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Kriega Backpack Guide

kriega backpack guide - Kriega Backpack Guide

Kriega has become THE brand of biker luggage. The quality of their products has helped them grow a loyal following. Sure it is quite pricey but they’re made from high-quality materials and each Kriega piece is built to last.

The company was founded in the year 2000 by Dom Longman and Michael Cottam who both worked in the outdoor industry.

The pair, both bikers, couldn’t find decent, rugged and high-quality motorcycle-specific luggage and so they started Kriega to fill the gap in the market.

Kriega stuff is seriously well made and can deal with all conditions us bikers find ourselves in. From torrential rain to high speeds, carrying bulky items and generally being given a rough time.

This guide is an overview of all the different rucksacks in the Kriega range, their strengths and weaknesses and who they’re best suited for.

Kriega’s Special Sauce

kriega backpack front - Kriega Backpack Guide

One of the features that sets Kriega’s rucksacks apart from the rest is their Quadlock securing system which is on every one of their rucksacks.

It’s designed to spread the load from your shoulders, across your chest, therefore also reducing the strain on your neck. This, coupled with the wide straps mean the load is evenly spread with no pinch-points.

Some of the backpacks, like the R20 pictured above, also come with a waist strap which further helps to spread the load and also keep the rucksack secure.

Once you’ve adjusted the Quadlock to suit your frame, it’s supremely comfortable. I’ve even had moments where I’m riding along and suddenly I think “Sh*t I left my rucksack at the last stop..” before patting my chest and realising I’m wearing it.

The Kriega Backpack Range

Below is an overview of all the backpacks in Kriega’s range, with their key features and a short summary of each rucksack’s different features and who they’re best suited for.

Kriega R35 Backpack

Capacity: 35 litres

Dedicated laptop sleeve:  Yes

Waterproof compartment: No

Hydration pack compatible: Yes

Drypack connection loops: Yes

RRP: £195

The largest backpack in Kriega’s range, it’s a proper rucksack rather than a roll-top drybag style one. If you are going touring for a weekend and a rucksack if your preferred luggage option it’s a decent bet.

It features a zip on the front harness to keep the straps together and concealed front pockets which are great if you’re stashing your bank card or toll pass for quick access. There are quick access outer pockets, handy for tools or waterproofs.

There are 6 external compression straps to keep your cargo in place, especially handy if you’re not carting much around. There’s a reinforced top handy to make it easy to carry when it’s not on your back.

Kriega R30 Backpack

Capacity: 30 litres

Dedicated laptop sleeve: No

Waterproof compartment: Yes, entire rucksack guaranteed waterproof

Hydration pack compatible: Yes

Drypack connection loops: Yes

RRP: £189

The R30 is the only completely waterproof rucksack in Krieg’a range. In fact the firm guarantee it’s waterproof. Its stay-dry properties are mainly due to the fact this is a roll-top rucksack, with a single main compartment that’s sealed by rolling the top fabric over and over on itself and then strapping it down with the secure clips.

The two additional external pockets feature YKK waterproof zips but the pockets are water-resistant rather than fully waterproof.

6 external straps help you adjust the compression to keep your load in place.

The R30 also features Kriega’s Quadlock harness for improved load carrying comfort.

Kriega R25 Backpack

Capacity: 25 litres

Dedicated laptop sleeve: Yes

Waterproof compartment: No

Hydration pack compatible: Yes

Drypack connection loops: Yes

RRP: £149

The R25 is one of the most popular Kriega pieces, due to its ability to carry everything from the daily commuter clobber to a long weekend’s worth of gear.

It features the Quadlock harness system, an internal laptop sleeve and is hydration-pack compatible.  There are 4 compression straps to ensure your load is secured. There’s a quick-access pocket on the rear too, under the reflective panel. There’s also a carry handle to make it easier to lug around when it’s not on your back.

Kriega Max28 Expandable Backpack

Capacity: 28 litres

Dedicated laptop sleeve: Yes

Waterproof compartment: Yes

Hydration pack compatible: Yes

Drypack connection loops: No

RRP: £199

Designed with urban riders in mind, the Max28 features Kriega’s latest Quadloc harness, the Quadloc-Lite. It has an internal laptop pocket which is guaranteed waterproof. There are 4 internal pockets plus a quick-acess document sleeve.

The Max28 is also expandable with an outer zip taking it from 22 to 28-litres. The waist strap is there to improve stability – a good feature for town riding where you’re moving around on the bike a lot more.

The rucksack, while not waterproof has a waterproof compartment and the design, with its long top flap should keep a heavy downpour at bay.

Kriega R20 Backpack

Capacity: 20 litres

Dedicated laptop sleeve: Yes

Waterproof compartment: No

Hydration pack compatible: Yes

Drypack connection loops: Yes

RRP: £129

The R20 is one of Kriega’s newer rucksacks, its design looks far cleaner than the original R30 above.

A great rucksack for the daily commute or day trip out, it’s compact and thanks to its Quadloc system you will barely notice you’re wearing it.

There’s a main compartment with an internal pocket that will hold a laptop and a larger ‘outer’ compartment, both using YKK water-resistant zips.

There are 4 compression straps to keep the contents firmly in place and if you need to add on capacity, you can connect a US-5 Drypack using the dedicated external loops.

It’s more affordable and for most bikers, it has enough capacity to carry everything for the daily grind, to an overnight stay.

Kriega Trail 18 Adventure Rucksack

Capacity: 18 litres

Dedicated laptop sleeve: No

Waterproof compartment: Yes

Hydration pack compatible: Yes

Drypack connection loops: No

RRP: £179

Designed with Adventure riders in mind, the Trail18 is arguably the most heavy-duty and versatile backpack in Kriega’s range. 

As the name suggests it has an 18-litre carrying capacity and it’s comprised of 3 main sections.

There’s a 7-litre rear compartment with a heavy-duty zip, designed to withstand a lifetime of repeat access. Within this compartment, there’s a small fully waterproof roll-top pocket, suitable for your phone and essentials. Then there’s an 11-litre fully waterproof main body, with a roll-top closure system. 

It uses Kriega’s new Quadloc-Lite harness system to keep it secure and balance the load across your chest, rather than through your shoulders and neck.

The external net system offers useful ‘burst’ capacity for stashing extra stuff like a waterproof top or wet gear. 

Available in Black, Orange and Yellow finishes.

Kriega R15 Backpack

Capacity: 15 litres

Dedicated laptop sleeve: Yes

Waterproof compartment: No

Hydration pack compatible: Yes

Drypack connection loops: Yes

RRP: £115

The R15 is Kriega’s smallest rucksack aimed at road riders. Despite its size, it still features a laptop sleeve and is hydration-pack compatible.

As with all Kriega backpacks, it features the Quadloc system to keep it secure and reduce the pressure on your neck.

It has one main compartment and a quick-access external pocket (mine’s crammed with cable ties, a small roll of Gorilla tape, a Leatherman and waterproof gloves). The light coloured taped panels on the rear are loops which you can connect a cargo net to, to carry more stuff (waterproofs?).

In terms of capacity, 15-litres is more than enough for a daily commute (you could fit a pair of shoes, jeans and a jumper in there without having to sit on it). But at £115 you might prefer to opt for the R20 and spend an additional tenner to increase the capacity by 33%.

Kriega Trail 9 Adventure Rucksack

Capacity: 9 litres

Dedicated laptop sleeve: No

Waterproof compartment:  Yes, 4-litre main body guaranteed waterproof

Hydration pack compatible: Yes

Drypack connection loops: No

RRP: £139

The smallest backpack in Kriega’s range, The Trail 9 is aimed at Adventure riders but we think it makes a mean-looking urban commuter rucksack too. 

It features the Quadloc-Lite harness system to spread the load across your chest, not shoulders.

The rucksack is comprised of two compartments, a 4-litre roll-top main section which is 100% waterproof (guaranteed by Kriega) and a 5-litre zip-access compartment which is suitable for a hydration pack. You could get a small laptop in there (the zip width is the limiting factor), an iPad or a pair of trainers. If you’re out for the day, it’ll easily carry your lunch and a waterproof top.

The outer net adds additional storage (spare gloves, first aid kit?). All in all, this tidy little rucksack is a great bet for the minimal commuter or trail rider but it is pricey.

Kriega Backpack Alternatives

held powerbag black - Kriega Backpack Guide

With Kriega’s popularity, it’s no surprise that other brands are creating more-rugged rucksacks to rival the big K.

Here we showcase a few good alternatives. We’ve also written a guide to the best motorcycle rucksacks. Some are cheaper, others waterproof and some are more stylish.

The Held Powerbag featured above has a 20-litre capacity, three external pockets, a nifty helmet bag and a quick-release chest strap.

The Alpinestars Charger has been a long-running product in the Astars range. It’s a popular commuter choice with a slim profile, laptop sleep, YKK zips and quick release waist strap.

In terms of value for money the RST Raid rucksack hits the mark. A large 22.5-litre capacity, quick access outer pockets and chest and waist straps. At under £30 it’s a no brainer.

The Givi Ultima 30-Litre rucksack is 100% waterproof and doubles as a tailpack. It’s IP66 rated so you know it won’t let any water in. There’s an internal zipper pocket and an air-valve that allows you to remove the air inside to keep the size down. At under £100 it’s a bargain.

Waterproofing a Kriega rucksack

Most Kriega backpacks aren’t fully waterproof. The R30 is the only fully waterproof Kriega rucksack. The vast majority of Kriega’a range uses waterproof zips, which go a long way to keeping the rain out.

However, lots of others in the range include a waterproof internal compartment, which is designed to keep essentials, like your phone or documents bone dry.

If you want to improve the waterproofing of your Kriega backpack you have a few good options:

Waterproofing spray

Something as simple as this Scotchgard will improve the waterproofing of your Kriega rucksack. Once you’ve applied this spray it will help the water bead up and run off your rucksack, meaning it has less time in contact with the fabric. 

There are loads of similar products on the market, so find the one that’s right for you.

Bin liner

This is my favourite cheapskate trick. I put the contents of my rucksack into a few bin liners and accept that while the rucksack may eventually leak a little (Kriega tends to see off all but the heaviest downpours), the kit inside will stay dry in a bin liner.

Official Kriega waterproof liner

Kriega sells their own pack liners. They’re 100% waterproof and come in 3 different sizes. They look cool and if you’re feeling flush then why not? But if you’re looking to save a few pennies you can get unbranded liners (see below) for much less cash.

Waterproof compression liners

There are 100s available online but this pack of 3 bags from Lomo are good value for money. They’re waterproof with taped seams and each pack contains an 8L, 6L and 3L roll-top dry bag, meaning you can easily stash your stuff and you don’t need to unpack everything to find the one thing you need.

Kriega Backpack FAQ

Do they make a Kriega laptop backpack?
The closest to a dedicated laptop rucksack from Kriega is the new Max28, which is designed for urban commuters.

However, most of the rucksacks above feature an internal sleeve which can be used to securely carry your laptop.

What’s a Drypack?
Kriega mentions that their backpacks connect to Drypacks. A Drypack is Kriega’s name for their range of tail packs; luggage that fits onto the rear of the bike.

One of their Drypacks is a US-5, which has a 5-litre capacity and can be connected to most Kriega rucksacks to increase their load-carrying capacity.

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