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Old 04-13-2013, 10:52 PM   #1
nylon2000 OP
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Wolfman Rocky Mountain review

Just did an 8 day 2,000 mile trip on the TET with the new Rocky Mountain saddlebags, and especially as they have only recently been released by Wolfman, thought I'd add a review.

I knew I needed softbags, given the amount of off roading i was doing. I needed ~30l of storage per bag. I needed them to be waterproof. That reduced my list to: Andy Strapz, the Magadans and Wolfman Rocky's (I may be missing one). I went with the Wolfman's as I already know and use the brand.

Overall: I'd recommend these whole heartedly - if you want something similar to the Expedition Dry Bags, but with larger storage then get these. Other benefits: better abrasion resistance, easy to pull the liners out, and avoid tracking mud from the outers into your tent/hotel. Downsides: wider than the handlebars (this is a real downside), and it can be hard to slide the inners in, when they are too full (not a real downside, take less stuff!).

Capacity: They are ~35 liters, so around 2x the size of the Wolfman Expedition panniers, which are popular. More than enough space for me on this trip, when combined with a 50l roll bag and a tank bag. I was carrying food, tent, stove etc. I think these bags will also be large enough for the RTW trip that's coming up, with no additional storage.

Weight: ~10lbs empty for the pair, vs 6lbs for the Expedition ones.

Size: This was one of the few things that I didn't like. While they sit low, and front to pack, and up and down size are great, they are a touch wider than I'd have wanted, and stick out around 2" on each side past the handlebars. Twice on technical terrain i squeezed through a gap, only to have the bags either brush, or snag on something. It is possible to cinch them down smaller, but its not easy, and I think you'd have rough surfaces to catch easily.

Waterproof: The outer material is waterproof, although its stitched and will leak through the seams, but the inners are waterproof. Worked perfectly in a 12 hour downpour.

Ease of use: Fairly quick to on and off the whole bags, but best of all, the inner bags are easy to whip out in less than a minute each. Harder to put back in, when I'd over stuffed them (my fault), as the hard plastic inners of the outer bags catch on the stuff sacks. Once i realized the way to avoid this was to simply not compress the bags until they were slotted together, this wasn't an issue.

Other: Nice reflective band on the bags; lots of attachment points for water, or other items on the outside/top of the bags; good abrasion resistance if they were in a fall (yet to check that!).

I had originally thought of mounting these with the rotopax mount, but advise against it, as it would make an already wide set up, even wider.

From the side:


From the rear:


NY-Lon
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:03 AM   #2
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Thanks for the review Nylon…looks like great stuff. In my search for some great soft luggage I have looked at a lot of bags and you have confirmed what my concern was with these…just a touch to wide.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:05 AM   #3
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I wish Wolfman still offered the Teton bags…seemed like a good compromise between the Expeditions and the Rocky Mountain bags...
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveWave View Post
I wish Wolfman still offered the Teton bags…seemed like a good compromise between the Expeditions and the Rocky Mountain bags...
Consider the Monarch Pass. Pretty happy with them.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:35 AM   #5
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Consider the Monarch Pass. Pretty happy with them.


I'm about to order a set based on a review you did on them. Just need to go by Wallyworld & pick up a couple of dry bags to go in them. I think I'll also get one of their Deluxe Mount Kits to mount my duffel on the seat.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by VFR View Post
I'm about to order a set based on a review you did on them. Just need to go by Wallyworld & pick up a couple of dry bags to go in them. I think I'll also get one of their Deluxe Mount Kits to mount my duffel on the seat.
Larry, I picked up a set last week and they come with the dry bags. I have to echo pretty much everything the OP said. Really nice bags.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:14 PM   #7
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other than size whats the main reason you chose these over expedition bags ?

seems the outer bags is thin and would be prone to tears and like you added pain in the butt inserting liner in the outer bag ..

having the bag one peice would simplify it and can be compressed nice for those tight trails ..

im torn as too wich to choose .. ive had used rollie style bags for years rafting and hunting and prooved very tough .. im worried about tearing outer bag ..
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:26 PM   #8
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Chose the Rockies because:

- the outer bags are more abrasion resistant than the expeditions.

- larger capacity for longer / RTW trips. I've seen people stick to the expeditions, but then stack a ton of weight high on their rear seat, which seems to defeat the point of keeping it down low.

- at the end of the day its so easy to whip out the clean inner bags, and leave the muddy outers on the bike (this was very useful). Its clean, and much faster

- As they are larger, its possible to get weight even lower than with the expeditions

Yes, they are a hair too wide. I'm trying to see if i can cinch them down a little to narrow the profile.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:42 PM   #9
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nice answers thanks , im going to ride up to thier store north of denver so i can put my hands on them . i keep telling myself i dont want to pack as much and heavy as those bags can fill ..

im headed back home to alaska 1st week of june and i didnt like the hard side bags on my klr .
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:06 PM   #10
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Thanks for posting a review.

I'm going to be looking for a set for my 650X very soon, so this is timely. I had it narrowed to the Magadan panniers or WM Rockies. Already have the top bags from trips on the 1200.

I'll also be considering bags for shorter (long weekend - two weeks) - maybe possible to do with smaller overall storage capacity, but as I've found even on the big bike - what I pack for a long weekend .vs. a week or even longer (camping included) doesn't seem to vary much.

Were you doing single track when you noticed the width interference? I know you mentioned not being able to cinch down very well (assuming fully loaded), do you think these could be cinched well if you only loaded them 2/3 full say? Just wondering if they would work for shorter trips and would not be too much bag...

EDIT: Just thought I'd post up dimensions on these two in case others were wondering..hope the OP doesn't mind.
Rocky Mountains - Wolfman (per WM website)
Length: 16" / 41cm top, 15" / 38cm bottom
Width: 10.5" / 27cm top, 8" / 20cm bottom
Height: 13"-16" / 33cm-41cm depending on amount of roll
32 Liters each + 3L when reducing amount of roll

Magadan (Per Adventure-Spec website)
Width 200mm x Length 360mm x Height (variable) 360mm (without pockets)
7.87" x 14.17" x 14.17"
32 Liters each (without pockets) (with min closure requirement - tallest bag)
24 Liters each (without pockets) (with max closure - shorter)
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:49 PM   #11
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Mtn - the magadans were on my shortlist as well.

I went with wolfman because - i know the brand, i didnt care too much about the kevlar slashproof lining of the magadans, and adventure spec had a 2-4 week backorder on them, and i couldnt wait. Plus i think the Wolfman mount more securely with their 4 tab system.

Also, I'm not sure if the volumes you just gave for the Magadan's are correct (i may be wrong as well), but from the Adventure Spec site, they say:
"The bags roll down to less than 25 litres a side as they have a roll top. So, you can roll them down to carry a total of 35 litres or up to 25 litres per side for a maximum total of 50 litres."

That sounds like they are between 17.5 liters and 25 liters per side.

I wanted more storage as well.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by nylon2000 View Post
Mtn - the magadans were on my shortlist as well.

I went with wolfman because - i know the brand, i didnt care too much about the kevlar slashproof lining of the magadans, and adventure spec had a 2-4 week backorder on them, and i couldnt wait. Plus i think the Wolfman mount more securely with their 4 tab system.

Also, I'm not sure if the volumes you just gave for the Magadan's are correct (i may be wrong as well), but from the Adventure Spec site, they say:
"The bags roll down to less than 25 litres a side as they have a roll top. So, you can roll them down to carry a total of 35 litres or up to 25 litres per side for a maximum total of 50 litres."

That sounds like they are between 17.5 liters and 25 liters per side.

I wanted more storage as well.
Well, now I'm not sure. I used the data from the Adventure-Spec website and this website/review of Magadans for my volume numbers above.

http://adventure-motorcyclingh.com/
http://adventuremotorcyclinghandbook...08/magdims.jpg

EDIT: Meant to include this one too.
http://adventure-motorcyclingh.com/2...-a-close-look/

Would be worth looking into a bit further - because they may not be quite as big as the RM's, but they appear to be a little skinnier.

Se what you think of the data in the links...either way, I think you have yourself a good setup there!
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:40 PM   #13
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Amazing post - love the math!

To answer your earlier question - when did i notice the width of the bags:

- at a gas station weaving between parked cars
- when i got lost during some single track and ended up off all tracks, and navigated between some tight trees
- squeezing between a gate and a wall

in all cases these were very slow maneuvers. Basically its 2-2.5" per side wider at its widest point, than the handlebars.

I'm not good enough to race through slots that narrow at anything above walking pace.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:57 PM   #14
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Amazing post - love the math!

To answer your earlier question - when did i notice the width of the bags:

- at a gas station weaving between parked cars
- when i got lost during some single track and ended up off all tracks, and navigated between some tight trees
- squeezing between a gate and a wall

in all cases these were very slow maneuvers. Basically its 2-2.5" per side wider at its widest point, than the handlebars.

I'm not good enough to race through slots that narrow at anything above walking pace.
Just dont go near the water or boats.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:30 PM   #15
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Soft bags

Has anyone looked/put hands on the HT Mojave bags? THose are supposed to have a waterproof, removable liner with a roll top closure. Would be nice to see a comparison between those and the Wolfman Monarch bags.
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