There will always be a time that you need to carry some gear with you on your bike. It might be a quick ride out to the shops for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread or it might be to carry your clothes and gear for a two-week tour around the UK or farther afield. There are loads of different ways to carry your gear – these are what we reckon are the best ways if your bike doesn’t have hard luggage fitted from the factory.
Best ways to carry gear:
Tanluhu Outdoor Waist Pack
Best for small goods
If a leg bag feels a little too military, then a good-old waist bag can hold the same host of bits and bobs you need to keep handy u2013 wallet, phone, keys, cards and so on u2013 just as effectively. You don't need a motorcycle-specific one but you do need decent quality and waterproofing. This one has waterproof zips, plenty of straps to get a good, stable fit and comes in orange or green, as well as black, for a little extra visibility.
Givi T517 Leg Bag
Best for short journeys
Sometimes, your pockets just aren't quite enough to hold all your clobber but you don't need a full rucksack or tailpack. In that case, a leg bag can be handy to keep your bits and bobs close to hand but out of the way. This item from Givi is IPX5 water repellent and hangs on the thigh. Not quite as 'tactical' as some but it's inexpensive and useful.
Enduristan Hurricane 15 Rucksack
Most versatile option
A rucksack is perhaps the most versatile piece of luggage and while this 15-litre example from Enduristan isn't cheap, it is a very serious bit of kit. A welded construction makes it completely waterproof. The hip belt is is adjustable and has connections for add-ons; cargo loops for extra gear; secret security pocket; pouch for hydration pack; and a sleeve for a tablet, plus a number of other features.
Oxford Lifetime T30R Tailpack
Best for long journeys
If you don't fancy carrying your kit on your back and prefer the freedom of having it housed on the bike itself, then a tailpack is a useful way of carrying a decent amount of kit without it getting too cumbersome. This 30-litre pack from Oxford is another that isn't cheap but what price do you put on the safety and dryness of your gear? Designed to fit with other products from the range to expand capacity as necessary, build quality is excellent and the waterproof cover is on the inside.
Spada Expandable Magnetic Tank Bag
Best for carrying essentials
A tank bag is a great way to carry kit if you need to access it fairly easily while on the bike and it's also a great way to house a smartphone, for example, if you use it for sat nav of music while riding. This Spada tank bag is magnetic so it will only work on bikes with steel tanks but it also comes with safety straps to keep it in place. It expands from 10 to 14 litres and is nicely shaped so it doesn't intrude into your riding space or your field of vision.
Givi CRM102 Corium Range Side Bag
Most stylish option
There are lots of throwover pannier bags (or saddlebags) for lots of motorcycles and this from Givi looks great on a retro bike. This pannier is 16 litres in capacity and attaches to a saddle strap that sits over the pillion seat of the bike and hangs the panniers either side of the rear wheel (exhaust system permitting). There is also a pad to protect the pillion's butt from the strap. The panniers close with a roll-top and include waterproof liners u2013 the bags are water-resistant. The price is for two panniers and the mounting strap.
Oxford Aqua T70 Roll Bag
Best kit for carrying large loads
For carrying larger loads, a roll bag u2013 fitted across the pillion seat and/or any luggage rack fitted to the bike u2013 is just the job. This 70-litre bag from Oxford is made from tarpaulin PVC and is completely waterproof while allowing you to get to the contents easily if you need to. It lifts off and you can carry it by the handle or shoulder strap when you reach your destination. The same design is available in 20-litre, 30-litre, and 50-litre, depending on what you need to carry and for how long.
ROK Straps Twin Pack 305mm - 1060mm
Best for securing luggage
The modern u2013 and more secure, safer and bike-friendly u2013 version of the bungee strap, ROK straps feature looped ends and an elasticated section with a strong buckle joining the two. They are a great way to secure luggage to your bike securely without the worry of metal hooks scratching paint or plastics. They come in three sizes depending on your luggage u2013 commuter, small and large, from 720mm in length to a whopping 1500mm, covering just about every eventuality.
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