Soft luggage vs hard luggage: Which one is more safe?

Soft luggage or hard luggage? It’s one of the biggest unanswered questions often asked by motorbike riders. Deciding the motorbike luggage for your tour can be the trickiest thing. A Lot of questions contribute to the answer of luggage security, weight distribution & arrangement. None of them is easy, it becomes harder if you make the wrong luggage choice. Both of the luggage systems have their pros and cons, the prime deciding factor is your need. The purpose for which you want it. What suits your needs perfectly would be the best luggage choice for you. The purpose of this blog isn’t to tell which is better than the other one. Instead, we will highlight the advantages and disadvantages of both. Which will allow you to figure out the best one for you. For choosing and knowing more about premium quality motorbike luggage click here

  • The motorbike you are riding? It’s a pretty obvious step, that is considered primarily. It’s the size of your motorbike, rear subframe & recommended weight load. The luggage system must be appropriate for the bike.
  • How many loads? We all are aware of the fact that two-wheelers don’t offer the luxury of space. For that reason, you secure bike luggage. Just because you have doesn’t mean you can carry up to unlimited capacity. There’s a maximum payload, it’s the safe limit of weight that can be transported safely. Also, keep in your mind the payload limit isn’t exclusive to the rider & passenger. You can check this capacity on your bike’s manual.
  • What are you packing? It’s a very practical point. Any luggage system that carries additional weight affects suspension, handling & performance of the bike up to a high or lower extent. It’s usually said reading distance adventure traveling “less is more”. What you carry and how you are packing it also contributes a lot to make the choice.
  • Where are you heading? You must keep in mind where you are going and how far your destination is. How is the passage there? And the weather conditions. How adventurous your trip will be. Your luggage choice depends a lot on this factor.

You must consider the above-mentioned factors and keep them in mind when it comes to choosing your bike luggage. Wrong choices won’t only make you uncomfortable but will compromise your motorbike trip’s safety.   

Hard Luggage vs Soft Luggage

1)   Volume

When it comes to the volume we will give hard panniers a plus point. They are very easy to secure and have pretty much space to fit in a lot of things. They are very easy and quick to pack, especially if you have gathered all of your essentials near you. Everything packed stays in its place, as most of them have fine slots and proper compartments for placing different things.

The volume and ease of packaging make them a handy choice for a lot of adventure riders.

We will play with honesty here, soft panniers can sometimes be cumbersome to pack, particularly the stuff which is too soft and pretty volumetric. Plus packing soft luggage takes more time compared to the hard ones. Many seasoned riders prefer soft luggage. 

2)   Cost

What can be the cheapest type of motorbike luggage? It’s simply grabbing your duffel bag out of the closet & strapping it onto the bike. Soft luggage has a clear cost advantage over the hard one. If you are a seasonal rider and just want to try how it feels to travel distance on your two-wheeler you can get a second-hand saddle bag from the flea market. The price of soft luggage entirely depends upon the features it’s offering. The variance depends upon the quality, durability & other features.

Hard luggage typically requires suspension racks and frames for securing, this adds up to the overall cost. A lot of riders intentionally settle for a cheaper luggage system which costs them more in the long run. Cheap luggage is crafted from cheap materials, they never last as the quality ones. No matter which luggage type you choose, make sure you buy yourself a quality one.

3)   Convenience

Hard luggage is pretty much easy to use. They can be attached and detached very quickly. You can just hook them off and carry all your essentials and belongings to the hotel with you or just take it with you to your tent. The ease of attaching the mechanism makes them very handy. Some of them aren’t entirely detachable but give the option of disassembling the inner lining and carrying it with you. They are really easy to refill as well. In contrast to the soft luggage.

Removing the soft luggage i.e saddlebags isn’t that handy. You might have to undo various straps, which will probably by hanging off from the bag get in your way to your hotel room. As you put them back you will have to make sure again that all the things are in place and straps are tied securely. So they won’t hand over the rear wheel of your motorbike. Some good quality modern soft luggage is convenient, they have fine and easy securing mechanisms unlike old-school saddlebags, upon whom hard luggage has a clear advantage.

4)   Security

Adventure bike riders who travel across developing countries, prefer hard luggage because of the safety it offers. Locking up your hard luggage makes it impossible for someone else to steal the stuff. It’s easier to be sliced up and open with the knife, or get removed from the bike entirely simply by cutting off the securing straps. 

Well, it’s way easier to cut off hard luggage just by using a crowbar, it’s harder to take off a whole pannier from the motorcycle if you have locked it up correctly. There’s no such luggage type that guarantees 100% safety of your belongings.


5)   Durability

Well-crafted hard luggage has a tendency of surviving after taking beatings. Soft bags can simply be cut or torn. Soft luggage has a higher probability to loosen up and swing over your bike’s rear-wheel especially when you are traveling on a rough road track. Soft bags are more valuable to crushability. Premium quality soft luggage bags are designed to be more durable. They give hard luggage a tough time.

If you are a seasonal rider, and thinking of taking a few rides in the season, using less expensive saddlebags won’t be a bad option. However, if you are hitting the road for an adventurous trip that consists of various types of tracks with different conditions on which you have to travel for long hours then getting high-quality luggage would be the right choice.

Also read: The 3 Secrets Of Energy Efficient Home 

6)   Style

Both of the bike luggage types come in a variety of shapes, colors, and styles. Ranging from vintage cruiser to athletic touring to rugged adventurous suspensions. We will go with the statement that style is subjective. You might prefer one type while the other prefers different. There are always different opinions about what works better. Some prefer rugged, vintage themes, others like athletic style. It’s a matter of personal choice and preference. We would suggest going with the one that primarily caters to your needs. Style is the second component when it narrows to choosing the type of bike luggage. Though most riders prefer hard luggage they say it looks tidier. Overall your bike styling matters. Going with the theme would be a better option.

Also read: 5 Sure-fire Ways Travelling Helps in Easing Your Mental Health


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