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Grand Canyon Adventure with Giant Loop Motorcycle Luggage

We recently had the opportunity to try some motorcycle luggage from Giant Loop. I'd heard great things about their soft luggage so I was excited to pick out a new tank bag and rear saddlebags for a 700-mile big-bike adventure to the north rim of the Grand Canyon through Nevada, Arizona and Utah. Giant Loop embraces the "go light, go fast" concept, which is reinforced by building luggage that doesn't outweigh your gear. This makes sense to someone like me who is always concerned with weight and performance so I can maximize fun along the way. 

I began with the Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag. I started using the bag around town, back and forth to the office, running errands, etc. Even though the Diablo is the smaller of the two tank bags offered by Giant Loop (the larger being the
Fandango tank bag), it had more than enough room for my needs. Things get more critical with space on long trips, and this little tank bag swallowed everything I shoved in it: sunglasses, goggles, spare goggle lens, camera, GoPro, chapstick, sunscreen, knife, spare batteries, cables, chargers, phone, rags, pressure gauge, leather riding gloves, insect repellent, and a map and itinerary in the see-through sleeve on the top. I was able to store all of those items in the Diablo and still have room to sort through it all and zip it closed very quickly with my gloves on. I tugged on the zippers a million times and the Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag took the abuse over hundreds of miles of dust and dirt. 

I've put another 4,000 miles on the motorcycle since this trip and the Diablo works incredibly well. It's important to mention that the Diablo slants up and out of the way so you can stand up and lean forward all day without crushing the contents of the bag. Other riders have complained about their tank bags fitting around them in a seated position and being in the way while standing. Something to think about when considering a tank bag. Click any of the links to the tank bag in this post and you'll see what I mean.

The bulk of my gear was stored in the Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag. The Great Basin goes over the seat where a passenger normally would and uses the passenger pegs as a mount point. The straps over the top of the saddlebag allow you to compress softer items at the top of the bag while storing heavier items like tools and tubes lower on the sides. This is extremely helpful with weight distribution on the motorcycle, which means better handling. The compression straps and cam buckles tighten as you pull, so it's quick and easy once the bag is zipped up. I stored all my food, cookware, clothes, shoes, basically everything outside of my camping gear in the Great Basin. As I used consumables along the way, the straps cinched down and kept the load close to the motorcycle. I'm rough on my gear, and this saddlebag was tugged on, pushed, and dragged over dirt and rocks- all the while, acting as one unit with the motorcycle. The Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag delivered a flexible, scalable, sturdy unit of storage for all of my necessities during the trip. 

Both the Diablo Tank Bag and the Great Basin Saddlebag are removed from the motorcycle with ease. I would throw my GPS and Spot in the tank bag, unzip it from the harness that remains on the motorcycle, and carry the bag by the built-in handle. The Great Basin was just as easy, which made me feel like a total stud when we got to camp because I could un-strap the bag, throw it over my shoulder and drop it next to my tent with very little effort. It might not sound like a big deal, but at the end of a long day it made all the difference not having to make multiple trips from the motorcycle to my tent.

One more thing about the Great Basin Saddlebag: it comes with 2 heavy-duty Cordura internal pannier pods (with handles), 2 yellow nylon stuff sacks (I used for freeze-dried food and clothing), 2 integrated bottle carriers attached to the inside of the bag (which stay flat and out of the way if you don't need them), and a healthy zippered top case lined with high-visibility yellow nylon (which also stays flat and out of the way when not in use). All of these little compartments and storage containers were extremely useful for someone like me who doesn't want to go out and buy containers for all his junk- especially when you consider how much it would cost. Each internal bag is sized to a specific area of the saddlebag so, once you fit your possessions into all of the internal containers you want to use, you just slip them into the areas they're sized for in the saddlebag. This made life a lot easier because I just used these containers in my tent and around camp and then loaded them into the saddlebag when it was time to go.

Overall, I was very happy with the look, function, and quality of the Giant Loop luggage I used on this trip. Road travel is even better with this soft luggage because the bike remains narrow for splitting lanes and navigating congested areas and traffic. I was very happy having everything secure and close to the motorcycle. I don't know how someone would deal with the kind of weight I was carrying off-road with panniers or top racks. I found a great solution in Giant Loop's luggage for traveling hundreds of miles in rough terrain with a lot of gear. I would highly recommend their products to anyone looking to do the same.

By Aram

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