Tested: Best motorcycle rucksacks

We put 10 rucksacks to the test, Visordown style. We've got your back...

FOR our latest product test, we’ve taken a good, hard look at motorcycling rucksacks to see how they cope with life’s burdens. We selected ten rucksacks that fulfilled three base criteria: a nod to wearer comfort in the form of multi-point harnesses, weather resistance, and a price cap of £100.

We evaluated the rucksacks in terms of:

Quality and features: A close visual and tactile examination of each bag, checking its build quality, materials and fasteners, the number and type of compartments and pockets, and the presence and design of any biker-specific features, such as helmet nets or reflective piping.

Load: Manufacturers quote capacities in litres, which frankly mean little unless you’re a fuel tanker. So we gave it the practical touch by filling the packs with tins of beans to see what their real-world day-to-day capacity is.

Comfort: Filling each pack with 15 cans of beans (6.3kg) to simulate double a calculated average load, we wore them both on and off a commuter bike, with all harnesses fastened and tightened to suit, and evaluated how they felt in terms of adjustability, strap design, padding feel and size. We tell you what it felt like in standardised conditions so that you can make a comparative decision.

Weather-resistance: We filled each bag with loosely-padded soft tissue paper, made sure all the zips and flaps were fully closed, and subjected it to 60 seconds in the shower. We then opened the bag and examined the paper wad for any dampness to determine the amount and location of water entry. They may claim it's water-resistant or waterproof, we'll be the judge of that.

Price: With affordability in mind, the selected products range from £10 to £100. Which gives you most value for your money?

Styling: And, because every biker secretly checks himself out when riding past glass-fronted buildings, the report - but, in the interest of objectivity, not the final score - includes our opinion of how good each bag looks. 

So which pack will take a load off your shoulders, and which should get the sack? Let's start with the Alpinestars Charger rucksack.

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