Mosko Moto Backcountry 35L Panniers Review

“The Mosko Moto Backcountry 35L Panniers are probably the highest quality bags for adventure bike riders on the market today. They’re exceptionally well-made with extreme attention to detail and function. The Backcountrys have been designed for seriously hard use and made to withstand anything you can throw at them.”

Adventure Motorcycle Travel Canada

Snapshot

  • Price: £850 (no aux pox) / £1,099 (4 aux pox)
  • Time tested: 4 months
  • Miles tested: 8,000
  • Testing conditions: USA and Canada
  • Functionality: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5
  • Value for money: 5/5
  • Where to buy: moskomoto.com

Moving to Mosko

We’ve been using throwover panniers for years on our round the world trip and other travels and have tried a huge range of different bags.

But since we swapped our travel bike from the Yamaha XT660R to two Honda CRF300Ls, we thought it was about time to upgrade our pannier system too and went for Mosko Moto’s flagship Backcountry panniers.

We wanted a system we could easily take on and off the bike, bags that could stand up to the rigours of everyday life on the road for the next five years, be easy to use, adaptable, expandable, multi-functional and fully waterproof. Enter Mosko Moto.

Here are the stand-out features, what we love and our round-up after four months travelling through the US and Canada with them. We will update this review yearly.

Mosko Moto Panniers features

Sizes

The Backcountry panniers consist of two 30L pannier bags. They’re also sold in a 25L version or an off-set kit for bikes with asymmetrical pannier racks due to the exhaust. We opted for the 35s as we’d rather have the extra space – even if it’s not needed, it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it on long-term trips. There are times when we buy too much food and need that overflow space. And if we don’t need it, we just tighten the bags down further reducing the

How they work

Traditional throwover saddle bags often droop and sag, can become lopsided, need to be readjusted and fixed and reattached to the frame using a series of straps and ties. Once tied down, they can’t be taken off easily either.

Unlike those systems, the Backcountry panniers are hard backed and simply slot into a wedge attached to the pannier frame. It’s a quick-mount system and uses a ‘speed-pin’ latch to quickly secure and release the bags. The whole set-up is rigid, the bags slot into place in seconds and don’t move around when riding. It couldn’t be easier to use. And this makes everyday life with the bags effortless. 

You do need a pannier frame to use these bags. The panniers mount onto most OEM frames, but as our CRFs didn’t come with any, we went for Outback Motortek pannier racks.

The panniers use a roll-top closure system with clips either side of the bag and an over-the-top strap. Inside the pannier is a fully waterproof 22oz 840D TPU dry bag with welded seams. It’s held in place using Velcro and can be easily removed from the pannier.

Build quality

The build quality is exceptional. The bag’s outer shell is made using 1680D Ballistic Nylon and Hypalon. Translated: it’s bullet proof (not actually). It’s exceptionally hard wearing and tough and one of the most stand out features of Mosko Moto’s gear. The high-level and quality materials used in this system – along with all of MM’s gear – is well documented so we won’t go into too much detail on that here.

Storage and extras

The panniers hold 30L each. But there aer also MOLLE attachments on each side of each pannier so you can attach further compartments to the bags. Mosko also produce auxiliary pockets (aux pox) specifically made to attach to the sides of these panniers. You can fit four of these in total over the two bags. The pockets are holster style, so you can put a water bottle in there for easy access or use their waterproof roll top bags for items you don’t want to get wet.

These external holsters are a game changer. It makes such a difference having quick and easy to access storage compartments on your panniers.

The bags also have a ‘beaver tail’, which is a flap on the front side of the pannier that can be unhooked and opened up. This handy flap can be used to hold items like a wet towel, your riding jacket, water bottle etc. It’s held on using clips and the top strap. Inside the tail is another zipped pouch pocket.

On top of the bag is an aluminium locking bar. You can run a security cable through this bar and wrap it around your pannier frame effectively locking the top of your pannier shut to help prevent theft from opportunist thieves.

Another nice feature is the over-the-top strap, Mosko has thoughtfully extended the strap so that you can add an overflow tube bag on top of the Backcountry and fasten it down using the main strap.

What’s good about the Mosko Moto Panniers?

The Backcountry panniers are the crème de la crème of adventure bike panniers.

It’s an incredibly easy to use system. And as we’re travelling on our bikes every single day, that’s very important for us. We can quickly and easily remove our panniers and carry them into a motel room for the night, or into the tent, or take them off to go off-roading for the day without having to dump all the contents out etc. The big clips and straps make opening and closing the bags easy too and the additional side pockets make for easy access to items we want at hand. 

Everything about the Backcountry panniers scream premium. They’re seriously heavy-duty, fully waterproof and made using the highest quality materials. There are absolutely no worries anytime we drop the bikes on these bags or when riding through torrential downpours. Every little detail was designed and made with passion, care, function and purpose. They were built to last by people who know what they’re doing when it comes to adventure riding.

Mosko Moto Back Country Panniers Review

What’s not about the Mosko Moto Panniers?

Weight

A word on weight. The Backcountry panniers are heavy. Heavier than standard throwover pannier systems. Each bag weighs around 4kg and then you have to factor in the wedge and pannier frame.

We’re right on the line here with the bags being too heavy for us as we have lightweight Honda CRF300Ls. But the additional weight is a worthwhile compromise for what you get in return. They’re heavy because they’re so well-made. If we were on anything bigger than 300cc bikes this wouldn’t even be a talking point.

We’re on a very long-term trip and, while being lightweight is important, function, ease of use and durability are more important when it comes to living with and using your gear every day so we’re more than happy to make the compromise.

If weight is a concern for you, then consider the 25L Scouts, or Mosko Moto’s Rackless system.

Price

The Mosko Moto Backcountry Panniers are premium quality panniers that come at a premium price. You’re getting what you pay for. The Mosko team make the absolute best gear they can with the best materials available to them and then charge for it accordingly.

Whether you feel it’s worth the price tag completely depends on what you need the bags for. If you’re off on the occasional trail ride, weekend trip or just want a couple of bags for stuffing your shopping in, then these are overkill.

If you live on your bike, take on long-term trips, travel, go on hard off-road adventures etc, then these are for you. 

Mosko Moto Panniers review round up

The Mosko Moto Backcountry 35L Panniers are probably the highest quality bags for adventure bike riders on the market today. They’re exceptionally well-made with extreme attention to detail and function. The Backcountrys have been designed for seriously hard use and made to withstand anything you can throw at them.

We’ve been using the bags for four months so far on our round the world trip and are incredibly impressed. They’re ridiculously tough and yet so easy to live and travel with. We’re in and out of our bags all day every day and these make that process – and our life on the road – so much easier.

Adventure Motorcycle Travel Canada

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