skingrowsback Plan B saddlebag review

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There’s no knowing when a puncture will strike, which is why it’s wise to carry a spare at all times. And having a well-stocked saddlebag on the bike is arguably the easiest way to remain self-sufficient when heading out for a ride.

The guys at skingrowsback obviously share this view since they’ve just added a pair of saddlebags to their catalogue, dubbed the Plan B and Plan B micron, which sell for AUD$65 (~US$51/£40) and AUD$63 (~US$50/£39), respectively.

The difference between the two bags is simply a matter of size. The Plan B is the larger of the two, measuring 140mm x 80mm x 60mm for a final volume of 0.5L and a weight of 94g. The Plan B micron is a little shorter, measuring 110mm x 80mm x 55mm with a volume of 0.4L and a weight of 83g.

The Plan B (right) is a little taller than the Plan B micron (left) and offers 20% more volume for carrying larger spare tubes.

Nylon is used to construct these simple clam-shell bags. A heavyweight blend (900-1000D) is used for the exterior while a lighter weave (300D) is used to line the interior. Two loops of thick elastic are provided for securing tools/canisters while the zipper is coated with polyurethane for extra water-resistance.

A simple strap wraps around each bag for attaching it to the saddle rails and securing the contents. It’s a familiar strategy, however skingrowsback has opted to provide a magnetic clasp instead of the ubiquitous plastic buckle favoured by other brands. It’s a clever design that requires much less fiddling to secure and release.

There are over 20 different colours and prints to choose from for the Plan B and Plan B micron. I expect most will opt for simple black, but the extra choices arguably add new life to an accessory that has had a contentious existence.

The hook-and-loop clasp has a magnet that snaps each end of strap together and requires much less effort than a plastic buckle.

Putting each bag to use was a simple affair. The clam-shell design made it easy to pack and retrieve items while the magnetic clasp was a pleasure to use. The storage capacity of the Plan B micron should satisfy most road cyclists hoping to stow a single tube, multi-tool and a CO2 canister, while the Plan B will accommodate an extra road tube, or, a single larger tube for gravel/MTB.

While these bags are water-resistant, they aren’t waterproof. A ride along wet roads might be enough for water to start penetrating each bag, so buyers shouldn’t store anything that they’d rather keep dry, such as patches and boots for tube and tyre repair.

There are saddlebags on the market that cost less than the Plan B and Plan B micron, so some buyers may find it difficult to justify the extra expense. In strict terms, the Plan B and Plan B micron are largely familiar products but the choice of colours and the clever magnetic clasp add value to this Australian-made product.

For more information and to place an order, visit skingrowsback.

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