Saddle bags definitely have a time and place, but they aren’t always to everyone’s tastes. Enter the Kriega US line of tail bags. Kriega sets the standard for soft tail bags with its US Drypack line. The first time I saw them I immediately fell in love with their minimalist look, a blend of function and discreet style that Kriega has nearly perfected with of its products.
The aesthetics of the US-20 define the utilitarian genre for motorcycle luggage. This bag is the benchmark against which most tails bags are compared, so it’s not surprising that there are imitators. Where the company separates itself from the copy-cats is materials and build quality. From the waterproof fabric to the durable buckles and straps, the US-20 is built to last. Every piece of the bag serves a purpose and thanks to the quality of the materials, it looks good from every angle.
A classic example of ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, the build quality of the US-20 is surpassed only by the functionality the materials create. The functions of the bag are simple, with the most important being keeping your stuff dry. My US-20 has been through many wet days and my laptop has stayed safe from the wet threat that is the Pacific Northwest. This is made possible by the always-reliable roll top design coupled with a completely waterproof liner.
On the inside is a bright white, removable liner, a revelation when it comes to finding small items inside the bag’s cavernous 20-liter capacity. The amount of light that reflects within the bag makes you wonder why all luggage doesn’t come with this ingenious design, and it’s machine washable (so even if it does get filthy, it doesn’t stay filthy). Of course, the US line offers various sizes, and the ability to stack multiple bags means you have the flexibility of the US-20 for short trips and the option of strapping on another bag for additional space on longer journeys.
Having used the US-20 for a few seasons, I can attest to ruggedness of the build quality. Granted, I haven’t dragged the bag behind my car for a few miles (the ultimate test in durability), but what I have done is use it as any sane person would. This bag goes with me whenever I ride. Whether it be stuffed to the brim or cinched down tight, it never gets a day off. With daily abuse, the bag still looks new; there’s very little appreciable wear, no fraying, and no blown stitching. Even after washing the liner, there isn’t a loose thread in sight.
There are other tail bags with more features. There are also more cost effective bags out there for the truly budget concious. But every single thing the US-20 does, it does very well. It’s a great balance of cost and functionality that I think can’t be beat. Like a worn in pair of Danner boots, you’ll learn to depend, trust, and count on this bag… and that sort of thing doesn’t come along everyday.
Photos via:Essential Moto