Smoking rollups: Best motorcycle rollbags as chosen by MCN

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One of the most versatile ways of carrying gear on your bike is with a rollbag. These are easy to fill, easy to fix to the luggage rack or pillion seat, will keep your gear safe and dry and are also easy to use off the bike too.

There are several kinds of rollbag, the majority being formed in PVC tarpaulin to ensure that the contents stay dry. Not only is the material itself impervious to water, the closure is typically by rolling the edges of the aperture over several times to keep water out and securing them shut.

Due to their nature, rollbags like this normally don’t have a large number of external pockets, since the main purpose is to keep the contents themselves dry. However, you may find an external pocket or two that can be useful, particularly for things like spare gloves or keys, etc.

Related: Best universal motorcycle panniers

Some rollbags will come with fixings while others may need your own bungee straps, cords or securing straps. Which you use is up to you though external straps can sometimes make the bags easier to get on and off, particularly when you arrive at your destination or need to stop somewhere en route and don’t want to leave your luggage on the bike.

There are two main types of rollbag that we will look at here; simple cylindrical bags that fix to the bike and more holdall-like bags that perform the same basic task but are designed to be a bit more transportable, like a normal bag.

Here is a selection of rollbags that will carry your gear and should keep it dry and safe.

The Scottish company Lomo have been making waterproof bags and luggage for some time and this simple rollbag has a capacity of 20 litres and in tests by sister magazine RiDE, has been completely waterproof.

It’s a cylindrical design with a roll-closure with fixing buckles and comes with a carry handle and two luggage-strap loops for securing it to the bike.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Useful
  • Great value

Cons

  • Carrying limited off the bike

The quality of Kriega equipment is right at the top of the game but as a result, so is the price. This drypack has a capacity of 30 litres (there's also a 20l and 10l version) and has a roll-closure opening at one end.

The outer material is PVC while there is also a waterproof liner to keep contents safe and dry. There is an external pocket and like much of Kriega’s gear, it can be joined to other items to create a modular system.

Pros

  • Great quality
  • Waterproof
  • Modular design

Cons

  • Narrow opening to pack

Like many of Oxford's luggage ranges, the Drystash is available in various sizes, including this 45-litre version (there are 15l and 30l ones available too). It uses a canvas outer for a more traditional, softer look and feel but is backed with a waterproof lining.

It uses a top opening with waterproof zips and a Velcro-closed cover meaning it’s easy to access contents when on the bike. It uses four D-rings on the base to secure it to the bike but equally, bungee cords over the top would also work.

Pros

  • Softer look than PVC luggage
  • Top loading means access on bike
  • Fix with included or bungee straps

Cons

  • Can only carry with shoulder strap off bike

Tested by Ali Silcox for 2 years over 2000 miles - Quality 5/5, Value 5/5

"I’m a massive fan of the Aqua Range of luggage, as with other bags I’ve tested, this roll bag is made from PVC tarpaulin and has welded seams, which have never failed. With a 30-litre capacity, the main compartment holds enough gear for a week away and for smaller items, there are a couple of pockets."
"It’s easy to fit to the pillion seat and it comes with compression straps, that keep it secure and stable, there’s no fear of it slipping while on the move. When off the bike it’s easy to carry, as there’s a handle on the top of the bag or a detachable shoulder strap. It’s great value for money and it’s sturdy, practical design gives me confidence that it will last for years."

We've written a full review on the Oxford Aqua rollbags range, so make sure you check that out.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Various carrying options
  • Access contents when on bike

Cons

  • None

This simple rollbag from Held houses a hefty 40 litres of kit and has a simple roll-closure at one end, secured with clips and straps. It has a grab-handle next to the roll closure and is formed in PVC tarpaulin for complete waterproofing.

It is designed to be held to the bike using bungee cords or straps but comes with a useful external mesh pocket as well as built-in bungee cords for holding items such as as waterproofs.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Hi-viz finish
  • Pocket and net

Cons

  • Hard to get to contents when fixed to bike

Another simple cylindrical rollbag, this one from Givi features a PVC tarpaulin outer with welded seams and four fixing D-rings on the base to allow straps to hold it on though like many others, bungee cords or straps would work just as well.

It uses a roll-closure with buckles to hold the two ends together and there is a carry handle under the closure, as well as a shoulder strap to carry like a duffel bag.

Pros

  • Simple and effective
  • Waterproof
  • Carry handle and strap

Cons

  • Tricky to access contents when on bike
Price: $117.49

This PVC tarpaulin bag is designed as a holdall rather than a pure rollbag but it still uses a roll-closure for waterproofing, with end straps as well as over-the-top straps to ensure water stays out.

The handles join to form a useful carry handle and it comes with a shoulder strap as well. There is an external pocket for a business card, it has a capacity of 35 litres and it comes with four looped quick-release straps to fix it to the bike.

Pros

  • Holdall design
  • Access contents when on bike
  • Fixing straps included

Cons

  • Expensive

This rollbag from Kappa is huge 40 litres and should hold plenty of kit for a trip away. It is a similar design to others end-loading cylindrical design with roll closure and strap fastening and includes a grab handle by the roll closure and it also comes with a shoulder strap.

It fixes to the bike with elastic straps that are included and the bright orange PVC tarpaulin helps with visibility in bad conditions.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Huge capacity
  • Good value

Cons

  • Tricky to get into when on bike

How MCN tests products

At MCN, our team of expert journalists have decades of experience gained over hundreds of thousands of miles. We don’t test our kit to destruction; we use it exactly how you do, in the real world and in all conditions. That means we can deliver impartial buying advice you can rely on.

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