Welcome to the Best Soft Panniers of 2020 guide! Here’s 6 of the best soft luggage options for adventure bikes on the market today. You’ll find info on their features, how they work, pros and cons and loads more.
Soft pannier luggage is the way to go for adventure bike travellers. They’re cheaper than hard boxes, less strain on the frame, more flexible and adaptable and most importantly – hard panniers are way more likely to cause you harm in a crash. That makes going soft a wise choice for anyone focusing more on off-road than tarmac (check out our Hard vs Soft Luggage Guide if you’re not convinced). But not all bags are made equal. You’re going to want the right soft stuff to suit your bike, budget and riding style. So, we’ve collected a range of the best soft panniers for adventure bikes in 2020 to help point you in the right direction.
The 6 Best Soft Luggage Options for Adventure Bikes in 2020
Mosko Moto Soft Luggage
Quick Info: Off-road focused, Racked, Rackless, Heavy duty, High price range
American firm, Mosko Moto, are new players to the motorcycle luggage scene, but have already cemented their place on the soft luggage top spot. That’s because they produce seriously high-quality, tough and durable gear. Their kit is off-road adventure riding focused and the bags emphasise that. If you’re looking for premium kit and are going to be spending most of your time on the rough stuff, then these are for you.
Mosko Moto sell directly to the rider and don’t have a dealer or distributor network. They say this allows them to skip out on a costly distribution step so that they can use premium materials without making their products too expensive.
Mosko Moto make four different types of bike luggage options: panniers, rackless panniers, duffels and tank bags.
- The panniers use a double bag system. The outer bag is the protection and the inner is a removable dry bag.
- The racked panniers use a ‘quick-mount wedge system’, which means they can be taken off and on again without using straps.
- There’s no overseat straps and the bags are fixed to the racks so they don’t flail around on rough terrain.
- The rackless system sits on the rear pillion seat and is fixed to points like the passenger foot braces or frame.
- Scout 25L panniers (50L total)
- Back Country 35L panniers (70L total)
- Reckless 80L Revolver rackless pannier system
- Reckless 40L rackless pannier system.
- Mosko produce rackless panniers as well as frame mounted bags for the more serious off-road focused adventure riders.
- Super high-quality gear
- No dealer mark-up as the bags are sold direct.
- The bags are adaptable, come with pockets and can have additional storage pouches attached
- Lifetime warranty on sewn seam bags and two-year warranty on welded seam bags.
- Mosko is US based, but if you’re in the EU then the bags are shipped from Amsterdam, so factor in shipping prices.
- Racked panniers from £580
- Rackless panniers from £400
Lomo Motorcycle Panniers
Quick Info: Most affordable, Easy to use, Throw-over, Low price range
Scottish watersports company, Lomo, have recently started producing more motorcycle orientated dry bags and the latest additions are their waterproof soft panniers. There are three sizes to choose from. All are single opening, welded seam waterproof PVC bags. The bags are simple, easy to use and no fuss.
Lomo produce the large 30L rear pannier bags which have fixed Velcro straps to connect them. They also make medium13L pannier bags with no connecting straps and a smaller 6.5 litre pair to be used as crash bar bags. Lomo also offer duffel and tube bags as well as panniers. Check out our reviews of both the Lomo large and adventure panniers on the Motorcycle Equipment Reviews page.
The Lomo large pannier bags are throw-over bags with three sets of straps: a large middle strap and two supporting straps. These can all be tucked under the seat or strapped over it. The bags have a plastic loop on the bottom corners which can be fastened to the pannier rack.
The medium and smaller panniers don’t have a connecting strap and can be fixed to pannier racks or crash bar racks up front.
All the bags are roll top with two side and top fasteners.
- 6.5L crash bar bags (13L total)
- 13L medium panniers (26L total)
- 30L large panniers (60L total)
- Easy to use throw-over bags
- Three size options
- Very affordable
- Can fit any frame
- Not as tough as competitors if you’re going to be seriously off-roading and laying the bike down
- No option to expand with additional pockets or pouches
- Large 60L panniers – £51
- Medium 26L panniers – £58
- Small 13L crash bar panniers – £39
Giant Loop Luggage
Quick Info: Off-road focused, Rackless, Racked, Mid-price range
Giant Loop pioneered the rackless luggage system back in 2008. The US based company developed their horseshoe-shaped bags to sit where a pillion would and not need pannier racks. Giant Loop have been in the game 12 years and know how to produce quality gear. They also now provide standard soft panniers too.
Giant Loop produce rackless horseshoe shaped rear bags, clip on/off soft panniers and a throw-over rear pannier.
- The rackless pannier system sits on the rear pillion seat and fastens down to the frame and passenger foot pegs/braces. The entire bag is one compartment. This is different to Mosko Moto’s rackless system as it’s split into three. What’s better depends which you prefer and find easier.
- The clip on/off panniers work without straps and fix onto the pannier rack with a quick release fastener.
- The throw-over pannier set has a rigid connector that sits on the pillion seat and allows the bags to drape over the racks.
- The Great Basin rackless bag is 68L
- The Coyote rackless bag is 39L
- Round-the-World panniers are 90L+ in total
- Siskiyou throw-over panniers are 70L total
- Giant Loop produce rackless and clip on/off panniers
- The US firm has been in the game a long time and have a long-standing good reputation
- Simple in design
- Works well on most bikes
- Waterproofing isn’t as good as competitors
- Great Basin 68L is £366
- Coyote 39L is £300-£450
- RTW 90L+ panniers from £550
- Siskiyou 70L throw-overs from £569
Adventure Spec Magadan Panniers
Quick Info: Suited for long-term travel, Secure, Throw-over, High-price range
The Adventure Spec Magadan panniers were developed by Walter Colbatch (if you haven’t seen his incredible Sibirsky Extreme on YouTube, you need to check them out!) The panniers were made to be simple, tough and secure.
Adventure Spec produce the Magadan panniers MK2, an upgrade to the previous MK1.
The Magadans use two velcro straps which lay over the pannier seat and then the bags are fastened to pannier racks. These panniers use a dry bag insert, which can be removed and taken into your hotel or tent without unstrapping the entire pannier.
The Magadan panniers are 35L each side (70L total).
- Designed by legendary adventure rider, Walter Colbatch
- Integrated PacSafe cables make the bags slashproof and lockable. They can also be locked to the pannier frame.
- Easily attached
- Large external pockets
- Durable, tough, well thought out and simple
- Pricey for a throw-over bag
The Adventure Spec Magadan panniers retail for £375
Kriega Overlander System OS Soft Luggage
Quick Info: Racked, Rackless, Premium, High-price range.
British firm, Kriega, have been in the luggage business since 2000 and have a long standing reputation for high-quality and ultra robust kit. Kriega kit comes with a 10-year guarantee because they’re so confident of its build.
Kriega produce throw-over panniers and a rackless system as part of their Overlander System (OS).
The Kriega OS soft panniers work in one of two ways, you can either use them as a traditional throw-over set with two top straps that rest on the pillion seat. Or they can be attached to a specially designed OS platform and then use a quick release system.
The rackless OS-Combo system uses a harness which is attached to the bike first. You will need to drill two holes into the rear fender for it to attach to. The OS-Adventure packs are then attached to that.
- The OS panniers come in 32L (64L total) and 22L (44L total) options
- The Combo set comes in 12, 24 and 36L options.
- Excellent reputation
- Durable, waterproof and cleverly designed bags
- Panniers are sold separately and don’t come with the OS-Platform (quick release option) or OS-straps (overseat straps). They need to be purchased separately, which bumps up the price.
- The OS-32 is £249 per pannier
- OS-22 is £225 per pannier
- Platforms range from £90-£120 per side
- OS-Straps are £40 and the OS-Combo range are from £235-£275
Enduristan Monsoon 3 Panniers
Quick Info: Throw-over, Mid-price range, Easy to ue.
Enduristan are a Swiss company offering a range of soft motorcycle luggage options including panniers and rackless systems – all with a five-year warranty.
Enduristan offer throw-over soft panniers with three connecting straps. They also produce a rackless saddle bag set-up for enduro bikes.
Enduristan’s Monsoon 3 panniers are throw-overs with three connecting straps that rest on the pillion seat. They use a roll top closure system to keep the contents dry. Enduristan say that these bags can fit some bike without racks, but of course, do check and look into heat shields if you go down this route. They do fit to pannier racks.
The Blizzard saddle bags are more suited for enduro bikes and work by resting the connecting straps on the pillion seat and connecting the lower straps to the pillion pegs.
- The Enduristan Monsoon panniers are 30L (60L total)
- The Blizzard saddle bags are 12L (24L total)
- Able to use on some bikes without pannier rack frames
- Made using a three-layer fabric to keep it tougher and waterproof
- Easy to attach
- Simple and easy to use
- No quick-release option
- Enduristan Monsoon 3 panniers are £294
Update: Semi-Rigid Option
Lone Rider MotoBags Semi-Rigid Panniers
Quick Info: Semi-rigid, High-end price, Requires rack.
The Lone Rider MotoBags are semi-rigid soft panniers. We decided to include them in this list after they were mentioned a couple of times in emails and in the comments section. They’re expensive but super high-quality panniers that Lone-Rider claim are 100% waterproof.
You get the two pannier bags, two removable inner dry bags, two universal mounting plates and the necessary parts to attach them to your rack and two specific locks for the bags.
The Lone Rider MotoBags are two pannier bags that must be used with rack plates and a pannier rack.
They also come with specific locks to make them more secure.
The Lone-Rider MotoBags are two panniers that bolt onto a mounting plate and are then attached to your pannier racks. The panniers come with the racks and all neccessary fitments.
- The Lone Rider MotoBags come as either 31 + 38L / 2 x 38L/ 2 x 31L
- Comes with racks and fittings.
- Comes with waterproof inner bags.
- The bags are lockable.
- You can collapse the bags flat while not in use.
- Extremely hard wearing.
- Larger capacity than most soft panniers.
- Easy to attach additional smaller bags.
- The eye-watering price tag.
- Lone-Rider MotoBags are £818. But this does include the two bags, rack plates and fittings.
Hard vs Soft Adventure Bike Luggage and the Ultimate Set-up
Read more on Adventure Bike Luggage and Gear
Thanks for checking out our Best soft luggage guide for adventure bikes. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on motorcycle luggage and kit that we recommend you read next.
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FORUM: Advice, chat and travel info on the Motorcycle Travel Forum.
Let us know what you think of this Best Soft Luggage for Adventure Bikes Guide in the comments below! Did we miss anything, do you ride with any of these set-ups or have any expert tips? We’d love to hear from you.