Silca’s Mattone saddlebag stands out from most of the other best saddle bags for mountain biking as it uses a Boa dial, like the ones commonly found on shoes, to fix the saddlebag to your saddle rails rather than the usual velcro or webbing straps. While a Boa may bring with it added cost and a little extra weight, it does mean that the Mattone can be cranked up super tight for a very snug fit and will shrug off a barrage of wheel-spray.
Design and aesthetics
Unlike most saddle bags which use simple Velcro straps or a buckle, Silca has specced an L-Series Boa dial on the Mattone. That means securing the Mattone is as simple as winding in the cable using the Boa dial. To loosen, the Boa dial pops up to release tension quickly. The Boa and opposing cable guide are mounted on a wide Hypalon strap which loops over both saddle rails and the bag itself. There is a single webbed loop on the top to keep the Hypalon strap in position, center the bag and help add tension to the rails. The Hypalon material has a slight rubbery textured finish to it which helps add a little extra grip when fitted.
Mattone literally means brick in Italian, which gives you an idea of the basic profile of the storage. The deep rectangular shape offers roughly 0.61 L of storage which is enough for a 29er tube, tire lever and multi-tool. Pack a lightweight thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) tube and there will be space for a small tubeless repair kit and/or CO2 canister as well.
Inside there is a divider that separates your tube from your multi-tool to avoid any holes being worn in your tube during storage. The divider has a little slip pocket as well to store a bank card or a bit of emergency cash.
The water-resistant Aquaguard Zipper starts on the non-drive side and extends almost all the way around which means the Mattone can be either opened at one end when fitted to the bike or removed and completely opened like a book.
The black with grey decal aesthetic means it’s subtle and will suit any bike too. Despite its size, it sits neatly and discreetly under the saddle too.
The Boa dial means that when you’re fitting the bag it’s very easy to get cinched up super tight, avoiding any wiggle that can cause other bags to loosen or rattle when riding. The combination of the Boa, broad strap and the Mattone’s stiff materials means the pressure is very even further helping assure a secure fit. The big benefit of the Boa dial is going to be durability and longevity, Boa is well proven when it comes to working in gritty conditions and considering they are tough enough to hold your shoes on your feet as you mash the pedals through winter slop, so securing a little saddlebag is no problem.
The zip design means it’s fairly easy to grab your multi-tool or bank card without removing the bag from the bike which is handy. If you need your tube you will have to loosen off the Boa and unhook the cable from its apposing guide to undo the zip further. This doesn’t mean removing it from the bike and the Mattone can be quickly re-affixed back in place, although if your bike is leaned against a wall you will need to be careful that the things you don’t need don’t fall out.
On paper, the Mattone has quite a large storage capacity compared to other slimline saddle bags I have used, that said the stiff construction means the bag doesn’t conform if the load is not an ideal shape. This is fine if you use a compact tube, or you are gravel riding, but I found there wasn’t a way to fold a standard butyl 29er tube to get it to fit well. When compared to the skingrowsback Plan B, which on paper has less storage capacity, the malleable Plan B was able to fit considerably more stuff despite being technically smaller.
The Mattone might be expensive when compared to the competitors but it’s super secure with a good compact size to storage ratio assuming you are able to neatly Tetris your items into the available space. Inside is well thought out with the divider offering protection to your tube and some organization to the storage area. Build quality is great too and the Boa closure should easily survive many winters and outlive its velcro competitors.
Tech Specs: Silca Mattone saddle bag
- Price: $50.00 / £47.00
- Size: 0.61 liters
- Colors: Black
- Attachment: Hypalon strap with Boa closure
- Weight: 87g