Balaitous Presentation

The Balaïtous

The softly-priced packsaddle

The Balaïtous is the first universal pack-saddle in the Randoline range. It will fit all the donkeys in the herd without any adjustment.

Like other Randoline packsaddles, the Balaïtous is supported on the animal’s back by 2 long, wide tracked pads. Each pad is made up of 4 elements articulated on rubber blocks. In total, the Balaïtous has 8 mobile pads. As a result, the Balaïtous constantly adapts to the morphology and movement of the animal at every step. As the packsaddle always rests flat on the animal’s back, without any overhang, it gives the animal extraordinary carrying comfort.


with XS harness 399 €
with S harness 419 €
with M harness 439 €

immediate delivery

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Packsaddle structure

The Balaïtous is made up of 2 crosspieces of 30 mm ash. These crosspieces are joined together by 2 planks and reinforced by 2 pieces of metal 5 mm thick to ensure absolute rigidity.

The ash pieces are 30 mm thick. Ash is both supple and strong, resisting torsion and external aggression. The bridges used to attach the straps are made of brass and marine stainless steel, so as not to damage the leather or cause oxidation.


The leather harness has been designed in the same way as other Randoline packsaddles. The packsadddle must be put on quickly, even by a beginner hiker, and must remain stable when walking.

The leather is vegetable leather from a top-quality croupon that we buy from an artisan tannery in the Montagne Noire.

The buckles are made of stainless steel.

Harnachement de cuir du bât de randonnée Balaïtous

Photo caption: 1 – Breeching // 2 – Breeching suspension strap // 3 – Breast band // 4 – Breast band suspension strap // 5 – Belly strap

The breast band (front strap) is held in place by a suspension strap placed on the neck to prevent it hanging over the animal’s front legs when going downhill.

The breeching (rear strap) is also held in place by a suspension strap to prevent it from hanging over the rear legs when going uphill.

The belly band is attached to the side boards. It is 40 mm wide.

The total harness comprises 8 buckles in order to adapt to all sizes of animal.

With such a harness, once the packsaddle is in place, it won’t move forwards or backwards, whatever the terrain.

Bonus: The breast band (front strap) is attached to the packsaddle by a carabiner. This means you don’t have to adjust the strap every time you set off. The suspension strap also has a carabiner.

When you set off, simply place the Balaïtous on the animal, attach the 2 carabiners at the front, tighten the belly strap, and that’s all. No more tedious adjustments.

Mousqueton Suspension
Mousqueton Bricole

Three sizes of harness

While there is only one size of Balaïtous, there are 3 harness sizes to suit different donkeys.

• Size XS – small animals (donkeys, ponies) from 95 cm to 110 cm

• Size S – animals from 110 to 130 cm

• Size M – large animals from 130 cm to 145 cm

Above 145 cm we do not have any harness because the Balaïtous is not suitable for such large animals.

Balaitous Patins

The tracked pads

The Balaïtous transfers its load to the donkey’s back using 2 long, wide tracked pads. The total bearing surface of the 2 pads is 1,000 cm2. Please note: this is a real useful bearing surface, unlike the rigid pads of the cross-braced packsaddles.

Each pad is made up of 4 elements articulated on a rubber block. The Balaïtous adapts constantly to the morphology and movement of the animal at every step.

Because the 8 elements always rest flat on the animal’s back at every second, without any overhang, the Balaïtous gives the animal a level of carrying comfort never before achieved in the history of the art of portering.

For the first time in the world, the contact surface between an animal and a carrying tool is made not with a rigid board, but with a flexible device. The packsaddle adapts to the animal’s morphology, and not the animal’s back suffers under the board.

The carpet

The Balaïtous can be placed on any type of carpet. At Randoline, we use a specially adapted Couveton in size XS. The Couveton is made up of a 20 mm thick sheet of felt slipped into a thick cotton envelope. The carpet is removable and washable.

The carpet is firmly attached to the packsaddle by one wide Velcro strap at the back and blocked at the front by 2 slippers that prevent it from slipping. The advantage of this clever design is that the carpet remains attached to the arches and the wooden frame when being transported. When placed on the animal, it slides easily into place without wrinkles.

Balaitous Tapis

The huge advantage of the carpet incorporated into the packsaddle is that the thick cotton structure clings to the donkey’s coat (a bit like a Velcro fastener). This gives the Balaïtous excellent stability.

Balaitous Dimensions


There is only one size of Balaïtous.

The distance between the front and rear crossbar is 35 cm.

The total length of the tracked pad is 42 cm. The total contact surface is 1,000 cm2.


The Balaïtous ash-steel frame weighs just 4.9 kg.

But the carrying comfort it offers animals is beyond measure. And its durability can be measured in decades…

Balaitous Stabilité


The Balaïtous is amazingly stable. Its 4 slightly sloping arches with a curved shape ensure almost total immobility and prevent it from turning over by blocking the movement of the packsaddle.

To this essential quality we can add the design of the harness, which locks it once and for all in the exact position in which it was placed. Whatever the terrain, the Balaïtous does not move forwards or backwards. It’s an absolute guarantee that your animal won’t be injured by repeated rubbing.

Attaching panniers

All types of luggage can be attached to a Balaïtous: panniers, rucksacks, baskets, etc. as long as they have 2 straps. The straps are simply hooked into the rounding of the crosspieces.

Pictured here are Randoline’s famous Bagagines, the indestructible and desperately waterproof panniers.

Balaitous Stabilité


Attaching Carrélines panniers

Carrélines panniers are particularly well-suited to the Balaïtous, partly because of their low price and partly because they take up very little space.

Balaitous Carréline


Attaching Bouquelines panniers

Bouquelines panniers are designed for short rides. They also fit perfectly on the Balaïtous.

Balaitous Bouqueline
Balaitous Polichon

Use the Polichon

The Polichon is a waterproof bag for carrying light but bulky items such as duvets, pyjamas and soft toys. It can be fitted to the top of the packsaddle, resting on the side panniers.

Carry a child

The shape of the Balaïtous has been designed for carrying a child, with or without luggage.

The Balaïtous can be fitted with a Tibamac, a small suspended seat for children’s comfort.

Any other type of child seat is also possible.

Balaitous Tibamac

Load weight

A Balaïtous can support a load of 60 kg. This figure obviously needs to be adjusted according to your animal’s physical capacity.

And why this strange name ?…

For mountain and hiking enthusiasts, Balaïtous is a legendary summit in the Pyrenees.

It is located on the French-Spanish border, west of Cauterets and the Vignemale, and has an altitude of 3144 m.

We wanted to name our baby Balaïtous so that the guardian gods of the Forge de Pyrène, who only love the solid and the beautiful, would give this hiking pack a long and beautiful life.


Why Randoline packsaddles are eternal

Randoline packsaddles are designed to last for decades. Their design and manufacturing have been thought to allow rapid repair in the event of breakage or accident.

All breeders, hikers, donkey rentals, owners of mules, horses or ponies, know well that an animal does not respect equipment and that its strength is prodigious. Many hikers with a carrying animal have one day seen their packsaddle burst because the animal, stuck between two trees, suddenly gave a big snap.

But if a part of your Randoline packsaddle breaks, it is not necessary to change the entire frame. Simply order the part to be replaced from us. It will be sent to you by post as soon as possible at a very low cost. At worst, any carpenter will be able to duplicate it.

So, by purchasing a Randoline packsaddle, you are making a long-term investment since you are guaranteed to always keep it in perfect condition.

You will note that the longevity of Randoline packsaddles goes against the grain of our consumer society…