Dropper Post Seat Bag Review Roundup


Dropper Post Seat Bag Review Roundup

The most fun addition to any bike? Ask Colt Fetters and the answer is unquestionably a dropper post. He’d argue that droppers are more fun than suspension, fancy wheels, and wireless shifting, because getting the saddle out of the way is key to maneuvering a mountain bike to its fullest potential. But for multi-day riding, running a dropper can present logistical challenges. In the following roundup, Colt reviews seven dropper-post compatible seat bags to ensure that you don’t have to compromise carrying capacity in exchange for confident descending on multi-day mountain biking missions.

Bedrock Black Dragon Bag

  • Price: $225
  • Clearance: 5 ¾”
  • Volume: 5-7 L – Always add an extra inch (or more) for buffer room to ensure the rear tire won’t rub the bag.
  • Cost: $225

The Bedrock Black Dragon Seat Bag, made in Durango, Colorado, is a stalwart in the bikepacking community. It’s designed for those carrying a minimal kit and navigating technical terrain. For the past three years, it’s been my go-to seat bag when riding singletrack.

In terms of stability, this bag is unparalleled, maintaining its shape without any sway or sagging, even on the most challenging terrain. However, this exceptional stability comes with a complex mounting system. It requires four straps, a Valias clamp, and a proprietary Rail Wing mounting plate that attaches under the saddle. After several years with this bag, it’s a miracle I haven’t lost this mounting plate yet, which would render this bag useless.

To combat the dreaded seat bag sag, a HDPE (plastic) plate runs along the bottom of the Black Dragon, keeping it rigid. This bag utilizes the Wolf Tooth Valais Clamp, the primary function of which is to protect the seatpost stanchion. The Valais is always a bit fiddly to put on, in my opinion; It feels like it could snap in half when squeezing it over the stanchion. However, it’s been adopted widely amongst the community and is used by several bags in this very review. An additional advantage of the Valais is its ability to secure the seatpost in the event the dropper return fails and the post can’t stay fully extended. When fully extended, attaching the clamp at the bottom of the post effectively holds the seatpost in place, providing a dual benefit in terms of both protection and a hack for trail fixes. Putting aside mounting complexities, this bag stands out as the best in its class for staying put, with no swaying or movement of any kind, even on the roughest trails. Bedrock’s promise of the Black Dragon being “rock solid” is delivered without exception.

The size of this bag (5-7 L of volume) is just right for something like the Colorado Trail. Just large enough to fit a very compact sleep system but small enough to have decent wheel clearance and not be burdensome on technical trails. Let me elaborate: when I say “very compact” I’m talking ultralight, as 7 L isn’t enough for all sleeping bag/pad combos. My compact sleep system includes: a Rab 40 Mystic Bag, Klymit Xlite pad and a Black Diamond Twilight Bivy. It’s worth noting that the opening to this bag is a bit tight, and stuffing oversized items like a sleeping bag can be a little frustrating, especially with cold fingers.

Constructed with high-quality materials like X-pacs and ballistic Nylons, the bag effectively repels water. You won’t find many waterproof bikepacking bags, especially made in the States. That’s because fully waterproof bags are usually made out of plastics and are RF welded, a technology primarily used by overseas manufacturing. I’ve ridden through countless Colorado squalls with this bag and the contents of the bag stay mostly dry. If I’m setting off on a trip in monsoon season, I might choose to protect the contents by lining the inside with a trash bag.

In summary, the Bedrock Black Dragon is a near-ideal choice for technical bikepacking. If not for the complex mounting system, it would unequivocally be my top recommendation. This bag is best suited for bikepackers who value durability and stability over simplicity of installation.

Revelate Designs Shrew Seat Bag

  • Cost: $69
  • Volume: 2.25 L
  • Weight: 5 oz
  • Tire Clearance: 4” – Always add an extra inch (or more) for buffer room to ensure the rear tire won’t rub the bag.

Revelate Designs, based in Anchorage, Alaska, is a pioneer in the bikepacking industry. With over a decade of experience in bikepacking and bag-making, their expertise is evident in every product they release. The Shrew Seat Bag stands out for its compact size, creating a whole new category of seat bag. Weighing only five ounces with a tiny 2.25-liter capacity, it might lead some to ask, “What’s the point?” I assure you, this is a neat—albeit specific—piece of kit for the right rider.

The minimalist in me absolutely loves this little bag. It’s perfect for ultralight bikepacking and extended day rides alike. As for ultralight bikepacking, there is a contingent of racers and minimalists that are forgoing seat bags altogether, especially when they need to use the full travel of their droppers. This bag enables them to use most, if not all, of that travel (depending upon how full the bag is packed) while still being able to stash a bit of gear under their saddle.

Others may use this bag on long day rides instead of bikepacking. For instance, a long gravel ride like Unbound, a vehicle-supported trip on the White Rim, or an all-day mountain bike ride in the high country. Most of us carry snacks, a jacket, extra water, repair kits, and even first aid kits on these types of rides. If you’re anything like me, I detest wearing a backpack, so I opt for top tube bags and a hip pack, but the Shrew is a great option when I run out of space in those other bags. The bag is made of Polyant VX-21 with an abrasion-resistant finish. The material seems durable from my testing and is one of the most weather-resistant bags in this review. I’d happily run my sleeping bag or down jacket in this bag without much thought

The Shrew’s 2.5 L capacity allows for the storage of a (very) small sleeping bag, puffy jacket, or rain gear. With the sacrifice in capacity, I was hoping the tire clearance would be a bit better than 4”. For instance, the Rockgeist Gondola (more below) has the same amount of clearance but boasts twice the capacity. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite use the full travel of my long 210 mm dropper on my large hardtail. Those with shorter droppers or larger bikes would probably manage to drop their saddles all the way.

The mounting system for this bag is straightforward and elegant. Two straps fix the bag to the saddle rails and boom, that’s it. No seatpost strap—how wonderful. The Hypalon-winged tabs lace over the saddle rails and clip to the red straps with a very secure buckle that can, sometimes, be a bit frustrating to operate until you get them figured out. A center strap helps limit vertical bobbing and ensures the bag stays closed. For the most part, the bag does not come into contact with your post. Because of that, there’s no need to protect the stanchion, which is a big plus in my book.

It’d be nice if Revelate Designs added some strap keepers to the red webbing. It’s not a huge issue, of course; I simply tucked the tail end of the straps back against the bag. A bit of stabilization is added via a skinny fiberglass stay that runs the length of the bottom of the bag. Many of you are probably wondering about how well the bag stays put with such a simple mounting system. When well compacted (no gaps or cavities between gear) and the straps snugged tightly, the bag stayed in place for the most part. Occasionally I’d knock the bag while swinging a leg over the bike, and it’d go catawampus, but I’d quickly shift it back into place and it’d stay put for the ride. All in all, the mounting system is beautifully elegant and works well with a bit of adjusting.

The Revelate Designs Shrew Seat Bag is an innovative addition to the market. Its compact size and lightweight design make it an excellent choice for ultralight bikepacking and long day rides, offering a unique solution for several use cases. The bag’s construction is both durable and weather-resistant, and the simple yet effective mounting system is a significant advantage. Although it has some limitations in terms of storage capacity and tire clearance, its overall design and functionality are commendable. The Shrew is a testament to Revelate Designs’ expertise and a valuable addition to any bikepacker’s quiver of bags.

Ortlieb Seat Pack QR

  • Cost: $195
  • Clearance: 4.5” Always add an extra inch (or more) for buffer room to ensure the rear tire won’t rub the bag.
  • Volume: 13 L

Mounting System:

This particular pack is an outlier when compared to the other bags in this review. Ortlieb’s take on the dropper-post seat bag is considerably larger (13 L!), heavier and utilizes a more complicated mounting system. While I’m personally drawn to simpler, lighter and more stable dropper bags, the Ortlieb Seat Pack QR has a place for specific uses. For a double-track/dirt road tour where a rider is looking for maximum volume and might want to drop their seat on an occasional long descent, this could be a decent option.

Ortlieb is known for creating some of the best panniers in the business and has been doing so for a long time. Coming from the world of road touring, their gear reflects that and tends toward being more fully featured rather than light and minimalist. This bag is no different and features: P64 water-resistant nylon construction, a proprietary mounting system, five compression straps, reflective markings, internal reinforcement, drawstring bungy, a protective underside plate, and even a valve that helps to compress the pack volume.

There is a recommended weight limit of 6.5-11 lb, depending on the position of the seat-lock mechanism, which is far more than I’d usually load a seat bag with (especially if you’re expecting your seatpost to lift it). I usually opt to pack heavier items in my frame bag and, secondarily, my handlebar bag. With a massive 13 L capacity, this bag would work well for a winter sleeping bag, tent, and/or full-sized inflatable sleeping pad. But again, this isn’t the bag for singletrack-heavy routes. The bag is big, heavy, and feels burdensome on anything but dirt/gravel roads. However, despite being able to fit the kitchen sink, this bag’s tire clearance is pretty impressive at 4.5”. Which is the same as the Revelate Shrew… and what a difference in capacity!

The Patented Seat-Lock attachment system is a proprietary plastic latch that secures onto the rails of your saddle. However, I had to fight to secure the latches on my Ergon Comp SA4 before I realized the bag wasn’t compatible with all saddles. A smoother mounting experience occurred with a different saddle, highlighting the ease and security of the system. The Seat-Lock attachment system makes the bag easy to remove, which is great if you prefer to take your seat bag into your tent with you at night. It’s worth checking their website to be sure your saddle is compatible with the bag. Ortlieb lists conditions for fitting saddles, including saddle rail materials, angle, and spacing.

In addition to the Seat-Lock attachment, the bag is stabilized and compressed with two straps while being held in place via the seatpost strap and lock ring fitting. The lock ring resembles a Wolf Tooth Valais clamp but comes in one size with shims to fit smaller diameter posts. The system as a whole is relatively stable on the trail, especially impressive with how large and heavy it is. The added features and innovative Seat-Lock attachment add a significant amount of weight and plastic to this bag. Being a fan of simple products, I worry about the longevity of plastic moving parts like the Seat-Lock attachment system. I’d hate to have the attachment system fail while 100 miles from the closest town.

In conclusion, the Ortlieb Seat Pack QR stands out for its considerable size and advanced features. It is ideal for riders prioritizing volume and who plan to take on less rugged terrains. However, its proprietary mounting system and heavy build may limit its suitability for more adventurous or singletrack-heavy routes.

JPACKs DropperPak

  • Cost: $180 (V2)
  • Volume: 5 L
  • Weight: 12 oz (without Valais clamp)
  • Clearance: 4 ¾” (V1) – Always add an extra inch (or more) for buffer room to ensure the rear tire won’t rub the bag.

JPACKS, made by Joe in Denver, CO, has been gaining popularity, especially in the minimalist bikepacking scene. The Footlong SnakPak has been a crowd favorite and the DropperPak shares similar design choices. Since my initial review of the JPACKS DropperPak, they have released the updated V2 model. The V2 enhances the original by increasing its length, improving clearance, and adding a third strap at the rear of the pack. For purposes of this review, I’ll review the V1 while acknowledging the V2 updates. The DropperPak is an excellent choice for a mid-sized, dropper-compatible seat bag, offering substantial clearance for its carrying capacity.

The DropperPak is quite a bit longer than most, giving its slender figure more volume. However, I found the long/skinny nature of the bag a bit more difficult to pack when stuffing bulky items like a sleeping bag. Designing gear is all about making compromises. For most singletrack bikepackers, tire clearance is the highest priority when selecting a dropper bag. That long/skinny nature of the bag leaves room for clearance, while the length allows you to fit a bit more gear even if it can be a bit tough to pack

The DropperPak uses a pretty typical mounting system, two saddle rail straps paired with a seatpost strap. There’s a reason this system is standard: it simply works and isn’t overly complicated. Paired with a Valais clamp, it’s sturdy and works as intended. When mounted, the pack sits at an upward angle that’s not all too different from the Bedrock Black Dragon. However, with the length of the bag, it can come in contact with the rider if they’re wearing a backpack or large hip pack. This caused no particular issues other than a slight annoyance when paired with the oh-so-right/wrong hip pack.

I’m happy to see the rear strap was added to this system on the V2. Without that rear strap, the closure can be problematic, sometimes leaving a slight gap when overstuffing the bag. The HDPE inserts along the spine of the bag help it keep its shape, only bouncing/swaying slightly with the heaviest of loads.

The attention to detail in this bag is appreciated. For instance, the straps come with little keepers to keep the strap ends from fluttering around. The bag is made of a combination of materials, using light fabrics on the side panels (LS21 and LS42) while using heavy-duty fabrics for the spine (VX42) and Hypalon reinforcement on the bottom for those accidental ‘dropped too far, tire hit the bag’ moments, that we all have experienced. Some riders may also appreciate the bungee system on the top of the bag for quick storage of something like a jacket. However, I’ve found systems like this tend to be a good way to lose gear, and I choose not to use them. The materials, like most of those in this review, do a good job of being weather-resistant but can’t be classified as waterproof.

There’s a reason people like this pack, its thoughtful design offers substantial clearance and is a great choice for a mid-sized, dropper-compatible seat bag. Its unique long and slender design provides more volume while maximizing space for tire clearance.

Rockgeist Gondola

  • Price: $125-$173 (depending on size and material)
  • Weight: Small 8.5 oz / Large 8.8 oz (weight varies with color/material choice)
  • Volume: Small 4 L / Large 5 L
  • Clearance: Small 4” / Large 5” – Always add an extra inch (or more) for buffer room to ensure the rear tire won’t rub the bag.

Rockgeist claims this is the first dropper-specific bag on the market, which if true, is impressive because they nailed it. Granted, the Gondola has been updated over time to refine the saddle rail connection/strap system and reinforce the spine for added rigidity. Its evolution reflects a keen understanding of riders’s needs, integrating simplicity and functionality into its design.

My experience with this bag,—from mounting to its on-trail performance—confirms Rockgeist’s reputation for creating simple, reliable, and innovative gear. Being a sensible minimalist, this bag quickly won my favor with its slim size, ample tire clearance, and ridiculously simple mounting solution.

Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Rockgeist has some stout trails on which to test its gear, and it shows in the end product. The mounting system comprises four straps that are intricately woven around the saddle rails. With no attachment to the saddle rail, the level of stability is quite impressive, rivaling some of the other bags in this test with more complex mounting systems. I will say getting the straps set up correctly for the first time took a bit of patience. Using the provided video on the Rockgeist site was quite helpful. The core feature of this design is a rail tab located on the bag’s spine. This tab links to a central strap, and when this strap is tightened, it lifts the spine, creating a gap between the bag and the seatpost. This not only helps maintain separation but, paired with the plastic stay in the spine, significantly enhances the bag’s stability. The space between the bag and seatpost allows room for electronic droppers (AXS), whereas, with the other packs (save the Shrew), the battery would get in the way. With the Gondola, you’ll never have to mount a Valais clamp or clean sticky tape residue from your dropper stanchion again. Hallelujah!

With its thoughtful design, expert craftsmanship, and durable materials like X-Pac Vx42 and Hypalon Rubber (rail tab), you can expect to have the Gondola for a long time. For those that like a little extra flair, Rockgeist makes the bag in a host of colors options. I tested the small size with 4 L of space, which is on par with many of the other options in this test.

This is a rather short review for a simple bag that performs like advertised. After using all of the bags in this test, the Gondola has won my heart. Its balanced characteristics of ample tire clearance, decent carrying capacity, stability, and lack of seatpost strap make it an ideal choice for minimalist bikepackers.

Wayward Riders Louise Dropper Post Harness

  • Weight: 170 grams.
  • Price: $95 NZD (~$68 USD).
  • Volume: 10 L
  • Clearance: 6” – Always add an extra inch (or more) for buffer room to ensure the rear tire won’t rub the bag.

The Wayward Riders Louise Dropper Post Harness is a lightweight and straightforward option built in Wellington, New Zealand. The bag gets its name from Louise Sutherland, a New Zealand woman who was bikepacking before the word existed. In 1978, she became the first person to ride the Tranz-Amazon Highway, over 60,000 km through 54 countries. This product is aptly named, inspired by an incredible rider who used simple bags and equipment for giant rides.

When I started bikepacking, I couldn’t afford bike bags, so, like many, I turned to forums for DIY alternatives. To be honest, none of those options worked very well, and I wish that this harness was around at that time. What a simple way to toss a dry bag on your bike! While not as refined as some of these other bags, the price is right. I love how easy it is to pull out the stuff sack and take it into the tent for the night.

I tested the V2 version of this harness and paired it with a 7 L Ortlieb PS10 waterproof dry bag. The V2 adds more tire clearance, more stability, and is designed to be compatible with an extensive range of bags (5-10 L). Installation is simple; the straps lace over the saddle rails, and the rubber seatpost ring pairs with a Nano Voile strap, eliminating the need for a Valais clamp. The seatpost attachment might be one of my favorite parts of the design; it’s incredibly simple and functional and doesn’t cause any harm to your seatpost stanchion. The mounting system keeps the bag from moving or swaying too much.

I would have enjoyed a bit more clearance between the bag and my bike’s rear tire. I attempted to tighten the straps to compress the bag, however that did little to increase the clearance. Even using a smaller/less full dry bag did little to increase the clearance available. Again, design is all about compromise; 7 L of volume is much more than most of the bags in this test. The trade-off is less clearance.

The ability to remove the drybag with ease is quite a nice feature. Most of the time, this functionality is mentioned because the user likes to take the bag in a tent or shelter with them without fumbling around in the rain. But maybe even more important to me is how much easier a stuff sack is to pack on the ground as opposed to when it’s mounted to a bike that’s leaning on a precarious rock/tree/whatever.

The Louise Dropper Post Harness is versatile, lightweight, and stable, excelling in simplicity and functionality. While it presents some limitations in terms of tire clearance, its affordability, and adaptability to different dry bag sizes make it a commendable option for bikepackers on a budget.

Rogue Panda Ripsey

  • Weight: 13 oz with dry bag.
  • Price: $200
  • Volume: 8 L
  • Clearance: 4” – Always add an extra inch (or more) for buffer room to ensure the rear tire won’t rub the bag.

While the Ripsey was not part of this particular roundup, we wanted to mention Rogue Panda’s highly regarded dropper seat bag, which Spencer recently reviewed. With its innovative attachment and skid plate, the Ripsey is an amazing singletrack dropper post seat bag. You can check out all the details in this longform review.


Selecting the right dropper post seat bag is a personal choice, heavily influenced by individual needs and the specific demands of different biking routes. This review highlights the inherent trade-offs in bag design: stability versus simplicity and volume versus clearance, for instance. Each bag offers a unique set of compromises, underscoring the reality that there is no one-size-fits-all solution in the world of bikepacking gear. Riders must weigh these factors against their personal preferences and the nature of their adventures, understanding that every attribute chosen often means another is left behind.

A note about tire clearance: For each bag, I measured from the saddle to the lowest part of the bag. Depending upon your bike and the bag, about an inch of clearance should be added to account for the bouncing into the tire. If you’re riding a full-suspension bike, I’d recommend releasing all the pressure from the rear shock, fully compressing it, and measuring from there, again accounting for an extra inch of clearance.

If I’m running a bag that doesn’t allow full travel of my dropper, I like to bring the Valais clamp down to the point where I have enough clearance not to drop my post too far and shove a bag into my rear tire. Or if you’re not running a Valais clamp, a few wraps of electrical tape normally serve as a good enough indicator.

Have you used any of the bags mentioned in this roundup? Drop into the comments below and tell us about your experience!