Best Motorcycle Tail Bags [TOP 5 FOR 2021]
What is the best motorcycle tail bag on the market in 2021? With the number of options to choose from deciding which is the right one for you can be difficult.
Do you opt for a 100% waterproof design, or are you happy using a rain cover. There are roll-tops with buckles or maybe you would prefer a full zipper design. You might even require a quick-release tail bag.
And then there are the important subjects of storage capacity and budget. Is your head spinning yet? Well, to help you in your search we have carefully selected 5 top-rated models currently available.
For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For an in-depth review of each of our picks, plus a detailed buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
Top 5 Best Motorcycle Tail Bags
Motorcycle Tail Bags Reviews
We have selected the following tail bags in an effort to provide a cross-section of options that will appeal to different needs.
Each bag can be rated based on price point, construction quality and materials used, extra features included and other important details.
Based on these criteria and more, the following are what we consider to be some of the best motorcycle tail bags on the market today.
1. TOP PICK: Nelson-Rigg Black CL-1060-S Sport Tail/Seat Bag
The Nelson-Rigg CL-1060-S is our top pick tail bag in 2021 for good reason.
It’s high-quality construction, affordable price point and 16.41-liter capacity (22.26 liters expanded) make it an ideal solution for light motorcycle travel.
Furthermore, if you already own a tank bag, this is a great way of adding a little extra carriage volume to your bike.
The Nelson-Rigg tail bag can be easily attached to most tail sections and seats. This is done via self-adjusting hooks that connect the bag using soft ties to the rear of your motorcycle.
The tri-Max ballistic nylon (complete with Fibertech accents and reflective piping for greater night-time visibility) gives the bag a sturdy, hardwearing exterior while helping it maintain shape no matter the riding conditions.
The lined interior will keep your belongings safe and secure, with adjustable compartment sections in order to better organize your storage.
In true Nelson-Rigg fashion, priority has been taken to ensure that the bag will withstand off-road, adventure-style riding too.
The reverse coil zippers are designed to prevent dust and dirt from clogging the mechanism. When you need fast access to your belongings, these zippers continue to work smoothly even when caked in mud.
Furthermore, the zipper features a lockable hi-density rubber pulls, making the bag easy to open while wearing rider’s gloves.
Other great design features include an expandable top section for increased storage, a flush mount carry handle and a shoulder strap for convenient carry once removed from your motorcycle.
The bag benefits from a lifetime warranty and a nifty little rain cover too.
Overall, the Nelson-Rigg CL-1060-S is a top-quality tail bag that ticks all the right boxes. Good carry capacity, easy to mount, even easier to open and all the features you need to safely organize your belongings. Add all that to the superior build and you have a worthy number one pick for 2021.
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2. Viking Bags Sport Bike Universal Fit Motorcycle Tail Bag (Large)
The Viking Bags Sport Bike Universal Tail bag is a generously sized option and is worth considering if maximum volume capacity is a priority for you.
Coming in at 14″ x 10″ x 10 under the large configuration, you can certainly fit a number of your belongings in the bag for hitting the road on longer journeys. (Want to decrease that slightly a medium-sized model is available measuring 8.5″ x 16″ x 9”).
Build quality is taken care of with the heavy-duty Cordura exterior on the medium model. For the large Bag polyester coated with heavy-duty PVC has been used.
The interior of the tail bag has soft lining in order to keep your belongings padded and secure. There’s also a detailed organizer to keep things held in place.
Connection to the motorcycle is made easy via self-adjusting hooks. Similar to the Nelson-Rigg, these hooks attach the tail bag to the bike using the included soft ties.
The base of the bag is rubberized in order to prevent any unwanted abrasion against your bike.
The Viking tail bag features reflective piping for increased nighttime visibility. There’s also an adjustable shoulder/tether strap included with the bag for easy carry once removed from the motorcycle.
Finally, a rain cover is included in order to keep everything nice and dry once the rain starts to fall.
The Viking Bags universal tail bag has a lot going for it. Affordable, with generous volume capacity in both the medium and large models this is an adequate choice for those needing extra storage while on the road.
However, lacking the build quality and features of the likes of the Nelson-Rigg make it fall short of that and others in our top 5.
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3. PREMIUM PICK: Wolfman Luggage M803 – Peak Tail Bag
Our top choice premium tail bag for 2021 is the Wolfman Luggage M803. Wolfman need no introduction, as an industry leader for motorcycle luggage solutions, these guys know what they are doing.
And that Wolfman quality is more than evident in the M803 tail bag.
Designed as a daily use bag, the wedged-shaped construction on this particular model fits a wide range of motorcycles.
The bag features several mounting options, giving the versatility to connect it to the rear rack or the motorcycle seat. For the former, just use the adjustable straps, for the latter, connect the hooks to the underside of the seat lip.
Dimensions are more than adequate for short journeys and day use. Under standard configuration the Wolfman has 8-liter capacity; expanded configuration and you squeeze 11 liters out of it.
The durable zipper is designed to be easy to open no matter the conditions (and dirt levels). Two, large pull tags make it possible to operate the zipper while wearing cumbersome motorcycle gloves.
And then you have the high-quality Wolfman construction. Superior materials and stitching have been used to manufacture the bag and that really comes across in the look and feel of the M803.
Placing your belongings inside and you feel reassured that everything is safe and secure. And while it is only water resistant rather than completely waterproof, a rain cover is available separately.
The Wolfman M803 is a high quality tail bag that is our top premium choice for 2021 for good reason.
The superior materials and stitching that has gone into constructing the bag are evident as soon as you clap eyes on it. The heard-wearing zippers, and great expandability and mounting options make this an easy choice for those with the budget.
Bare in mind it is on the small side with only 11 liters at full capacity however.
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4. Riding Tribe Motorcycle Tail Bag
The Riding Tribe Tail Bag is another worthy entry in our top 5 review round up. Designed as a motorcross style tail bag this model is built with hard-wearing, longevity as a priority.
Constructed from durable, high-quality PU leather the bag can comfortably be used on a rainy day without the need for an extra rain cover. (The manufacturers state that a cover should be used in heavy rain, however).
Capacity is okay with the measurements coming in at 30(L)*21(H)*28(W)cm. The tail bag is lightweight however, at only 0.48KG while empty.
As with all the tail bags in our top 5, this offering from Riding Tribal is very easy to mount. Simply tie the bag to the motorcycle seat or rack with the included straps, and then hold fast using the 4 robust buckles.
Despite the fact this tail bag is pitched as a Motorcross style model, it is very multifunctional. The universal shape and mounting system mean that it can fit most motorcycles, from dirt bikes to dual sport and endure.
However, should you be in doubt you can contact the customer service department from the Amazon sales page for more details.
The Riding Tribe Motorcycle Tail Bag is a great choice for those looking for an affordable and durable storage luggage solution for their bike.
However, lacking the features and finesse of some of the other bags in our top 5, this option does seem rather basic in comparison.
5. Chase Harper USA 4000 Aeropac Tail Bag
The Chase Harper USA 4000 is another premium style tail bag to make our top 5 in 2021.
The list of benefits you get by spending the extra money on buying a more expensive model is clear here, however.
Let’s start with the made in the USA lifetime warranty. Yes, you will be dipping into your pocket further with the initial outlay, however, that is some peace of mind.
It also demonstrates just how confident Chase Harper is in their product. They know first hand that it is built to last.
And let’s take a closer look at the construction. Industrial Grade Ballistic 1680D Urethane-Coated Nylon has been used to build the tail bag. This is water and tear-resistant and is integral to the overall durability of the model.
Maximum capacity is impressive and actually one of the largest in our top 5 at 19.6 liters.
A standard bungee mounting system has been used, meaning everything is easy to mount across a broad range of motorcycle styles.
To ensure that the surface of your motorcycle remains in tip-top condition, the base of the bag is lined with a non-abrasive vinyl material.
The list of premium benefits continues once you lift the lid and take a look on the inside. Neat little touches such as a key fob hook, a full-length mesh pocket with hook and loop openings for extra security for your items. Thermoplastic design so that the bag holds shape even when empty.
Turn to the outside and you have an external mesh zipper pocket for easy access; bungee crisscross fasteners across the top complete with adjustable tab-locks and a front handle for easy carry once the tail bag is removed from the bike.
The bag also features s highly visible reflective strips for added safety while night-time riding.
The Chase Harper USA 4000 Aeropac Tail Bag was very nearly our top pick premium option for 2021. It comes extremely close to the Wolfman in terms of quality.
In fact, if you are looking for maximum capacity (19.6 liters is on offer for here), with superior build quality and features, this is the tail bag to buy.
What to Look for When Buying a Motorcycle Tail Bag
Hopefully the above tail bag options will have helped narrow down your search to which model you would like to buy.
If, however, you wish to do further research there are a number of issues you should consider before purchasing a tail bag for your motorcycle.
Let’s take a look at some of them now.
Storage capacity is the number one thing you should be thinking about when buying a motorcycle tail bag.
This is directly related to the type of riding you do and what you need the tail bag for.
If you plan on lots of long-distance journeys where maximum capacity is a must, you should, therefore, look to find a bag offering 20 liters or more.
You may only use your motorcycle for a short commute and need just enough space for daily necessities. A smaller capacity volume bag in this instance would be the way to go.
Also, think about what other storage options you already have on the bike. If you normally use a tank bag, and the tail bag will be used for overflow, again a smaller volume would probably suffice.
You also need to think about a useful capacity. The shape is important here, along with compartment sizes, etc. How easily will you be able to fit in the kind of items you plan to carry?
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How stable is the bag on the bike? While this will be difficult to know until you actually ride with it in place, user reviews can help a lot here.
Seek out other rider’s views on the bag you are interested in. Also, if buying online does it look as if the strapping and mounting method is robust and reliable?
On a heavy load, with the mounting mechanism be up to the job in hand? A bag that is prone to movement is actually a danger to you and other road users.
Research how the bag is connected to the motorcycle and ensure it lives up to the standards you would expect for safe and comfortable riding.
Ease of installation
This is a continuation of the above point. You want a system of mounting that is easy to do while being ultimately secure.
Some tail packs have a mounting system that is permanently fitted to the bike; the bag then clips on. These are usually very reliable but a generally bike model specific and can be easy to steal.
Other bags are fitted to the bike using permanently attached straps. These are less convenient, however, would-be thieves have a more difficult time.
Is it waterproof?
For convenience, a 100% waterproof bag is always better. That being said, most tail bags today will state that they are water-resistant.
This basically means you are okay in light rain and water being splashed from the road but will need a rain cover in wetter conditions.
As long as a suitable rain cover is provided, you should have no problems.
Quick-release fasteners for easy access to your belongings, side pockets, reflective piping for extra visibility all of these features are worth looking out for when buying a tail bag.
Premium bags will generally have all of this (alongside high-quality materials used for the bag construction) which is why it is often worth paying extra for the initial outlay.
That being said, if a budget option has some of the features you need, or maybe you like to keep things nice and simple, without extra embellishment.
Either way, take a look at the specs and be aware of what is available and then make a decision on what features are important to you.
That way, you will be able to buy exactly the right tail bag for your needs.
It is worth paying attention to the material the tail bag is made from. Generally, this will be a direct reflection of the overall quality and the level of water resistance.
You will find that most brands use some type of ballistic nylon because this offers superior tear and water resistance.
You might also find that a bag has detailing and accents made from leather or PU leather. This adds to the styling. However, bags heavy on leather will often come with a higher price tag.
If it is clear that the motorcycle tail bag is not made of waterproof material, you will need to purchase a rain cover to have on standby when the heavens open.
A good sturdy lock on the tail bag will help prevent two things; the first is it will keep everything safe as you ride along the road. A heavy bump will not cause your belongings to suddenly fly out and end up beneath the wheels of a truck.
Secondly, of course, is to protect your stored items when you are away from your motorcycle. A bag with locking capabilities will ensure wandering hands do not try to steal your belongings.
For added safety, a tail bag with reflective strips is always a bonus.
The position of a tail bag on the rear of the motorcycle, make it an excellent place to provide greater visibility. And the more you can increase this, the safer you will be.
Reflective strips on the back and side are what you should look for. A bag with an integrated lighting system is even better.
Finally, (and we touched on this briefly above) you will need to consider your budget and the price point you are willing to stretch too, in order to get the best motorcycle tail bag for you.
They vary in price widely (from as little as $30 to well over $200). Features, storage capacity, and materials used will also vary along that price range.
Essentially, you should buy a higher quality bag to meet your needs as you can afford.
Motorcycle Tail Bag FAQ’s
Here is a list of tail bag FAQs that should help you in your search
Q. What is a motorcycle tail bag?
A motorcycle tail bag is an accessory that can be attached to the tail or rear seat of your motorbike. It is used for storage and often comes in a backpack style.
Tail bags come in a variety of sizes and styles, with different storage capacities and features.
Q. Are motorcycle tail bags a universal fit?
Tail bags or packs generally use a strap system. This allows them to be safely attached to the motorbike’s pillion area.
Some tail bags are designed for you to mount retaining straps to the bike’s subframe. This then allows you to clip your tail pack onto these straps.
Because some of these systems use quick-release buckles and other brands do not, you cannot say that tail bags are a universal fit.
However, the fact a tail bag can and will mount to any motorcycle with sufficient space at the rear, means that, in this sense, they are universal.
Q. Are all motorcycle tail bags waterproof?
Most tail bags offer a level of water resistance, however, they are not universally waterproof.
Even the most robust, self-declared waterproof tail bag, if exposed to driving rain and road splashback all day long, will let some water in.
For this reason, it is always recommended that you have a waterproof rucksack liner ready to keep your items watertight should the rain start.
Q. Do motorcycle tail bags require a frame or rack?
Most tail bags do not require a frame of the rack in order to mount to your motorcycle.
As covered in the question of universal fit, most tail bags can be fitted to your bike’s subframe.
In instances where you already have a rack or additional frame, you should consult the specifications of the tail bag to ensure you will be able to fit them as desired.