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Wolfman Luggage Expedition Dry Saddle Bags Reviews

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  • Retail Price ~$259.99 Shop Now
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Rogers

  • 5
  

Just installed these bags yesterday. Haven't had the opportunity to try them out. Just by looking at the material they seem great!

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Eric Hall

  • 4
  

Fantastic bag! Very strong and completely air/water tight. Very easy to get on the bike but takes a bit of fiddling to remove sometimes when loaded. A bit on the small side for my needs but with a third duffle it's not an issue. I love the yellow color as it says "ADVENTURE" as well as being highly visible. Multiple straps let you cinch it tight so stuff doesn't flop around. High quality materials, workmanship and MADE IN USA!

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Nate J.

  • 5
  

I needed a luggage solution that was lightweight, sturdy, waterproof, and simple to use for my Tiger 800 XC, but I also wanted to avoid the risks that potentially come with hard panniers such as getting your foot jammed under your pannier while paddling in the sand, or getting bashed by the hard pannier in an unfortunate off. Based on reputation, and other Wolfman products I already own, I chose Wolfman’s soft Expedition Dry Saddle Bags, and they do not disappoint!

Initially I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to fit everything that I store in my hard panniers inside these bags, but I proved myself wrong. I run 31 and 38 liter hard panniers on my Super Tenere, and for some reason even though the the expedition bags are advertised at 19 liters each, I was able to fit everything I keep in the hard panniers inside the expedition bags. Granted my panniers aren’t stuffed to the gills, but everything I need for a week long trip camping off the Tiger fits in these saddle bags with a little room to spare. (I also run a medium Wolfman Expedition Duffle which stows my tent, mattress, sleeping bag, camp chair, pillow, and tent footprint)

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My second concern was with the ease of mounting and dismounting the saddle bags from the Touratech racks I chose to use as my mounting method. Again, I proved myself wrong (I like it when I’m wrong sometimes!). After only one trial run to make sure I had the mounting method figured out I was able to completely mount and secure the bags to the bike in 2 minutes 30 seconds. Dismounting? 1 minute 5 seconds. Seriously, if you are out for a leisurely break from the hustle and bustle of life on your bike, and you don’t have 3 minutes and 35 seconds to spare, maybe you need to find a different relaxation method, like, I dunno, a double dose of Ambien?



How are the bags mounted? There are two wide, adjustable straps that connect the two bags together and sling over the pillion seat. Adjusting these straps sets the height at which the bags rest on your bike’s racks. I chose Touratech’s pannier racks for the Tiger as I already have their panniers on my Tenere, and this gave me a dual purpose for the racks. Wolfman’s bags mount perfectly to these racks and all the attachment points for the bags match well to available strapping locations on the racks.

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The bags then have two compression straps which double as the straps that affix the bags to your bike’s rack. Affix the bags to the rack at four points per bag utilizing Wolfman’s ingenious and simple buckle, and then tighten the compressions straps which at the same time tighten the bags to the racks. The tighter you compress, the tighter the bags suck into the racks -it's truly innovative. There is a third compression strap that wraps over the top of the roll-down opening to compress the top as well. Overall I can’t think of a better, easier way to mount a bag to a motorcycle - there’s been a lot of thought put into the mounting method, it’s easy, uncomplicated, and it works very well - K.I.S.S.

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Once mounted and loaded up they really carry a low profile on the bike, are tucked in nicely, and aren’t big and bulky like a hard pannier at all.


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The question arose - “What if I unload the bags, set up camp, and then decide make a quick run down to the stream on the trail ahead to check the stream level for the following morning?” “Can I leave the bags mounted and empty on the bike for a quick run, or will the empty bags flop around and get damaged?” A quick call to Eric over at Wolfman and my question was answered. “Sure you can! I wouldn’t recommend it for an extended ride, but a quick trip shouldn’t be an issue!” I concur - with the bags completely emptied, but still attached to the bike, they are very secure. They may flop around a tiny bit, but they certainly won’t go anywhere. The flopping can be easily solved by rolling down and fastening the opening closed with some air pressure in the bags. With air alone they hold their shape very well and keep the bags from flopping about.

Are these bags truly waterproof? Rock solid waterproof! The vinyl canvas and radio frequency welded seams keep out every drop of water whether they are subjected to a full downpour or partially submerged in water during a stream crossing. I’ve run the Expedition Duffle for a full season, been caught in many rain storms, left it outside overnight during an all-night rain and it was completely dry inside afterwards.

Are there any cons? I love these bags so far, but to be fair, yes, there are a couple cons.

  • What about protection for the contents of the bag? Unlike a hard case there is little protection to your gear in the unfortunate occurrence of an off. This can be resolved however by packing any high-value items that can’t take a potential beating inside a protective case before packing, or by placing these items in your tank bag, or dry duffle on the pillion seat.
  • Will the bags retain their waterproof qualities through a lay down? The bag material is very heavy and robust, and although I’m not quite willing to test it, I believe the bags would survive a low-speed off or simple drop and not be punctured (Unless of course you dropped the bike perfectly on a nail or other such sharp object in which case you just have bad luck). To be fair a set of hard panniers won’t retain a good seal after an off either - as soon as the pannier’s shape is deformed the lid won’t seal properly to the pannier anyway, and is fairly difficult to repair if it’s possible at all. I dropped my Tenere at 1 mph on a pannier once, and it took an hour of pounding and arranging to get the lid to seal to the pannier properly again.

For me the pros far outweigh the cons, and all the cons are minor if not remediable. Wolfman has a very solid, reliable, and simple product here that simply gets the job done. I’ll be running the Expedition bags, the Expedition Duffle, and the Blackhawk Tank Bag for many years to come!

I have a week long trip planned in early May ‘15 - stay tuned for a long term test writeup following that trip!

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Tomek S

  • 5
  

I rode with riders who had them and they praise their quality.

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