Kriega R20 Backpack
Fantastic Commuter Bag
Being American, these moon-units of “20 Liters” were hard to gauge from the lazy convenience of the internet. But it sounded large enough, so I picked it up anyway. Day-to-day, this is fine, as its large enough to accommodate my rain gear and a secondary pair of work shoes, but you’d be hard pressed to cram anything else of any size larger than a wallet or phone in there past that. If you carry anything larger than this in volume, I would opt for the R25 or at the very least one of the accessory bags that can attach to the outside of the bag.
As for the bag itself, what I can’t complain about at all is fit, finish, or comfort. It’s extremely durable for a soft-shell bag. Has multiple compression straps (which all have their own tie-down clips so they aren’t flailing in the wind), and the bag itself is “water resistant” if not waterproof. In reality I’ve had to ride in many a surprise Florida downpour, and never had anything seep into the bag’s interior. Being a backpack, it does restrict airflow over your back, and it does try to alleviate this with two large breathable pads along the spine. But these act more as cushion than anything, and after 30 minutes of traffic in the heat I still develop the ol’ sweatback where it rests on me. But this will be a problem with all backpacks, so I accept it for what it is, and not as a fault of the R20 itself.
The major selling point of all Kriega backpacks is the fastening mechanism. For those who don’t know, unlike traditional backpacks that simply hang over your shoulders, Kriegas use a large plastic fastener that connects at the sternum. This focuses the load strain across your chest, not your shoulders, which can take the weight much easier similar to how hiking backpacks fasten above your hips. Even those come with chest straps as well. The result works exactly as advertised, and I went from a backpack that only got more uncomfortable with speed to the Kriega which is more comfortable, stable, and secure than anything I had tried before. The connector itself is comically large to allow you to easily fumble for it with riding gloves on, and it’s a simple one-click on, one-click off process to put on or take off the bag.
Needless to say I’ve been very happy with it, even if there have been a few occasions where I wish I had sprung for the R25. But wishing you had more of a great thing is one of the best endorsements, right?
July 10, 2015
This bag is well made peice with attention to detail and excellent finish. The quad lock system works and makes getting the pack on and off with your riding jacket on easy. The pack sits low enough that it doesnt interfere with the back of your helmet.
June 29, 2015
Really like this pack
I have had it for about 6 months now. I use it for daily commuting and then add a hydration bladder for weekend trips on F800GS. Lots of room, good quality. I really like the one locking clip for shoulder straps. Easy to throw over the shoulder even when I have lots of gear on.
Kriega got this one right.
June 12, 2015
I've been using the R20 for commuting and it's been great. 20L is actually decent amount of volume, enough for pants, street shoes, a 15" Macbook Pro, and a lunch. The material and construction are good. And the harness system works well (but I have not worn the backpack continuously for an hour or more).
June 4, 2015
I purchased this backpack because I wanted a pack with better weight distribution while riding to work, and I wanted something water resistant if I was caught in the rain. I use this backpack to carry a laptop, chargers, sometimes a tablet, and misc items. It met and/or exceeded almost all of my expectations.
Weight Distribution and Sizing
The weight is distributed so evenly that I started using the bag for travel too. The straps are designed to go over motorcycle jackets with body armor, which I had adjusted the size for accordingly. Adjusting was a bit of a hassle but it's a 1-time thing. I'm 5'4" and a little under 110 with a small frame, so the pack is sized a little big for me without a jacket on, even at the smallest settings. Without a jacket, the straps won't always stay on my shoulders unless I buckle them together because it is designed for a broader build (again, targeted for motorcycle jacket compatibility, and probably for guys). I don't mind buckling it though because this is part of what makes the pack seem so weightless. If you are a big-chested woman, the buckle might not work well for you.
Off a motorcycle, the pack still works great. It is not one of those over-compartmentalized packs that have a pocket for every pen and pencil. If you tend to over-pack, you would end up doing a lot of rummaging while traveling. If you pack light, it won't be a problem. There's one big compartment with a sleeve and a small zippered pocket (think pens, chapstick, small random stuff), and one outside small sideways compartment (think granola bars, passport, hand sanitizer, etc).
This confused me when I was shopping for this bag. There is a sleeve in the main compartment that can be used as laptop sleeve. It is not padded, protective, or laptop-specific. On my 15" laptop, the sleeve goes up the computer about halfway, just holding it in place and maybe preventing a few scratches. The backpack has a rigid structure which keeps me from getting nervous when I toss it on the ground, but this is not designed to protect your laptop. Sounds like this sleeve could also be used for a water bladder, or for anything else flat and skinny.
Quality, Durability, and Design
I haven't had the pack long enough to tell you how it holds up long term, but I can attest to the attention to detail and overall quality of the bag. This is the first Kriega product I've owned, and I'd certainly be open to buying another one of their products. A few things I would change if I designed/manufactured this pack:
- stuff the hand handle so it is padded, easier to hold
- allow the side pocket zipper to go higher up into the garage (Klim does a great job with garages - check theirs out), and don't place the end of it directly under a buckle
- more reflective tape
- find a way to minimize the number of and length of the straps.
- have the main compartment zipper only go all the way down one side of the pack to prevent stuff falling out the side when I'm just reaching in the top to grab something, or solve this by adding a second zipper to the track (which I realize would create water resistance challenges)
Overall, highly recommended!
May 18, 2015
Don't wait to buy this pack
Last year, I had purchased a set of Kriega bags and was really impressed and I then waffled on the pack. Don't. Buy it. Not only does their Quad-Lok system really work, the bag itself is everything you need and nothing you don't for a motorcycle backpack.
I'll also say that this is so much better than a standard backpack.
I find the 20L size about perfect for commuting; toss in your notebook computer, a waterbottle, shoes, a layer and few other bits and there is still plenty of room. The compression straps are minimal and in the right place.
I also bought this pack to adventure on my Multistrada and so I can have easily accessible water. Thus far, it's been great! Much better than a standard hydration bladder pack.
As it's mentioned; this is not a waterproof pack, which is a slight bummer. I'd be willing to pay more for a very similar pack that has some water resistance to it.
May 7, 2015
This bag is perfect! You do not even know you are wearing it. It is perfectly balanced on your back and shoulders. Very light weight. Durable zippers. I added on a Kriega Kube Pocket to the front strap to keep my cell phone handy. Best motorcycle back pack I have ever owned!!!
April 27, 2015
Love this bag!
It's not quite riding season temperature-wise, but I recently used it for a business trip. I was able to pack one pair of dress shoes, a dress shirt & pants, a pair of pajamas, my 15" laptop + associated cables/chargers, a make-up pouch, a hygiene pouch, wallet, cell phones, backup charger and a bag of pecan turtles. I love this bag & can't wait to try it out of my bike next month. I bought the R25 for my fiancé, which has even more storing capacity then my R20 mentioned above.
April 6, 2015