There’s a reason I always have Giant Loop bags on my adventure motorcycle, whether it’s a day ride with friends or a week on the road: they are convenient and easy to use, lightweight and versatile, and oh, the straps…you can literally tie these bad boys down onto anything. Built for any type of vehicle expedition, Giant Loop has created a packing system that I feel is almost impossible to beat, and their biomorphic designs are meant to fit your motorcycle, positioning, and not impede weight distribution on the bike.
That way, you can go explore and not worry about a god damn thing.
When I say these bags are light and simple, I mean it – in most cases, you are looking at traveling 30 pounds lighter than with typical hard luggage on your adventure motorcycle. They have their purpose, and they serve it 110% – and don’t worry, every bag that isn’t completely waterproof does come with a waterproof dry pod for the inside of the bag, which has been tried and tested by yours truly in the torrentially insane spring and early summer storms in Oregon. I will happily report nothing got wet, damp, or showed any sign we had been riding anywhere other than straight sunshine.
And while some riders aren’t sure when it comes to soft or hard-shell luggage, let me assure you. Giant Loop bags are bombproof. In the case of a wreck, your bags are going to withstand just about anything due to the fact that they are made to military specification quality standards, not to mention soft bags are safer and less likely to cause injury than hard-shell touring boxes. I would know – if you’ve read any of my previous posts, you will have heard about my wreck riding my adventure motorcycle out to the Alvord desert. The only bag destroyed was my pannier bag, which is fair considering it hit the ground before anything else did, and the damage to it was minimal – if worst came to worst, I could have simply repaired the rip with the Giant Loop repair kit I have on hand, and it would have been completely functional.
And if things do get weird, you have a limited lifetime warranty against any defects which might arise.
So without further ado, let’s dive into what I currently use on my adventure motorcycle, Lorraine, as I travel and live my life on the road.
First up, an Armadillo Bag. And while Giant Loop has anywhere from one to five gallon options, for adventure motorcycle travel, the one gallon should suffice. I take this thing with me everywhere – you never know when you will hit a patch of highway where fuel is scarce, or find yourself lost on a forest road, burning through your reserves faster than you intend to. Just remember, the Armadillo bag isn’t meant for long term storage, so be sure to empty it out post trip.
Second, the Fandango Tank Bag, which I no longer can live without. I rode with a backpack for a lot of years, and having this tank bag eliminates any need for that. Perfect for all the little things – your phone, a map, water, a snack, wallet, sunscreen, an extra layer, and more, just like having your own adventure motorcycle purse. With the dry pod it is completely waterproof, and comes with internal zipper pockets, a moveable divider, and exterior mesh pocket, where I usually store stickers or a pocketknife. There is additionally an easily accessible clear lid pocket for maps or a smartphone (as long as it’s not too hot), and the bag has an electronics cable pass-through for on-bike charging and power inside the bag.
Third, are the essential Round the World Panniers. As previously described, these bags are tough as hell, but on top of being impact-resistant, they are flexible and waterproof, with 90 liters of packable volume and a lot less extra weight than the hard box option. I personally love the roll top and side-release buckles, which make it far easier to securely load your gear as well as keep everything stable. They have a quick release system from the pannier rack (I recommend the Outback Motortek pannier rack setup) which makes loading and unloading simple and effective, as well as a lock for added security.
Fourth up, and my favorite of them all, is the Tillamook Dry Bag, because this thing has been all over the US with me and earned its permanent place on my adventure motorcycle. This roll-top dry bag has an integrated anchor strap system ideal for expeditions on any vehicle, and at 48 liters of waterproof storage, it is ideal for any type of exploring. The air purge is a fantastic feature which makes the bag even more condensable, and the straps…you can tie this thing down on ANYTHING, even make it a backpack with the convert straps, included for seamless transport off the bike. It’s also tough, real tough, and built to last.
Fifth? The ZigZag Handlebar Bag. Why? Because you’ll never know how much you missed it until you have one. Perfect for the little things – sunglasses, keys, a credit card for gas stops (you don’t always want to be digging through your Fandango Bag, trust me), a power bar, registration, or what have you, this is Giant Loop’s smallest bag and also one if its most popular. It has an interior mesh zipper pocket and is painless to take on and off the handlebars. It’s also an ideal system for dirt days, when you want to carry as little as possible while you rip around trails or OHV routes.
Last, but not least, are a few suggestions of Giant Loop bags I use, though whether or not they apply to you is entirely dependent on your travel needs. Pannier Pockets are a great way to store necessities you don’t always need access to, and for me, this applies to tire repair kits, first aid, or my pocket tool. The Fender Bag is a great bombproof bag I always bring for camping trips, because on a day ride in a new place, it’s an easy place to store supplies and strap onto the rear rack without issue. The Rogue Dry Bag (a smaller version of the Tillamook Bag) is my go-to bag, first on and off the bike, with things I might need to get to quickly – an extra layer, sunscreen, GoPro batteries, iPhone charger, thermals, and wet wipes, you get the idea. And the grand finale? Pronghorn Straps. Because you seriously never know when you are going to need to tie shit onto your adventure motorcycle.
All in all, if you are going with soft luggage, you have to go with Giant Loop. Their motto of Go Light Go Fast Go Far could not be a better representation of their products: these bags are meant to travel far, to endure every type of weather and terrain, and most importantly, LAST.
BONUS! If you are at least somewhat convinced Giant Loop is the right fit for your adventure motorcycle travel needs, use my coupon code, GRACE20 at checkout (not included: rides, gift certificates, and already discounted items).
If you want to learn about how I pack my camping and travel gear in my amazing Giant Loop luggage, click here to read about what I pack on the road and why!
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