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5 Minimalist Saddlebags for Ultralight Packers

A toothbrush, flip-flops and spare pair of underwear are all you really need.

Published on 05.06.2014

More Tips for Ultralight Packers

A common criticism of rackless saddlebag systems is that they scuff your bike’s side panels. One way to avoid this is to apply clear vinyl protective film to your side panels before installing the bags. This will keep them from getting scratched by the minute dust particles that accumulate underneath the saddlebags.

Giant Loop Exhaust Heat Shield

An exhaust heat shield will help you avoid melting your saddlebags.

Saddlebags can also come in contact with hot exhaust, causing the material to melt. A universal mount exhaust heat shield can help you avoid melting your expensive bags. The heat shield installs with a simple hose clamp on nearly any exhaust muffler.

If you want to increase your carrying capacity beyond what the bags listed here offer, it is always a good idea to spread the load over multiple areas on the bike. You can install a handlebar bag or a small tank bag to store personal items you need quick access to. A spare tube and CO2 tire inflator kit can be stored in a front fender bag. The more you can spread the load around the bike, the less you will feel the effects of the weight you are carrying.

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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5 thoughts on “5 Minimalist Saddlebags for Ultralight Packers

  1. Being exceedingly cheap, I just pick up a set of $20 doggy saddle bags at the pet store. Usually run the straps under the seat.
    fun fun

  2. VUZ makes a line of quality durable dry bags which are a great value. I love my Wolfman gear but there are much less costly choices out there.


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