All Rights Reserved © 2011 Thomas W. Dayreviewed in August 2008) is a great commuter packer, but it is far from watertight. Four days of rain in the morning and 100F+ muggy afternoons and my gear smelled like a boy's gym and made my skin crawl with bacteria when I went for a "fresh change." My 15 year old Eclipse P-38 saddle bags were pretty leaky when i bought them, but now they provide as much weather protection as a fishing net. It was time to step up to something more serious.
MMM has reviewed Giant Loop gear before (Giant Loop Great Basin Bag and Fandango Tank Bag, Winter 2010 the Giant Loop Saddlebag, June 2008) and the consensus was always positive. So, I went for the whole shootin' match with the company's new Coyote Saddlebag and Dry Bag and the Diablo Tank Bag. If you've ever used canoe or kayaking dry bags, you're already familiar with the construction materials Giant Loop uses on this series of products. The shell of all three of these bags is made from Giant Loop's Bomb Shell™ “trucker’s tarp.” This is tough, waterproof stuff and the abrasion points at the bottom of the tank bag and the bottom and leading edge of the Coyote Saddlebag are reinforced with 1050 Nylon Ballistic Cordura™. The zippers are heavy duty and, the full length zipper on the Saddlebag and the Diablo are waterproof and protected by storm flaps. The Dry Bag seals up with a side-release buckle, canoe bag-style.
|The exceptionally hip sleeping bag stuff sack and the Coyote Saddlebag's interior compression bindings.
The Coyote Dry Bag neatly straps to either the front or back of the Saddlebag and is big enough for both my sleeping bag and the pad with extra space for camp shoes and light clothing. The Saddlebag is shipped with three really heavy duty "contoured" stuff sacks, including one that is pre-curved to fit The stuff sacks and the full length zipper makes it possible to get to any of your gear without having to remove the stuff you don't need at the moment.
|The Diablo stuffed with rain gear, wheel lock, flashlight, cold weather gloves, air guage, tools, and camping utensils.
A deal, for me, with my WR's luggage, is the height and mounting restrictions. I'm old, inflexible, beat up, and short. My WR is young, nimble, and taller than me. My old camping rig often snagged a boot as I swung my leg over the tailbag and was inclined to send me and the bike crashing to the ground at particularly awkward moments. My Wolfman Enduro tankbag pushed my seat room back into the tailbag and saddlebags, which increased the odds that I'd land in a heap when getting on or off of the bike. One reason I ended up mounting the Dry Bag at the front of the Saddlebag is that kept the overall height of the rig low. That mounting position keeps the weight more centered, too.
POSTSCRIPT: I have had my Giant Loop gear for three years, now. There isn't much more to say about the stuff except that is has worn incredibly well, is still water-tight, and the more I use it the more I like it. If you've followed my grumpy career, you know that is saying a lot. The zippers still work and are actually slightly easier to use than they were the day I loaded up the WR and headed out for my first weekend camping trip. Unbelievably, the map window on the Diablo is still crystal clear and it has seen almost 20,000 miles of use and abuse on the WR, including being strapped to the tank all last winter behind our RV.
I'm not ashamed to admit that the Dry Bag has seen use both on the WR and my V-Strom but in the canoe and kayak. It is an amazing product and has outlived two REI dry bags and survived dozens of canoe trips loaded with boating camping gear.
Nothing I can say will adequately describe how much I like the Coyote Saddlebag. It is simply the ultimate dirt bike camping bag. Nothing else even comes close.