These are almost all firm seats for flat-back riding positions, but some brands do offer wider versions for more upright touring and gravel applications In the last few years saddle designers have become very adept at blending features that both reduce weight and improve comfort.
Most of the improvements have come from composite materials that allow carefully tuned flex in a very light hull so the saddle better absorbs shock and moves with you as you pedal. On top of a lightweight hull, you'll usually find a thin layer of very dense foam and/or gel.
A few years ago, Sell Royal, owner of Fiji, span off a subsidiary company to make memory foam pillows and mattresses incorporating the Techno gel material it originally developed for saddles. Engineered in partnership with an F1 constructor, it is a carbon fiber chassis for your sit bones that's jaw-droppingly expensive at full price, breathtakingly light, beautifully finished and actually surprisingly comfortable.
Not only is it gloriously expensive but Sell Italy also claims it is “the most futuristic full carbon saddle of all time.” Teaming up with Dollar, an Italian company that makes composite products for F1 cars, the saddle features Suspension Link Movement technology for a more comfortable ride and a ridiculously low weight.
Very little road buzz gets through and there's enough shock absorption to take the edge off any bigger hits that come your way. The Sell Italy SLR Boost TI316 Super flow is a short-nosed, very light saddle that's designed to take the pressure off your soft tissues when you're in an aggressive position and to shave a few grams off the weight of its longer-nosed cousin.
The short nose with generous padding makes it easy to tuck down in the drops for long periods of time. Picking a saddle is very personal, and while our tester got on with the Fabric Line S Pro Flat during fast, aero riding, not everyone will.
The wide rear end holds you forward and doesn't allow much movement, while the soft base and padding won't suit everyone either. We strongly recommend heading to a local Fabric supplier to chat about your position and take their advice.
At just 197g, the Sell Italy SLR Lady Super flow Saddle is a seriously lightweight option aimed at female riders looking for high performance, which it delivers alongside decent levels of comfort despite its overtly firm character. The smooth, contoured structure gives incredible support to the sit bones, and yet no pressure at all on sensitive areas.
The Sell Italy Elite Boost Kit Carbonic is a short saddle that's perfect for fast rides. It offers a decent level of comfort that's better suited to shorter outings, and is reasonably light at 182g.
The Sell Italy Elite is a classic racing saddle that is still on sale today despite being released back in 1990. Bicycle technology has moved on a fair bit since then, and to celebrate the Elite's 30th anniversary, Sell Italy has given the classic design a modern makeover.
It's short, fairly wide and surprisingly comfortable, delivering an excellent, unobtrusive ride feel without fuss or gimmicks. Specialized's Women's Roman Eve Pro with MIMIC is a performance-orientated saddle that offers comfort and support for any kind of road ride.
Fans of the company's Our saddle are likely to be satisfied by this replacement: it's light, stiff and looks at home on any road racing bike. Cadet is the components brand of bike-manufacturer Giant, and they've created something pretty special with the Boost saddle, according to tester Stu Keaton, who says it's a seat that seems to be able to deliver on comfort and stiffness at exactly the same time thanks to its construction and design.
The cutout works well to relieve pressure and tester Liam was happy to use it for longer hill climb training sessions. Stripped back to a mere 167g with minimal padding and lashings of carbon fiber, it is still surprisingly comfortable with a great balance of stiffness and flex.
Fiji's '00' range is its showcase of what is achievable in terms of design with top end materials. The Ariane 00 Versus Eve has a shell made from high modulus carbon fiber which is unbelievably stiff considering how thin it is, with the central channel literally just about a millimeter thick.
Though the whole shell feels stiff, it does a decent job of allowing just enough flex to take out any harshness or road vibration. It adds stiffness front and rear but allows the shell to flex around the sides, so the saddle can move with you a little as you pedal.
The base has been designed to offer a bit of flex, controlled by the bridge at the rear, and when you concentrate on your sit bones you can feel a little of that mobility when you're riding along. And that wasn't the case for me here: even though the padding on the ALENA (and the Campus, which I also rode) is pretty thin the Repent didn't ever feel uncomfortable.
The rebirth of a classic design from the late 1970s, the Sell San Marco Concord Racing Floor Flash Edition is a firm, light, racing-orientated saddle. With its central cutaway this should be a shade more suitable for endurance riding than the Sprint Titanium, but it's still very much a saddle for going fast.
In comparison with most female specific saddles, it's a pared down seat, ideally suited to aggressive road riding and racing. With the trademark BG cut-out, it's designed to relieve pressure where it's needed without sacrificing ride efficiency.
Hollow titanium rails help keep the weight down, and at just 192g for the 143 mm size, it's definitely one of the lightest women's saddles on the market. The cushioning is placed exactly where you need it to support your sit bones, alleviating any discomfort or feeling of pressure.
There was little feeling of loss of power, with the saddle remaining a background feature of the ride, rather than making its presence actively known. Given the choice of widths, this is a good option for any female road rider looking for a comfortable performance saddle.
Sarah found she didn't have to shuffle around to find a good position, so the profile of the saddle worked well for her, giving the impression that her sit bones were comfortably supported. For riders with intermediate flexibility, the Antares is a light, comfortable road saddle with a good depth of padding.
The padding remains thick all the way up the nose, allowing you to move forward for those long turns in the drops or big climbs in comfort, a welcome change for a lightweight saddle. The waterproof microfiber cover isn't stitched or stapled into place, it's molded to a one-piece nylon base.
The Sell Italy SLR Ten is an extremely lightweight saddle although its lack of padding makes it feel firmer than most so it has to fit you very well if you're going to stay comfortable on longer rides. It feels firm, but we could live with it easily enough, especially when used on a bike with a fairly flexible 27.2 mm diameter seat post.
I'd certainly use it for a CRT or a short road race where weight is a more important factor than long-ride comfort. You might be saving just 100g or so over a regular lightweight saddle, but if you're a weight weenie focusing on marginal gains it all counts.
The Sell Italy Elite Ten Flow saddle is an updated classic that's lost weight and some usual depth of cushioning, and gained a slightly flatter and wider shape. It’s a lightweight saddle with a fairly shallow amount of padding, but the flex in the shell, especially through the central section, means it feels firm rather than harsh.
It was perfectly comfortable for both short and long rides, although it's safe to say that if you're after a soft, deeply cushioned saddle, this isn't the one for you. Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.
Looking for the best lightweight Western trail saddles on the market can sometimes be difficult. I’ve decided to make the task a little easier for you by listing a few of (in my humble opinion) some best lightweight Western trail saddles on the market, and what you should look for in a trail saddle.
Initially, you’ll look for the quality of materials in a trail saddle. While a minor imperfection in an arena saddle may have zero (or very minor) consequences because you’re only going to be sitting in the saddle for an hour, that same imperfection can cause significant soreness for both you and your horse after riding all day on a trail over various terrain.
Fortunately, quite a few saddlers have and continue to cater to the needs of trail riders. Horse saddle manufacturers such as Abet ta, Cashed and Circle Y (and a whole host of other manufacturers) are stepping up to the plate, offering many options for lightweight Western trail saddles.
It’s used for making food containers, plastic bags and other kinds of packaging that require durability. Abet ta makes trees to shape many breeds, including draft and gained horses.
The outer shell of the Abet ta Sublime Super Cushion Trail Saddle 20500 is made with tough, scratch resistant, 1000-denier nylon, which is laminated to shock absorbing Super Cushion Memory Foam for a comfortable seat. Built on Raise Tree (which makes it super lightweight), with 7/8 position, leather reinforced half-breed rigging stainless steel hardware.
Let’s take a look at my next pick for a lightweight Western saddle trail, which is a bit more expensive. But I think The Cashed Lite Trail Saddle CLT is an exception.
If you’re searching for the perfect mix of efficiency and ease, you’ll find it in the Cashed Lite Trail Saddle CLT. This Lite Trail saddle gives the perfect blend of tactical riding features without breaking yours (or your horse’s) back with excessive weight.
Then fiberglass is used to finish the saddle for extra strength to prevent future warping. This light saddle comes with lots of strings for all your trail riding needs.
Cashed exclusively offers a cool skirt padding design as well. This saddle has lots of beneficial features for both rider and horse.
That means the cone bar helps tip the stirrup so it’s in a more ergonomic position for your foot, which you’ll notice that at the end of a long ride. In addition to the Neo shock feature, the horse has tunnel skirting.
This Circle Y saddle tree is coated with Duration to ensure that it stays strong and resistant to the elements. This saddle features Circle Y’s latest technology of high density and low-density bars.
This ensures that the saddle conforms to your horse’s back, even while in motion. Another special feature of this saddle is the Neo Shockproof, which reduces shock on impact, and tunnel skirting.
The high-density portion above gives support under the rider’s seat, while the low-density bar, which is next the horse’s back, is more flexible. The tree in the middle is rigid, but its outer edges flex whenever the horse moves.
While the other 2 lightweight trail saddles I mentioned weigh in at 17 and 18 pounds, the Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle 1665, even though it weighs in at 25 pounds, has a lot more features that are comfortable for both rider and horse.