When it comes to carrying clobber on the bike, there are numerous ways to do it. A rucksack is seen by many as the easiest way but I tend to favour a tailpack.
I prefer to be free from the cumbersome nature of a ruckie and while panniers can be really useful on a large trip, for a shorter one or a commute where you may be filtering through traffic, they can affect the balance of the bike and make it tricky to get through narrow gaps.
Similarly, I tend not to like tankbags, as they get in the way and topboxes, while very useful and generally waterproof, can also prove a little too rigid. So that leaves a tailpack and, specifically, this one from German firm Held.
1. Held Iconic Evo
I tested tailpacks a while ago and this was the test winner, with very good reason. Available in two sizes, this large version expands from 12 litres of capacity to 21 litres but the paper figures don’t really do it justice.
It feels much, much larger and when fully opened, will house a full-face helmet without any grunting or forcing the zips shut. Impressive!
The sides of the main tailpack, when in its smallest configuration, are rigid and this gives it inherent stability when on the bike; it doesn’t move or flap around at all.
The external walls are in water-repellent nylon and the lining is also nylon but full weather protection is provided by a separate elasticated rain cover which I know from experience is completely waterproof.
Inside is a single main compartment – there are a couple of mesh pockets on each side and in the lid is a small tablet sleeve and a couple of pen holders but fundamentally, it’s a large single space.
Related: Top motorcycle luggage racks
The outside features a single pocket at the ‘blunt’ (stern?) end into which the rain cover will just about fit and on the top of the lid is an elasticated net for gloves or other light, potentially wet items.
The pack fits to the bike with two straps underneath, on quick-release catches. These can either pass under a pillion seat or a luggage rack and for the former, when the pack is removed, can simply stay in place. If it is fixed to a rack, then they can be removed and clipped back into place ready for next time.
There is a grab handle on the back of the pack near the external pocket for carrying off the bike but that’s it – no shoulder straps or such like.
There isn’t much more to say about the Iconic Evo tailpack. It isn’t encumbered with features that are of marginal value; it doesn’t use clunky fixing methods and it doesn’t come with multiple carrying options off the bike.
It’s a good, strong, stable tailpack that houses much more than its paper capacity would suggest and remains stable and solid on the bike. It’s also remarkable value when you look at what else is on the market.
A very, very good tailpack.
Enormous capacity – holds a full-face helmet
Simple to fit to the bike
Very stable and solid