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


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.


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. 

ps. We may receive a small commission, at absolutely no cost to you, if you purchase any products using the links on this page. We’re not sponsored by anyone, are completely impartial and don’t run ads. So this helps us keep the site running. Thank you for your support.

Read more on adventure bike luggage and gear

Thanks for checking out our Best Soft Luggage for Adventure Bikes Guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on motorcycle luggage and gear that we recommend you read next. 

Try these next…

Let us know what you think of this Best Soft Luggage for Adventure Bikes Guide in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you. 

40 thoughts on “6 Best Soft Panniers for Adventure Bikes”

  1. This is awesome and just what I was looking for. Loving the website and all the advice. I had a read of your hard vs soft luggage guide and decided soft panniers are the way to go. Now just got to pick one of these! Thanks pals

    • Hi Dan, thanks very much, we’re really glad you’re finding it helpful!
      That’s great! If you need anything else or have any more questions just leave another comment or send us an email. All the best and good luck.

  2. Hi guys. Im still deciding between hard boxes and soft bags. I want to go for soft bags but the only thing thats stopping me is how safe my gear is going to be when i leave the bike. Any tips for this? I just asked the same question in your forum too. Top job. Thanks

    • Hi mate!

      Good question! It is easier to steal stuff from soft panniers over hard panniers. But, if someone really wants to get in, they’ll take a chisel and hammer to your hard box and snap it open in no time. So the benefit is really in preventing the opportune thieves. To do that with soft bags you can either go for a slash proof bag like the Magadans or you can buy a Pacsafe mesh net https://www.madornomad.com/pacsafe-review/ or if that’s too much of a faff, there’s always a Pacsafe single cable, which you can use to wrap around your bag.

      We left 3 years ago with a net and chucked it after the first few months. We went to the cable and then chucked that too. In three years we’ve never had a single thing go missing from our soft panniers (touch wood) (and in 15 years of bike trips with soft bags as well). Stuff is far more likely to get nicked in cities or big touristy areas which we try and avoid. Here’s an article on how to keep your motorcycle gear safe while travelling https://www.madornomad.com/motorcycle-safety-while-travelling/ .

      Also, we tend not to worry about kit in the soft side bags because we have a hard top box. We keep our electronics and important stuff in there, so if the clothes and flip flops get taken from the side panniers it’s not the end of the world. You can read more about our set-up here: https://www.madornomad.com/hard-vs-soft-luggage-for-adventure-bikes/

      So to sum up… Yeah, hard boxes can do more damage in a fall, so if you want soft panniers because of that then don’t be put off by security. There are ways of protecting soft bags as mentioned above. But after travelling for a while we realised that they don’t really need protecting because theft isn’t as common as it’s made out to be. If you still want some piece of mind (like we do), then you can always opt for a hard top box to keep your valuables safe and use soft side bags for everything else. Best of both worlds! Hope this helps.

  3. Hi guys,
    No mention of Lone Rider soft panniers. Ive looked at most of the above mentioned and actually bought an Enduristan 50l Tornado 2 before I came across Lone Rider bags.
    Have you had any experience with them? They seem to be well made, lockable and fit a wide range of racks. Not cheap however. Would be interested to hear your views.

    All the best,

    • Hey Brett, thanks very much for your comment. Yeah, I did consider them when writing this guide – especially now they’re becoming more and more popular. The reviews all sounds pretty good and they do look very well made. Actually quite innovative really.
      You know what, you’re right, they probably should be considered for this article. I’m going to do some more research into them and ask around as I haven’t tested them personally and then look at getting them up on here.

      How did you get on with the Enduristan panniers? Are you considering switching to the Lone Rider panniers?

      • Hey guys. Hope you are both well.
        I havnt bought the pannier bags yet. Its the 50l Tornado 2 roll bag that I have.
        Its well made and fits all my camping gear in it at a pinch. My sleeping bag is more bulky than my 3 man tent. I really do need to replace the bag.
        The reason I chose the Enduristan and Lone Riders is because you dont need dry bags unlike the Moskos which were high on my list. That said, I still put my gear in dry bags anyway. Just an added precaution. Nothing worse than a wet sleeping bag!!
        I have decided to go with the Lone Riders and not the Enduristan Monsoon 3 panniers. The features and build quality of the LRs appear to be a step up from a lot of others on the market. They do need a rack however. But.. LR dont do one for my bike (Super Tenere) so I settled on the Touratec rack. A lot are made from mild steel but Touratec racks are made from 18mm stainless steel tube. Ive had mild steel racks in the past. They always rusted and Im fed up with stripping them down, cleaning them up and getting them powder coated.

        All the best to you both

        • Hey Brett,
          Ah I see. Woah, yeah that sounds like a big chunky sleeping bag! What tent are you using out of curiosity? Good shout on putting your gear in dry bags regardless.
          Good choice on the Lone Riders and thanks again for pointing it out. I’ve now added them to this list after a lot of research. They’re seriously expensive, but they do come with rack plates, all necessary fittings and the dry bags and you’re right, they do appear to be super high quality according to all the reviews and product tests I’ve watched and read.
          It would be really interesting to hear how you get on with them! Please do let us know.
          All the best to you too and I hope you like your new bags!
          Cheers mate,

  4. Hi Andy,
    The tent is a Snugpak Scorpion 3. Not a bad tent. Its a dome tent and as such is stand alone and can be pitched in under 10 minutes easily. There are several pockets the full length on both sides with a small loop above the entrance to hang a light. Good size vestibule that can be closed if you wish. Also 3 vents to help with condensation problems.
    Reasons for choosing this was price. I had a budget of £300 and got this on sale for £275.
    Secondly, it is pitched fly first and after initial setup you can pitch it and pack it in one hit. No need to disconnect the interior from the fly. A huge bonus when its raining. Everything stays dry. That was a consideration I wasnt going to compromise on. It had to pitch as one.
    Third, 5000mm rain head fly and groundsheet so its going to stand up to some serious rain.
    Fourth, it had to be 3 man because its used for camping with my little man (a 4ft tall 4 yr old takes up more room than you would expect. Hes a little giant!). And i like the extra room.

    I used to work in a hunting and fishing store for a few years in New Zealand and got to see a lot of tents so I had a good idea of the features I wanted. Ideally I would like to get a Hilleberg 2 man Tarra or 3 man Saivo but they dont come cheap! Shame they are not available in NZ because I would have used my staff discount and got one!

    I like your choice of cooking stove and was so very close to getting the same one several years ago. I had heard it was as noisy as a jet engine but very good. The noise thing did put me off a bit but not enough to discount it. In the end I went with the Whisperlite Universal for the same reasons you went with your Dragonfly. The choice of fuels is definitely a big deciding factor. Petrol, diesel, meths, kerosine, Coleman fuel normal gas canisters. You will always find fuel somewhere for it.

    • Hey Brett, Yeah we have the Snugpak Scorpion listed in our 10 Best Motorcycle Camping Tents article. Definitely can’t argue with those reasons for getting it haha! Sounds like you really know your stuff. That’s awesome you’re camping with your son, I bet he must love it.
      Yeah, the MSR DragonFly is an awesome stove, I’ve used it for around 10 years now and just won’t change it. Yeah it’s a little noisy but it’s really not that bad. But yes you’re right, the most important thing is taking multi-fuels so the Whisperlite is a pretty good alternative too. Are you still based in New Zealand?

      • Hey Andy.
        Nope. Im back in Dorset now since Dec 2018.
        Yep. The little man loves it. If it was up to him he would live in a tent.

        The only problem Ive found with my Snugpack is the rear guy line wasnt secured into the vent sheild very well and my sisters dog tripped on it and pulled it out. Ive since superglued it back into the slit (theres a flexible foam/plastic band to keep the arch in shape) and sewn it back up with fishing braid. Maybe it was just a one off so shouldnt be a big concern for anyone looking at the Scorpions.. and its not a huge effort to add some extra stitching if youre concerned about it.

        I usually do a lot of research on more than just a couple of sites before buying anything. Have been caught out in the past when I first started riding and camping by listening to advice from armchair campers. Never again. ;o)

        • Ah I see!
          Haha don’t blame him.
          Interesting info on the Scorpion there, I’ll direct people to your comments on it if anyone asks!
          Yeah, totally agree!!!

    • Hi Raf, I’ve heard lots of really positive reviews on the Givi GRT 709 bags and was actually looking to add them to this list after more research. Of course, it depends on what type of soft bag set up you’re after and if you want throw overs or clip on and off fixed bags. If you are after a lockable clip-on then these do look like a good shout. Cheers

  5. Hey guys thanking you for this very interesting homepage 🙂

    My question is just that one;

    I have the need for a softpanniers but not on a metal rack, only with straps.

    But is there anything for TOW PERSON RIDING? (With Sozius)
    Ps it’s for the new Ténéré 700

    Thanks for your help 🙂


    • Hi Severin, good question! Most rackless soft throw-over panniers have very large straps for resting over the pillion seat in order to support the bags. So, if you’re taking a pillion you can either opt for bags with thinner straps and tuck them under the pillion seat, if possible, or lay them over the seat and add an extra pillion cushion on top – this is probably your best bet. Hope this helps, cheers mate,

  6. I am considering the Enduristan Monsoon Evo bags – they seem to have a decent attachment mechanism to pannier racks, and for the price range (eg compared to Kriega OS).
    Has anyone owned/used these for Overland travel, and how have they held up – I have seen one review mentioning that the outer plastic reinforcement at the bottom of each bag, broke on a fall – but did not seem to affect the waterproofing…..

    • I’ve heard good things about the Monsoon bags (and am trying to rack my brains to remember who I know that’s riding RTW with them!). They are far better priced than the more expensive Kriega OS system, but if you’re considering soft panniers and are concerned about how hardy they are because you’re perhaps going to be riding hard off-road a lot and are likely to have a few drops – then why not go for the Magadans? I know they’re about £100 more expensive, but this may be worth it in the long run if you’re on a big, extended and off-road focused trip.

      • Hi,
        I don’t think that my proposed journey can be described as off road focussed…lol…but I will, as far as time, skill level, etc will allow, be looking to explore the scenic route….
        Magadans….yes, seen a review of these and they do look really good….but budget and availability are key deciding factors…and I like the relatively simple mounting mechanism of the Enduristans….anyway let’s see…I still have quite a bit of time to decide….luggage, choice of bike (sent you a separate email on this)….looks like travel costs are going up, so it is likely I will end up choosing the best economical options available out there….
        cheers….I do appreciate you taking the time to respond to all comments/posts….

        • Hi Sekhar,
          Ah, I see, well that’s fair enough. I’m sure you’ll get on well with the Enduristans regardless and have heard great things about them.
          Yes, you’re right, having a simple mounting system is very important, especially with soft luggage. However, they do have removable inner bags so that the main bags can stay on the bike while you just take the inner bags into hotels etc.
          Replying to your email on bike choices right now 😀
          Yeah prices have certainly gone up, especially shipping which at the moment is ridiculous!
          No worries at all, always happy to help fellow travellers.

  7. hi there – very very useful article…

    Pannier for Brutale 2009 1090RR in Singapore

    Wanted some help… I am using the bike for local conveyance and end of next month on a long tour. Want to add some pannier (soft/hard) on the machine, with some locking mechanism and enough storage to throw in my gym clothes during office week and more clothes and tools for the tour… and ofcourse want to maintain the looks. 🙂 what do you suggest?

    • Hi Ruchir,
      Good question! A little tricky to answer because the Brutale isn’t a conventional ‘adventure bike’ and so prepping it with a luggage system isn’t as common. So no doubt it’ll be harder to find examples online too.
      Locking mechanisms for soft luggage are also hard to come by. Your best bet for a secure system is the Adventure Spec bags as you can easily lock them and they’re slash proof. Your other option is to use a PacSafe mesh net or cable loop to secure your gear to the bike. But the AS bags are throwovers and you would probably need a custom rack, as I’m not sure if there are any companies out there making racks for the 1090.
      So, I would suggest going with something like a Kriega system and having it fastened to your pillion seat.
      Here’s a Kriega example
      Or a wider tail pack like this example
      I think these types of systems would be best because it’s risky to have panniers without support underneath them.
      The other option would be to have a protective bar fabricated and then use lightweight throwovers like a rackless system that sits very high up.
      Hope this helps and best of luck with your adventures!

  8. Just got back from a month long tour of Colombia with my Kriega 32L plus hook on four additional five liter bags. The attachment point where the OS-2 strap system attaches to the midpoint of the backside of the bags completely tore off. One point on each of the bags. I had to finish the trip strapping them together with bungee cords and duct tape.
    The bags had about 25,000 miles on them, maybe about 1,000 miles at most of off road.
    The concept is great, but they worked well until they didn’t. I was very happy with them before this.
    Can’t recommend.

    • Hi Joe,
      Thanks very much for posting your feedback here, that’s really interesting to hear! (and of course, a shame that your gear failed!).
      I am surprised to hear it, I’ve had some Kriega kit for that’s over 10 years old and going strong. Have you contacted Kriega about it? Would be interesting to hear their take on it.

      • Waiting for my bike to get shipped back from Bogota, Colombia. When it does I plan to take pictures of the failed straps and send them to Kriega.
        BTW, just ordered Giant Loop RTW soft bags. Fingers crossed.

        • Ah fair enough then. Do let us know what Kriega says and how you get on with the Giant Loop bags too. I’ve heard very good things.

      • Contacted and sent them pictures as they requested but no follow up so far from them. Noticed that the straps are starting to fray on the opposite bag at the same place. It would have failed also eventually. I liked the OS2 system as it saved weight but now can not recommend. The straps are not properly reinforced.
        Have bought Giant Loop RTWs.

        • Hi Joe,
          Oh that’s a shame, but very interesting to hear. Appreciate you adding your experience on here, thanks.
          And it’ll be really good to hear how you get on with the Giant Loop RTWs, please do let us know what you think!

  9. Hi Andy, just a heads up that the Bumot Xtremadas include a version that mount directly on the BMW GS/GSA OEM racks. I have a set of these on my ‘21 R1250GS Adventure and I love them, excellent construction, plenty of room and quite nice looking, too.

    • Hi Michael, thanks for your comment. Yes, you’re right! We have mentioned that in the Bumot section, you’ll find it in the ‘Cons’ section where we state you need Bumot racks to use these panniers unless you’re on a GS! Great to hear you’re loving the Bumots, they are brilliant bags. We had a set on a KTM 790 and thought they were exceptionally well made and tough too. Out of curiosity, do you run the Bumot hard panniers too?

  10. Thanks for including us on the list. It is a massive honour to be on the same as the other greats.
    Just a heads-up our range now also includes the Madmules rackless adaptive luggage.


    • Hi Michnus, thanks for letting us know about the rackless bags – will look at adding them to the list soon. Cheers!


Leave a Reply to sekhar chakrabarty Cancel reply