Givi Easylock Saddlebags | MC TESTED

The best attributes of soft and hard luggage rolled into one clever design.

In between heavy and complicated hard luggage and weather- and theft-vulnerable soft saddlebags there must be an ideal solution. At least that's Givi's take with the Easylock saddlebags. Built with an ABS plastic shell and covered in 1,000-denier polyester, the Easylocks hold their shape when empty but can expand in the event of slight overloading.

These side-loading bags, which carry 15 liters each when compressed or 18 when expanded, have molded lids closed by sturdy zippers. Internal retaining straps keep the lids from flopping all the way open, and load straps help maintain rigidity when you open the zipper on the expansion gusset. Because the bags are not inherently waterproof, they come with slip-over rain covers.

Mounting is not your usual strap-over-the-seat affair. Givi offers bike-specific tubular-steel mounts for 22 models. The kit we tested for the Kawasaki Versys is simple and unobtrusive and did not require turn-signal relocation. Each bag rides on the lower rail and connects to the upper rail with a keyed lock. Once the bags have broken in slightly, they snap into place with little effort. (Note that the zippers use a pair of supplied combination padlocks for security.)

These are not huge saddlebags, but they’re convenient, with easy-moving zippers and a mesh partition in the outer lid to hold smaller items. We rode them in the rain, and the provided covers did their job, though this was not a daylong deluge.

Our complaints are few. It would be great to see Givi offer a slightly larger version, but maybe that’s just our American packing perspective. Also, while the number of supported bikes is growing, it’s still small. Otherwise, the Easylock bags really are the best attributes of soft and hard luggage rolled into one.

GIVI 3D600 EASYLOCK SADDLEBAGS

PRICE: $349 (plus mounting brackets)
CONTACT: giviusa.com

MC GRADE: B+

Verdict: Clever, elegant, small. Limited mounting options are the big drawback.