Updated Salsa EXP Series Anything Cradle & Cage Systems: First Look
Salsa’s EXP Series Anything Cradle and Anything Cage Systems have recieved some major updates—including a new Top-Load Dry Bag, redesigned Front Pouch and Anything Cage Bag, and some fresh new EXP Series Rubber Straps. Here’s a first look at everything…
First launched back in 2016, Salsa’s EXP Series of bikepacking bags consists of a full range of handlebar, frame, and saddle bags that have proven to be well-built and ready for the rigours of bikepacking. Announced today, Salsa has made some major updates the the EXP Series Anything Cradle and Anything Cage Systems, adding more options, more versatility, and new designs that look quite promising. We got our hands on the updated Salsa EXP Series Anything Cradle System and Anything Cage Bag for a closer look a few days before today’s launch.
Salsa EXP Series Anything Cradle System
Salsa’s Anything Cradle System receives the brunt of the updates, with a focus on increased compatibility between different handlebars, offering a huge improvement on the original design. Featured updates include:
- Anything Cradle arms now compatible with 35.0 mm bars (includes shims for 31.8 mm bars)
- New Side-Load and Top-Load Dry Bags for easier use with flat or drop bars
- EXP Series Front Pouch was redesigned with more compartments and one-handed operation
- New EXP Series Rubber Straps
- Updated lighter weight fabrics
The EXP Series Top-Load Drybag is a welcome addition to the collection. At about 14″ wide (a good 5″ narrower than the Side-Load Drybag) with a top accessed roll-top closure, it’s better suited to use with drop bars. To keep things from sagging due to the extra height of the bag, Salsa included two strap mounts on the underside of the bag where their new Rubber Straps can loop through. The whole setup is stable and fairly quick to access—and might be useful for those hauling camera gear while bikepacking. Both the Top-Load and Side-Load Drybags now feature manual air purge valves to keep things tight.
The fabric on both styles of dry bags has also been updated to a lighter 210D Nylon with a TPU coating on the outside, but not the inside, to make packing easier. It’s lighter and more pliable than the last generation, but still super durable. The exterior was noticeable grippy, while the interior remains smooth and easy to stuff gear such as sleeping bags and down jackets into.
The new EXP Series Anything Front Pouch is easily added onto the front of the system by looping the rubber straps through the backside of the pouch. An additional nylon strap is provided to secure to the top of the Anything Cradle to keep the pouch from sliding down, and now uses a single zipper with an oversized pull tab to access the main compartment. There’s also a smaller zippered front pocket, an internal sleeve, and two small exterior mesh pockets to help keep things organized while riding. The fabric on the front pouch has changed to a lighter 400D TPU coated fabric. This will be more pliable, a little lighter, and less rough than the previous material.
Although the design of the Anything Cradle remains unchanged, Salsa sized up the clamps to work with 35mm bars and includes shims for 31.8mm bars. After a few quick loops around my local trails, I can confirm the shims work as intended and grip nicely on the bars, even over rough terrain.
Salsa EXP Series Anything Cage System
The Salsa Anything Cage System has also received some updates, including a redesigned Anything Cage Bag with a semi-rigid base that stands up for easier loading. And there are new EXP Rubber Straps, too. Although the overall concept of the Anything Cage Bag remains the same, the new semi-rigid base is a nice improvement that makes loading and carrying the bag that much easier. Shown below with a King Cage Many Things Cage, the new base creates a nice contact point between the bag and cage, and it stands up by itself on the ground—a small but user-friendly addition.
Like the Anything Cradle System, the older nylon cinch straps have been replaced with Salsa’s new EXP Series Rubber Straps, which are more durable, grippy, and much more versatile. The new straps make landing and unloading both systems far quicker when compared with the original nylon straps, eliminating the need for awkward strap routing and allowing the user to simply strap, tighten, and go.
The Salsa EXP Series Anything Cradle Kit and Anything Cage Kit are available as a complete system or the various components can be purchased separately. See pricing and updated product names below.
Salsa EXP Series Pricing
- EXP Series Anything Cradle Kit (Top-Load and Side-Load)$219.99
- EXP Series Anything Cradle$119.99
- EXP Series 35.0 Anything Cradle Arms$59.99
- EXP Series Top-Load or Side-Load Dry Bag$59.99
- EXP Series Anything Front Pouch$69.99
- EXP Series Rubber Straps – 22″$16.99
- EXP Series Rubber Straps – 30″$17.99
- EXP Series Anything Cage HD Kit$64.99
- EXP Series Anything Cage Bag$34.99
- EXP Series Anything Cage HD$34.99
Head over to SalsaCycles.com to learn more.