I needed a large bag that could carry nine days worth of clothes and riding gear for my ride to Spiti, last month. The bag had to be impervious to the rain I was bound to encounter, and secure mounting to the bike was paramount, considering the terrain I’d be facing. The Dirtsack Frogman tail bag seemed up to the task.
This is basically a big. 50-litre yellow PVC dry bag that attaches to the bike using a separate harness. The black harness is built using tough 900D Nylon and the whole thing folds into a very compact form when you need to stow it away at home. Installing the bag onto the harness is fairly straightforward, once you understand the logic of the system, but watching the Dirtsack instructional video on YouTube helps.
First, you need to pack the bag, close the top using the Velcro band and squeeze all the air out. Then, as with any dry bag, you will want to roll the top two (or ideally three) times and click it onto the harness using the snap-fit buckles on either side. Once this first connection is made, three additional straps from the harness snap into each other along the top of the dry bag, creating a secure connection between the two. Then you place the bag onto the tail of your motorcycle and use the four supplied straps to tie it down to the bike. Different bikes offer different mounting points, but you should be able to find something secure to anchor the bag onto most motorcycles. If you do it right, the bag stays firmly in place. It never moved over whole days of high-speed touring and stayed secure even when the Tiger railed through rough roads. The Frogman is simple, tough and really effective. I quickly grew to trust
that the bag was secure and that the rain wasn’t getting anywhere near my belongings.
However, this straightforward nature means you don’t get too many frills. There’s one external pocket on the harness, which is good for a tool kit; I also use it to stow the four straps when the bike isn’t in use – you definitely don’t want to lose those. But if you want to access something in the bag on the go, you will have to undo all the straps, open the dry bag and then re-do the entire process. The bag can’t be locked either – that’s worth keeping in mind if you plan to fly somewhere with the bag and then get on a motorcycle. The Frogman is also quite large and, while the Tiger never noticed it, my 390 Duke’s front-end starts to feel light and fidgety at very high speeds because of all the air caught by the bag at the back.
For its intended purpose, the Frogman is solid and dependable, and I’m really glad I had it on this trip. At its price, it makes for great value as well, if you intend to be on the road for more than a couple of days.
Price: Rs 4,100