Lezyne Pod Caddy M Quick Release £25.99
Saddle bags are a useful accessory but can often ruin the look of a nice bike; a baggy material with velcro straps wrapped around multiple surfaces. The Lezyne Pod Caddy does away with straps and baggyness, creating a saddle rail mounted hard shell case.
In-line with what I've come to expect from Lezyne, it's a stylish and well made bag that will not look out of place on a high value bike. I was looking forward to testing it on my Giant TCR, as with its aero post, fitting a standard saddle bag proved cumbersome and I also wanted something I could easily remove when racing. Unfortunately the Pod didn't fit either: the rail mounting interfered with the seat-post clamp.
Granted the TCR has quite a bulky rail clamp but it is something to consider when buying on of these. I have my saddle on the limit of set-back, offering the maximum amount of rail to the Pod and still couldn't get it on. You need to have a good amount of horizontal rail area for the clamp as you won't be able clip the Pod on if it's on the curve at all.
So, with it not fitting my road bike I mounted it on the mountain bike. I decided it would offer a better test for stability of the Pod anyway, getting rocked around off-road.
With only support from the top, you might be concerned that it would wobble or become loose. Thanks to a well designed and solid support this isn't the case however. Fully loaded with a tube, multi-tool and a few other bits, the Pod is still held fast and was not noticeable during riding. The bag clips into the mount with a confident 'clunk' and isn't come to come out until you want it to. The Pod is a EVA foam moulded construction with Nylon cover and is water resistant, certainly more resistant than most soft material bags but after forgetting to take it off during a bike cleaning I can say that it isn't going to keep things 100% dry.
Onto the main sell of any saddle bag, the Pod's design makes it one of the easiest to load and unload from. A zipper runs around three sides of the case, allowing it to open like a clam shell. You then have full access so you're not removing everything to get the change that has fallen to the bottom at the cafe stop. A netted partition stops things falling out when the lower opens. The zip also features a large finger loop to avoid any fumbling around with cold hands.
We had both the S and M sizes on test and the difference in size isn't massive but with the M i'd say you can get two road tubes in rather than one (or one MTB tube in my case), along with a tyre lever and multi-tool. It's a good size - not too big to look odd perched under the saddle - and for an extra £2 probably the size I'd go for. We also had both the black and the white colours and I'd say the black is subtle - as you want from a saddle bag - but is purely taste.
I really like the Lezyne Caddy Pod, I've used a few saddle bags in my time and reckon this is the most stylish, whilst remaining practical. That makes it more of shame that I couldn't fit it on my race bike, whether you'll have the saddle rail access is something to consider before buying. The S and M retail at £23.99 and £25.99 respectively and although there are cheaper options I don't feel it over priced for what is a tidier saddle bag option for most that isn't going to cause any paint rub.