AS ANY motorcyclist will tell you, a decent rucksack is worth its weight in gold.
A bag that can not only carry large quantities of everyday cr*p, but one that is comfortable while doing so. Oh yeah, and it needs to keep said cr*p dry.
It’s not really that much to ask, is it?
I’ve been testing Kriega’s R30 over the past six months, wearing it on a number of different motorcycles and in varying weather conditions.
Suffice to say, it’s passed all of the above criteria with flying colours.
Of course, there’s a few sticking points, such as the harness’ inability to go small enough to fit my torso snugly, or the awkward non-adjustable side clips. But if you look past these – and the bag’s astronomical price tag – then it’s an excellent luggage solution for both long and short trips.
Remember the charmed tents in Harry Potter – the ones that are far larger inside than they appear from the outside?
Well, the R30 is the backpack equivalent of that. It’s deceptively capacious, and over the six months that I have been using it I have managed to fit some impressive cargos inside.
For example, to ride to a launch, in went the full race leathers, trainers, change of clothes and a make-up bag. On another occasion it was a laptop, full face lid (Bell Bullitt), 2 days’ worth of clothes and plimsols that filled the bag.
Of course, carrying this much on a motorcycle is neither sensible or comfortable, and can cause damage to your back.
Luckily all of Kriega’s backpacks feature the brand’s innovative harness system, which transfers weight from the rider’s shoulders and back to their chest, making for an altogether more comfortable ride. With two clips that fasten across the chest, it looks (and feels) like you’re wearing a parachute, and a very stylish one at that. The muted tones, and subtle reflective accents on the bag give it an achingly cool, rugged look.
The bag’s waterproof main compartment has proved infallible, even in the worst of weathers, while the two decent-sized water-resistant compartments don’t seem to have let much water in either.
And with its Cordura construction, the R30 is extremely hard-wearing.
We don’t like:
Let’s not beat around the bush. £169 is incredibly expensive for a backpack. I’ve been on holidays that cost less than this bag…
And while it’s an excellent bag, it doesn’t offer the best degree of adjustability for smaller riders. The harness straps, for me, are too long even on the tightest setting. As a result, the bag isn’t held flush against my shoulders, and I don’t get the full benefit of the harness’ weigh distribution. Equally, the bag is a tad too long for my back.
Kriega should take a page out of Osprey’s book, and offer different sized torso areas and strap lengths on bags for men and women.
Due to its tough construction, the bag weighs 1.6kgs. Even empty, it feels quite heavy and bulky, and when off the bike, it’s not the easiest of bags to wear. The unconventional straps only seem secure on my shoulders with the harness done up, and throwing it over one shoulder is just plain awkward.
Another irk are the clips on which attaches the roll top. These are annoyingly non-adjustable, and so if you fill the bag to the brim (as I always tend to do), closing the clips on both sides is impossible.
Finally, the lovely white liner, while stylish, has already started to pick up the odd mark and stain. Luckily, it’s removeable and washable, although the number of bikers to do this is likely slim.
As motorcycle rucksacks go, Kriega make the best of the best. And it’s easy to see why the R30 is one of the most popular.
It’s spacious, comfortable and cool, and designed to last for years – Kriega offer a 10-year guarantee on all of its products.
Although with that price tag, it couldn't afford to be anything else.