Best Motorcycle Saddlebags [2021 REVIEW]
What are the best motorcycle saddlebags on the market today? There’s a wide range of brands, styles, and capacity bags available. Knowing which is right for you and your motorbike can be difficult.
You will clearly what something that will hold your belongings safely. Another important factor is secure mounting onto your motorcycle and of course, heat resistance against the exhaust.
To help you in your search we have selected 5 top-rated saddlebags across a range of price points and functionality.
For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For a detailed review of each of our picks plus a comprehensive saddlebag buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
Top 5 Best Motorcycle Saddlebags
TOP PICK:Nomad USALeather SlantedSaddlebags
16"Lx11"Hx6.5"WLeather (studded)Metal FrameHard Body
Classic AccessoriesMotoGear 73707Saddle Bags
5.5"Lx6.25"Wx10"HProtekX™ FabricZippered PocketsHeatShields
Diamond Plate2 Piece SetSaddlebag
14 ½”x13 ½”x8”Waterproof PVCStuds & Buckles
BEST BUDGET:StansportSaddle Bag
1,056 cubic-InchDuck CottonVinyl Backing
Viking AxeSaddlebagsSports Bikes
10.5″x10″x16″CorduraHeat ResistantReflective Piping
Motorcycle Saddlebag Reviews
We selected the following bags based on their cost/performance benefits, overall build quality, and other factors such as heat resistance and storage capacity.
In our investigation, we have chosen one top pick overall as well as our favorite low-priced option. There are also some premium bags reviewed for those with a larger budget. Our aim is to give you an insight into some of the best saddlebags currently available in 2021.
3. TOP PICK: Nomad USA Leather Studded Large Motorcycle Saddlebags
There are some very good reasons for this.
First, the high-quality, double synthetic leather is 100% waterproof making the saddlebags perfect for terrible weather.
The material is also hard-wearing and durable, meaning you will not need to replace the bags for a number of years, (in fact, aging actually makes the leather even more aesthetically pleasing with that characteristic worn look).
The dimensions are excellent at 16″ long x 11″ tall x 6.5″ wide. The Nomad USA saddlebags are also very convenient, buckling up to be safe and secure while still being easy to open should you need to pull belongings from the bag while in transit.
Overall build quality is great too. The bags are lined with a metal frame and hard inside body so that they maintain shape even while empty and fix securely across the saddle of your motorcycle.
You can also buy them in two distinct styles, simply braided or braided & studded design, (we happen to like the dual braid/stud motif the best).
The bags are sold in pairs, so there are no surprises on double the price come checkout. And did we mention they are really affordable too?
Overall the Nomad USA Leather Studded Large Motorcycle Saddlebags are an affordable, stylish, and hard-wearing set of bags that really do deliver.
Ample storage space, quick release buckles and a sturdy reinforced frame all make for a set of saddle bags that will go the distance. What more could you need? Our top pick for 2021 for good reason.
2. Classic Accessories MotoGear 73707 Motorcycle Saddle Bags
The Classic Accessories MotorGear 73707 saddle bags are a robust option made from heavy duty ProtekX™ Extreme fabric.
While that all sounds rather impressive what does it actually mean in practice? Well, high levels of water resistance for one. This hardwearing material will also ensure that your bags are not prone to scratching and abrasion from general use.
The dual set up is easy to attach to your motorcycle. The connection is made simple via rubberized grip straps, (so your bike does not get scratched) and quick-release buckles.
Access to your belongings is also convenient via the oversized zippers on the cargo compartments. It’s also no issue while wearing gloves because of the addition of large, easy-open handles.
And you will be able to fit a fair number of items inside too, with the overall dimensions of each bag coming in at 15.5” long, 6.25” wide, and 10” tall.
To protect the bags against the hot motor and exhaust, heat shield panels have been placed into the sides and bottoms of the bags.
The MotoGear 73707 has no issues when empty too. In order to maintain shape, the saddlebags are lined with foam panels. These also help protect your items from the vibrations of the road.
Finally, should the weather turn for the worse the bags feature a pull-out storm shield as well as reflective trim for higher visibility.
Oh, and Classic Accessories throw in a generous 2-year warranty for your troubles.
On the surface, the Classic Accessories MotoGear 73707 saddlebags are an excellent buy. Affordable, adequate storage is with some nice features to match.
However, the fact that some users have had problems with the rubber connecting straps is a potential issue you need to be aware of before making that purchasing decision.
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3. Diamond Plate 2 Piece Motorcycle Saddlebag Set
Diamond Plate 2 Piece Motorcycle saddlebag is another worthy addition to our top 5 for 2021.
Featuring high-quality waterproof PVC material, the bags will keep your belongings safe and dry in all weather conditions.
Storage capacity is very good with each saddlebag measuring 14 ½” by 13 ½” by 8”. When you need to pull items from the bags everything is made easy via the convenient top flap openings.
Fitting the bags to your motorcycle is equally as simple, with strap and hold based mounting.
From an aesthetic perspective you will not be disappointed either. Lined with chrome studs and oversized buckles that providing a satisfying pop against the black PVC, these bags definitely look great.
The Diamond Plate 2 piece motorcycle saddlebag set is a simple, yet effective solution to your saddlebag storage needs.
Waterproof, easily accessible and simple to mount these bags do everything you need. They don’t exude the quality of our top pick from Nomad USA, however at this price point you won’t be disappointed.
4. BEST BUDGET: Stansport Saddle Bag
Our top pick budget option for 2021 is the Stansport saddle bag. Obviously it hits the market from an affordability perspective, this bag set is at a very competitive price point.
However, do not be fooled that it is all cheap and cheerful here. The quality of the bag is still impressive.
The heavy-duty duck cotton bags come complete with a vinyl backing for extra protection.
However, it should be noted that the manufacturers warn that the bags should not come in direct contact with hot engine parts or exhaust due to fire risk. This can be avoided through careful mounting to your motorcycle mind you.
Storage capacity is good at 1,056 cubic-Inch. The bags feature two large pockets in total with double-strapped flap covers for easy access to belongings.
For durability and to help the bags maintain their shape while empty, each has been reinforced at all known stress points.
Finally, it is worth commenting on the aesthetic. The all black cotton styling gives the bags a refined finish that completely belies their low cost.
For a budget saddlebag option it is hard to fault this offering from Stansport. Good internal capacity with stylish black cotton finish and overall sturdy construction and you have what feels like a high quality bag at a very low price point
What more could you ask for?
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5. Viking Axe Motorcycle Saddlebags for Sports Bikes
The Viking Axe motorcycle saddlebags are another quality option at an affordable price point.
Made of heavy-duty Cordura the bags are sturdy and built to last. Unlike our top budget pick, they are also lined at the bottom with a heat-resistant material in order to prevent burn damage from the exhaust.
The storage space is very similar to most of our top 6 bags, coming in at 10.5″x10″x16″. This, of course, makes the Viking Axe saddlebags compatible with the majority of sports motorcycles on the road today.
The insides of the bags are lined with a soft material in order to protect your items. The back exterior of the bags is lined with rubber so that no harm comes to your motorcycle bodywork.
Easy access to your belongings is done via the dual quick-opening top zippers. Duraflex buckles and quick-release side straps ensure that everything is held firmly against the bike while being easy to remove should you need it. Each bag also has easy carry handles.
To increase safety levels while night-riding or riding in low visibility conditions, reflective piping has been used as part of the styling.
And to ensure that your belongings stay dry in adverse conditions, suitable rain covers are provided with each purchase.
Overall the Viking Axe Motorcycle Saddlebag is a strong and durable option for those riding sports bikes.
Made from head-wearing Cordura, the added details such as reinforced heat resistant bottoms, rubber backing and quick release straps make this a highly recommended purchase.
What to Look for When Buying a Motorcycle Saddlebag
There are a number of things you should consider before buying a saddlebag for your motorcycle.
Let’s take a look at them now.
As you can see from the reviews above, there are a few different types of materials used for the construction of a good saddlebag.
Some opt for leather (synthetic or real), nylon, corduroy and other types of hard-wearing fabrics.
While your aesthetic preference may help determine which style to go for, you should also think about durability and most of all water resistance.
Some materials will be more resistant than others, and if you do not want to pull out a rain cover for bad weather, a 100% water-resistant bag would be the direction to take.
The budget will also be a factor. A genuine leather saddlebag will clearly be more expensive than nylon or synthetic version.
However, a leather bag is likely to last you longer.
Beyond the level of quality, you get from the type of material used, there are other factors in the construction worth thinking about.
Is the bag reinforced in any way so that it holds shape while empty or is more robust in order to better protect your belongings?
A saddlebag with heat resistant bottoms or rear is also a benefit as the heat from the exhaust can be problematic.
Build quality is also important in relation to the components of the bag. Are they durable zippers or buckles, what about the straps that harness the nag to the bike.
These all need to be well made if you want the bag to remain safe to use for a number of years.
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The size of the saddlebag is also important. What is its carrying capacity? Your intended use will help determine what size bag you should aim to buy, (as is the size of your motorcycle).
If you have a large touring bike and aim to hit the road for long journeys, generally speaking, the bigger the bag the better.
Conversely, a smaller motorcycle that is used primarily for commuting might be better placed having a small capacity saddle bag fitted.
Think about the types of belongings you need to carry with you, and then buy a saddlebag with the capacity to match.
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Does a bag with extra external pockets interest you? Do you do a lot of night riding where reflective piping stitched into the bag would be a benefit?
You may need quick access to your belongings meaning a zipper closed bag would suit you better than a buckled bag.
Aesthetically would you prefer a studded model or something plainer?
These are all questions you can ask yourself before buying a saddlebag in order to determine the kind of bag you should be looking for.
Finally, there is the issue of price. What budget have you allocated in order to purchase the saddlebags?
A lower budget will limit your options however it is still more than possible to get a quality bag that will safely store belongs; just do your research and shop wisely, (the reviews above can help you with that).
A larger budget will increase your option, yet you should still consider what it is you need from the bag and buy accordingly.