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ADV Products5 Minimalist Saddlebags for Ultralight Packers

5 Minimalist Saddlebags for Ultralight Packers

A toothbrush, flip-flops and spare pair of underwear are all you really need.

Published on 05.06.2014

ultralight saddlebags for minimalist packing

For many Adventure Riders, packing too much gear is a common problem. We know it’s hard to leave behind any of the cool gadgets you’ve collected over the years, but you pay the price for the extra weight when you get out on the trail.

Some Adventure Riders go to the other extreme and pack as light as possible. These ultralight packers prioritize ride performance over comfort and convenience, bringing only the most essential items. They typically stay in a basic hotel each night, so there is no need to bring heavy camping gear. They ride when the weather is warm and dry, so there is no need for extra layers.

For some ultralight packers, their packing list consists of a pair of flip-flops (thongs), a toothbrush and a change of underwear. Each day they wash their underwear in the hotel sink and hang them to dry over night, then head out for a bite to eat in their flip-flops. They may bring a few other items as well like shorts, a t-shirt, tools, inner-tubes, maps and possibly a few luxuries like snacks, a light jacket, sunglasses and a baseball cap. Ultralight packing may not be for everyone, but if you can handle living in the same clothes for a few days, it can really enhance your off-road performance.


One of the best ways to carry minimalist gear is with a set of small saddlebags. These allow you to hang off the back of your seat on steep declines and squeeze through tight spaces on wooded or rocky single-track trails. Weight is stored low on the bike making it more stable and easier to maneuver. You can also transfer some of the weight from your backpack to your motorcycle, allowing you to ride longer without getting tired.

We’ve compiled a list of 5 minimalist saddlebags for off-road focused adventure riders. These bags are lightweight and have a slim profile with a combined capacity of 30 liters or less. They are built with durable materials that hold up to the abuse of off-road riding and can be installed without pannier racks, saving you even more weight. The list of saddlebags is ordered from small to large in terms of volume.

Minimalist saddle bags won’t hinder your body movement and can help reduce fatigue by removing some of the weight from your backpack.

Click the “Next Page” link below to get started.

Author: Rob Dabney

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View all comments (@SpiritStrikecom) (@SpiritStrikecom)
August 22, 2014 8:39 am

I use a soft rack kit from Green Chile Adventure Gear. Its tough and lightweight and you can carry pretty much any bag so you can go minimalist or pack for a multiday camping trip easily.

I have also found that other brand bags like my Wolfman Expedition saddlebags actually haul better when I attach it to my Green Chile rack.

Check it out

April 23, 2015 3:27 am makes some great softluggage systems. The 35L ‘claw mini’ is a universal fit on anybike and ‘rapide’ for upswept exhausts.

Peter Jowett
Peter Jowett
March 11, 2016 2:45 pm

Mosko Moto has some great stuff too, really love my “Reckless 80” rackless bags. The beaver-tail is bad-ass for hauling firewood, beer, you name it.

Charlie Rauseo
Charlie Rauseo
September 11, 2017 9:42 pm

Being exceedingly cheap, I just pick up a set of $20 doggy saddle bags at the pet store. Usually run the straps under the seat.
fun fun

March 5, 2019 6:40 am

VUZ makes a line of quality durable dry bags which are a great value. I love my Wolfman gear but there are much less costly choices out there.


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