Roomy, light, durable, waterproof, aerodynamic and comfortable. These are only some of the characteristics that come to mind when we think about motorcycle backpacks. And for a good reason! Anything you wear on a motorcycle can drastically affect your ride, for better or worse, yet most of the time we have no choice but to carry our luggage on our backs.
I've used many different packs over the years, but never one specifically designed for motorcycle riding. That's until the fine people at XL Moto have sent me one of their Course aerodynamic backpacks for testing. I didn't think much of it, but right out of the box it has surprised me with how extremely lightweight the shell shaped bag was. Going through the finish and the details, it looked well crafted, so I decided to give it a go.
The bag is constructed around it's outer shell which keeps it's form and structure, while the main zipper is closer to your back, and cannot be accessed while the bag is being worn - good safety feature.
It has an internal laptop pocket and a couple of smaller mesh pockets on the inside, for loose small items. The main compartment is fairly big, and can easily fit a folded jacket, a change of clothes and some other items as well. Infact, the bag is so roomy, thanks to the shape of its shell, that I used it as my only luggage on a week long trip to Russia. Yeah.
The outer shell is solid, but not completely hard, and it's decorated with a cool hexagonal pattern. I've used this bag in the rain and snow and never once had the things inside get wet, so it's reasonably waterproof as well. Although I wouldn't ride with it in the pouring rain if I had electronics inside, better get a cover if pouring rain is a regular occurrence for you.
Most importantly: thanks to its construction, even when fully loaded, the bag feels light on the back and the weight is nicely distributed by the wide straps. On the bike, the bag is barely noticeable, and there's literally no flapping around at highway speeds.
I think this backpack is truly a find, so much so that I now use it as my regular go-to backpack. But what makes this good backpack even better, is the price. You simply can't find similar good, quality backpacks at this price point, and it's a fact. The bag retails at around 50 Euros but can be found at prices that range between 9.99€ and 19.99€ on the XL Moto website.
My overall score for this one, including the price factor, is a solid 9 out of 10! 🏁