Tested: Wolfman Peak tail bag

We’ve tested a fair amount of Wolfman motorcycle luggage over the years at CMG, and always found it was tough, well-designed and reasonably priced. So, when I was looking for some compact motorcycle luggage last spring, I gave the US-based manufacturer a call and was sent a Peak tailbag, and a Wolfy Tool Roll to go inside the bag.

First impressions/Basic features

Just like every other piece of Wolfman gear I’ve tested, the Peak tailbag gives an impression of durability as soon as you pick it up. It’s made from robust synthetic fabric (none of that “vintage canvas” the cafe racer crowd espouses these days), and the zipper feels like it’s tough enough to handle years of abuse from heavy-handed adventure riders.

This tailbag isn’t waterproof, but it is water-resistant.

Playing with the Peak tailbag for a few minutes, it becomes obvious this isn’t luggage that’s packed with trick features, but it does have a few sensible options built in that make it versatile in a dual-sport role, as well as a touring role.

The bag itself is smallish, at eight litres capacity. It’s 241 mm wide at the front and 127 mm wide at the back, and its 254 mm long and 158 mm deep. On the back of a trailbike, that’s enough room for some tools, some shorter tire irons, and some spare oil. If you want to bring rain gear, you can leave the oil at home and stuff the rainsuit inside the bag, or you can strap it to the top with the smart integrated bungee system.

Or, you can also use the bag’s adjustability to increase interior capacity. The Peak tailbag has an extra zipper that runs around the outside of the bag, allowing you to open the gusset and expand the bag to about 260 mm deep, increasing capacity to 11 litres. That’s enough space to haul anything you think you could use on a dual sport day trip, even a lunch.

If your naked bike doesn’t come with a luggage rack, no problem! The Peak tailbag should fit.
Usage

I used the Peak tailbag quite a bit this summer for around-town jaunts, dual-sport adventures, local touring and even my Cold Ride Home.

For sure, the bag is best used as a tool/gear hauler for on/off-road adventures. The mounting straps attach easily to any decent motorcycle rack, and will also work well on most seats. The bag’s small footprint means it doesn’t take up much space and lets you slide forward and backward on the seat of a dual-sport bike with no trouble.

Wolfman recommends that riders doing seriously bumpy off-road work should add a bungee or other strap over the bag, just in case, but I never had any problem with the Peak tailbag working loose. I checked the straps at most gas stops, but never saw it work itself dangerously close to coming off.

I appreciated it as a very handy way to haul some tools, oil, and a rainsuit on the bike, without having to make a DIY tool tube or try to cram everything into a too-small OEM toolkit.

As for minimalist street touring β€” Wolfman has larger tail bags that would be better choices in the touring role (like the mid-sized Wolf that only costs a few dollars more, or the massive Beta, which CMG reviewed here). But, if you’re traveling light, you can fit a weekend’s worth of clothes into the Peak tailbag if you’ve expanded it to the full 11 litres. Again, the bag’s small footprint means it fits easily on the tiny passenger seat that’s typical of naked bikes and smaller cruisers.

Along with trips around Atlantic Canada, I made it all the way from Toronto to Saint John with nothing but the Peak tailbag and the Alpinestars Force 25 backpack. When I encountered heavy rains, I simply made sure my clothes inside the tailbag were packed into a garbage bag, and I had no issues with anything getting wet. Although this solution isn’t as elegant as a 100% waterproof bag, it’s arguably more foolproof.

The Wolfman in use, stuffed to capacity and a rain suit strapped on top.
The verdict

There’s only one thing I don’t like about this bag, and that’s the price. It’s currently retailing for around $175 in Canada, and that’s a lot of money for an 11-litre tailbag.

However, these days, that’s the price of doing business; much of the competition carries an even higher price, with arguably less functionality and reliability.

Choices like this make you ask yourself: Do you want to pinch pennies, or do you want quality kit that will last you for many, many years (maybe even a lifetime)? The Wolfman Peak is designed to fit the needs of dual-sport and adventure riders well, and can be pressed into other duties if required. It holds up well to the rigors of riding off-road. It’s worth saving the money for, if you’re looking for quality kit.

What about that tool roll … ?
The Wolfy Tool Roll is a good add-on to the tailbag, if you want to keep your wrenches, etc., organized. Photo: Wolfman

It sounds silly to wax eloquent about a tool roll, so I’ll keep this brief. The Wolfy tool roll works well in conjuction with the Peak tailbag, as a way to keep your tools organized inside the tailbag.

The zippered compartment is a good way to make sure your sockets and other small bits don’t get lost, and there are enough pockets in the main part of the tool roll to hold all your wrenches, a ratchet, some tire irons and whatever else you need.

Sure, you can make one yourself, but if you don’t feel like breaking out the sewing machine, this is a good add-on if you’re already buying the tailbag. It’s approximately $50 in Canada, but should last you a long time if you take care of it.


GALLERY

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6 thoughts on “Tested: Wolfman Peak tail bag”

  1. While I understand that the Wolfman stuff is very rugged and high quality, It is puzzling that companies are still making non-waterproof motorcycle bags – and that umm….there’s still actually a market for them. Especially when there are really high quality waterproof alternatives available for similar or lower prices (e.g., Kriega, Ortlieb, DrySpec). My Kriega US10 for instance (at 10L it’s roughly the same size as the Peak Tail) cost $120 CND.

    I will never purchase a non-waterproof bag again. I’ve seen the light. Not one drop in the Kriegas in even the harshest, wettest, rides. Just put the stuff inside and you never have to think about them again. I prefer the loop straps Kriega sells as well – so all I need to do is loop them under the seat, and then just “click” in the bag and cinch the 4 straps. Quick, easy, and secure. And you can simply transfer them to any new bike that finds a place in your stable. So they save the cost of buying new racks and hard luggage for each bike. They are very well built too. I can be very hard on my gear. You wouldn’t know it by looking at my Kriegas. I started with some Ortlieb waterproof saddlebags. And they have never let me down either.

    1. I’ve used both the Ortlieb waterproof saddlebags and a couple pieces of Kriega kit. The Ortlieb is super-tough and reliable and well-priced, and used by budget-savvy adventure riders everywhere for those reasons. The saddlebags I have are huge and could pretty much carry everything you need for a long trip if you had compact tent/sleeping bag. The Kriega stuff is a lot more expensive, but probably even more durable. I’m surprised the 10L bag is only $120!

      1. Zac – I just checked my invoice in my e-mail and the price is correct for the US10. I purchased it in 2013 from an online U.S. retailer – and converted the price to CND dollars for my posting. I also did a quick check online a few minutes ago with some Canadian online retailers – and the listed price I found at a few places was $138 CND. So that price still seems to be in the ballpark! πŸ™‚

        BTW – thanks for the review. Very thorough as always. πŸ™‚

        Mike

        1. That’s very good pricing. Of all the luggage I’ve tested over the years, Kriega has always scored the best for utility and longevity.

    1. I doubt it would last as long, and you still gotta get the straps right, etc.

      For sure, it’s a lot of money for a bag, but it also is designed to do this job, and does it well.

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