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I'm not seeing any stats in the PHB. What is the limit that saddle bags on a horse can carry? If there's not any definitive stats would it be OK to assume that each saddlebag is similar to a backpack?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Not a duplicate, but answers to this question are definitely helpful here. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Nov 11 '14 at 2:33
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I couldn't find any definitive stats either, but given the cost and weight, you should assume roughly double the capacity.

For the math on why it's double despite not being double the weight, essentially it's because volume increases faster than surface area. If you assume the same thickness and density of material, you can use the weight of the object as an estimate of it's surface area. You can then solve for the sack's volume by assuming it to be a sphere, and while it's impossible to know the units, the volume you get with a surface area of 8 is 2.14 compared to 1.05 from a surface area of 5.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie In the real world, saddle bags are often sold in connected pair or even as banana-style bags which go behind the saddle and down on both sides. Also, the capacity of each side is often that of a small backpack. Given that, I assume that one dnd saddlebag will cover both sides of the horse. Also, you should never put stuff on one side only, because the uneven weight will pull the saddle askew and also hurt your horse's back. The only time you do it is with the pole in tournaments, but that's only for a short time. \$\endgroup\$ – Sumyrda Nov 11 '14 at 5:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Sumyrda Ah, yeah, I wasn't suggesting that you could have quadruple storage because "and use both sides!", I was observing that saddlebags being twice the capacity of a standard backpack makes sense because horses have twice the pack-compatible sides that a humanoid does. :) We agree, I was just being unobvious and too short before! \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 11 '14 at 7:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ The item is "saddlebags", so you'd expect there to be two of them, meaning volume/surface ration works against it. If each half weighs about 4 lb. they can only contain about 0.75 units, i.e. together about 1.5x what a backpack would. \$\endgroup\$ – Hassassin Nov 11 '14 at 11:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ In real life, saddlebags on a riding horse are pretty small in practice- certainly way smaller than a rucksack, more along the lines of a couple of satchels. ( Example here: buckarooleather.com/saddle-gear/details/276/61/saddle-gear/… ) If you are travelling with a lot of gear on horseback you would practically have a pack horse for that, which can certainly cover two rucksacks worth and more. Obviously games not real life &co... \$\endgroup\$ – glenatron Nov 12 '14 at 10:43
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Barring further rulings on the matter (such as from the DMG), I'd say it's quite reasonable to project the carrying capacity of a backpack onto a saddle bag. You could definitely account for them being bigger as well, but realistically, a horse's carrying capacity is between 2/3 and triple that of a typical adventurer (480 vs 150-300). Thus if you take the weight of an adventurer, and then add on his gear, and then add saddle bags, you aren't going to want much more than the volume of a backpack additionally attached.

That said, an unladen horse may be able to carry more, but the saddle bag still has physical limits. I'd set these either at or slightly above that of a back pack. It's definitely in the realm of DM discretion though because the rules are silent. Whether he chooses a verisimilitudinous answer or an abstraction will of course depend.

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    \$\begingroup\$ 1. Should it be "...between 3/2 and triple..."? 2. Should something be done to "such as from the DMG" parenthetical note? \$\endgroup\$ – Thanuir Sep 2 '18 at 15:11

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