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ADV NewsNext-Gen Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag: Compact & Feature Packed

Next-Gen Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag: Compact & Feature Packed

Refined and redesigned to be even more waterproof, user-friendly and rugged.

Published on 08.25.2021

I’ll admit, I used to be one of those “I hate riding with tank bags” guys. But tank bag designs have improved significantly over the years to the point where some designs are hardly ever noticed during aggressive riding off-road. Overtime, I’ve learned tank bags are the one piece of luggage you interact with regularly throughout the day and they can be pretty handy on trips both short and long.

One of the top compact tank bags that has proven its value for adventure riders over the years is the Giant Loop Diablo. With a heavy-duty build, capacity of six liters and a shape contoured for off-road riding, it offers just enough space for what you need on most trips, without any extra bulk to get in the way, plus it’s built to take lots of abuse.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review
Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review
The Diablo Tank Bag provides 6 liters (370 cubic inches) of packable volume.

Needless to say, I thought the old Diablo was pretty good, but earlier this year Giant Loop completely revamped it after a two-year development process. The new bag maintains a low-profile design, rugged construction, and the ability to be detached from its mounting harness, yet a number of key refinements have been made all around. The biggest change is in how it’s put together, now made with Bomb Shell-coated fabric with a hybrid RF-Welded/Sewn construction for increased waterproofness.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review
The next-gen Diablo has a cleaner, more angular design than the old model.

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For a smaller bag, it has quite an extensive feature set, including a mesh zipper pocket inside the lid with a clip to secure your house keys. Plus there’s an exterior pocket made of stretch mesh for easy storage on the move. To stay organized, a Velcro-mounted pocket divider inside the bag can be repositioned or removed depending on your needs. While on top, a clear map pocket can safely store documents or a phone. Keeping electronics powered up while you ride is also made easy with a charging cable pass-thru channel.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag
The external mesh pocket is the ideal place to store items like ear plugs, road tolls or receipts.
Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review
A Velcro pocket divider can be repositioned or removed and includes organizers for items like cards, pen, tire pressure gauge etc.

Some features are less easily discerned than others though, like the hidden Velcro pocket that runs under the bag offering an ideal place for storing your registration, proof of insurance or perhaps spare cash you want to keep out of sight. Another subtle but useful feature is the concave-shaped underbelly of the bag, which provides some breathing room for fuel tank vents.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review
The hidden Velcro pocket that runs across the bottom of the bag, offers an ideal place for storing your registration, proof of insurance or perhaps spare cash.

Unzip the bag partially from its harness and flip it up out of the way to gain access to the fuel filler cap, or unzip it completely from the harness to carry the bag off the bike using a handy carrying strap. And  while the Diablo Tank Bag is now more water resistant than ever, a removable Dry Pod inner liner bag is provided to ensure your items stay dry should you encounter a prolonged downpour or take an unplanned dip in a river.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag
The Diablo provides quick and easy access to the fuel tank without removing the bag. Just partially unzip the tank bag from the harness and fill-up.

Getting It Installed

Installing the Diablo is a fairly-simple process, starting with the base harness. There is one top strap that goes around the steering head area and two leg straps that secure the bag to the frame rails near the front of the seat. Once you have the mounting straps positioned properly, you can crank them down tight and any excess straps can be secured in the sewn on webbing loops.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review

Overall there is plenty of extra strap material to adapt to various motorcycle tank designs, yet the strap retention system lets you cleanly tuck away any excess. One of my pet peeves is when you are on a long highway ride and the excess strap comes loose and starts flopping around, hitting you in the leg, causing you to fidget with it while riding or pull over to fix it. The Diablo’s strap retention system is very good and I never had a problem with excess strap materials coming loose during testing.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review

After the harness is installed, you only need to align the zipper and attach the bag to the harness. However, I noticed the YKK zipper is a little hard to line up and get started at times, but it is very robust and operates smoothly once connected. You can easily unzip the bag from the harness in seconds to get access to the fuel filler cap or remove it completely. I also liked the zipper catch on the left side that helps ensure the bag does not decide to unzip itself inadvertently.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review

How It Performed

One of the first things noticed on the new Diablo Tank Bag is that it has a more streamlined look compared to the old version. It has a smoother, cleaner, more angular appearance and seems to keep its shape better, even when empty. An aggressive forward sloping angle of the bag helps ensure you have plenty of crotch space when standing up on the pegs, and if you do touch, it won’t catch. The width of the bag also seems ideal to keep it perfectly placed over the top of the tank.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review

As far as height, the bag maintains a low profile that won’t obstruct your view — even if you are a shorter rider. This also makes it much easier to check your position when seated with a map placed inside the top map pocket. Or you can put your phone in the map pocket and use it for navigation. On a hot day, this technique won’t work for long. But I found that partially unzipping the right side of the lid and the map pocket feeds enough cool air to the phone to keep it from overheating on cooler days.

When you need to recharge your phone, Bluetooth headset, or GoPro, the Diablo’s pass-through charging cable channel makes it convenient. On some tank bags I’ve had to punch a hole through the sidewall and/or routing the cable was difficult, but the Diablo has a well-thought-out design that makes fishing the cable through the pass-through hole quick and easy.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review
A pass-through channel makes it easy to keep your electronics charged on the road.

Another feature I found highly useful was the external stretch-mesh pocket. This has become the go-to storage location for my ear plugs, which I have a tendency to lose. It’s also a convenient place for other miscellaneous items like receipts you need to put away while riding, and the pocket can be easily manipulated with gloved hands.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review
Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review

Opening up the bag, there’s plenty of space to carry a smaller DSLR camera with room to spare for a few additional nick nacks like a powerbar, charging cables and your shades. In addition, there’s even more room for flattish items you can store in the mesh lid pocket. The mesh also makes it easy to find exactly what you are looking for and the included key ring clip keeps your keys locked in place so they don’t make an early exit out on the trail somewhere. One thing I did miss a bit on the old Diablo is the bright yellow interior, which made seeing small items in your bag a little easier in low light.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review

The only constraint some riders might find in terms of size is the vertical height, which I felt I was nearly maxing out. It’s just enough for me, but I think some might find it just a bit too small. Luckily,  Giant Loop does offer the Fandango tank bag which is identical in all respects except an additional 1.5 inches of height and 2 liters of extra volume — enough extra space to store a hat, spare gloves and a few extra snacks. 

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review
If you need a bit more capacity, you can upgrade to the Fandango tank bag which adds 1.5 inches of height and 2 liters of extra capacity for just $20 more.

A common issue I’ve had with some tank bags is that they start moving around once you get off-road and can even interfere with your steering. During testing, we got on some particularly rocky trails in the High Sierras that had us bouncing like a jumping bean, but the Diablo remained rock solidly mounted and I never had any issues with it loosening up, despite being packed to the brim with heavy items.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review
Tank bags that use waterproof-style zippers often catch or jam, and require a delicate touch. Not so with the Diablo.

Using the Diablo to carry a camera and taking a large number of photos throughout the day means I open and close the bag constantly. That makes a good zipper of the highest importance to me. All too often though, Tank bags that use waterproof or water-resistant-style zippers tend to stick and jam. Not so with the Diablo. The big water-resistant YKK zipper always maintained smooth operation and when in a hurry, I never felt like I needed to be delicate with it. It still requires a heavy pull but it doesn’t snag when zipping around the corners like many other bags I’ve tried. 

Speaking of water resistance, the Diablo does require an inner Dry Pod bag to be 100% waterproof. However, with it’s RF-welded seams and water-resistant zipper, it’s a fairly waterproof design to begin with. After riding in light rain, as well as splash testing the Diablo with a stream of water, there was no visible seepage inside the bag, even without using the inner Dry bag. Those who ride regularly in wet conditions like the Pacific Northwest might want to use the included Dry Pod bag just to be safe though.

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review
Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review
The Diablo is fairly waterproof on its own but if you ride in a particularly wet area, it does come with a 100% waterproof Dry Pod inner liner.

Who’s It For

Riders that prefer a smaller tank bag for shorter trips or more rigorous off-road rides, will appreciate the Diablo. It might be a bit small for longer journeys, but for $20 more you can upgrade to the larger Fandango bag, which boosts capacity by 2 liters. Or attach Giant Loop’s pannier pockets on the sides of the tank to expand the Diablo’s capacity by an additional 4 liters for when the need arises.

Our Verdict

Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag Review

A good tank bag design should maximize space, minimize bulk, keep everything dry and clean,  while making it convenient to access items. Off-road it also needs to be light, tough and stay securely in place. The new and improved Diablo scores high in all of these categories, proving to be a nice piece of kit after riding with it for a few thousand miles of rigorous testing. While it may be on the pricey side for a tank bag, it does offer an extensive feature set and with its beefier construction, we expect it to last even longer than the old one.

What We Liked

  • Main zipper is easy to operate and very good quality.
  • Even more durable than the previous version.
  • Comes with an extensive feature set.
  • Easily flips out of the way for fuel fill ups.
  • More internal volume than you’d expect from a small bag.

What Could Be Improved

  • When attaching the bag to the harness, sometimes getting the zipper aligned was difficult.
  • To be 100% waterproof it requires an inner bag.

Diablo Tank Bag Specs

  • CONSTRUCTION: Bomb Shell coated fabric with hybrid sewing plus RF welded seams.
  • CAPACITY: 6 liter of packable volume (370 cu. in.)
  • WEIGHT: 2 pounds 3 ounces (1 kg.)
  • COLORS: Black or Gray
  • DIMENSIONS: 6.5″/3.5” (front/rear) H x 8.25″ W x 10.25″ L
  • ZIPPERS: YKK
  • PRICE: $250

Shopping Options

Giant Loop

Photos: Jon Beck & Rob Dabney

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney
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4 thoughts on “Next-Gen Giant Loop Diablo Tank Bag: Compact & Feature Packed

  1. Great review of this fantastic bit of kit. If you’ve not got a tank bag, this is definitely the way to go; but about the only practical change from the original appears to be the pocket on the bottom. Certainly, this would not be enough to make me swap the old one for the new.
    Also, one of your likes was that the new model appears to be even more durable than the old version(s). Given how durable they’ve always been, I’m not even sure what this means.

    • Thanks for the feedback. They made it more durable with the new materials used, but you are right that the the old one was already very durable. I did noticed this one stays looking new longer. The main difference is in the subtle refinements and improvements. Probably not worth buying the new one unless your old one is wearing out.

  2. Great Write-up Rob. Pics that hit on all the qualities and some Moto pics to make it real.
    I always seem to get tagged in the front by the tank bag and tagged in the rear by the tail bag. Especially when things get technical, but there aren’t many other choices. Very nice bag.
    Thanks!

    • Much appreciated! Yeah, depends on the bike, but I always try to mount my tank bag as far forward as possible, even if the handlebars touch the bag a bit at full turn. Same with the tail bag. Some people like to move it forward for better weight distribution, but I think it’s more important to get it as far back out of the way as possible, or just enough out of the way so you don’t get contact with it much. Sometimes just an inch or two can make a difference.

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