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Giant Loop Coyote: Classic U-Shaped Saddlebag Reimagined

 Giant Loop's classic u-shaped Coyote saddlebag gets a more robust design.

Published on 09.08.2017

Giant Loop’s Coyote Saddlebag has been a go-to solution for dual sport and adventure riders since the company introduced it in 2008. The rackless design is aimed at riders who take small bikes into rough terrain. And at 39 liters of total capacity, they make you carefully examine what you ‘need’ to carry on your trips. As the company motto says, “Go light. Go fast. Go far.”

While the Coyote Saddlebag has proven itself as a rugged and durable soft luggage solution, there has always been one drawback in our opinion: a zipper.

Zippers can be frustrating to close when you have a bag stuffed with gear, especially with a round-shaped bag like the Coyote. And if a zipper fails, it can leave you riding the rest of your trip with all your gear exposed to the elements. Zippers also have some disadvantages for off-road use. We’ve found that even the most robust designs can clog with dirt and leak in heavy rains. Ride in the conditions the Coyote is meant for and you’ll need to clean and lubricate the zipper periodically to keep it working properly (Giant Loop sells a zipper lubricant, Zip Care, for just this reason).

Gian Loop Coyote Saddlebag get roll-top closures

For 2017, Giant Loop listened to the zipper haters and redesigned the Coyote Saddlebag with a ‘Roll Top’ enclosure, the same kind you’ll find on most dry bags (including their Rogue Dry Bag). We spent a couple months putting the new Giant Loop Coyote Saddlebag through its paces to see if the new Roll Top version is an improvement on the original Coyote design.

How it Performed

The Coyote is still made of heavy, 22-ounce vinyl-coated polyester, and still comes in white, orange, yellow and black. The bottom is a ballistic material for abrasion resistance, and it looks cool to boot. It mounts with the same three-point attachment system that, once set up for your bike, is easy to use and stable. Hooks, or a webbing loop, attach the body of the bag to your rear fender or a rear rack, leaving plenty of room on the seat. Straps from each leg wrap around the frame and pull the bag forward, locking it in place. Initial mounting on our KTM 450 EXC took about 15 minutes, after that we got the bags on and off in under two minutes.

Giant Loop Coyote saddlebag
The Coyote Saddlebag’s U-Shape design hugs the bike to ensure it remains solidly in place over rough terrain.

If you’ve ever packed a Coyote (or its bigger brother, the Great Basin) you know there’s a specific way to do it. Heavy items such as tools, spares and camp stoves need to be shoved way down into the “legs” of the bag to keep weight low and fill volume. Bulky items, like sleeping bags or hammocks, can be hard to stuff down there due to the narrow profile.

The Coyote comes with three “Dry Pods,” waterproof stuff sacks that keep your gear dry and organized. We put tools and cooking gear in one, a sleeping bag and hammock in the other, and stuffed our clothes in the third. Many riders add a small dry bag to the top of the Coyote, a good idea if you’re staying out longer than a weekend. The top straps are extra long for this purpose.

All three Dry Pods have purge valves so you can squeeze the air out of them before shoving them into the Coyote. Giant Loop says the Dry Pods are to keep your gear 100 percent dry, though we never had a problem with water getting into the bags even after riding an hour in a toad-strangling downpour and then leaving the bag outside for another hour after finding shelter. Drop your bike in a stream, however, and you may discover the difference between “waterproof” and “water resistant.”

Giant Loop Coyote Roll Top Saddlebag
The Coyote’s new roll top design is simple to use and remains watertight during bad weather. It also provides a wide opening that makes stuffing the bag and sorting through gear easier.

About that roll top: it just works. Pack your Coyote, match up the lips of the enclosure, roll it at least twice, snap the buckles at each end and you’re done. It’s simple, can’t break if over packed like a zipper, and it’s watertight.

Who It’s For

Dual sport and dirt bike riders who ride in tough terrain and live by the mantra ‘light is right’ when it comes to packing. The rackless design means it can adapt to almost any bike, and an exhaust heat shield is included.

Giant Loop Coyote Saddlebag with Roll Top
We fit a weekend’s worth of gear in the Coyote. The Dry Pods help keep gear organized and feature air-purge valves to keep gear compact.

Our Verdict

Coyotes are still one of the best options for hardcore dual sport riding. They’re tough, don’t take up valuable seat space on your bike, and they hold just enough to get you out there and not an ounce more. Now that Giant Loop has ditched the zipper, there’s one less thing to go wrong. At $360 they aren’t cheap, but you’ll appreciate the quality when your ride turns into an adventure.

What We Liked

  • Tough construction, can take a beating.
  • Zipperless design is simpler and more robust.
  • Comes as a complete package including Dry Pods and Heat Shield.
  • Includes mounting points for attaching additional items externally.
  • Easy to mount, unmount and carry.
  • Made in USA.

What Could Be Improved

  • Wider profile “legs” would make packing easier.
  • Larger elastic keepers to secure excess straps when not in use.

Coyote Saddlebag Specifications

Capacity: 39 Liters Total
Dimensions: 39″ (99.1 cm) Wide by 7″ (17.8 cm) Tall
Weight: 4.5 pounds, including heat shield and Dry Pods
Price: $360.00

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Rocky Mountain ATV/MC
Bob Whitby Author ProfileAbout the Author: Bob Whitby has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.

Author: Bob Whitby

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One thought on “Giant Loop Coyote: Classic U-Shaped Saddlebag Reimagined

  1. I love this system for it’s light weight, and function. The excess strap material is a small trade off considering the usability/function of the bag(strap material is easily stowed away).

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