Salsa EXP Series Bikepacking Bags: First Look

Susan Fernandez November 11 2021

Salsa bags are quickly becoming an industry standard for bike-packing gear. They are waterproof, lightweight, durable, and well thought out. I wouldn't call them inexpensive but they are priced reasonably considering the cost of high-end materials, assembly, and design time involved in making something by hand.

If you're here to find out about the Salsa EXP Series, you have come to the right place. Salsa's line of bike-packing bags arouses the interest of mountain and trail bikers immensely. Any biker would love to own Salsa bags because they offer: 

  • Innovative designs 
  • Durable construction
  • Waterproof features
  • Variable capacity and organization
  • Minimum weight compared to other bike-packing bags
  • Durability 
  • Ample storage 
  • Excellent features 

Salsa bike-packing bags offer the best prices that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. You can't go wrong with Salsa bike-packing bags. We suggest that you first take a look at our top five picks for these bike-packing bags before checking out their prices and features below.

The EXP Series lineup features six to seven different bags that you can choose from, depending on the number of days you want to go bike-packing or bike touring. Unfortunately, there is no half-size option for this bag, so if you're a fan of Salsa's other products and have a small frame, not much luck!   

Let's dig deep into the Salsa Bags EXP series now.

Who will like the EXP series?

  • Riders who enjoy bike-packing;
  • Riders who enjoy traveling with their bikes through nature trails;
  • Riders looking for durable, waterproof bags;
  • Riders on a tight budget (the EXP series is one of the cheapest options out there).


If you're a lover of all things ultralight, this is the bag for you! At only seven ounces for both the drybag and harness, it's one of the lightest bags available on the market today! The roll-top closure provides easy access to everything inside your pack as well as peace of mind that no items will fall out if you have to go over a bumpy section of trail or road during your trip. We love how quick it is to deploy, thanks to its extremely simple design roll-top closure.

The bag's harness is also super easy to adjust and use. It even accommodates a hydration bladder for a very minimal weight penalty!

This bag is one of the most simplistic designs, but it gets the job done with ease. We love how versatile this brand of bike-packing bags is for its simplicity! The welded-seam construction ensures that your gear will stay dry, even if you get caught in a downpour. The only downside about this dry bag is that it leaks when submerged underwater for long periods of time, which can be an issue if you're using it on overnight trips.

EXP Series Dry Bag and The Anything Cradle

The anything cradle isn't called "anything cradle" for nothing. It literally means that you can carry anything you want by placing it in the cradle and strapping it safely. The anything cradle has a solid built and works in perfection with the EXP Dry Bags.

Salsa's EXP Dry Bag is wholly waterproof, made of 420D Nylon with TPU lamination and PU coating. The bag comes with slots to add straps for holding the bag in a fixed place. The anything cradle system also provides straps to secure the bag, eliminating slipping. 

All in all, the EXP Dry Bag is easy to install, thanks to the hook-and-loop points. With the bag installed on your “anything cradle,” you won't have to worry about the safety of your stuff.

EXP series Front Pouch 

EXP series Front Pouch is a perfect match for the Anything Cradle and Dry Bag. You can attach the front pouch to the Drybag easily, thanks to the buckle design. The wholly-welded waterproof construction makes this bag durable and beneficial in harsh weather. 

The build process of this pouch includes 500D Nylon, TPU lamination, and PU coating. With several slots available on the pouch, you can fasten it with the Anything straps.  No need to worry about the bag slipping, either. The Front Pouch looks pretty stylish. Furthermore, it allows ample storage for holding accessories. 

It comes with a welded construction for adding style and functionality. You can fit the bag easily on your bike frame due to its hook-and-loop design. 

The grooves at the bottom revolve around straps that provide a tight holding, keeping it secure against your bike's frame. The water-resistant zipper combined with a roll-top drybag mechanism keeps everything inside safe from even the most extreme weather conditions.

EXP Series Toptube Bag

The Toptube bag is another excellent addition to the EXP Series. This bag is not only stylish but provides considerable space to hold snacks or useful gear. 

Although the Toptube bag has a Velcro strap, allowing it to attach to other bike models, it best goes with Salsa models. Thanks to the two bolt holes integrated into the bag design, it fits on Salsa frames with top tube mounts. 

The bag has a wholly welded-in construction. Also, its build includes waterproof fabric and zippers. The closed-cell foam internal structure adds stability. And two inner mesh pockets provide more space to put things. 

EXP Series Cutthroat Framepack

Salsa introduced a Cutthroat Framepack bag to fit the main triangle of the bike. Like the other Salsa bags, this one too integrates waterproof fabric and welded-in waterproof zippers. 

Made with 500D Nylon, TPU lamination, and PU coating, this bag is exceptionally durable. It incorporates a separate space for a water bladder. The D-ring protects the water bladder from compressing itself in the bag. 

The bag provides considerable room for carrying stuff. But, holding bulky essentials like a cooking pot or sleeping gear might not be possible for this bag. 

EXP Series Seatpack

Salsa's seatpack is a saddlebag. It's another exceptional bag for bike-packing and riding. Again, like other salsa bags, this one is also constructed with 500D Nylon. The addition of 1000D material placed in high-wear areas ensures durability. 

Aesthetics-wise, this seatpack is plain and has a minimalist design. It incorporates two-seat rail straps and a single-seat post strap. All-in-all, it's a good bag choice to take with you on short trips. 

The EXP series is a great addition to Salsa's bike-packing line. All the bags are waterproof, durable, and easy to install. And they provide an excellent storage capacity too. I would recommend this set of bags for riders who enjoy cycling in nature while carrying all their essentials with them.

Benefits of EXP series bags

  • Waterproof fabric and zippers;
  • Durable, all-weather bags;
  • Ample space for storage;
  • Hook-and-loop fasteners make it easy to install EXP series bags on alternate frames.

Disadvantages of EXP series bags

  • No side pockets or pouches are available with the EXP Series Bikepacking Bags set;
  • EXP series front pouch is not compatible with all bike models due to its hook-and-loop design as well as its Velcro strap.

While it has a few disadvantages, Salsa's EXP Series Bikepacking Bags set offers nothing but benefits to riders who enjoy cycling through nature trails while carrying their essentials along with them. So, if you're looking for some exciting biking adventure and are planning to buy bike-packing bags, the EXP Series is the right choice for you.

Final Thoughts 

Salsa EXP Series includes some of the best Salsa bags for bike-packing and touring. Their bags are durable and long-lasting. If you own Salsa bikes, that's even better because the bags would fit in with perfection.  So if you're thinking about investing in them, you might go ahead and give this line a try.