Giant Loop soft luggage: first impressions
First impressions of the Giant Loop system? Light and tight has been executed thanks to the 60-liter Great Basin, one 17-liter Rogue bag, the 3.5-liter Possible Pouches and the 4-liter Diablo Pro tank bag, all at my fingertips. I think what’s struck a chord with me the most is how rapid life becomes when it comes to packing up to get going. With one horseshoe-shaped bag, it really is a doddle to throw in a given amount of gear–without any need to art-precision pack, secure the Rogue roll bag on top fastening down with a quick three-clip built-in harness system, and I’m all set.
The driving rain experienced in January 2018 was pretty relentless through Washington and Oregon; hugely grateful for the inner pods as a few water drops seeped through the seams, as expected. A non-issue provided one seals each of the inner liners well, which pays to be in the good habit of doing. The valves on the three liners reach a new level of wonderful; practical beyond measure and effortless to deflate any excess air. Then life becomes a cinch to slide the liner into each pannier side and lay the third one across the pillion seat.
Living with the bags
I particularly appreciate the Possible Pouches, which we’ve attached to the front face of the Great Basins, Jason carries another pair on his crash bars. Full of useful items such as the bike covers, visor spray and a lint cloth, toilet roll and spare earplugs in mine, predominantly tools and spares in Jason’s. Both are well utilized and since it’s nice to have these useful but inexpensive items to hand, we don’t tend to worry about them when away from the bikes. All the electronics and paperwork fill the pod liner in the tank bag, which is simple to remove, leaving the tank bag attached to the motorcycle when I’m out of the saddle.
Although we’re not using any real means of security for our luggage contents per se, we could invest in a mesh cable lock for the bags. There is, however, a decent cable lock running through the underside of the Great Basin, which permanently fastens the bag to the bike. That said, I like the idea of using the cable lock to attach our motorcycle gear to the bike at a trailhead for example.
For us, it’s just as easy to empty the valuables off the bike and have them in the tent. Now that we’ve consolidated down to the essentials, it’s not much more effort to relieve the luggage of all the inner bags for those times that we’re not camped next to the bikes and, or just want everything with us. What’s more, the bike covers go a long way in providing an invisibility cloak for instances where it’s impractical to empty your bike of its possessions. Four years on the road, common sense has prevailed and touching all woods, we’ve not been victim to any theft.
Do I like the set up of one horseshoe bag and a smallish roll bag on top? Yes and I wasn’t sure I would, having always used two 35-liter panniers and a 35 liter roll bag–keeping the previous load separated into three compartments. In fact, the GL system is not too dissimilar in that I’m using three pod liners inside the larger Great Basin, with the odd chunky item such as the stove and pan set mingled in there as well. Provided you keep your belongings to a minimum, it stays user-friendly in terms of operation on a daily basis.
Grateful on top for the double-ended Rogue bag where all my immediate wants and needs can be met. Namely, I can ditch or don the mid-layers, grab the toothbrush, towel and soap, or grab the mountain money, without having to furiously dive into the bottom of the big bag, and ultimately access the items I want in a jiffy.
I also relish the fact that my bike no longer needs racks, which only add to the weight; hinders the challenge of throwing the bike around when riding more aggressively; and indeed, our exhaustion levels upon picking the bikes up in the rough.
Very good, overall. No regrets in opting for one of the lightest systems on the market and I’m interested to gauge how the bags fare once we really put them through their paces off-road for the duration of the year. In the dust and dirt generally, searing temperatures and Death Valley sand, or on the Bonneville salt flats for example. Courtesy of a recent sandy trail ride in Borrego Springs, SoCal, the bags stood up well in 85F and lots of the loose stuff. No presence of dust, gravel or sand inside the luggage, despite umpteen opportunities made available when enthusiasm levels outweighed skill.
Pretty thrilled with the luggage system in terms of getting a solid introduction to its functionality. They definitely favour towards keeping the load light, and have already shown good performance through bad weather–albeit a long-term review will reveal more. Delightedly, the bags passed the torrential downpour after torrential downpour test. The strong yellow gives me enhanced road presence and looks great, especially from a photographic point of view. So far, so good.