Givi Corium rucksack review

Retro-style rucksack can double as a tailpack

Givi Covium rucksack

by Jim Blackstock |

Finding luggage that works on a retro motorcycle can be tricky; finding luggage that does that yet remains completely watertight and comfortable and looks good can be a nigh-on impossible task. However, Italian brand Givi has developed the Corium range to do just that and this rucksack is one of the leading products in the range.

A rucksack is perhaps the most accessible piece of motorcycle luggage; if you can ride a motorcycle, you can carry a rucksack. However, not everyone likes wearing a rucksack, particularly for a long period of time, which is why many, including this one, can be used as a tailpack as well, with the shoulder straps hiding away and the pack being strapped to the bike to relieve the rider and their shoulders.

First and foremost, this is a very nice-looking piece of luggage. Formed in a classic brown and in what appears, from a distance, to be leather but is, in fact, vegan-friendly PU leather and 1200D polyester, it has a reassuringly solid and hefty feel to it.

The shoulder straps are a bit of a strange design – webbing straps with separate padded sections which look like they will be really uncomfortable but in actuality, are fine. They feel a little strange at first, but you soon forget you are even wearing a ruckie.

The body of the rucksack itself is relatively short, which not only limits the bag’s overall capacity to 18 litres, but also means that the available space to get your arms in and out of the shoulder straps is limited – possibly part of the reason for the straps’ design, to make it easier to get on and off.

I found getting it on was no issue but had to ‘shrug’ it off – so both shoulder straps fell off my shoulders and the bag fell down my back and off my arms which were pointing at the ground rather than feeding one arm back through the shoulder-strap loop. Ungainly but effective… albeit with some practice…

There is a chest strap to prevent them from splaying as your ride but no waist strap, either to help take the weight of the contents or stabilise the bag. Having said that, as it is so short and not very deep (it’s wide to provide the capacity) it doesn’t get too unstable, even at speed.

Inside, the storage capacity is a single large space and the outer bag is lined with a removable waterproof layer which the manufacturer says is rated IP X5, offering protection against low-pressure water. Certainly, on a four-hour ride which included a delightful three hours of heavy rain, it remained completely impervious to water and the contents were bone dry by the time I reached my destination.

The main section closes with a roll-top function of both the inner and outer bags and the rolled-up section is secured with a strap and buckle on each side. There is also a wide strap that passes over the top of the rolled-up section and fastens on the front with a large, stylish metal hook.

There is a single external pocket protected by a waterproof zip which like the main bag, kept all water out on that ride and which can be used to house the accompanying four straps that can be used to hold the bag to the bike as a tailpack.

The four straps have a loop at one end and hooked clips on the other, to secure the bag to the bike. I tried this for a dry four-hour ride (it was the return trip that was wet) and released that it’s actually quite a faff to use as a tailpack.

First, you have to remove the shoulder straps and stow them in the section between the inside-back of the bag and the section that goes against your back. It’s all nicely done but you have to undo the main over-the-top strap to do this. Then you fit the four straps to the bike and clip each to corresponding loops on the bag itself. So far, so good…

The biggest issue is that the clips have the tightening section – the strap you pull to tighten the straps – on the inside, making it very difficult to apply tension to secure the bag as a tailpack. There are elasticated sections on the straps to secure any spare strap but the clips simply did not keep their tension.

On that four-hour ride, I must have stopped at least eight or nine times to re-tension the straps but they kept coming loose. Not very reassuring and in the end, I had to push my butt against the bag to keep it still. It might have been more secure with say some bungee or ROK straps holding it in place rather than the included straps, which didn’t seem to work. Hence, I wore it as a rucksack on the return journey.

Verdict

The rucksack forms part of a wider range of café-racer-style luggage from Givi. It features the brand’s trademark styling and quality and looks the part on any retro or modern bike. I found the bag to be completely waterproof in hours of rain and, worn as a rucksack, to be comfortable as well.

It is less effective as a saddlebag or tailpack using the included straps which are orientated the wrong way and don’t seem to keep their tension. Like other forms of luggage, it may be more successful if secured by bungee cords or ROK straps, for example. Overall, a nice product that looks the part and does the job though it is not the cheapest on the market.

Pros:

• Great retro looks
• Comfortable as a rucksack
• Completely waterproof in testing

Cons:

• Supplied straps ineffective at securing as a tailpack

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