When you get the chance to use a saddle bag throughout an entire bikepacking season, it’s one of those bags that you get so acquainted with that it is hard to remember what riding is like without one. Being able to find the right bag can be a challenge. You want something that not only holds up in all conditions, but is easy to use, and can accommodate what you intend to carry. Last June I was in search for a saddle bag that had two characteristics in particular.  I wanted a bag that was compact, something that I could fit my sleep system in and call it good. Secondly, I was looking for the right fit. I have always had bags loosen up on me, typically due to the size. After searching around I actually came up empty, the bags I found were either too small, or not small enough – so I thought from my experience trying to decipher size from a picture on the internet. I ended up going with the medium Oveja Negra Gearjammer Seatbag in multi cam. The medium Gearjammer can hold 10 liters of goods and packs down to about 6 liters. The bag is made from a number of materials including Multicam 500d Cordura (body), Ballistic 1050d nylon, Hypalon trim, and Superfabric Grip. Sure, these quality materials are nice, but what is most important is how it is all put together and it’s functionality.Oveja Negra Gearjammer Seatbag The nylon body and frame sheet give the Gearjammer a 3D shape. The Multi Cam is sewn in extending out the body with sewn in clips that attach back to the body acting like a compression sack. An extra compression strap on the end/exterior of the bag ensures that your bag is compressed and snug to the saddle. The bag connects to the saddle with one velcro strap. Attached to the seatpost contact point of the bag is Superfabric – this is an extremely grippy material that holds the bag against the seat post. The saddle rail straps are strong and maneuverable, making it a cinch to connect the bag back to the seat. Oveja Negra Gearjammer Seatbag Buckles may be the most important piece of a saddle bag. They hold the bag to your bike, ensure the bag does not move around, compresses the bag, and in general they see a lot of wear. Being able to tug on these to your hearts content is important. The bag comes with a number of Nexus Buckles including the saddle rail buckles with cam lock. This makes sure the straps do not slowly loosen up while riding, keeping the bag snug to the saddle.   Characteristics on target After receiving the bag and messing around with it, it seemed like this would be a perfect fit for my Salsa Spearfish, Colorado Trail Race trek and beyond. The saddle bag would fit 3 things; a 40 degree sleeping bag –  Marmot Atom (1lb 8oz), SOL Escape Bivy (8.5oz) and an older Mountain Hardwear Nitrous Hooded down jacket(12oz). These items were important to keep warm and dry. Packing these items in and cinching down the side straps made for a pretty small bag, in the 6 liter range. The bag comes with an external compression strap instead of internal ones that you see on many bags. This helps when you pack less gear in your bag. Not only does this compression strap ensure your gear is tightly stuffed to the front of your bag, but it also helps create a nice snug fit after you cinch down the rest of the straps. Finding a bag that can stay put and not bounce around has been another gripe. The Gearjammer was thoughtfully made for all types of bikes, rigid to full suspension. In my case, it was important that the body of the bag was not too large. By the body I mean from the saddle velcro strap to roughly a foot out – where all the gear fits. This ensures that the bag has enough clearance for full suspension bikes, an important factor for the riding I enjoy doing. This bag would have no problem clearing a 29+ model too.   The Test The bag lived on my bike for roughly a month before the Colorado Trail Race, not only did this help me get train, but it also was a good test to see how well it would hold up. My training rides were comprised of a lot of singletrack and dirt. After I got used to my loaded rig, I forgot the bag was even there. I think one reason I did not notice it much was how flush it was with the saddle itself. This feature gave me room to distribute my weight back when descending a technical feature. I rarely hit my butt on the bag. Oveja Negra Gearjammer Seatbag After a nights sleep I had a difficult time deciphering which packing method was faster and more efficient. The first nights of the CTR I would take the bag off my bike and pack it that way. After those couple of nights I ended up leaving it on the bike and packing it while strapped on. The beauty of taking the bag off was the ease of putting it back on. This fall when I did more leisure bikepacking, I typically would pull out the contents of my bag, then in the morning unclip the bag to pack it. I never ran into my typical issue of tugging on straps all day long. After loading up the Gearjammer in the morning, I would not touch it until I needed to stop and sleep. One less thing to deal with on the trail is always a bonus. The simplicity of the bag is great, but the detailed design, structure, and materials are what make it function so flawlessly. Oveja Negra Gearjammer Seatbag The stitching is clean, strong, and has not failed anywhere.  Haplon is used to reinforce all the buckle straps, this also helps reduce wear on the straps. The Courura multi cam is more durable than your typical Xpac, although it does attract more grit, and may be a bit more heavy.  The buckles held up extremely well. This is also true for the webbing, especially after really pulling down on them for the snuggest fit possible. All in all, The Gearjammer is a winner in my book. Between the durability of the bag and how it has held up this past year, the functionality to accommodate my race and non race trips, and the overall simplicity of the bag makes me want to use it on every journey I take. The medium bag is $120 and the large is $125. They are available in white, silver, black and multi cam. Head over to heir website for more details. Here are some photos of the bag in it’s element.
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4 Comments

  1. Did you use any sort of waterproof liner inside the bag to protect your sleeping bag, or do you trust the seatbag itself to be waterproof enough to keep your down items dry?

    • Neil Beltchenko
      Neil Beltchenko

      The material used to make the bag is completely waterproof. That coupled with taped and sealed seams left me confident that nothing would get wet inside. So no, I did not use any liner. I did however keep my bivy over my bag, in theory creating another liner over my down bag. But in general, you can trust its waterproof capabilities.

  2. What are the dimensions for the pack ?
    How much seat post is needed and rail – tire clearance ?
    Looking at some options at the moment and this is one but the website does not list how much clearance is needed.
    Thanks

  3. Pingback: Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion Review - Bikepackers Magazine

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