Luggage Comparo: 2) Kriega Overlander 30

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The Kriega Overlander 30s are a fine piece of kit. Photo: Zac Kurylyk

Yesterday we looked at Wolfman’s Rolie bags. Today, we’re looking at Kriega’s Overlander 30 bags.

Kriega Overlander 30 (approx. $299)

The setup

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To a certain extent, the Overlander 30s from UK-based Kriega follow a similar design to Wolfman’s Rolie bags; they rely on a roll top to keep water out, eschewing any waterproof zipper trickery.

But, the Overlander bags aren’t just a single-layer vinyl dry bag. They’re made of two layers – an outer 1000D Cordura shell, and an interior waterproof liner.

Cleverly, Kriega has made that interior waterproof liner removable; it’s held in place by a strip of Velcro. Should you puncture the waterproof lining after storing a collection of pointy knives inside, simply remove the liner and put a new one in.

The linings are light and small enough you can easily pack a spare pair, if you’re traveling the world. Although, you’re not likely to travel the world with the Overlander 30s, as they have a 30-litre capacity, similar to Wolfman’s maximum Rolie saddlebag capacity.

To attach the Overlander 30 bags to your bike, you have to drill holes and attach this alloy hardware to your bike's tail section. You only need two loops to attach the bags; the other two loops can be used to attach a tailpack. Photo: Zac Kurylyk
To attach the Overlander 30 bags to your bike, you have to drill holes and attach this alloy hardware to your bike’s tail section. You only need two loops to attach the bags; the other two loops can be used to attach a tailpack. Photo: Zac Kurylyk

To attach the Overlander 30s to your motorcycle, you have to start drilling holes. The Overlanders come with alloy hardware that attaches to your motorcycle’s rear fender; you must drill through the fender to attach the hardware.

The Kriegas have a roll top closure system. Photo: Zac Kurylyk
The Kriegas have a roll top closure system. Photo: Zac Kurylyk

Then, your bags loop through that hardware, and attach to each other. Webbing straps secure the bottoms of the bags to your motorcycle’s subframe (say, through passenger peg loops). It’s all very obvious and easy to figure out, though it meant that they were specific to a single bike and we couldn’t swap them around for other testers to try.

As with the Rolie bags, the Overlanders allow you to carry a third bag on the bike’s tail section. However, you’ll have to buy it as a separate tailbag (from their US lineup).

Some users report even being able to strap down a second tailbag on the first, allowing you to bring the total soft luggage capacity as high as 80 litres between the panniers and tailbag – considerable higher than the Rolie system’s capacity, but also more expensive.

Kriega recommends these for street-and-trail use; in theory, they'd work on some street bikes, but you'd want to measure and make sure first, before you put your money down. Photo: Zac Kurylyk
Kriega recommends these for street-and-trail use; in theory, they’d work on some street bikes, but you’d want to measure and make sure first, before you put your money down. Photo: Zac Kurylyk

Kriega doesn’t really recommend these for use on street bikes – go to their site, and you’ll see them in hard use on enduros. I found they fitted my DR650 nicely, and I imagine other dual sports would have no problem. It may be trickier to fit them to a street bike, but I think it could be feasible for some models – but I’d take some measurements and eye everything up very carefully before putting money on that idea.

With 30 litres of capacity, you can pack enough gear for a weekend getaway with just the Overlander saddlebags. Photo: Zac Kurylyk
With 30 litres of capacity, you can pack enough gear for a weekend getaway with just the Overlander saddlebags. Photo: Zac Kurylyk

One last note — for those riders who need to bring extra fuel, the Overlander 30s can fit a Rotopax gas container inside — very useful if you have to extend your range.

How well do they work?

The Overlander 30s are a fantastic piece of kit. While the bags aren’t tied into a harness, like Wolfman’s system, I found the Overlanders were just as stable through all sorts of usage. In fact, these were my go-to bags for quite a bit of 2012.

Testing proved them dustproof and waterproof, as claimed. While all waterproof luggage can get a bit clammy inside during hot weather, I used these bags when riding to the CSBK round at Shubenacadie last July, and found the condensation buildup was minimal.

The Kriegas shed water well. Photo: Zac Kurylyk
The Kriegas shed water well. Photo: Zac Kurylyk

I particularly liked how easy it was to strap these bags to the bike. Of all the soft luggage I tested, they were the quickest to install. That’s partly because of the fittings that are fixed to the rear fender – they speed the procedure up immensely. That might not sound like a big deal, but they’re just slick to use.

Like the Wolfman bags, the Kriegas sit high and tight. Photo: Zac Kurylyk
Like the Wolfman bags, the Kriegas sit high and tight. Photo: Zac Kurylyk

The Overlanders also look fantastic. While soft luggage isn’t known for its style, the Overlanders have the visual appeal of high-end, well-made gear. They don’t have any useless bells and whistles, but they look like they’re up to whatever task you throw at them; so far, in my experience, they are.

Likes: Ease of use, good looks, durability

Dislikes: Cost


GALLERY

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