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ADV ProductsWolfman Daytripper: Performance Saddle Bags for Light Packers

Wolfman Daytripper: Performance Saddle Bags for Light Packers

Minimalist saddle bags for shorter trips and those that value packing light.

Published on 04.21.2017

Getting more out of your rides often means bringing less gear, and that’s exactly what the 12.4 liter (combined) Wolfman Daytripper Saddle Bags are all about. A lightweight, compact design that caters to dual sport riders who go full-bore on the trail and carry as little gear as possible.

Despite the Daytripper name, these saddle bags are capable of carrying more than just a days worth of gear. Their shape and wide opening allows you utilize every nook and cranny of interior space and with the aid of 10 D-Rings, you’ve got options to strap on additional equipment for a weekend out in the wild. It’s just enough capacity for your basic essentials and helps get the weight off your back if you’re used to carrying it all with a backpack.

Wolfman Daytrippers Saddlebags
Wolfman Daytripper saddle bags are made of ultra-tough 1680 Denier Ballistic Vinyl and have a wide zipper opening for easy access to essential items.

No racks are required to mount the Wolfman Daytripper Saddle Bags and they will strap on to just about any dual sport motorcycle. With their slim profile, your bike can retain maximum maneuverability on tighter trails and body movement isn’t cramped during aggressive off-road rides.


Wolfman Daytripper Saddle Bags are built tough too, made of 1680 Denier Ballistic Vinyl fabric that defends against punctures and tears on the trail. Bag openings utilize heavy duty #10 YKK zippers with cord pulls for extra leverage. And where the bag comes in contact with the bike, foam padding and a non-scratch vinyl surface help protect body panels. While on the outer side of the bags, “V” Compression straps ensure contents stay firmly in place in the rough stuff.

Getting Them Installed

The first thing you notice handling the Daytrippers is that there isn’t much to these saddle bags in terms of size. Yet they have an intricate design with high-quality construction and a rugged build. Figuring out how to get the bags installed was relatively simple after looking over the Wolfman Mounting Instructions. The Daytrippers use 1″ front straps to mount to the front of the bags to the subframe or rear passenger peg mounts. A set of 1″ straps use gutter hooks and tension to grab the rear fender, allowing the bags to be adjusted forward or backward on the seat. And a pair of 2″ straps across the top of the seat connects everything together.

Wolfman Daytrippers Saddlebags

The first installation of the bags took about 20 minutes due to the new straps and adjusters being a bit stiff. But after installing the bags on a few different bikes and getting more familiar with the process, it was no more than a 5-minute endeavor. For some bikes, you’ll need to install a heat shield to protect the material from melting on the hot exhaust but we didn’t end up needing one for any of the bikes we used for testing.

Once the bags are cinched down tightly, there is very little movement. And with long zippers running across the top of the bags, they open widely so you can have full access to the interior. The bags can be stuffed tight and the strong YKK zippers still allow you to get everything closed up with ease. All while “V” Compression straps lock contents of different sized loads firmly in place.

How They Performed

Getting out on the trail, the Daytripper saddle bags fit snugly on the bike and do not move. The weight is distributed low and most of the time you never notice the bags are there, even fully loaded with about 15 pounds of gear. Only when leaning way back on the seat for steep descents was there contact with the legs, but not enough to throw you off your game.

After abusing the Wolfman Daytripper saddle bags on a number of hard rides over the last few years, we’ve learned they can take a beating. We’ve also found that the bags are perfect for carrying just the essentials you need to handle just about anything that might go wrong during a day ride. They’ll carry the basics like a light rain coat, cold-weather gloves, tools, spare bolts and levers, 21″ inner tube, tire repair kit, CO2 cartridges, snacks, a small first aid kit, duct tape, zip ties and JB Weld. If you are riding hotel-to-hotel, there is still room to fit a light change of clothes, toiletries and flip-flops.

What fits inside the Wolfman Daytripper Saddlebags.
With 12.4 liters of total capacity, the Daytrippers are able to accommodate the basic gear you need for a weekend adventure riding hotel-to-hotel. If you need more capacity for camping gear, you can strap on an extra duffel using the bag’s D-Rings.

If you intend to camp, you can use the bag’s 10 D-Rings to strap an extra duffel bag onto the rear of the bike with a small backpacking tent, sleeping bag, mat and cooking supplies. The D-Rings also come in handy when you need to improvise and strap on camp garbage, firewood or beer.

Throughout our long-term testing, the Daytripper Saddle Bags have proven to be resilient. Although, there is one potential flaw with the bags we evaluated that can lead to damaging them. If you ever forget to clip the “V” Compression strap closed after accessing a bag, it can easily get caught in your chain or wheel. To avoid this, you can route the strap through one of the D-Rings to hold it in place and avoid it slipping down.

However, hanging compression straps are no longer a concern. Some time ago, Wolfman Luggage added a small patch of material to the side of the bags to route the “V” Compression strap through and hold it in place when un-clipped. Other improvements just released for 2017 include increased capacity and stability, re-positioned seat straps for more seating area, and a foam lining on the outside of the bags to give more body and cushioning.

Wolfman Daytrippers Saddlebags

One thing to be aware of is that the Daytripper saddle bags are not waterproof. They are water-resistant enough to handle light rain or water splashes, but if you get caught in a downpour your gear will most likely get wet in a matter of minutes. Waterproof stuff sacks are available for those that travel in wetter climates.

Wolfman bags are proudly built in the USA and if you ever have a problem with compression straps, stitching, broken D-Rings, zippers or other components, you can ship it to Wolfman’s Colorado Headquarters for repair and a quick turnaround. All mounting straps are replaceable as well if they ever wear out.

Who Is It For

Anyone who puts a high value on packing light and wants to reap the rewards of a better handling bike off-road. The Daytripper’s design is ideal for smaller dual sport bikes but works well on big bikes too.

Wolfman Daytripper Saddle Bags Yamaha XT250

Our Verdict

With a price tag of $185, it may not seem like you are getting much capacity for the money but they carry more than you might expect from just 12.4 liters. They are also rugged, dependable and keep your gear rock-solid stable over rough terrain. The Daytrippers may not do it all, but they work well as a second set of soft bags with just enough room for your light-packing weekend adventures.

What We Liked

  • Very rugged and durable for off-road use.
  • Compact, lightweight and not in the way of body movement.
  • Wide opening with easy to use zipper closures.
  • Stays firmly in place on the trail.

What Could Be Improved

  • Compression Straps aren’t replaceable (require repair if damaged).
  • Built-in waterproofing without liners please


Capacity: 12.4 Liters (total for both bags)
Dimensions: 3″ (7.6 cm) W X 9.5″ (24 cm) H X 13″ (33 cm) L
Price: $184.99


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Rocky Mountain ATV/MC
Photos by Stephen Gregory and Spencer Hill

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 Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, 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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Eric W.
Eric W.
April 25, 2017 9:14 am

Great review! Got these marked for my CRF250L!


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