Topeak Backloader Verdict

The Topeak Backloader is a simple enough bag, but made really, really well.  That aside, the thing that I really love about it is the sheer sense of freedom and different options it gives you:

Going on a camping trip? Why not increase the range of places you can get to by taking your bike instead of walking.

Going on a bike tour? Then why not incorporate this in addition to or instead of panniers.

Need to borrow a friend’s bike to pick up some stuff across town? Then just grab your Backloader and get rolling!

There’s nothing like that feeling of waking up on a sunny day, slinging your bare essentials in a bag, and pedaling off to who knows where. And it feels like that’s exactly what the Topeak Backloader was designed for! If you want to get your hands on the Topeak Backloader seat post bag, you can find it on Amazon.

Well, that’s all folks – hope you enjoyed reading. Stay tuned for more outdoor gear reviews, and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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