When it comes to packing for a motorcycle trip, I have to admit I don’t have much experience. However, I am good at maximising space to its absolute capacity, which is what I did with this bag for a recent four-day tour of Wales and the Midlands.
The Givi EA115 rolltop holdall is a waterproof tail bag with a capacity of 40 litres that’s rectangular and has a full-width opening with velcro to hold the top together before it’s rolled up.
Once rolled up it’s clicked shut using two clips at the ends of the bag and two on top. The two on top can compress the bag and are adjustable in length to suit the amount of luggage you’re carrying.
Oddly, the clip fasteners were a bit fiddly when I first used them. The two squeezy tabs that press into the fasteners are quite angled in design, so they don’t locate as well as those that have more rounded tabs. But I did get used to it after a while and it didn't cause me any ongoing issues.
Once done up, the bag has a short carry handle with a velcro wrap to make it more comfortable. There’s also a detachable shoulder strap, again with a padded slider for comfort.
Photography: Helen Meeds
The bits that make it more suited to motorcycling are the strapping points to secure it to the bike. They are plastic loops near the carry handle and Givi supply two elastic bungee cords to connect these loops to the bike.
When attaching the bag to my bike, I used a set of £3 QBag D-ring tie-down straps rather than the included bungee cords. I didn’t like the idea of there being any flex in movement of it on my bike and with the D-ring straps I knew I had a fixed contact with my bike.
I threaded the front two straps through the webbing loops that pop out from underneath my Yamaha MT-07’s pillion seat and then around the front part of my luggage rack. The rear straps secured the bag to the luggage rack itself, with the bag sat on the pillion seat.
The strapping points feel strong with reinforced material where the plastic loop holes attach to the bag. I felt comfortable pulling these down tight when securing the bag to my bike.
Mounted like this the bag felt rock solid on my pillion seat throughout my trip.
Everyone finds little ways of doing things that work for them and something else I did was to add a rectangular piece of stiff cardboard in the bottom of the bag to give the base a bit more structure.
You don’t have to do this, but I found it made managing the contents of my bag a little easier and helped when attaching the bag to my bike.
The attachment loops are high enough up on the bag to secure the contents and not have it all slosh about, and that means I can attach it to my bike very securely without needing to put straps over the top of the bag.
This meant I could still get into my bag whilst it was secured to my bike. I like photography, so to be able to stop and quickly access my camera without faffing around undoing a load of straps was a real bonus.
I also had chance to test the waterproofing capabilities as, despite my trip being in the hottest week the UK has ever seen, I did experience a patter of rain.
It didn’t matter, because this bag is made of a waterproof material that didn’t let any rain in. You need to make sure you secure the rolltop in a way that it doesn’t let the water creep into the opening, but this bag did exactly as I expected and kept all my contents bone dry.
The bag was plenty big enough for what I needed on my four-day trip, though the hot weather may have helped as I didn’t need lots of thick cold weather clothing, and I could pack more of my luxuries.
It’s a simple design and was easy to attach to my bike, so I would definitely use this bag again for a trip. I’d best start planning somewhere new to go!