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ADV NewsMosko Gnome: Compact, Feature-Packed Tank Bag With A Twist

Mosko Gnome: Compact, Feature-Packed Tank Bag With A Twist

An innovative luggage solution that’s crammed with useful features.

Published on 04.28.2023

Sometimes, flipping things sideways has advantages. At first glance, the first thing the Mosko Moto Gnome tank bag reminded me of was a transverse V-Twin. What’s the powerplant / luggage connection you ask? Nothing, really, other than positioning, but it’s quite important. 

Tank bags, while handy, have a tendency of getting in the way when riding off-road. The Gnome addresses this symptom by reducing overall size and orienting that space perpendicular to the bike versus in-line with the frame, as virtually every other tank bag made does. In the same way a transverse v-twin design flips an engine sideways and can reduce the overall length of a chassis, the Mosko Moto Gnome flips a tank bag sideways which puts more of the mass farther forward away from the rider, yet without interfering with the steering by impacting the upper triple clamps or bars.

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
One of the most notable features of the Gnome is its “landscape” mounting system. Instead of riding vertically, the bag is positioned perpendicular to the tank, freeing up more space in front of the rider and making it ideal for shorter-tanked dirt or enduro-style bikes. 

Mosko Moto’s Gnome is a comparatively small member of the tank bag population available from various manufacturers. This 5-liter bag is designed to offer enough storage space for key items inside its 630D water-repellent nylon shell, includes a 1.5L hydration pack with a hydration tube, and features no less than six additional pockets distributed both inside and outside of the main compartment.

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
The Gnome also doubles as a water hauler and comes with a 1.5L Hydrapak reservoir complete with a hydration tube, that allows you to eliminate the weight of carrying a hydration pack on your back.

You’ll likely be unable to find more zippers on anything other than the Gnome outside of a 1980’s music video. Before even getting to the main compartment, there are four external zippers of varying lengths scattered around its water-repellent shell.


On the front of the bag, just above the carry handle, is a smallish zipper hiding a smallish storage compartment behind the logo. There is another small mesh pocket with a velcro closure inside the main compartment just opposite this external stash pocket, but we’ll go inside the bag later in the review. Move around to the back of the bag and a larger zipper hides a fleece-lined glasses compartment. Below the fleece-lined pocket is the largest of the external zippers, where the included 1.5-liter hydration reservoir can be placed. Next to that compartment is the smallest of the external zippers, which is a pass-through port for the hydration tube.

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
In addition to its internal storage, the Gnome’s exterior offers an easy access front pocket, a fleece-lined glasses compartment in the back and a MOLLE panel on top for added storage options.

External zippers covered, now the main compartment can be addressed. Opening this lid reveals two more zippers — one in the lid itself and one on the base of the main compartment. Both of these pockets are thin, flat storage areas appropriate for documents or other small items. Like a feature within a feature, the zipper pull on the lid’s storage compartment has a button which exposes a fold-out SIM card release tool for cell phones — a hugely useful feature for anyone who has bounced between countries on a bike and experienced the sometimes futile search for a sufficiently small paperclip.

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
The lid pocket’s zipper tab features a button that exposes a fold-out SIM card release tool for cell phones.
 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
Inside, there are several storage options including a zippered pocket on the lid and base of the main compartment, a mesh pocket, two elastic retainer straps on the base, and two small pen loops on the lid.

Four small loops attached to the outside of the “lid” compartment are perfect for pens or pen-style tire gauges. Two large elastic loops on the bottom of the main compartment can be used to hold down a cell phone, battery pack, journal, or anything else one might not want bouncing around inside the bag when it is not packed full enough to keep things in place.

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
A Molle panel on the top of the Gnome provides options for expanding carrying capacity with accessories like Mosko’s Navigator Cell Phone Pocket.

Once all the various zippers have been explored, and contents arranged as desired, even more storage options are available with use of the external MOLLE panel attached to the top of the bag. For this test, Mosko’s MOLLE cell phone case was attached and made for a perfect way to have a phone mounted for charging and navigation use, without needing a bar-mounted solution. The cell phone case also features a shade flap which helps prevent overheating of the phone during extremely hot summer rides — a very common occurrence here in the Southern California deserts.

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
The Gnome also features two hideaway straps underneath the base panel which quickly convert the bag into a fanny pack for off-the-bike excursions.

To keep loose items secured in the bag, three compression straps with plastic side release buckles are attached to the MOLLE panel. And while the Gnome’s Nylon shell isn’t fully waterproof it does come with a separate waterproof rain cover that fits snuggly over the bag and easily packs away when not in use. Aside from a myriad of stash pockets and organizing tools to be explored, the Gnome also features straps hidden underneath the base panel which quickly convert the Gnome into a fanny pack for convenient off-the-bike storage.

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Test
The Gnome comes with a stashable waterproof rain cover to keep your belongings dry.

Mounting The Gnome Tank Bag

For such a small piece of luggage, the Gnome is packed with a feature set that requires a bullet point list to keep track of. The landscape-oriented positioning was the first thing that grabbed my attention, followed closely by how the bag attaches to the bike — in this case both a KTM 990 Adventure and KTM 1290 Super Adventure R. 

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review

Two parts of the Gnome’s harness are attached to the bike’s frame on either side with zip ties. These small attachment points can be left in place for quick disconnecting and remounting of the bag whenever necessary. Routing the third portion of tank bag harnesses under the steering head on some bikes can be a bit of a headache, and to help in this regard the Gnome’s harness has a small keeper strap so the front attachment points stay securely in place whether the bag is on or off the bike. These mounting points, which remain on the bike, are universal to other Mosko tank bag offerings as well, allowing for easy swaps between various designs depending on the trip.

Looking more closely at the attachment straps themselves reveals further details. When unclipped and removed from the bike, the two longer rear straps can remain attached to the Gnome, or be removed by opening two small D-rings on each strap — a convenient feature should the bag want to be carried as a handbag with the integrated handle, or worn as a fanny pack using the waist straps hidden behind the panel between the base and main compartment.

How It Performed

I’ll admit, I am one of those people who will often dive into a new thing without reading the instructions first, and the Gnome was no different in this regard. Some of the Gnome’s long list of features could be interpreted in different ways, one example being the hydration pack’s hose seeming to route more naturally around the bag in a counter-clockwise direction, versus the intended clockwise orientation. Maybe it’s like the Coriolis effect and you can spin the water whichever direction you choose based on where you’re riding, but it is convenient to have hydration available at your fingertips regardless. 

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review

Also convenient is the Gnome’s ability to convert to a fanny pack for a quick exploratory hike off the bike. While testing, it wasn’t obvious which way was right-side-up or upside-down, so I just wore it the way that felt best. Some people wear baseball caps sideways so I guess this is ok.

Most of the myriad of pockets were used for the general purpose intended. A well-thought-out design positions storage options in an “order of importance” manner, meaning items most often used are readily available and those seldom needed are stashed further out of the way. I found the bottom compartment perfect for things such as bike registration and insurance documents — the sort of thing one might rarely or never need to access during a trip. Housekeys and spare earplugs found their way into the lid’s integrated storage compartment, while the front outer compartment held frequently-needed tiny items such as lip balm and primary ear plugs.

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review

A couple features I found more difficult to integrate with my collection of things were the glasses compartment and the pen loops in the lid. When the main compartment is minimally packed, these features can work fine, but adding things like a point-and-shoot camera plus charging accessories, and especially the hydration pack can make using these features a bit more challenging. The smallish glasses compartment is already a tight squeeze for a larger pair of sunglasses, and with a full main compartment the Gnome’s contents will try to occupy the same space as any specs stashed in the front of the bag. The pen loops work great when the Gnome’s lid is flat, but a bit of main-compartment overstuffing or placing of an irregular-shaped object which causes the lid to bulge, results in these loops needing to be vacant for the main compartment zipper to close. Basically, pack smart — it’s a small bag designed for key essentials.

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
The fleece-lined glasses compartment is a tight squeeze for a larger pair of sunglasses.
 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review

Southern California could be described as an irrigated desert. This corner of the U.S. endured several extremely dry years over the past decade. The winter of 2022-2023 drastically changed this, as the entire state experienced record-setting rain and snowfall — a perfect environment for testing anything claiming to be waterproof or water-resistant. The Gnome is indeed water repellent, and a solid splash from a water crossing or dashing through a quick rain squall leaves its contents comfortably dry. During one of this season’s many ridiculous downpours, I stuffed some paper towels and a note written in ink inside the Gnome, and headed out for a quick 20-plus mile loop, leaving the bike parked in the rain for more than a couple hours as well. What I came back to was several damp towels and a note with ink slightly altered from the moisture , which gave a good idea of the limits of what the bag can repel without its rain cover installed.

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
Several hours of exposure to torrential rain revealed the limits of the Gnome’s water-resistance, without its rain cover installed.

More typically, off-road riding in Southern California is a dry, dusty experience over hundreds of miles of potentially technical trails. What at first might seem like overkill, the three compression straps on the outside of the Gnome are revealed to be an extremely welcome feature during more aggressive rides, especially when the Gnome is not filled to the brim with various things. In addition to providing an additional layer of security to the main compartment closure, these three straps compress the bag and prevent it from moving around when the going gets rough. 

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
The 3 external compression straps were a welcome feature during more aggressive rides, not only providing an additional layer of security to the main closure, but also compressing the bag and preventing it from moving around when the going gets rough. 

All these straps can remain in place when it comes time to stop for fuel as well. Unclipping any of the harness attachment points allows the Gnome to be flipped out of the way of the filler cap, however the easiest and quickest way to fill up was simply unclip the D-ring on the top of the left strap — the bag could be slid out of the way and repositioned without any re-adjustment of things. This applies to bikes with a single fuel cap positioned in the center of the tank of course. Aboard the 990, the Gnome never had to move at all due to the bike’s dual tanks positioned on either side of the bag. (I’m a big fan of this design and this legendary adventure bike.)

Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Test

Saving the best for last, is the primary benefit I found in using the Gnome — charging. In an ever-increasingly power-hungry society, power port options on motorcycles still mostly baffle me. While they are changing and improving, things like use of DIN ports, awkward dongle adapters, and cables flapping in the wind are still commonplace. With a footprint only slightly larger than a beefy cellphone, the Gnome is the perfect spot to tuck a phone, battery pack, small camera, and have everything nursing on power with cables coiled out of the way. 

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Review
A quick-release D-ring on top of the left mounting strap, allows for easy refilling at the pump.

Riders who travel internationally will also likely place “documents and small change storage” in the primary benefit category. Anyone who has ever fumbled for a passport at a busy border crossing, travel documents at military or police checkpoints, or money to pay roadway tolls will quickly come to appreciate having the Gnome at the ready with everything stashed inside to quickly handle all these scenarios. 

Who It’s For

 Mosko Moto Gnome Tank Bag Test

With its comparatively small and landscape-oriented footprint, the Gnome is an ideal tank bag for adventure or dual sport riders looking to carry a few key things on rides where more aggressive body positioning might be required. It’s luggage for the enduro rider wanting to do a bit of travel, especially those who would like to eliminate the weight of carrying a hydration pack on their back. For the long-haul traveler, universal mounting points make this a great second bag to have around when something smaller and less intrusive might be desired. Given the transverse reference, I’d say it would also be great for one of Ewan McGregor’s Moto Guzzis.

Our Verdict

A huge feature set, unique transverse layout, durable build quality, expandability, and portability both on and off the bike position the Gnome as a top option among 4- to 6-liter tank bags. While the smaller design appears focused more towards the off-road riders on medium-to-small bikes, the integration of several creature comforts into this unobtrusive package makes it a welcome addition to virtually any motorcycle.

What We Liked

  • Durable build quality.
  • Extremely easy to mount and dismount.
  • Convenient carry off-bike as handbag or fanny pack.
  • Seamless integrated hydration system that gets the weight off your back.
  • Universal mounting system works with other Mosko tank bags.
  • Transverse orientation keeps it out of the way off-road.

What Could Be Improved

  • Not fully waterproof without the rain cover.
  • Fleece pocket is a tight fit for larger glasses.

Gnome Tank Bag Specs

  • CONSTRUCTION: 630D High-Density 100% Recycled Nylon with Water-Repellent Finish. 210D Nylon Lining.
  • CAPACITY: 5 liters
  • WEIGHT: 1.5 pounds / 0.7 kg. (with water reservoir empty)
  • COLORS: Black, Woodland, Stargazer
  • DIMENSIONS: 11” x 8” x 5” / 28cm x 20cm x 13cm
  • PRICE: $189
Mosko Moto

Photos by Ely Woody, Jon Beck, Blanca Fernandez and Rob Dabney

Author: Jon Beck

Jon Beck is fulfilling a dream of never figuring out what to be when he grows up. Racing mountain bikes, competitive surfing, and touring as a musician are somehow part of what led Jon to travel through over 40 countries so far as an adventure motorcycle photographer, journalist, and guide. From precision riding for cameras in Hollywood, to refilling a fountain pen for travel stories, Jon brings a rare blend of experience to the table. While he seems happiest when lost in a desert someplace, deadlines are met most of the time.

Author: Jon Beck

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April 28, 2023 10:51 pm

Crazy price for a tank bag.

Eric M.
Eric M.
May 1, 2023 2:13 pm
Reply to  Sixe

Seems reasonable IMO considering it’s also a hydration system and a waist bag for off the bike treks.

Russ B
Russ B
May 2, 2023 10:45 am

Nice review, seems like an interesting piece of kit.

MW Carrera
MW Carrera
June 24, 2023 4:07 am

I’ve been running the Gnome since it arrived on the market and I am very much in love with it – it’s compact and landscape mounting is the key feature and innovation in tank bags. Mosko Moto builds with longevity as a core concern for all their products and it is why you will see MM kit on many RTW riders bikes. Pricing is inline with a tank back that will last many many years of hard use and is backed by an excellent warranty and team of riders (most, and if not all MM employees ride) at MM.


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