6 Best Soft Panniers for Adventure Bikes

Welcome to the Best Soft Panniers guide. Here’s a selection 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.

Best Motorcycle Soft Luggage

Contents

Why Soft Motorcycle Panniers?

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, 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 riding.

If you’re set on soft motorcycle luggage, then remember that not all bags are made equal. You’re going to want the right soft stuff to suit your bike, budget and riding style and this article will help you figure out which system is best for you.

But, if you’re not convinced by soft luggage, want to weigh up your options and are considering hard panniers, then take a look at these handy guides next.

READ MORE:

The Best Soft Luggage Options for Adventure Bikes

This guide started off by listing six of the very best soft motorcycle panniers on the market. But that was years ago, times have changed, gear has improved massively and there are loads of new and excellent contenders on the scene from around the world. So, we’ve rewritten the list to include a larger selection of bags – from eye wateringly expensive to budget, racked to rackless and panniers suited for round the world expeditions to weekend rides.

You’ll find a selection of the best soft panniers for adventure bikes below to help you choose the right luggage setup for your travels. 

Premium Soft Motorcycle Panniers

Racked, high price, serious adventure riding and RTW focused

Mosko Moto Back Country Panniers

Quick Info: off-road focused, requires rack and clip plate, heavy duty, high price range, exceptionally well made and serious kit

American firm, Mosko Moto, are relatively 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 or looking to travel round the world with something that won’t fail you, then these are a good choice.

The Back Country is their racked pannier system. It works by clipping on and off a plate fitted to your pannier rack. They do also offer rackless luggage, but more on that in the rackless section at the bottom of this article.  

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.

READ MORE: Mosko Moto Back Country Panniers Review

Lone Rider MotoBags Semi-Rigid Panniers

Quick Info: semi-rigid, high-end price, requires rack, comes with fittings, extra large panniers 

The Lone Rider MotoBags are semi-rigid soft panniers. They’re expensive but high-quality panniers that Lone-Rider claim are 100% waterproof. You get 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. 

These are the biggest panniers in this article with MOLLE straps so you can fit even more gear onto them. They’re the closest a soft pannier can get to being hard luggage too, so if you want something in the middle ground with loads of space, these might be the ones for you.

Giant Loop RTW Panniers

Quick Info: off-road focused, tried and tested gear, clip on and off panniers designed for round the world travel

Giant Loop have been in the game 12 years and know how to produce quality gear. The US firm are most well known for their rackless horseshoe system (more below), but they also produce the large and hard wearing RTW panniers designed for, you guessed it, round the world motorcycle travellers. The RTW bags use a clip on system to your pannier racks.  

Giant Loop also produce a throwover luggage set called Siskiyou. These are smaller in capacity and don’t use the clip on/off system. 

Adventure Spec Magadan Panniers

Quick Info: suited for long-term and RTW travel, secure, throw-over, simple design and easy to use

The Adventure Spec Magadan panniers were developed by Walter Colbatch (if you haven’t seen the incredible Sibirsky Extreme on YouTube, you need to check them out!) The panniers were made to be simple, tough and secure by someone who is seriously knowledgeable when it comes to adventure motorcycle travel. 

READ MORE: Magadan Pannier Review

Kriega Overlander System OS Panniers

Quick Info: can be used as either throwover or attached to a plate, premium, high-price range, Kriega 10-year guarantee 

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. They produce the Overlander-S  (OS) range of adventure luggage and under that subhead have both a racked and rackless OS system. 

The racked bags come in either 32 or 22 litres and are attached to a mounting plate to be clipped on and off a pannier rack. However, they can also be used as throwover bags with an additional strap system. 

Wolfman Rocky Mountain Expedition Panniers

Quick Info: racked, well-known, tried and tested, expandable, simple and very easy to install and use, no plates required

Wolfman provide quality luggage and are pretty popular over in the USA. They claim their gear is 100% waterproof with RF welded seams. The construction is very sturdy and they’re made to last. The company has been producing soft luggage for a long time and are well-known and trusted over in the States. 

The Expedition bags can be easily mounted onto most pannier racks, making for easy fitment. Another benefit is their size and adaptability. Each bag is between 30-32 litres and come with straps for easy mounting of an additional bag on top and a water bottle holster on the side.

Bumot Xtremada Panniers

Quick Info: racked, large capacity, tough, easy attachment, can only be used with Bumot pannier racks

Bulgarian firm, Bumot, make excellent luggage systems offering both hard and soft luggage. I’ve always had good experiences when using this kit. It’s tough, simple and very well made and that’s what you need for long-term travel.

The Xtremadas work with a roll-top closure with two overtop straps. You can also use these straps to tie down another roll top on top of the panniers.  They come with a waterproof inner bag that you can easily whip out when taking your gear with you.

These are large bags at 35L and 31L on the exhaust side, plus two 1L pockets for each pannier. Normally that’s an additional extra on most bags. 

Bumot say they offer the only quick release soft luggage system on the market. Meaning within seconds you flit between their hard and soft panniers within seconds with a simple click on and off system.

Middleweight Soft Motorcycle Panniers 

Racked, mid-price range, excellent for adventure travel

Turkana HippoHips Panniers

Quick Info: new company and gear, produced by round the world travellers, simple and easy to use with lots of extras

South African company, Turkana, are new players to the adventure bike scene, but the owners are round the world motorcycle travellers who know their stuff. They have produced luggage based on their experiences, know what long term riders need and want and built these to spec. 

The HippoHips are throwover saddle bags that will fit most pannier racks. They’re 30L each side and come with removable waterproof inner bags, four additional holster style pockets that attach to the bags using the MOLLE system and a host of straps for connecting the bags to your bike. 

Givi GRT709 Canyon Panniers

Quick Info: racked, lockable, quick release, requires clip plate, easy to use roll top closure

The Givi Canyon motorcycle panniers are packed with features. They work by attaching the bags to nylon backing plates (included). These plates have a quick fit and release attachment to racks and can also be locked to the racks with a key (which can be keyed to a Givi top box etc). The bags use a waterproof roll down closure, have removable inner bags, handy exterior pocket for bottles and straps for when off the bike. 

Enduristan Monsoon 3 Panniers

Quick Info: throw-over, mid-price range, easy to use, simple in design, adaptable – new Evo option available

Enduristan are a Swiss company offering a range of soft motorcycle luggage options including panniers and rackless systems – all with a five-year warranty. The Monsoon 3 panniers use a throwover system and you can attach more luggage on top.

There’s now the Monsoon Evo system where you can attach the pannier directly to the frame without throwover straps. 

Budget Soft Motorcycle Panniers

Racked, budget options, long and short term travel 

Lomo Motorcycle Panniers

Quick Info: most affordable, easy to use, extremely simple, waterproof, roll top and throw over system

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, minimalistic, the cheapest bags in this article, easy to use and no fuss.

Nelson Rigg Hurricane Panniers

Quick Info: budget panniers, lifetime warranty, throwover, holsters included, excellent value

Nelson Rigg are a US based company that produce a wide range of motorcycle luggage. Despite their Hurricane panniers falling into our budget category, they do come with an impressive lifetime warranty.

The bags include inner liners and holsters and attach to your bike using throwover straps. You can easily attach these types of bags to most bikes, so they’re versatile, simple, easy to use and come packed with included features. 

Rackless Motorcycle Luggage

No pannier rack required 

For the more hardcore motorcycle adventure rider who values weight saving and riding predominately off-road, a rackless system may be the way forward. Simply put, these systems work by fastening a holster style fabric to the rear of your bike and connecting throwover bags to them – doing away with the need for heavy pannier racks. Here’s a selection of great rackless systems currently on the market today.  

Mosko Moto Reckless Soft Luggage

Quick Info: off-road focused, rackless, heavy duty, different size options available

As well as the  Back Country panniers, Mosko Moto also produce the Reckless system. This is a rackless system, meaning it requires no pannier frames for fitment. It comes in an 80 or 40L setup

Kriega Overlander System Soft Luggage

Quick Info: rackless, high-price range, requires base adapter which can be used with and switchable bags

The OS system from Kriega works by fitting a universal fabric base to your bike. Different size Kriega packs can then be attached to this harness. 

Giant Loop Great Basin Soft Luggage

Quick Info: off-road focused, rackless, one single unit without separate bags

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. These are simple in design as there’s just one compartment meaning there’s less to go wrong on the road.