Saddlebags That Meet The Challenge

In August 1999, we looked at all sorts of saddlebags — those for day trips and those for week-long camping. Since then, another set of saddlebags — rather a “system” of saddlebags — was brought to our attention, and we found the Saddle Software System from Have Saddle Will Travel undeniably impressive.

With this versatile set you don’t tie a saddlebag behind the saddle. Instead, you attach a padded — or unpadded — saddlebag-receiving platform called Saddlebag Suspenders. This small, lightweight, adjustable pad is studded with buckles to which the different bags — or all of them — can be attached. A lighter, mesh suspender is available to carry light loads for day rides.

Removable nylon-covered foam inserts are available to convert the large or small saddlebags into insulated ones to keep drinks and sandwiches cool or keep delicate cargo safe. Sewn-in nylon liners close with drawstrings to keep gear inside and rain and trail dust out. Some testers found it difficult to reclose the main saddlebags from the saddle, but smaller, zippered side pockets allow easy access to maps, wallet or other small items.

Both the Basic Overnight Package ($229.95) and the Day-Tripper Package ($149.95) include a matching horn bag set that has a water bottle and a small gear bag on both sides. The two sides are attached with adjustable nylon straps that fit over the fork of any Western saddle. Other options include tiedowns and straps to convert the saddlebags to a backpack. Each individual bag has a handle sewn into the top so when snapped off the platform it can be easily carried. The Saddle Software System is machine-washable and sold as a set or individual components.

This is an awesome, comfortable set that had our testers praising the ingenuity of its design as well as the quality of the construction. This set is our top choice of the individual saddlebags and saddlebag sets we have seen.

Contact Your Local Tack Store Or: Have Saddle Will Travel 800/821-3607.

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