When going on a motorcycle tour, or just popping down the shop for some milk and bread, making sure your items stay dry as you travel is key. Motorcycle dry bags, a form of motorcycle soft luggage are essential for adventure in the UK. Yes, unpredictable weather, four seasons in one day, and driving rain can ruin your adventure quickly. That’s why it’s essential to invest in a high-quality motorcycle dry bags. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about motorcycle dry bags and review the best options currently available on the market.
What are Motorcycle Dry Bags?
A motorcycle dry bag is a type of luggage designed to keep your gear dry and protected from the elements. Unlike regular bags, dry bags are made of waterproof or water-resistant materials and come with welded seams to prevent leaks. These specialist motorbike dry bags also feature attachment systems that allow you to secure them to your bike, ensuring that they stay in place and don’t fall off while you’re riding.
Benefits of Using a Motorcycle Dry Bag
The main benefit of using a motorcycle dry bag is obvious: it keeps your gear dry, even in driving rain or for adventure riders even when crossing fords and rivers. But that’s not the only advantage, they are just as effective against dust, dirt, mud and sand as they are against water. Also, dry bags are also incredibly durable and can withstand the wear and tear of long motorcycle tours. As well, they are cheaper than the alternative hard luggage options with more accessible mounting options. Motorcycle dry bag soft luggage comes in different shapes, sizes and mounting options providing you with flexibility in how you pack your gear. Moreover, dry bags help you organise your luggage, making it more accessible and manageable.
Waterproof vs Water-Resistant Motorcycle Dry Bags: Which One to Choose?
When choosing a motorcycle dry bag, you’ll come across two main options: waterproof and water-resistant. Here at bestoutdoors.co.uk we are only interested in waterproof options. A waterproof dry bag is completely impermeable to water, meaning it’s entirely sealed and can be submersed without any water getting in. A water-resistant bag, on the other hand, can repel water to some extent, but it doesn’t offer full protection against complete immersion.
We recommend you choose a waterproof dry bag system, however, the choice is yours and a simple water-resistant bag depending may be an option, depending on the type of tour, travel and riding you’re doing. If you’re going to cross rivers or expect heavy rainfall, or simply just live in the UK, a waterproof bag is a better option. If you need something that can protect your gear from light rain or splashing water, a water-resistant bag will suffice. The main advantage of water-resistant bags is quick access, dry luggage take longer to access.
Materials Used in Motorcycle Dry Bags
Motorcycle dry bags are made of various materials, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The most common materials used are tarpaulin, PVC, nylon, and Cordura. Tarpaulin is a thick, waterproof material that offers excellent protection against the elements. PVC is a plastic material that’s highly water-resistant. Nylon is lightweight and durable, making it an ideal choice for long motorcycle tours. Cordura is a type of nylon that’s even more robust and abrasion-resistant.
Types of Motorcycle Dry Bags
Motorcycle dry bags come in different shapes and sizes, and it’s essential to choose the right type for your needs. Most motorcycle dry bags are secured using a roll top enclosure.
How to Properly Roll and Secure a Motorcycle Roll Top Dry Bag?
To properly roll and secure a motorcycle roll bag, follow these steps:
- Place your items inside the bag, leaving enough space at the top to roll it down.
- Roll the bag downwards from the top, we recommend three rolls, pushing out any air as you go.
- Once you’ve rolled it down completely, clip or buckle the bag to seal it.
- Attach the bag to your bike using the straps or attachment loops provided.
Here are the most common types of motorcycle dry bags:
Simple Roll Top Dry Bags
Roll bags are cylindrical bags that you roll to seal them, called a roll top closure. They usually come with a clip or buckle to keep them tightly shut. Roll bags vary in size, from small 1-litre bags to large 150+ litre bags. These are super versatile bags, they can be strapped to the back of your bike or used inside larger dry bag panniers to separate and organise the space. Every motorcyclist needs a selection of simple roll-top dry bags.
Top Brands of Motorcycle Roll Top Dry Bags
Some of the top brands of motorcycle roll bags include Kriega, Lomo, and SW-Motech. These brands offer high-quality, durable roll bags in different sizes and shapes.
What to Consider When Choosing a Motorcycle Roll Bag Size?
When choosing a motorcycle roll bag size, consider how much gear you want to pack. If you’re going on a short trip, a small bag with a 5-10 litre capacity will suffice. For longer tours, a larger bag with a capacity of 30-60 litres is more suitable. If you’re unsure, opt for a bag with a capacity of around 20 to 40L litres, which is a versatile size that can fit most essentials. As well as grab yourself a selection of smaller bags for internal use and double bagging key items like electronics, dry clothing, medication etc.
MotorBike Tail Bag Dry Bags
Tail bags are bags that attach to the rear of your motorcycle. They come in various sizes and shapes, from small, compact bags to large, box-shaped and u-shaped bags. Tail bags usually come with straps or loops that allow you to secure them to your bike.
Tail Bags vs Panniers: Which One is Better?
Tail bags and panniers are both types of motorcycle luggage, but they differ in their attachment method and functionality. Panniers are hard-sided boxes that typically attach to the sides of your bike. They offer more storage space than tail bags but can add extra weight and affect the bike’s balance. Tail bags, on the other hand, are more lightweight and versatile, and you can easily remove them when you don’t need them.
Top Brands of Motorcycle Tail Bags
Some of the top brands of motorcycle tail bags include Givi, Kappa, and Oxford Aqua. These brands offer top-quality, waterproof tail bags with various attachment options.
How to Secure a Motorcycle Tail Bag on Your Bike?
To secure a motorcycle tail bag on your bike, follow these steps:
- Attach the bag’s straps or loops to the bike’s rear frame or luggage rack.
- Make sure the bag is centered and evenly balanced on the bike.
- Check that the bag doesn’t interfere with the bike’s tail light or license plate.
- Double-check that the bag is securely fastened and doesn’t wobble or move while you’re riding.
Waterproof Tank Bags
Tank bags are bags that attach to the fuel tank of your motorcycle. They come in different sizes and shapes, from small to large, expandable bags. Tank bags traditionally offer easy access to your essentials and often come with transparent pockets for storing maps or GPS devices. Dry Bag tank bags are rather rare due to the decreased accessibility. Tank bags are often associated with easy access and dry bags are not, as a rule, easy access. but if you want a waterproof tank bag, we have a selection for you.
How to Choose the Right Size of Tank Bag for Your Motorcycle?
When choosing the right size of tank bag for your motorcycle, consider the size of your fuel tank and your riding style. If you have a small tank and want to maintain a low profile, opt for a small bag with a 5-10 litre capacity. If you have a large tank or need to carry more gear, go for a larger bag with a 15-20 litre capacity. Keep in mind that larger bags can affect your visibility and comfort, so choose wisely.
Where to Mount a Tank Bag on Your Bike?
Most tank bags come with a magnetic or strap attachment system that allows you to mount them on your tank. Before attaching the bag, make sure the tank’s surface is clean and dry to prevent scratches. Position the bag so that it doesn’t interfere with the bike’s controls or your riding posture. Avoid overloading the bag, as it can add extra weight to the front of your bike and affect your stability.
Top Brands of Motorcycle Tank Bags
Some of the top brands of motorcycle tank bags include Givi, Kriega, and Oxford Aqua. These brands offer durable, waterproof tank bags with different capacities and features.
- Check out our dedicated Waterproof Tank Bag Guide
Dry Bag Motorcycle Panniers
Motorcycle touring can be an exciting adventure but packing for it can be tricky. However, using dry bag motorcycle panniers is a reliable solution that will keep your gear safe and dry regardless of the weather conditions. Dry bag panniers are a popular soft luggage option for touring, motorcycle camping and adventure riding. Soft luggage panniers do not offer as much protection as hard panniers but are cheaper and lighter and in some cases more waterproof.
How to Choose the Right Size of dry bag panniers for Your Motorcycle?
Motorcycle dry bag panniers come in 15 Litres to 40 Litres and can be combined with tail bags to carry everything including the kitchen sink on your multi-day adventure.
Where to Mount your motorcycle pannier dry bags on Your Bike?
These bags are mounted across the back of the bike and can be mounted to both rack systems and bikes with no racks. However, some soft luggage dry bag panniers require specific racks and mounting systems, other pannier dry bags can be mounted straight to the bike.
- Check out our dedicated waterproof pannier guide for more info.
Dry Bag Crash Bar Bags
Dry bag crash bar bags are generally smaller dry bags that are mounted to the frame’s crash bars.
How to Choose the Right Size of crash bar bags for Your Motorcycle?
These bags are between 5 litres and 15 litres and are often used to carry small items.
Where to Mount a crash bar Bags on Your Bike?
Crash bar bags are mounted on the bikes crash bars but can also be mounted on the tail, or on top of hard panniers etc. These are very versatile bags.
- Check out our dedicated Waterproof Crash Bar Bag Guide
Motorcycle Dry Bag Day sacks and Rucksacks.
Perfect for adventure, commuting, short trips and more. Just like a regular backpack, except waterproof. There are many advantages to a dry bag backpack, here are the best options out there.
Motorcycle Dry Bag Accessories – Straps
When embarking on a long motorcycle ride, it’s important to make sure your belongings are secure and protected against the elements. That’s where dry bag accessories come in, and one important component are straps. Straps come in various forms, including bungee, rock, crank, and webbing. Bungee straps are designed to stretch, making them versatile for securing various items. Rock straps, also known as flat straps, are designed to withstand rubbing against rough surfaces, making them ideal for outdoor and off-road rides. Crank straps are adjustable, allowing for tight and secure fastening without damaging your luggage. Finally, webbing straps are a versatile and durable option that come in varying widths and strengths. Regardless of which type you choose, investing in high-quality straps can help ensure your dry bag stays securely fastened to your motorcycle, leaving you free to enjoy the open road without worry.
Top Motorcycle Dry Bag Brands.
There are many hundreds of motorcycle brands, but for waterproof dry bags, there are a few key brands that offer great waterproofing and great value. Brands like Moto Mosku, Lomo, Rhinowalk, Givi, Oxford.