We retired the fantastic Sackville Small saddlesack because not enough people loved it and took advantage of its short height and that allowed it to sneak in (on small bikes) saddle-to-tire gaps that no other saddle bag of that decent capacity could even dream of.
• it’s 2-inches deeper top to bottom, so it holds a lot more. (worth $17.50) • it has D-rings on the flap, so you can attach a Sackville Kangaroo pocket for wallet-phone-keys-tools. (Worth $14.24, but you still have to buy the $22 KangaPocket) • the underside has an abrasion pad with loops, for tying onto a rack to make it maximally non-sway-y and harder to steal. Or at least slower to steal. (worth $13.26)
The new dimensions are 7.25”H x 12W x 11”Deep (front to back). Saddle-loop to tire requirement: 10.25-inches. Less with a fender or rack.
It is the ideal size for slight shopping trips or long day rides with lots of stuff. It is hard to imagine a bike rider who’d hate this bag.
ALL Sackville Saddlesacks are the result of 30+ years of saddlebag use and obsession. These are our own designs, made without compromise in Connecticut. They're expensive, but last decades. They all require a saddle with loops. All modern leather saddles and some plastic ones have them.
OUTER FABRIC: All Sackville bags are made from cotton we import directly from Scotland. It is more tightly woven than any waxed cotton made in America. The gaps between threads are so small it hardly needs any wax, and with less wax, it stays much cleaner. Normal-common-American waxed cotton is more coarsely woven, so needs a heavier coating of wax. The extra wax on the coarse fabric isn't as waterproof, and picks up and holds dirt, so after a couple of years, it looks like an old railroad tie coated with creosote.
Note: The fabric is tough, highly abrasion-resistant, but if you pack it with sharp things and rattle around on trails like that, a hole will magically appear. This isn't a defect. Pack it well but don't obsess. If you get a hole, fix it yourself with leather or fabric glued or stitched on. It's a damn tough bag, but it's not steel.
LEATHER: Tough, American top-grain leather tanned and sufficiently oiled to weather well with minimal upkeep. Every couple of years smear some leather goop on it. The best is Obenauf's (we sell it, so do others), but any will do.
OVERALL DESIGN: They sit flat, and there are two benefits. (1) The load doesn't tilt or tend to spill out. Even if you don't use the security of the inner tongue-flap or buckle down the outer flap, the raised lower lip of the lower jaw + a flat bottom holds your stuff in there; (2) You get more usable room directly above the tire. This is best explained with a diagram, which we don't have right now.
DETAILS: Simple, usable, with sufficient convenience for anybody. Two D-Rings allow for attachment of our removable Kangaroo Pouch pocket — good for wallet, keys, phone, and whatever else you might want to take with you into the store while your bike is outside.
Especially notice the bottom outer, sometimes in a contrasting color. The extra layer of fabric repels water and abraision from an uncovered tire. A fender or rack makes it unnecessary, but it's there just in case. The two webbing loops make it easy to snug the sack to a rack as a way to foil a thief with plans for a quick get-away; and reduce bag-sway (which is a theoretical issue more than a real problem, but saddlebag newbies tend to fear it, and so...we say don't).
Two loops at the bottom allow you to cinch a big bag off of a tall uncovered tire. Like, let's say you let a friend use the bag and the guy doesn't have a rack or fender but needs to carry a big load, and his saddle is low. Run a stick or pencil or rod or cord thru these loops, and use an adjustable cord or strap to hike the bag off the tire. Tie it off to the saddle or straps holding the saddle to the bag loops. Creativity solves all problems!
FANATICAL STITCHERY: Every stitch terminates on the inside of the bag. The ends of the nylon thread are melted with an alcohol flame, then smeared while molten. They won't show, catch, or unravel.
Capacity: There are too many ways to measure in cubic inches or liters. There are ways to cheat. Expanded and bulged? Flat sides and mathematically? It's too confusing. Unexpanded, this bag holds a lot. Expanded—with extended flap and maxed-out tongue, it's a monster.
Washing instructions: Let the rain wash it. If it doesn't rain, blast it with a hose for 10 seconds once a year.