Different Types of Motorcycle Bags

When you need to pack for a riding trip, it’s not as straightforward as filling a small suitcase and strapping it to the rear of your bike. A backpack might serve the purpose, but it limits the storage space and convenience you need on a long journey. You need modern motorcycle bags and riding gear to go the distance. We’re talking about bike top cases, saddle bags, panniers, duffle bags, riding backpacks and tank bags to make your rides a breeze. It’s time to explore some of these cool motorcycle riding gear options as we help you in understanding the different types of Motorcycle Bags you can buy before your next road trip.

Get the Right Gear – Understanding the Different Types of Motorcycle Bags

To find the best motorcycle bags, you need to consider your bike model, mounting options and travel needs, general riding style and also your price range. The perfect bike travel gear can make your travels more convenient, safe and adaptable for a wide variety of situations. 

Read on as we outline each type of motorcycle bag and explain why it is the best bet for your next ride.

Before we dive in, check out our recommended list of best Carbonado bags in this comprehensive review.  

Pannier Bags – The Essential Motorcycle Luggage

Riders who are touring, camping, or just need extra luggage space, often use pannier bags which are mounted on either side of the motorcycle towards the rear. They open up so much extra space so that riders don’t have to deal with backpacks or heavy luggage strapped onto the motorcycle.

Mounted on either side of your bike using a special rack attached to the frame. So you get the best riding position, balance and handling even when fully loaded. They’re designed to keep your gear secure and easily accessible.

Motorcycle Pannier Bag Pros

Leather, metal or synthetic fabric motorcycle pannier bags are a must-have for any rider who is looking for more storage space, convenience and practicality. They’re designed to carry all your essentials without missing a beat. Choose the right pannier bag & hit the road with confidence.

  • Pannier bags are easy to handle. They also offer a professional look and solid durability.
  • The price varies but you won’t get a better storage solution for the money you invest in a Pannier bag,
  • Good storage space – Soft exterior pannier bags can be rolled up or laid flat for storage, whereas leather ones are metal ones provide more space. Pannier bags can hold between 30 to 50 litres
  • Pannier bags are compatible with a variety of bikes. They may require mounting brackets but give a secure fit.
  • They can be locked for added security.
  • Some pannier bags feature carry handles. They can be easily removed and carried
  • Pannier boxes provide good protection against rain, sun, wind, dust and debris.
  • Pannier bags are low maintenance.
  • They offer a classy and elegant look for your motorcycle.

Saddle Bags – Friendly Cargo Storage

Like their pannier bag cousins, saddle bags are also mounted on the sides of a motorcycle just behind the rider’s seat. But unlike Panniers which are often hard-cased and need mounting racks, saddle bags come with straps that fit around the seat. They sit low and snug and are made from relatively softer material that can flex and hold more items when you need to carry extra cargo.

Saddlebags come in many designs and each of these types of motorcycle saddlebags is a popular choice for riders looking to add storage space that can easily be uninstalled from their motorcycle when not required. They often come in pairs (but can be mounted on one side only if needed), and secured to the bike using straps / mounting systems. Essentials like clothing, tools, and personal items, can easily fit in saddlebags making them ideal for long rides and everyday use.

Cool Points of Using Saddle Bags

  • Nice to store gear on the go. Spare clothes, tools, or snacks for the road are the most common items you’ll find in them. Everything stays organized and easily accessible.
  • A travel essential for long rides. Keep your rain gear handy in case it pours or sunscreen for a sunny ride.
  • Great for everyday use, like running around town or picking up grocery items from the supermarket. Simply throw your shopping bags in the saddle bags.
  • Camping, fishing, or hiking trips are incomplete without saddle bags. The perfect companions for outdoor adventures when you need a tent, sleeping bag, and other camping gear.
  • Saddle bags can make your ride to work more convenient and enjoyable. Store your laptop, documents, and other work essentials in the bags.

Hydration Backpacks – Never Run Out Of Water

Every rider needs a hydration backpack to stay cool with a refreshing drink on a long ride. These essential accessories are designed to keep you hydrated during any outdoor activity, from hiking to biking and camping. They feature convenient reservoirs, ergonomic designs, secure straps, easy sip pipes and thermal insulating pouches to maintain your drink temperature. What’s better than hydration on the move, to stay fueled and focused?

Carbonado hydration backpacks are the best in the business as they are lightweight and can hold up to 2 litres of water. They get an enhanced weight balance design for improved comfort and a quick-release system for extra convenience.

Pros of Hydration Bladders

  • Keeps you hydrated on the move. No more stopping for a drink break.
  • Hands-free hydration with easy sip pipes and weight weight-balanced pack. 
  • Extra compartments are available to store essentials in an organized way.
  • Comfort straps, adjustable harness and quick-release fasteners.
  • Breathable fabrics keep you and your drink cool.
  • Enhance safety with reflectors for visibility during night driving.

Messenger Bags – Versatile Storage

Messenger bags are stylish & practical, featuring a shoulder strap that fits across the body. These bags are ideal for carrying your essentials with easy access to the main compartment with a foldable cover. You get big space for laptops, documents, and other items on the go. 

Advantages of Messenger Bags

  • Plenty of room for essentials
  • Adjustable Straps
  • Durable for daily use.
  • Stylish yet classic design 
  • Easy access to items
  • Good for carrying laptops
  • Can be used for office 
  • Ergonomic and secure – keeps items safe and in place.

Tail Bags for road-touring motorcycles

Tail bags are fitted on the rear end of the bike, just behind the pillion rider. Its perfect for long rides, offering ample storage space and easy mounting options. Tail bags are made with durable materials, and keep your belongings stay safe and secure.

Likes for Tail Bags

  • High capacity and durable
  • Fits on any motorcycle with minimal effort.
  • Weatherproof
  • Some have comfort features with extra padding for lower back support
  • Secure fastening and easy access
  • Removable – Facilitates off-bike portability

Duffle Bags – The Dual Purpose Motorcycle Bag

The go-to choice for riders who have a busy lifestyle and need to carry things wherever they go. Duffle bags have the advantage of attaching to your bike (using straps or mounted on a rack) and can be easily detached when you head off to work, hit the gym, or decide on a weekend camping adventure.

A cool feature of duffle bags is they are made from either genuine leather or durable synthetic fabrics. No cheap liners or plastics are used. What you get is a comfortable feel and long-lasting durability.

Duffle bags have adjustable straps to sling them over your back while riding. This customisable feature is for comfort and makes carrying heavy loads a breeze. With spacious, organised and large pockets, you have ample storage space for all your belongings. And duffle bags come with features like rain covers to protect your gear from the elements.

Duffle Bags Likes

  • Large capacity means you can pack your gear, clothes, and even your laptop with ease.
  • The high-quality exterior materials look good and are built to last.
  • Adjustable straps give you the option to carry them over your shoulder or easily mount them on the rear of your bike.
  • These bags are versatile for all riders and can be used with side panniers or on their own

Tank Bags – Gear Up for New Adventures 

If you are tired of juggling your essentials while riding (we’re talking about your smartphone when you try to use GPS) then you need to install a tank bag to save the day. It’s not only for using your devices, you can also store keys, wallets, ID cards, documents and other small items on your tank for easy access. They have provisions for filling petrol without removing the bag too.

Plus, tank bags secure to your bike tank using durable straps, magnetic locks and sturdy fasteners, which are adjustable. So they are suitable for all types of bike models and tank shapes. With a touchscreen-sensitive cover, you can even browse through your phone while stuck in traffic. Tank bags are also waterproof and weather-resistant so you are always ready for action.

Pros of Tank Bags

  • Tank bag offers hard-shell exteriors for top-notch protection of your valuables. Items stay safe and secure even on rough rides.
  • Tank bags have water-tight seams, water-resistant fabrics and dry zipper, keeping your gear away from rainy weather.
  • Adjustable straps on tank bags are versatile. You can easily convert this tank bag into a side sling bag / waist bag or even a backpack.
  • They boast ample storage space, more than enough for your phone, wallet, or a spare change of clothes.
  • Safety is key with tank bags. They get reflective details so you stay visible on the road for a safe ride day or night.
  • Tank bag offers easy access to your belongings in a hurry. Focus on the ride ahead without any hassles.

Tank Pouch – Versatile Storage for Riders

Tank Pouches are similar to tank bags and serve the same purpose. They offer a convenient storage solution & easy access to essential items while on the road. Fitted on the tank, riders usually use them to carry documents, wallets, and even mobile devices. It’s a must-have for any rider.

Likes for Tank Pouches

  • High durability
  • Some come with a touch-friendly pocket for mobile usage
  • Universal fit
  • Weather resistance
  • Secure Mounting – Fits every motorcycle
  • Easy access for quick retrieval of items
  • Compact cousin of the tank bag –  Does not obstruct riding experience.

Motorcycle Backpacks – Rider’s Best Friend

Motorcycles have the disadvantage of not having any storage space, which is why we rely on saddlebags, panniers, tank bags and duffle bags to carry essentials. However, they all need to be mounted on the bike in some way and are therefore not the best travel solution in certain cases.

Riding backpacks are a game changer in this sense. They strap onto your back, designed to provide convenient and secure storage for all your essentials on the move. Unlike regular backpacks, motorcycle backpacks are specifically tailored for the demands of riding, providing good ergonomic support, comfort, safety, and functionality.

Use them for daily commuting to carry laptops, documents and other accessories having quick access to your items. Weekend rides are also perfect for riding backpacks. Long road trips require an extra set of clothes and some personal items too, making them versatile and indispensable for every rider.

Some Cool Features of Motorcycle Backpacks

  • They usually have waterproof construction. Your belongings stay dry in any weather with waterproof materials including sealed zippers.
  • Streamlined shapes and aerodynamic design reduce drag, wind noise and increases stability.
  • You get adjustable straps, and versatile buckles that allow for secure attachment to your back.
  • Ergonomic straps and sternum buckles for a comfortable, custom fit.
  • Attach them to your bike using appropriate fasteners and bungee tie-downs to prevent shifting during rides.
  • Rigid hard shell protection protects fragile items from impacts and shocks. Good for carrying laptops to the office and cameras for adventures.
  • Multiple quick access compartments for efficient organization of your gear. No need to unpack.
  • Padded sections keep your electronics safe and secure.
  • Some motorcycle backpacks have Built-in Charging Ports (integrated USB ports) for on-the-go charging.
  • Reflectors enhance visibility for safer night rides.
  • Ventilated Back Panels keep you cool and comfortable with breathable materials that allow air circulation.
  • Some models offer expandable compartments for more storage when needed. They tuck away with a zipper.
  • Riding backpacks often feature insulated pouches to keep drinks cold or food warm.
  • The best feature is a sleek, modern style that complement your ride and your personality when you carry it along.

Gaming Laptop Bags – Travel Gear For Gamers

Gaming laptop backpacks are a great travel solution for gamers who need to carry their gear on the two-wheeler. Standout features of gaming laptop backpacks include ergonomic designs with padded straps, and hardshell exteriors with memory foam back panels providing extra comfort during long trips and daily commutes. You can get gaming laptop bags to suit all laptop sizes, however, they might not be ideal for extended travels because of the accessories that may add to backpack weight. Keyboards, battery packs etc may be heavy and add strain to your shoulders over time. 

Pros of Gaming Laptop Backpacks

  • Padded straps for added comfort
  • Multiple compartments for organized storage of all gamin accessories 
  • Cushioned compartments protect laptops from bumps
  • Built-in USB charging ports 
  • Versatile for gaming, work, school & travel
  • Sleek – appeals to tech enthusiasts
  • Adjustable straps distribute weight of even heavy laptops

Bike Top Case – Best Riding Companion

The most common type of motorcycle bag you will see is the bike top case – top on the list for convenience. Delivery bikes have been using these types of motorcycle travel cases because they free up space while adding extra cargo-carrying capabilities.  Bike top cases feature a sleek, sturdy box right on the back of your bike, behind the rear pillion seat.

They are usually mounted on a rack that attaches to the bike frame. This type of riding bag is always ready to swallow up all your essentials, helmet, riding gear, gloves, boots, etc. It’s good for daily drives, cross-country adventures or just zipping around the city to get your weekly groceries.

Bike Top Box Pros

  • These spacious storage accessories can carry everything you need, with capacities ranging from 20 to 50 litres.
  • Equipped with robust locking systems, top cases keep your gear safe and secure. Plus, they’re weather-resistant in rain or sunshine.
  • Not a boring case. Modern top cases come with aerodynamic shapes and nice colours, some even have integrated brake lights.
  • Top cases open up for easy access, unlike saddle bags and panniers. Just pop it open & grab what you need.
  • Top cases are perfect for all types of riders.
  • Some top cases double up as a backrest for the pillion
  • Doesn’t affect bike balance as it is centred on the frame
  • Usually comes with universal mounting racks for all bikes & scooters.

Bike top cases are very convenient storage solutions for essential gear. They are practical and stylish, and make your rides more enjoyable. A top case is a must-have accessory for any rider.

Motorcycle Frame Bags – The Compact Storage Solution

Frame bags for motorcycles are compact, sleek, and incredibly handy. They are designed to neatly tuck within your bike’s frame, the perfect way to carry essentials without the bulk. Giving you a bit more storage space without sacrificing style or aerodynamics.

Riders use motorcycle frame bags for stashing tools, spare parts, first aid kits, documents and other small items. They keep your gear secure and easily accessible, so you can focus on enjoying the road. A big advantage is the balanced weight distribution and improved stability.

Motorcycle Frame Bag Pros

  • You’d be hard-pressed to find a frame bag that looks bulky or out of place. They’re all about streamlined storage.
  • There’s no better way to quickly grab your tools, spare parts, or first aid kit.
  • Durable and water resistant to withstand the elements. Your gear stays safe and dry.
  • All the weight is centralized improving your bike’s handling.
  • They fit seamlessly with your bike’s design, adding function without sacrificing form.
  • Ideal for carrying smaller items
  • They maximise space and efficiency. Frame bags are very practical, durable, and add a touch of style to your bike.

Tactical bags for Riding

Tactical bags are versatile, multi-purpose bags designed for riders with an active lifestyle. They can be used as sling bags, thigh bags, or waist bags, thanks to their adjustable straps that fit in a myriad of positions on the body. These bags offer ample storage & easy access to your essentials during rides.

Pros of Tactical Bags:

  • Versatile use. Straps can be adjusted to be used as sling, thigh, or waist bags.
  • High-quality fabric withstands daily wear and tear, weather elements, dust and rain.
  • Multiple spacious compartments for organized storage.
  • Lightweight: Perfect for wallets, keys and ID cards, documents, etc
  • Quick Acces easy reachable compartments 
  • Stays secure during rides.

What We Like Most in Each Type of Motorcycle Bag

Motorcycle BagLikesDislikes
Bike Top BoxSpacious, stylish & secure. A delivery guy’s best friend and now your perfect camping buddy. Top cases are the ultimate storage solution for riders, adding convenience & flair.Could hinder rear visibility. This may contribute to increased wind noise and drag if the box is not aerodynamically shaped.
Duffle BagVersatile, durable & spacious. Duffle bags are the perfect dual-purpose companions for riders & travellers with a busy lifestyle.More of an off-the-bike carrying luggage. Using a shoulder strap while riding could get tiresome.
Motorcycle Frame BagsSleek, practical & stylish. frame bags offer compact storage without sacrificing bike aesthetics or handling.Restricted space compared to the other motorcycle bags. Good for only small items.
Pannier BagsProfessional, spacious & secure heavy weight champions. Pannier bags provide durability for riders on long tours or everyday commutes.Requires installation of mounting brackets and racks to the frame. Not easy to remove.
Saddle BagsFlexible, convenient & practical. Saddle bags are the soft hearted cousin of panniers offering friendly storage that’s easy to install and remove.May shift or sway with loose strapping. Make sure to fill both sides equally for better balance.
Tank BagsProtective, versatile & accessible. Tank bags keep valuables safe and are the best option for smartphones on the go, with weather-resistant and touchscreen friendly usage.May need to be removed while refuelling fuel. Depends on the model you choose. Some have a fuel refilling pocket.
Riding BackpacksThe traditional way to carry things on a bike. Ergonomic & functional offering comfortable and secure storage.Not the best for long rides due to fatigue and discomfort of shoulder straps.

Motorcycle riding gear. Shop online for head-to-toe protection.


So, now you’ve become a pro at understanding the different types of motorcycle bags and figured the best way to zip through the city streets, exploring winding mountain roads, or embarking on cross-country odysseys. Reading this blog should have given you some great ideas on the right motorcycle bag to accompany you on every journey. Gear up, and hit the road with confidence.

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