8 Best Soft Panniers For Lightweight Adventure Bikes

You’ve made the decision between hard panniers and soft panniers and decided that a soft pannier system is the best for you. Here are 8 of the Best Soft Panniers for lightweight Adventure Bikes available.

The luggage system you choose for your adventure motorcycle touring affects everything: your comfort, your bike’s handling, the type of terrain you can handle, the duration of your trip, and even your safety.

Quick Summary

Pushed for time? Here’s a quick look at the saddlebags being reviewed.

1.Giant Loop Coyote Saddlebag Roll-Top – 39 Liters – Top Pick
2.Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag – 45-60 Liters – Best of the Best Rackless System
3. Nelson Rigg SE-3050 Sierra Dry Saddlebag – 54 Liters (Rack system) – Best Bang For Buck
4. Giant Loop Moto Trekk Panniers – 42 liters (Rack system)
5. Wolfman Luggage Rocky Mountain Expedition Saddlebags  – 38 Liters (Rack system)
6. Wolfman Luggage Expedition Dry Duffle EX802, EX804, EX80 – 33/40/47 Liters
7. Mosko Moto Reckless 80L (V3.0) Revolver – 80 Liters
8. Tusk Highland Rackless Soft Panniers – 50-91 Liters

How To Choose A Saddlebag That’s Right For You:

With a Dual Sport, or a lightweight adventure bike you want to carry enough gear to be comfortable at night but still be able to handle some pretty rough terrain.

If you’re planning a trip that involves water crossings or the possibility of wet weather, dry bags or 100% waterproof bags are the way to go.

There are no right or wrong bags, but you should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of different types of saddlebags.

The saddlebags reviewed here are all in the 33-91 liter/2,013-5,553 cu in capacity, ranging in price between US$150 and US$745, suitable for any Dual Sport/Lightweight Adventure bike.

Here are some of the things to consider when making your decision.

Top 3 things to consider:

  • Capacity: This is largely decided by the duration of your trip, and how much of it is off-road. All of the saddlebags below are good for at least a few days of travel and more.
  • Fixing Type – With or without racks: If your dual sport bike has no provision for bolting a rack system (like the KTM EXC series) then you have no choice but to go with a rackless system. This is the problem I had with my KTM525 EXC and led me to do some in-depth research into the options available, leading to my earlier post: Soft Motorcycle Pannier Review – The Dual Sport Solution?
  • Durability: This is critical when considering soft panniers. You’re going to drop the bike at some stage when you’re riding off-road, and you want them to stand up to the abuse. The waterproofing capability can be reduced by scratching. In the case of the Wolfman Expedition Dry Saddlebags or the Nelson Rigg Sierra, which are 100% waterproof roll-top bags, an extremely heavy-duty PVC is used.

Let’s look at 8 of the best soft panniers for lightweight adventure bikes available today.

1. Giant Loop Coyote Saddlebag Roll-Top – 39 Liter Capacity

Giant Loop Coyote Roll Top

Giant Loop is a name that is synonymous with building durable and rugged luggage products designed to get you off-road.

The Coyote Saddlebag is a roll-top luggage system designed for dual sports and lightweight adventure bike riders that are looking to hit the trails on multi-day adventure rides. However, the Coyote can also be used for street bike applications.

It is a horseshoe-shaped bag designed to fit over the rear of the bike, without hindering rider movement or significantly affecting the bike’s handling. It requires no racking system.

The Coyote is the smaller brother to the 50 Liter Great Basin which is similar in design. The main difference between the two is the width of the U-shaped opening. The Coyote is smaller to suit Dual Sport and Enduro bikes like a KTM500EXC, and the Great Basin is designed for larger adventure bikes like the Honda Africa Twin or KTM1190R. Both have the same features.

The main construction is 22-ounce vinyl-coated polyester, with extra tough ballistic coated polyester to the bottom of the bag where it is more likely to get damaged.

The Roll Top is a convenient closure system that seals out water and dust while maintaining the packable volume of 39 liters, and still has all the features of the zipper closure Coyote Saddlebag.

Compression straps run around the sides of the bag and two over the top to keep your load compact. The side compression straps can be moved to a lower position on the bag, to better suit the load you have stored in there.

There are drains in the bottoms of the legs that allow water to escape if it happens to get inside the water-resistant outer shell.

Also included are removable 100% waterproof Coyote Dry Pods which easily slip inside your main bag. They come in a set of 3, one for each side, and one for the top, and have roll-top openings which ensure waterproofing.

The Hot Springs Heat Shield which is included should be installed first, to protect your bag from melting if coming into contact with the hot exhaust pipe.

Giant Loop Coyote Roll Top fitted


  • 39-liter/2379 cu in packable volume
  • Heavy-duty 22-ounce Bomb Shell vinyl coated polyester reinforced with ballistic nylon
  • Reinforced roll-top closure for a quick easy waterproof seal
  • Cinch ring and side-release buckle compression straps for lashing additional gear
  • Reflective accents for enhanced visibility
  • includes one laser-cut aluminum Hot Springs Heat Shield and 3 Dry Pods
  • Includes ballistic webbing for the rear mounting option, in addition to fender hooks
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty against defects
  • Made in the USA
  • Colors: Black, Orange, Gray, Yellow, White

Sometimes unavailable on Amazon. Alternative link to Giant Loop

For a full review on the Giant Loop Coyote: Giant Loop Coyote Saddlebag Review

2. Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag Roll-Top – 50 Liter Capacity

Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag

The Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag is the bigger brother to the Coyote Saddlebag (above at No.1). The original horseshoe-shaped design was pioneered back in 2009 by Giant Loop.

The Great Basin Roll Top now features a convenient rolling-type closure. This allows you to seal out water and dust effectively, while still maintaining all of the features of the zipper closure Great Basin.

The bag sits where your passenger would sit on your bike and like the Coyote needs no racking system. The Great Basin will fit almost any motorcycle designed to carry a passenger. It anchors to the passenger footrest brackets and mounts on the pillion seat.

It will fit sport and touring bikes, standards, nakeds, adventure touring, and dual sport bikes.
The main difference from the smaller Coyote is the width of the U-shaped opening. The Great basin is wider to suit larger adventure touring bikes, although it still can be successfully used with the narrower dual sport bikes.

Other features include a greater range of compression and expandability due to the roll-top type of closure. Capacity is 45 liters with three full roll downs for greater waterproofing, and up to 60 liters with one roll down to seal out dust, but less waterproofing capability.

Other features include grab handles that double as compression straps on the sides, and drains in the bottoms of the ‘legs’ that allow water to escape if it happens to get inside the water-resistant outer shell.

Also available are removable 100% waterproof Dry Pods which easily slip inside your main bag. They come in a set of 3, one for each side, and one for the top, and have roll-top openings that ensure waterproofing.

The Hot Springs Heat Shield which is included should be installed first, to protect your bag from melting if coming into contact with the hot exhaust pipe.

Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag


  • 45-60 liters/2745-3360 cu in of packable volume (45 liters with three full waterproof rolls, up to 60 liters with one roll to seal out dust)
  • Side compression straps with molded rubber grab handles
  • Separate mounting and compression straps for easier gear access
  • Cable lock pass-through to secure the bag to the bike while parked (cable and lock sold separately)
  • Super tough, highly water-resistant vinyl tarp outer shell reinforced with ballistic nylon
  • Beavertail and cinch ring with side-release buckled compression straps that integrate with the double-end Rogue Dry Bag and Tilla mook Dry Bag (available separately)
  • Lash loops to attach ‘Possible Pouch’ external pockets
  • Reinforced roll-top closure for a quick easy waterproof seal
  • Reflective accents for nighttime visibility
  • includes one laser-cut aluminum Hot Springs Heat Shield
  • Military-spec materials and construction
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty against defects
  • Made in the USA
  • Colors: Black, Orange, Gray, Yellow, White

Sometimes unavailable on Amazon. Alternative link to Giant Loop

3. Nelson Rigg SE-3050 Sierra Dry Saddlebag – 54 Liter Capacity

Nelson Rigg SE-3050 Sierra dry saddlebag

The Nelson Rigg SE-3050 Sierra Dry Saddlebag is a unique semi-rigid pannier system that is designed to fit using a rack system as you would with a hard pannier system.

What I like about these is that they combine the benefits of a soft pannier system and a hard pannier system, for a fraction of the price of hard panniers.

The removable stiffeners inside the bags keep them in shape even when they are empty, and like soft panniers, you have compression straps and a roll-top closure system to keep them compact for the tight off-road sections.

The rack-type fixing means they will never be as narrow as rackless saddlebags, but they are still far less obtrusive than hard aluminum panniers which are really more at home on paved roads.

Another unique feature is the aircraft-grade aluminum buckle system. The G-ring buckles allow you to secure down the roll-top securely and also provide fixing for additional dry bags on top.
The panniers attach securely with four quick-release cam buckles and double pull straps.

Rigid backing pads prevent your bags from getting damaged by the racks and also prevent scratches to your motorcycle. They also serve as a bit of a heat shield against hot exhaust pipes.

Nelson Rigg is a well-known and respected company and offers a LIFETIME warranty on these bags.

Nelson Rigg SE-3050 Sierra dry saddlebag fitted


  • Capacity: 27.53 Liters/1680 cu in per side
  • 100% waterproof saddlebags, all seams are electronically heat welded for a complete seal
  • Mounting hardware is aircraft-grade aluminum. There are no breakable plastic buckles
  • Includes 2 lightweight saddlebag liners which allow you to easily remove and pack your contents
  • Removable stiffeners that keep the saddlebags in shape when empty
  • A rigid internal backplate helps support the saddlebag mounting
  • Replaceable pads that help protect the saddlebags from rubbing on your bike
  • The compression straps can also be used for mounting optional 15L dry roll-top bags
  • There are 4 quick release cam buckles and double pull straps to securely mount each saddlebag to your bike
  • Bag construction is a durable 24-ounce tarpaulin PVC with a UV-coated outer surface material to make cleaning easy
  • The bags can easily be mounted to motorcycles, ATVs, and snowmobiles
  • Colors: Black, Yellow/Black
  • Main compartment measurements: 15″/38cm L x 8″/20cm W x 14″/35cm H

4. Giant Loop Moto Trekk Panniers – 42 Liter Capacity

Giant Loop Moto Trekk Panniers

The Giant Loop Moto Trekk Panniers were developed in collaboration with the Australian Giant Loop importer Steve Smith of Adventure Moto.

The goal was to design a rack-mounted soft pannier solution that is rugged, stable, affordable, waterproof, and universally fitting for almost any motorcycle make and model.

They achieved that with the Moto Trekk panniers and they were even crash-tested in Australia.

They are always sold in pairs and the RF welded roll-top panniers give a 100% waterproof seal when rolled down with 3 full rolls. In dry weather you will get several more liters of storage with only one or two rolls close to the top, giving you a dust protective seal.

The mounting system is very innovative and allows you to simply strap them onto almost any type of side luggage rack system including dual sport, adventure touring, naked, sport touring bikes, scrambler, and V-twin bikes.

Giant Loop also includes shoulder straps that simply clip onto D-rings on the bottom and back of the panniers so if you’re having a day of sightseeing off the bike they can be carried like a backpack with your hands free. Or simply for carrying them to your hotel or campsite.

Other rider-friendly features are the lash loops which you can use to secure other luggage items to the front and back of the panniers, and a quick-connect magnetic buckle and anchor strap to secure the panniers to the luggage racks.

Giant Loop Moto Trekk Panniers Fitted


  • Volume: 21 liters/1280 cu in each with 3 full rolls to seal top for 100% waterproof seal
  • Weight: under 6 lbs/2.7kg per pair
  • Dimensions: 12″/30cm L Top x 9″/23cm L Bottom x 7″/18cm H
  • Bag construction is from durable 500 Denier PVC tarpaulin materials with waterproof seams
  • Roll-top closure with heavy-duty side release buckles
  • Semi-rigid backing plate integrated into the construction
  • Integrated mounting system with aluminum Durflex hooks – there is no additional mounts or hardware required
  • Front and back lash points for Possible Pouches or other gear
  • Includes two shoulder straps for off-bike backpack style carrying
  • Limited Lifetime warranty

Compatible Add-On Accessories:

  • Possibles Pouch
  • Columbia Dry Bag
  • Saddlebag Dry Pods
  • Hot Springs Grande Heat Shield

Sometimes unavailable on Amazon. Alternative link to Giant Loop

5. Wolfman Luggage Rocky Mountain Expedition Saddlebags

Wolfman Expedition Dry Saddlebag

The Wolfman Luggage Expedition Dry Saddlebags are 100% waterproof, durable bags designed for the most aggressive off-road riders.

They are specifically designed to fit Wolfman’s proprietary side racks with what is one of the easiest mounting systems available.

These saddlebags will also mount to a wide variety of other manufacturers’ racks with the included Universal Saddleback Straps. The racks must be oval/rectangular shaped with a maximum height of loop top to bottom of 9.5″/24cm. They have been tested to fit with these racks: Touratech, Hepco-Becker, Happy-Trails, GIVI, SW Motech, and Moto-Rack.

This video explains how to fit the Expedition Dry Saddlebags onto non-Wolfman side racks.

The bags have two over-the-top straps connecting them, then each bag is mounted to the rack via four points and two compression straps.

The mounting straps double as compression straps to keep the load attached tight. There is an additional top compression strap and internal stiffeners to help stabilize your load.

The replaceable non-skid rubber pad (made from recycled tires!) helps the bag retain shape and protects the bag against rack abrasions and also helps prevent excessive bag movement.

The roll-top closures with no-wick webbing seal out water, mud, and dust. Wolfman recommends a three roll minimum for maximum waterproofing.

The saddlebags are sold as a pair and side racks are not included.

Wolfman Expedition Dry Saddlebag fitted


  • Capacity: 19 liters/1160 cu in each bag, 38 liers/2320 cu in for the pair
  • 100% Waterproof fabric – 22 oz body and 34 oz bottom
  • RF (Radio Frequency) welded seams
  • Roll-top closures with no-wick webbing to seal out water, mud, and dust
  • Multiple compression straps to cinch your load tight
  • Replaceable 22 oz Backing Pad made from recycled tire rubber for rigidity at the rack fixing
  • Two different backing pads are available – for rack mounting or against the bodywork
  • Easy on-off mounting with Universal Saddlebag straps which are included
  • Extra tall opening for size adjustability which can add 2 or more liters per bag
  • Internal Butterfly stiffener helps keep contents compressed evenly and protects the insides of the bag from abrasion and sharp objects. It is removable and replaceable
  • Dimensions: Length: 13″/33cm, Width: 7″/18cm, Height: 13″/33 cm, adjustable about 3″/76cm more
  • Made in the USA
  • Limited Warranty on manufacturing defects

Sometimes unavailable on Amazon. Alternative link to Wolfman

6. Wolfman Luggage Expedition Dry Duffle

Wolfman Expedition Dry Duffle

Dry Duffel bags are a great way to carry extra gear on your bike for long adventure rides. They’re ideal to put across your panniers as a top bag (as pictured with the Expedition Dry Saddlebags at No. 5 above).

Wolfman’s innovative roll-top design makes loading and unloading a lot easier than with traditional duffel bags.

The roll-top can be rolled down more times for smaller loads, also giving more water resistance, or rolled down less for larger loads. Wolfman recommends a minimum of three rolls for maximum waterproofing.

The bags come in three sizes: small, medium, and large, the variation in size being in the width of the bag. So there’s a size to suit all needs, and with the height adjustment, you have plenty of flexibility in your packing. All three sizes share the same features.

The four compression straps and two mounting straps keep things snug and compact on your bike.

The bag has dual carrying handles and a removable shoulder strap for easy off-bike transporting.

There are multiple D-rings for attaching other items to the bags.

All Expedition Dry bags are made in the USA using heavy-duty vinyl construction with RF welded seams for 100% waterproofing.

Wolfman Expedition Dry Duffle fitted


  • Capacity: Small: 33+liters/2010+cu in, Medium: 40+liters/2440+cu in, Large: 47+liters/2870+cu in
  • 100% Waterproof fabric – 22 oz vinyl body and 34 oz vinyl sides
  • RF (Radio Frequency) welded seams
  • Roll-top closures with no-wick webbing to seal out water, mud, and dust
  • 4 compression straps, two over the body and one at each end
  • Deluxe carry handle
  • Removable shoulder strap and two mounting straps included
  • Repairable with the vinyl repair kit


  • Small: Width: 20″/50cm, Height: 11.5″/29cm (with ability to get taller), Front-to-back: 11.5″/29cm
  • Medium: Width: 24″/61cm, Height: 11.5″/29cm (with ability to get taller), Front-to-back: 11.5″/29cm
  • Large: Width: 28″/71cm, Height: 11.5″/29cm (with ability to get taller), Front-to-back: 11.5″/29cm
  • Made in the USA
  • Limited Warranty on manufacturing defects
  • Colors available: Black/Yellow, Black

Sometimes unavailable on Amazon. Alternative link to Wolfman

7. Mosko Moto Reckless 80L (V3.0) Revolver

mosko moto reckless 80l v3.0 revolver

Mosko Moto is a small company formed by two adventure riders who left their corporate jobs to make moto gear. Their designs come from personal first-hand experience riding dual sport bikes through the most remote areas in the world. They sell only direct to the rider and don’t use distributors or dealers. This allows them to keep the cost as low as possible.

Their products include panniers both for racked and rackless systems, duffle bags, tank bags, tool rolls, and other accessories.

The Reckless 80L (V3.0) Revolver is the largest in their range of rackless systems which also includes the Reckless 40L (V3.0), the Reckless 10L, and the associated tail bags, the Stinger 22L and Stinger 8L.

Mosko Moto Reckless 80L is the largest saddlebag in this review and is a modular evolution of the horseshoe style design like the Giant Loop Coyote and Great basin (above at #1 & #2), being in the form of 3 separate bags for versatility.

It is a rackless system, meaning it doesn’t require side mounting racks, but it is advisable to have a rear luggage rack for mounting the harness.

The 80L Revolver is a recent update to the range and is versatile enough to be suitable for lighter weight enduro bikes like the KTM 500EXC or the Honda CRF 450L, and is equally at home on the larger adventure bikes like the BMW GS 1200 or the Honda Africa Twin.

The 3 part harness carries a holster on each side and a ‘beavertail’ of two overlapping flaps on top. Some assembly is required but there are helpful video instructions on their website.

The adjustable leg angle allows you to customize the fit to suit your particular bike. The Reckless 80L is designed to be used with the Stinger 22L tail bag.

It features a double layer waterproofing system which includes the abrasion-resistant outer harness and the inner welded seam drybag. The 25L, 800FD polyurethane-coated drybags feature a clear viewing panel that allows you to quickly see what you have stored inside. Bottom grab handles allow you to pull them into the holsters.

On the back of each side leg is a roll-top pocket specifically designed to fit two 1L MSR fuel bottles side by side, which gives you one gallon of extra fuel if you use both sides.

If you don’t want to use the pockets for fuel, they also make a great place to store things you need quick access to like water, tools, tire changing gear, etc.

The center bag on the Reckless 80L is the Stinger 22L tail bag. It also works as a standalone tail bag without the entire harness. It also turns into a backpack with included mesh straps, so if you need to run into town to pick up some supplies, or do some hiking, or jump onto your friend’s bike with just the essentials you’re equipped.

Also included with the Reckless 80 kit is a durable tentpole bag. Most OEM tentpole bags that come with the tent are very flimsy and likely to develop a hole which could result in lost tent poles. The Reckless tent bag is made of a tough material that is also waterproof. Keeping your tentpoles separate from the tent makes it easier to pack your tent.

The middle of the harness centerpiece has a hole for refueling bikes that have rear fueling like the KTM 690.

Included is an aluminum heat shield which must be fitted to protect your bags from the hot exhaust system.

For motel stops, the harness stays on the bike, and the bags come inside. The R80 is a rugged kit that is built to handle the roughest terrain and is versatile enough to customize to your own personal needs.

The Reckless 80L Kit includes:

  • Reckless 80L harness
  • Two 25L drybags
  • Stinger 22L tail bag
  • Two Aux Pox holsters, drybags, and hardware (if included in purchase)
  • Hardware pack (10 t-nuts, screws, washers, Loctite, Allen key)
  • Tent pole bag
  • Heatshield with a hose clamp for fixing
  • Removable map/document pocket
  • 20L dry sak which is ideal for storing wet or dirty gear separately from your other gear.


  • Adjustable leg angle for a custom fit on almost any bike
  • Two removable 4L drybag-equipped aux pox
  • Indestructible wrapped & riveted leg holster construction
  • Bomber Hypalon armor panels – protection where you need it most
  • Field-replaceable mounting straps and drybag retention straps
  • Redesigned leg holster compression straps for easy loading
  • Removable beavertail stash-spot for extra storage and expansion
  • Enlarged rear-fueling hole
  • Five MOLLE panels for quick attachment of MOLLE accessories (volume expansion)
  • Lifetime Warranty on all products


  • R80 Harness Materials: 1680D Ballistic Nylon with Hypalon armor
  • Leg holsters wrapped behind harness and riveted to eliminate seam failures
  • The harness is constructed with an internal PE stiffener to prevent flopping
  • Aluminum stiffener supports are built into each leg of the harness which adds lateral rigidity
  • EVA foam pad on the underside of the harness reduces chafe to the luggage and the bike
  • Reflective Logos and material on each leg for nighttime visibility
  • Dry Bag Materials: 100% waterproof durable 800D polyurethane-coated (PVC free) with welded-seams
  • Exhaust Heat Shield: laser cut & anodized aluminum

8. Tusk Highland Rackless Soft Panniers

Tusk Highland Rackless Soft Panniers

Another pannier system similar to the Mosko Moto Reckless in its modular horseshoe-style design is the Tusk Highland Rackless system. It is very similar in appearance and function but at a much lower price point.

This pannier system is ideal for larger adventure motorcycles like the KTM1190R or the Honda Africa Twin, but can even fit onto smaller Dual Sport motorcycles like the Suzuki DR650 or even KTM 500EXC enduro.

It is constructed from durable heavy-duty nylon, and polyester, and includes TPU materials to make it able to withstand the most challenging adventure ride.

It must be used with a top rack for a secure fitting but does not require any side pannier racks. Five heavy-duty nylon webbing straps allow for quick and easy removal of the entire bag system from the motorcycle. All the straps are replaceable in the event they get damaged.

The two 25L side bags have a roll-top closure which is great for keeping water and dust out. Inside each side bag is a 25L 100% waterproof inner dry liner which is also a roll-top closure.

What’s great about these is that when you reach your destination, you can simply remove the dry bags with everything inside, and take them with you to the campsite or motel, without having to remove the whole system.

It’s easy to add to and customize the setup for your own particular needs and has enough storage capacity for multiple-day rides.

Optional accessory bags of 4L capacity on each side can easily attach to the back of the 25L side bags using the molle webbing panels. You can even attach extra bags to the front of the side bags, and to the back of the top bag if required.

You have the option of two different sized top waterproof duffel bags:

There is the 22L dry duffel bag, which also comes included with a separate tent pole bag, and when combined with the two extra 4L side bags (as shown in the image above) gives you a total of 80L storage capacity.

There is also a 33L dry duffel bag option which gives you a total storage capacity of 91L. The 33L bag doesn’t come with a separate tent pole bag because there is plenty of room inside it for your tent poles.

The Tusk Highland panniers also come with a heat shield included which protects the bags from the hot muffler.

There is a hole cut out in the base for bikes with rear refueling like the KTM 690.

For wider bikes like the Honda Africa Twin, there are extension pieces to the base available to help it drape over the wider bike for a better fit.


  • Designed to fit on motorcycles without pannier racks, but a top cargo rack is required to secure the bags
  • Durable construction and materials that feature Duraflex buckles, heavy-duty nylon, polyester, and TPU for abrasion resistance
  • Roll-top design on the side bags for a waterproof closure and to keep the elements out
  • Removable Tusk Defender 25L waterproof inner bag liners are included (one for each side).
  • Hole cut out in base for rear fueling bikes like the KTM 690s and Husqvarna 701 to allow for easy fueling of the rear tank
  • Straps are replaceable.
  • Reflective Tusk logos to aid in nighttime visibility
  • Multiple molle webbing panels for attaching extra optional storage capacity
  • Rear compression flap keeps tail bag secure and features internal webbing attachment points and an external molle panel to secure additional gear
  • TPU reinforcement for abrasion resistance
  • Dimensions of side bags: Length: 11″/28cm, Width: 8″/20cm, Height: 15″/38cm (but can be taller due to roll top)
  • 25 Liter capacity on each side.
  • Includes Tusk Heat Shield to prevent melting of luggage on the hot exhaust of your motorcycle

Tusk Highland Rackless Soft Panniers fitted

What It All Comes Down To

You can’t go wrong with any of the saddlebags in this review, they are all top-quality products from well-known companies with many years of experience designing and building motorcycle luggage systems.

It comes down to your own particular requirements. It’s a trade-off between carrying enough gear to be comfortable camping at night, but not so much that you destroy the handling of the bike and your enjoyment of the ride.

The saddlebags reviewed here are all in the 33-91 liter/2,013-5,553 cu in capacity, ranging in price between $150 and $745, suitable for any Dual Sport/Lightweight Adventure bike.

Top Pick: The Giant Loop Coyote Saddlebag Roll-Top because of its years of tried and tested performance and popularity. The new Roll-Top design improved on what was already a top-notch saddlebag.

For a full review of the Coyote, check out:  Giant Loop Coyote Saddlebag Review

Best of the Best Rackless: The Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag. For all the same reasons as its smaller brother the Coyote, but it will be more suited to a large Dual Sport bike, or a large adventure bike.

Best Bang For Buck: The Nelson Rigg SE-3050 Sierra Dry Saddlebag. Its unique semi-rigid design combines the best of both soft and hard luggage systems, for about half the price of other soft panniers, and at a fraction of the cost of a hard pannier system.

The Mosko Moto Reckless 80L (V3.0) Revolver is a top-of-the-line modular type saddlebag with every feature you will ever need, but at $300 more than the Great Basin, it may be out of some people’s budget.

The Tusk Highland Rackless Soft Pannier system is an excellent cheaper alternative to the Mosko Moto, also in the modular horseshoe style design.

Motorcycle luggage systems are not cheap, but generally, a soft pannier system will be about half the price of a good hard pannier system.

One thing to consider when justifying the price is whether there are crossover uses for some of the luggage, like doing other types of traveling off your bike, carrying your camping gear, or storing your riding gear. Multiple uses may help justify the cost of some of the luggage.

All of the bags reviewed here have overwhelmingly positive reviews from users. Click on the links to read what others have to say.

Related Posts

Soft Motorcycle Pannier ReviewFor an in-depth look at the soft luggage configurations open to you: Soft Motorcycle Pannier Review – The Dual Sport Solution?



Giant Loop MoJavi saddlebag Review Great for a one-day trail ride:  Giant Loop MoJavi Saddlebag Review



Lightweight Adventure Bikes Looking at downsizing or a first adventure bike: Are Big Aventure Bikes Really Necessary?



Is there a saddlebag that should be included in this list? If you have a great setup for your adventure riding trips, please feel free to share your thoughts below.

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18 thoughts on “8 Best Soft Panniers For Lightweight Adventure Bikes”

  1. These look like great accessories for motorbikes. My saddle bag is a bit worn out and looking at these modern versions, mine is looking a bit old fashioned and sad.

    I love the Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag Roll-Top. I love the shape that just fits over the bike so neatly and the fact that it fits any cycle. The waterproof dry pods are also a plus point for me, as my current bag is useless when it rains.

    I think I will go for either the black or the orange, and I hope that they deliver to South Africa.

    • Hi Michel. The Giant Loop Great Basin and Coyote are very popular saddlebags to suit anything from a lightweight dual sport bike to a larger adventure bike. Don’t know if they ship to South Africa, you won’t know till you click on it and get the delivery details. I’m in Australia and a lot of the gear doesn’t ship here.

      If I can be of any help just let me know. Thanks for dropping in.


  2. As good as this list is it’s utterly incomplete without mentioning Mosko Moto. Such an omission undermines your credibility. No, seriously.

    • Hi James. You’re right, Mosko Moto is a fantastic small company that makes excellent motorcycle luggage. They sell directly to riders. I wasn’t too familiar with them back when I wrote this post, but it is time for an update, they should be included. They have the Reckless 40L and 80L horseshoe type bags which are top of the line. Time for some more research. Thanks for your input.

  3. Another product of interest that perhaps you should assess is the Tusk Highland Rackless Soft Pannier. It mimics the Mosko Moto
    Rackless system but costs considerably less. Constructed of top shelf materials and components. Certainly worth a review.

    • Hi Joe. Yes, the Tusk Highland Rackless system is very similar to the Mosko Moto, and for a lot less money.
      It would be good to include it as a comparison to the Mosko Moto. I’ll research more into it and add it to the post very soon. Thanks for your input, Joe.

  4. The Mosko Moto is built in the USA while the Tusk is made in China. Sure the Tusk is cheaper, but spread the difference over the life of the bag, and it’s not that big of a deal.
    Buy American if you can, especially if it comes with the quality of the Mosko Moto bags.

      • Hi Pedro. I did some research online and it seems the components for the bags are manufactured in several different countries including China (like most things these days). I guess to keep the price down.
        The Mosko Moto website shows many pictures of the guys designing and developing the prototypes at their base in White Salmon, Washington.
        With their focus on building the best quality adventure motorcycle luggage possible, and combined with a lifetime warranty, you really have nothing to worry about. Thanks for your comments.

    • Hi Marc. I couldn’t find any mention of the weight of the bags on either the Tusk or Mosko Moto websites. You could try emailing them, they should be able to answer the question.

  5. Hi Greg,
    I like the Nelson Rigg SE-3050 Sierra Dry Saddlebag install on my Globetrottin pannier rack. Did you install them on your KTM? How do you like that pannier rack system? I am making luggage racks and other products for 2008 – 2023 KTM models. I have my own brand of soft bags. They come in different sizes 5,10,15L soft bags and I also have a set of larger soft pannier bags 22L and 35L. My bags are water proof and I use wear resistant material. Please let me know if you are interested to try them and I can send you one set to test it out. Any size you chose. If you are interested please send me an email.

    George from globetrottin.com

    • Hi George. I can’t fit the Nelson Rigg system on my bike because I don’t have a rack on my bike. I can only use a rackless system. My bike is a 2005 KTM 525EXC, getting old now, but it is still a great bike, lightweight and heaps of power. I checked out your website. The racks and luggage look great. You go back as far as 2008 for KTMs, so they wouldn’t fit a 2005?
      I haven’t been adventure riding for a while now. My bike is not road registered at the moment due to a nasty road accident so I just trailer my bike to the forest now for trail rides.
      Thanks for the offer to try the bags, but without a rack, I can’t fit them. Have you considered producing a rackless bag system?

  6. Suggestions fir the royal enfield Himalayan? Right dude high angle exhaust limits choice a bit. Love to go with a Nelson rig. Wondering if the re side racks would support the bags and travel clear of my hit muffler.

    • Hi Tio. You would have to go with a rack system on the Royal Enfield Himalayan because of the exhaust position. No soft pannier system would successfully be able to accommodate that.
      The Nelson Rigg is designed to fit straight over almost any rack system, so you should be Okay with the RE side racks. The Nelson Rigg combines the best of both worlds because it isn’t as bulky as a hard pannier system, and provides a bit more rigidity and protection than a soft pannier system. It is also considerable cheaper than a hard pannier system. Hope this helps.


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