Kriega’s Drypack range has been around for at least 15 years, and this is the latest addition to the series.
All of them give very obvious clues to their capacity, with the number in the product title denoting how many litres of carrying space they offer.
The US-40 continues the style of a tough Cordura and Hypalon outer shell with a waterproof liner that’s attached inside with Velcro. Roll the ends over, clip them together and that creates a water barrier to keep your kit dry.
Where the newest member of the family differs is that it has two rollover closures, one at each end of the bag, and then two clip-up flaps that secure over the top.
That means you load the bag from either side rather than the front/back as you would with the smaller Drypacks.
There’s also a section within the outer that Kriega have added as a stash for tent poles of up to 50cm in length. Lift the end flaps and that section sits between the two outermost layers.
The US-40 attaches to the bike using the same set-up of straps found on Kriega’s other bags. Four of the eight straps have a clip on one end and a hook on the other, and are adjustable in length.
When attaching to a rack, you clip one end of the strap to the bag, feed it through the rack and then slide the hook on the other end through a loop on the bag. Do this at all four corners, pull the straps tight and the bag is attached.
Despite it being titled as a ‘rackpack’ you don’t need to have a rack. It can sit on a pillion seat, thanks to four of the straps supplied with the bag.
These are known as subframe loops and wrap around fixed points on the bike, such as (funnily enough) the subframe. The loops then protrude from under the seat and you can hook the metal end of the bag strap to this, clip the other end to the bag and then pull the strap tight.
Once you’ve devised the best way to attach it to your bike it’s pretty simple and the bag can be on and off the bike in a matter of seconds.
It’s supplied with a shoulder strap and Kriega say one of the roll-up closures at either end can be used as a carrying handle.
I used a US-40 to carry my luggage for a four-day riding trip through the Cotswolds, into Wales and back across England to my home in Lincolnshire.
I could load in enough stuff and the roll-up closures are familiar after years of using their rucksacks and a US-20, which I’ve had since 2007.
I secured it to the back seat of both my own Yamaha FZ-1 Fazer and a loaned Suzuki GSX-S1000GT. It was easier on the Suzuki as I could feed the straps around brackets for reflectors that hung down from the tail unit.
To give the bag some structure, and stop it slumping down either side of the back seat, I slid a sheet of cardboard inside the bag to act as a base.
With that in place, it felt secure on the bike and was relatively simple to attach and remove when heading into my digs at the end of each day.
Less convenient was the need to unroll one of the ends to get to my stuff if I wanted to remove anything during the day.
My tip on that subject: put anything you might want to access during the day (camera, visor cleaner, waterproofs etc) to one end of the bag, and preferably the end on the brake side of the bike. That way the opening will be pointing upwards and your stuff will stay in the bag rather than sliding out onto the floor.
It would have been handy if I’d done more research into the US-40 before setting off, as the stowing section on top would have been useful to keep bits and bobs easier to hand. It’s meant for tent poles, but it would also be useful for things like spare gloves, waterproofs etc, as long as you secure the ends well.
At the end of each day I found the narrow openings at each end meant fully unloading the bag to be able to get anything out.
That’s the same as all other Kriega Drypacks and plenty of riders are perfectly happy with the arrangement. But pulling out 40 litres of stuff to get to my clean clothes was a different proposition to unloading a few bits and bobs from a 20-litre US-20.
In hindsight, a rollbag with a full-length opening would have been easier for this purpose as I could have rummaged within the bag to get just what I needed, and leave the rest in place.
But that’s really a matter of taste, and when it comes to quality the Kriega bag is excellent and performs the job it promises very well.
The materials throughout are superb, the waterproof lining kept out the rain on my trip’s one wet day (and can also be replaced with a new liner if it wears out).
The method for mounting to the bike is flexible and well considered, and the ability to connect other bags from the Drypack range (or items like a bottle carrier) means there’s even more flexibility for carting your stuff around.
There’s also Kriega’s 10-year warranty, so you know you have the back-up in the rare event of the bag developing a fault.
The US-40 does its job and for riders who want to load up at the start of a day, strap it securely to their bike and then forget about it until the ride is done then this could be just what they’re looking for.