Not long after the KOM Cycling Saddle Tool Roll landed on my lap, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Taiwanese tool titan Topeak had its own spin on the tool roll made locally available. I decided to check it out for myself.
- Construction: Polyethylene material with durable water repellent coating; stain-resistant
- Three pockets; large enough to carry a 29″ x 2.35″ (700C x 60 mm) inner tube
- Closure: two elastic straps + wide Velcro strap with plastic tension loop
- Can strap to either saddle rails or top tube
- Weight: 91 g (claimed)
- Price: PhP1,588 via Coolstuff168ph
Outwardly the Burrito Pack is very similar to KOM Cycling’s offering. They are both tool rolls or wraps, where you stuff their three pockets with your stuff and smoosh them into a smaller form before securing them to your bike. A closer look reveals some key differences, however.
The Burrito Pack is physically larger, and it shows. The pockets have more width to them, making both folding them and accessing their contents easier, the latter helped by the bright yellow inner lining. On the Saddle Tool Roll, smaller items such as spare master links and valve core tools can very easily get lost inside its deep, narrow pockets, which are in the same black material as the rest of the bag. This exact thing happened to me when I removed its every-ride-carry contents for test relocation into the Burrito Pack.
Topeak’s user-friendliness of design extends to little touches like a Velcro patch on the inner flap to help secure the Burrito Pack’s contents. Said flap is triangular in shape, as opposed to the rectangular one on the KOM Cycling unit. I thought this might be a concern for smaller items falling out, but in practice it’s a non-issue.
Looking outward yields the other difference: the closure and mounting system. On the KOM Cycling Saddle Tool Roll, you pull a single wide elastic strap to bind the folded roll together lengthwise, then secure it with a Velcro closure. Once done, you pull an ATOP cable dial latch crosswise around the saddle rails and slide it into a hook, where the dial is then cranked down to add tension and snug it up to the bottom of the saddle.
Sophistication gets swapped for simplicity on the Topeak roll. To cinch up the contents, you pull two sewn-on elastic loops crosswise over the folded-over Burrito Pack. For mounting to either saddle rails or a frame tube, you thread the wide main center strap through its plastic tension loop, then pull through and mate it with the Velcro at the end. The top tube mounting possibility is a bonus, but note that on a smaller framed bike, it can interfere with water bottles on the downtube.
Both systems are effective, but the Topeak’s is a better design. Splitting binding duty between three crosswise straps helps the Burrito Wrap maintain a compact shape despite its larger footprint overall. In doubling down on the minimalist concept, the KOM Cycling roll tends to punish you for packing it full.
I stuffed both packs with…
- a spare 700C x 28-37 mm inner tube wrapped in a Ziploc bag
- a Crankbrothers F15 multitool
- three Zefal tire levers, stacked
- a Park Tool GP-2 glueless patch kit
- a Lezyne speed chuck for my Micro Floor Drive pump
- a Park Tool VC-1 valve core tool
- petty cash and identification
- some spare zip ties
- a spare 11-speed master link
- a spare rear derailleur hanger from Wheels Manufacturing
…and the Burrito Pack kept impressively compact.
On the KOM Cycling tool roll, the folds in the material tend to make pointy peaks that poke into the backs of my thighs as I pedal. To mitigate this annoyance, I resorted to pulling its elastic Velcro strap over the brand nameplate of my Selle SMP Drakon saddle so it would tilt downward and away from my legs. Maybe it’s the slightly softer material, or the larger pockets making for easier roll-up, or even the much wider securing strap – either way, this is much less of an issue with the Burrito Pack.
I’ve taken the KOM Cycling Saddle Tool Roll on outdoor rides, and it’s done a good job carrying my spares kit securely. That said, it hasn’t been as good at doing so without calling attention to itself. It’s proven very sensitive to how I pack it, and even then it can nag me with back-of-the-thigh rub.
Topeak’s Burrito Pack takes the same basic concept but refines it appreciably. Thoughtful touches like the yellow liner and Velcro on the flap, combined with the more effective volume control and better versatility of the closure system, add up to a better saddle bag replacement that just does its job of carrying your spares and keeping out of your way until you need it.
It’s hard to argue against the price difference, too. The Burrito Pack is a fair bit cheaper than the Saddle Tool Roll. While the ATOP cable dial design works great in practice, I suspect it’s also responsible for at least some of the cost delta. Add to that the local distribution and it’s an easy win.
One thought on “Downsizing the spares kit: Topeak Burrito Pack”
Good review, I really like the style and usability of the Burrito, and I find it one of the best looking saddle bags on the market. My only complaint is that its difficult to access tools quickly, such as during a race – but that’s clearly not the point of having a roll-up bag.