Café Du Cycliste elevates the utilitarian tool saddle bag to a suave waterproof pouch that’s sleek and stylish…

Café Du Cycliste is another niche brand making forays into on-bike storage. It produces pouches small enough to stash you cycling sunglasses or large enough for a weekend wild camping. Much of this is driven by the every growing popularity of bikepacking, but some of its smaller items – like this nifty tool saddle bag – are much more useful everyday accessories.

Men’s Fitness verdict

Why opt for a tool saddle bag that’s flimsy, black and boring when you can treat your bike to this robust yet stylish number from Café Du Cycliste?
  • Robust and easy to clean
  • Waterproof
  • Enough room for essentials
  • Hooked clasp difficult to tighten mid-ride
  • Premium price

How we tested the best cycling accessories

I tested each accessory on a range of day-long, overnight and multi-day rides. These included riding and camping in varied weather conditions over a period of three months. Where appropriate I rode a hardtail, full-suspension mountain bike, gravel bike or road bike to test each product.

Close-up of a saddle tool bag under a bike saddle
The Café Du Cycliste tool bag attaches to the saddle’s rails and sits neatly beneath it

Café Du Cyclist tool saddle bag design

Where Café Du Cycliste made its name was in stylish cycling apparel that’s just at home – as the name suggests – at café stops as on your regular training runs. Its range of bags and packs, all in this lovely muted olive green, fit nicely alongside the brand’s stylish apparel and similarly place an equal emphasis on form and function.

The tool saddle bag has a 0.5-litre capacity. That doesn’t sound like much, and it’s not meant to be. Instead the company hits the sweet spot between room for essentials and a compact, minimalist design.

I loaded it with a multitool, tyre levers, inner tube and CO2 canister and that’s about all it can hold. You might be able to find a micro pump small enough to slot in instead of the canister but it would have to be miniscule.

But that size is no bad thing. Most of us don’t want a large saddle bag swinging beneath us when we ride out of the saddle. And the thick velcro strap makes sure this sits tightly between your saddle rails and doesn’t budge. You can just fit it and forget it.

Café Du Cyclist tool saddle bag features

As you’d expect, given it’s position, the tool bag is made from durable waterproof fabric. Heat-sealed seams and hefty nylon webbing round out an impressively robust package. A roll-top opening ensures no water will creep inside either. I did find the strap on the hooked clasp can be difficult to adjust with cold fingers but it’s unlikely you’d need to do that much out on the road. It’s easy enough to hook and unhook the clasp when in use.

Given its smart design, I wanted to keep it as clean as my bike, so was pleased to see road grime wipe off with ease.

Should you buy the Café Du Cyclist tool saddle bag?

Sure there are cheaper bags, but the price isn’t outlandish. And the quality is such that you know you won’t be forking out for a replacement any time soon. The one problem is that, if you find you need to carry any more gear from time to time, you’ll probably start looking – like I did – for a matching Café Du Cycliste frame bag – oh, and maybe a jersey too.

Capacity0.5 litres
Attachment systemVelcro strap
Measurements15-21 x 5 x 6cm / 5.9-6.2 x 2 x 2.4in
Closure systemRoll-top
ColourOlive green