Some say no to the seat bag, we say yes. It's the logical place to carry tubes and a tool, why wouldn't you? The ILE Seat Bag is a perfect example of sartorial style for your bicycle. It also works really well.
It’s always a pleasure to review items for The Headset Press and it’s more satisfying to review on the long term, the ILE seat bag is one such item. For a year I’ve carried this on either of my bikes, it’s been stuffed and unstuffed more times than a Bernard Matthews Turkey worker can stuff and unstuff in a day. Oddly it’s mostly been used in dry weather as most of the review time has been in Taiwan and it’s been overly dry this year. When it has got wet it’s stood up to the abuse well. Most of the time it gets covered in road grime. I’ve not washed it or attempted to look after in any way and it’s still fit for use and looking nicely weathered.
There are a few styles of seat bags available, the two main styles are the classic roll and the ubiquitous clam style bags. ILE have something a little different that kind of caters for both styles and gets it bag on. It’s taken the roll method of attaching and given it a clam style body, so to speak. I really like the look and function. Straps around the septets can slowly rub away at your septets or catch your legs, the ILE negates that. The flap enclosure is wide and allows easy access to the front of the bag. I found it ideal to stuff the tubes and tools in, strap it to the saddle and then add money and ID cards etc in the front. It meant when riding I could easily get my snack cash (and I like to snack like Scooby Doo) without having to take the bag off. I kept money in there rather than a jersey pocket as it could stay dry in there, mostly because of the hot humid weather here.
The light brown coloured bag I reviewed is made from durable but lightweight XPAC sailcloth (it also comes in various colours and 1000D Cordura) and is capable of holding a 23c tube, CO2 inflator, and multi-tool. I managed to omit the CO2, used a micro tool and was able to put two 23c tubes in the there with one tyre lever. The strap on the bag is a chunky number with one very sturdy, it’s described as a auto-lock buckle, it keeps the bag secured even over the roughest roads, I can not fault it one bit.
Style wise, this is the nicest seat bag I know. It looks really good on any kind of bike, I wasn’t sure how it would look on a modern bike, in my case, a Giant Defy Disc. But it looked great and oddly received compliments, I mean you ever heard of a seat bag getting admiration from anyone but it’s owner? Basically if you want a seat bag with some class that is going to look good, function flawlessly day after day, then this is the one for you. The price is even within the range one can expect to pay for a quality seat bag, so I see no reason not to consider this bag.
Original top quality seat bag designed with strength and simplicity in mind. ILE use the toughest materials, best machines, to make this a durable bag. With a lifetime warranty on materials and craftsmanship. It is also handmade in the San Francisco Bay Area. Price is good for the quality and performs incredibly well, for this review that was more than 12 months.
Review date: 4 May 2015