Lasted updated: 19 October 2022
Table of Contents
- The Best Premium Tank Bags:
- The Best Mid-Range Tank Bags:
- The Best Budget Tank Bags:
One of my primary reasons for learning to ride a bike was the notorious freedom. I could think of nothing better than being able to get on a bike and take off towards the setting sun without a care in the world.
Of course, I know now that it doesn’t necessarily work like that. Because what I didn’t realise at the time was that everything bike-related is a compromise.
See, manufacturers of textile brands give you about 34,971 pockets to shove your stuff into. But what you don’t realise (until you try it) is just how comfortable this is.
There is always a phone delving into a rib. Or a house key in your pants pocket, digging into your leg. Or a leaking vape pen.
And whilst that secret pocket in your pants is a brilliant idea (in principle), it’s not so great when you have to start stripping off to get your damn wallet out.
This, dear reader, is when you realise that everything is a compromise. Sure, you don’t want luggage making a mess of the aesthetics of your bike. But you’re also tired of being accosted by your belongings.
Thus, a compromise is necessary.
The Best Tank Bags For Touring
When you start touring, this problem becomes even more of a chore. Your anxiety levels rise every time you reach a toll station as you desperately try to remember where you put your credit card.
And when you get through it, you shit yourself all over again when you approach the next toll booth. Because this is where you realise you need that little stub that you shoved in one of your many pockets an hour ago.
Eventually, you’ll conclude you need a workaround – something that can act as your pockets whilst keeping everything safe but still in reach.
Enter a tank bag!
So in this post, we’ll go through nine of the best tank bags for 2022. And to keep it accessible for everyone, we’ve included large, medium, and small tank bags in the premium, mid-range, and affordable price ranges.
Don’t Kid Yourself; Size Does Matter
Get your mind out of the gutter.
Of course, I’m talking about tank bags. And when it comes to tank bags, size does matter. And if you’re serious about riding, there is a chance you’ll end up with various tank bags for various purposes.
If you’re a regular tourer, you’re probably going to want a tank bag that is somewhat sizeable to accommodate your phone, wallet, keys, cash, power bank, maps, passport, and whatever else you need to hand.
But if you’re predominantly a commuting rider, you likely need a tank bag that is small and unobtrusive.
Another thing to consider is how rugged you need it to be. As a touring rider, your tank bag will get wet. And if you’re carrying your phone, passport, and cash in it, you need to make sure they won’t get a drenching.
But it’s not just the rain that presents a problem. Tank bags take a battering in all weathers – so sun, ice, and sand can be as much of a liability as the rain.
We need to know that our tank bag is resilient, protective, and dependable.
I’m a big believer in multipurpose touring gear. I want a tank bag that can be used as 1) a tank bag, 2) a tail bag, and 3) a shoulder bag.
An interchangeable tank bag means it can be used for multiple purposes. And that means carrying less stuff on tour.
But it also needs to be accessible. If you park up at a cafe, you want to be able to unclip the bag with ease and then carry it (and its contents) into the cafe with you.
So with that said, each of our listed tank bags will have a rating that accounts for size, ruggedness, ease of use, and an overall rating.
The Best Premium Tank Bags
If you’re a touring rider, it goes without saying that you need a tank bag that is large enough to carry your stuff.
But it also needs to be high quality to withstand the elements and have lots of features whilst maintaining accessibility.
In this section, we give you our top three Premium tank bags in large, medium, and small capacities.
Large Capacity: Givi UT810 Ultima-T TanklockED
Make no mistake about it – this is a big tank bag with a big price tag. It does everything you need and has every feature you can think of. So it’s a good job it’s currently on sale at SportsBikeShop!
If you have notes to burn and a lot of stuff to carry, this Givi tank bag is the one for you.
And if you’re a touring rider, you’ll be pleased to hear that this Italian brand had you in mind when they developed this tank bag.
We love that this tank bag is a part of Givi’s tank lock range. With the simple twist of a key, it’s locked into place – preventing any local ne’er-do-well’s from stashing your hard-earned kit whilst you’re off buying a gelato.
Size & Quality
Whilst 25 litres doesn’t sound a lot, let me assure you that it is! When you consider that there are panniers or top boxes with less capacity, it puts into perspective how much you can fit into this bag.
But it’s not all about size. It’s made from 1200D polyester, which means it’ll stand up to the torrid abuse from touring.
And if you’re worried about keeping your kit dry, this tank bag has a removable (transparent) rain cover, a removable waterproof inner bag (nice touch!), as well as a removable and waterproof tablet/map holder.
On the outside, you’ll find two side pockets and a front pocket – all of which have zips that are easily accessible whilst wearing gloves.
There is also a pocket in the rain cover for a phone/GPS.
As mentioned above, tank bags have to be interchangeable, or at the very least, multipurpose. And the UT810 doesn’t disappoint.
On one end, you’ll find a carry handle. And you can also attach the shoulder strap, which makes carrying it to and from the hotel a doddle.
For us, this is the best non-magnetic tank bag on the market.
Medium Capacity: SW-Motech Evo 2.0 City Electric Tank Bag
Is it unnecessary? Probably. But if you’re the kind of tourer who carries electricals and is always in need of a charger, it could very well be perfect!
Okay, so let’s address the obvious USP here. It connects directly to your battery – which means it can power/charge your electrical devices on the move – as well as carry your gear.
It’s a feature that you will either love or hate. And one that will either work brilliantly for you or not at all.
Electric gadgetry aside, the Evo 2.0 is a great looking bag. I especially like the understated styling of matte black with red accents – nothing more. As far as tank bags go, this one looks classy.
In terms of capacity, this SW-Motech tank bag is nowhere near as big as the Givi bag above. But if you’re purposely looking for a bag smaller than the Givi, it’s a quality medium-sized tank bag that expands from 11-15-litres.
Externally, there are three small pockets – large enough for a smartphone, a passport, or some cash. Internally, there are elasticated and zipped pockets – all neatly arranged.
The bag attaches to your bike by a quick-release system on the fuel cap. There is also a quick-lock pull strap for added security.
As you would expect for a premium SW-Motech product, it’s durable and weather-resistant, thanks to its 1620 ballistic nylon construction. And an extra waterproof layer is provided from the removable rain cover.
As with the Givi bag, the quick-release system is a doddle to use when you stop off for a break. Simply release the bag and use the robust carry handle or shoulder strap to carry it with you.
Small Capacity: Enduristan Sandstorm 4H
I’ve always had a thing for brands that pay attention to the little details. Apple. Keis. Fuji. And in the luggage world, Enduristan.
If you look at any luggage from Enduristan, you’ll see it was designed for adventure riders by adventure riders. Cosmetically, their gear is usually quite bland. But who cares? It’ll be full of mud in ten minutes away, right?
Functionally, however, it’s a whole different story. For example, Enduristan is one of the only brands that produce waterproof products without the need for additional covers.
In the case of the Sandstorm 4H, waterproofing comes from a three-layer construction. And that’s not to mention the waterproof map pocket and waterproof cable ducts.
Bright Red Interiors!
On the inside, you’ll find a fetching bright red interior – which both looks good and is functional by improving the visibility of items inside the bag. See what I mean? Little details!
Speaking of the inside, there’s a fold-away separator in the main compartment, a zipped pocket on the separator itself, and another zipped pocket in the main compartment.
There’s also a removable document pouch in the main compartment, complete with a pen holder, mesh pocket, and key ring.
It’s easy to fit – and quick to remove. All the straps are included in the package, and Enduristan has done a pretty good job of making a system that has no flapping straps.
Lastly, just because Enduristan makes products for off-road bikes, that doesn’t mean you can’t use them on road bikes. The Sandstorm 4H, for instance, fits most curved and flat fuel tanks.
In our view, this is the best small motorcycle tank bag in the premium range.
The Best Mid-Range Tank Bags
£200+ a bit rich for you? Yea, me too. Most people could stretch to those amounts if they needed to. But the majority would opt for tank bags that are a little further down the price list.
So here we give you our best three mid-range tank bags in large, medium, and small capacities.
They lack some of the features of the tank bags in the Premium range. But overall, mid-range tank bags offer good value for money.
Large Capacity: Oxford Lifetime M30R
I’ve always been a fan of Oxford gear – whether that’s clothing or luggage. I kitted myself out in Oxford products years ago when I first started riding.
And they never let me down – so I kept buying it. After all, if it ain’t broken…
The Oxford Lifetime M30R magnetic tank bag is a no-nonsense tank bag. It isn’t fancy – it just does what it’s supposed to do. And it does it well.
Internally, you’ll find an electrical port with an internal pocket to house your smartphone or a GPS.
There is a phone/sat nav holder complete with a sun shield and a second map holder – sufficient in size to hold a map or even a waterproof layer if it lays flat enough.
Lastly, an additional pocket will hold a set of keys or some cash.
Made from 420D ripstop nylon, it’s a rugged tank bag. And Oxford’s confidence is such that they offer a lifetime guarantee against faulty materials or manufacturing processes.
At 30-litres, you can fit a full-face lid in it when fully expanded. So if you’re touring for an extended duration and need more space, this is a well-priced, do-it-all, hold-it-all tank bag.
Remember at the top of this post when we spoke about multipurpose? Well, the M30R doubles up into a backpack! A tank bag back pack if you will. How’s that for multipurpose?
Medium Capacity: Held Turano 2
Do you know why I like the Held Turano range? Because it’s simple!
Some might consider the single storage compartment of the Turano to be limited. Others may be concerned that there is no organisation – everything gets jumbled up.
And both opinions would be correct. But on the other hand, you know exactly where everything is because there’s only one place it can be – and that’s in the main compartment.
It’s an understated utilisation that, whilst not as technical as many others on this list, is functional, simple, and straightforward. And I like that.
This motorbike tank bag is made from a nylon fabric construction that is both resilient and water-repellent. It also comes with a waterproof cover for added protection from the elements.
As there is only one main compartment, the bag has one big zip that goes from one side to the other. And on the outside, you’ll find two smaller pockets that are large enough to fit a pair of glasses or other bits and bobs you need.
On the top, there is a large, transparent pocket that holds a map. It’ll also hold a tablet, depending on the model you own.
Mounting and removal are also simple, thanks to the simple 6-magnet system. And whilst some may feel a magnetised system isn’t as safe as a quick-release system, it’s certainly a sturdy fit when combined with the steering column strap.
In my experience, magnetised systems offer more flexibility in terms of bag position over a tank lock system. And having ridden with magnetised tank bags for nearly a decade, I’ve never had any issues with them coming loose or falling off.
It doesn’t come with a shoulder strap, but it does have a chunky handgrip for when you need to carry it.
If you want something with lots of features, this isn’t the tank bag for you. But if you want something simple, with adequate space, and a no faff way of attaching and removing, it’s an option to consider.
Small Capacity: Shad E16P Pin System Tank Bag
If you’re looking for something on the smaller side, I like the E16P from Shad. Expandable from 11-15 litres, it’s small enough for day trips but large enough for touring.
Made from durable 600D polyester and coming complete with a waterproof rain cover, the E16P is ready to stand up to the elements on tour.
Another touch we like is the dedicated toll pass holder! Ideally, we wouldn’t be on toll roads at all. But sometimes, needs must. And having a place to keep toll passes is a great idea.
The E16P attaches to your tank using Shad’s PIN system. And once it’s on, you can adjust it to four different positions – another clever feature.
The top of the main compartment houses a transparent phone holder. And inside, you’ll find an inner mesh pocket for looking after smaller items.
Once at your destination, you can carry the bag using the padded carry handle or via the shoulder strap.
The Best Budget Tank Bags
If you’re happy to do without the bells and whistles of the premium and mid-range show offs, there are plenty of budget tank bags that are surprisingly good.
Granted, they won’t power your smartphone or have sexy fuel cap fitments. But they do the job they’re supposed to – at a great price.
Below we have our best three budget-range tank bags in large, medium, and small capacities.
And when you see the lack of tradeoff between quality and price, you can be forgiven for wondering why you’re paying all that money for the premium bags!
Large Capacity: Kappa Alpha Range AH200
For us, the AH200 tank bag from Kappa is a good jack-of-all-trades option at a fair price. Expandable from 14-24 litres, it’s large enough to carry most things on long tours.
The contemporary look and feel are complemented by a gunmetal soft luggage fabric. And it’s set off nicely with bright orange accents around the glove-friendly, looped zips. It’s not made for rain, but Kappa provides a rain cover in the box.
Out of the box, it has magnetised connections, but straps are also available for non-metal tanks. A nice feature.
On the top of the bag, a transparent pocket can house a sat nav unit or a smartphone. At the bottom, there is a non-slip surface to prevent slide and damage to your paintwork.
Lastly, there are two smaller side pockets to hold your bits and pieces, and a chunky carry handle.
Considering it’s a cheaper option, we like that this Kappa bag also turns into a rucksack when off the bike.
For the price, this is a great value bag that is both versatile and expandable.
Medium Capacity: Oxford Aqua M8
As mentioned in a few of our posts, we’re huge fans of Oxford – particularly the Oxford Aqua roll bags – which are completely waterproof and wallet-friendly.
This Oxford tank bag from the same Aqua range offers an 8-litre roll-top tank bag version of the roll bag.
It’s not great if accessibility is important for you. But if you’re on a budget and need whatever you’re storing to stay dry, this is a tank bag worth considering.
The only external pocket is secured by a waterproof zip that houses your smartphone. As far as tank bags go, this is a one-trick pony that specialises in only one thing – waterproofing!
One of my favourite features of the M8 is that it’s flat. With a depth of only 12cm, it sits flush to the fuel tank, minimising any obstructions of the dash.
Out of the tank bags on this list, the M8 is one of the most waterproof and least obtrusive.
The fitting system is magnetised rather than quick-release – which is a shame. That said, the magnetised system keeps the cost down – and in this price range, it makes the M8 unbeatable.
If you need a relatively small, affordable, waterproof tank bag with a slimline profile, you can’t go wrong with this offering from Oxford.
Small Capacity: Givi EA106B
Let’s be honest here, the EA106B isn’t the most technologically advanced tank bag on the market! But it’s compact, well organised, functional, and cheap.
The bag attaches to your tank via two magnets and a steering column strap – however, it is compatible with the T460B Tank Fitting System if you need something more sturdy.
There is a clear pocket on the top, large enough for a smartphone, a map, or even a small tablet.
The main pocket is where your belongings go. But from a function standpoint, it’s the small zip pocket at the front that is the most useful – just large enough to store a credit card, a toll pass, and a passport.
It isn’t waterproof. But thankfully, Givi provides you with a rain cover that is.
For less than £35, it’s a great budget tank bag.
The Best Tank Bags Money Can Buy In 2022: Conclusion
Tank bags come under the category of ‘unknown’ when trying to figure out if you need one or not. I found that I never needed one – until I got one. And then I couldn’t imagine life without it.
The best motorcycle tank bag for you will come down to size, attachment, features, and price.
If you have the money, get yourself a tank-fitted, quick-release tank bag for added security and fewer scratches to your paintwork.
But if you’re on a budget, you can find feature-rich offerings with a magnetised fitting system for a fraction of the price.
Are motorcycle tank bags worth it? In our opinion, yes – all day long!
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