I couldn’t live without my motorcycle tank bag. It holds all of the little things I need frequently and spares me the hassle of having to open my top box or panniers.
There are hundreds of products on the market and lots of dodgy fakes and copies on the big retailers. We’ve done the research and narrowed it down to 5 of the best tried and tested options for you to consider.
There should be something for every kind of rider on this list.
Let’s dive in.
Best Motorcycle Tank Bags Reviewed
I’ve included tank bags of various styles/functionality. One of these is sure to suit your riding style and needs.
Givi XS307 Xstream Expandable
This Givi mounts on your fuel ring to be incredibly secure but easy to remove with quick release.
All parts are included, but you’ll need to buy the mounting plate separately – and check which plate is compatible with your bike.
My favourite feature is that part of it comes with a shoulder strap so you can easily take valuables with you during pit stops.
- Givi mounting system is very reliable
- Shoulder strap for easy use off the bike
- Expandable capacity to 15l
- Water-resistant cover and zips work well
- Lots of extra features like tablet holder, GPS holder, reflective strips, and shoulder straps
- No anti-theft system
- Non-rigid material causes some sagging when bag is fully loaded
- Have to buy mounting plate separately
Oxford Lifetime M30R Magnetic Tank Bag
There are a couple of things that set this bag apart immediately.
Firstly, rather than using a shoulder strap for transport off the bike, this converts into a backpack.
Secondly, the straps, magnets, and mounting hardware stay on the bike while the bag zips off.
These are both nice touches and may immediately appeal to some riders.
In every other way, this is a decent product too.
Four powerful magnets hold it in place, an electrical port with an internal pocket is included, and a clear window with a sun shield/cowl makes it easier to see your map/device.
With 30L of space in its expanded form, this is a hefty bag too.
Plenty of pockets are included to organise your stuff and we like the dedicated power bank space with an external port. It’s a nice touch if you use a power bank but functions just like another pocket if not.
Another great product from Oxford – recommended for those that need lots of storage from their tank bag.
- Converts to a backpack and zips off instantly
- Clear window with sun-shield
- No anti-theft measures to speak of
Givi EA106B Easy-T Magnetic Tank Bag – 6L
This bag from Givi has been designed and built around convenience.
Two powerful magnets hold it in place on metallic tanks and make for quick installation. It’s also compatible with Givi’s Universal Tank Fitting System (TFS) for use on non-metallic tanks or for those who want added security.
A clear window is included for your phone. This is touchscreen compatible, meaning you can quickly see and operate your phone without fishing around in a pocket.
The only problem here is the glare/sheen on the transparent plastic. In very bright weather, it can be hard to see the screen well.
The inner pocket has enough space for some essentials and is also easy to access.
We like that they’ve included a rain cover. It’s effective, fits well, and makes this an even better purchase. We prefer a dedicated cover to half-baked efforts at “water resistance”.
Like many of the bags on our list, this one has a detachable shoulder strap to turn this into a regular piece of luggage off the bike – great.
Overall, this is another example of excellent motorcycle hardware from a trusted brand – quality material, tough zips, and sound, practical design.
- Transparent phone window
- Quality magnets
- Rain cover
Givi MT505 Metro-T Tanklock – 5L
This is a slightly harder shell bag made from thermoformed EVA, polyester urethane, and 600D nylon.
This construction means the bag is sturdy and holds its shape, but isn’t as prone to cracking over time as a true, hardshell case.
A zipper and quick release snap-lock allow you to expand the capacity to 5L.
This only takes a moment and the zipper ends are drilled out to accommodate a padlock for security.
Two inner pockets are included so you can organise your gear and space for Givi’s Power Hub is provided.
The 5L and layout are perfect for stuff like wallet, phone, water, etc and the shoulder strap makes this easy to transport off the bike too.
Givi also includes a waterproof cover.
It’s easy to install, easy to expand, and perfectly sized for essentials when commuting or on tour.
- Looks neat
- Waterproof cover
- Compatible with Givi’s Power Hub system
- No clear map/device window
Dracarys Universal Magnetic Bag
This universal magnetic bag from Dracarys (named after a Game of Thrones dragon) uses durable, high-denier Oxford fabric.
The included magnets are about the size of a pound coin and felt OK to us at high speed.
But a tank strap is also included for those who need added reassurance.
A PVC, transparent window pocket for a map/device is touch screen compatible, meaning you can quickly access GPS or answer calls.
As far as fitting goes, this is near universal.
The only problems will come with plastic/aluminium tanks or if your tank is an unusual shape.
For a cheap and cheerful option, this is decent.
It doesn’t reach the same level of quality as some of the brand name bags on our list but for the price this will store some gear perfectly well.
- Cheap and cheerful
- Transparent phone window
- No rain cover
I’m a big fan of tank bags and think that the pros outweigh the cons. However, you must pay attention to these cons because many problems can be avoided by choosing the right bag for your bike.
If you haven’t tried one yet, though, consider these pros and cons.
- Extra luggage space
- Don’t have to worry about items flying out of your pockets while riding
- GPS and map pockets make navigation less of a hassle
- Keeps essential items readily accessible
- Can double as a backpack
- May get in the way of fuelling and riding
- Bag or straps could rub against your thighs or stomach
- Large bags could interfere with steering
- Not suitable for bikes with tank-top instruments as the bag will block the speedometer and warning lights
- May interfere if you stand up when you ride
What to Put in it?
There are some massive tank bags out there, so they can be used for all types of gear. In general, though, they are used for carrying small items that you need quick access to.
Here are some of the things you could find in mine:
- GPS – see our guide to the Best Motorcycle Sat Nav
- Paper maps (nothing beats old-school maps!)
- Water bottle
- Motorcycle gloves – see our guides to winter and summer gloves
- Visor cloths
- Pens and small notebook
- Earplugs – Best Earplugs For Your Motorbike
- Pocket knife
- Phone, wallet, keys, loose change
- Impulse purchases
When I first started going on longer rides, I found this article about how to pack a motorcycle helpful. It covers all aspects of motorcycle luggage, including balancing load and safety considerations.
How to Choose
I’m convinced that the riders who don’t like tank bags have the wrong one. The wrong choice of bag could cause all sorts of problems – including some serious safety issues.
You need to look at three main things when choosing: attachment method, capacity, and material.
1. Attachment Method
The first thing to look at is the attachment method. A tank bag might not even be compatible with your bike, depending on how it mounts.
These bags have 4-6 strong magnets. It is straightforward to mount and then remove it. You’ll find tons of options for magnetic tank bags.
Just be warned that the cheap magnetic ones are likely to blow away when riding off-road or loaded up with gear.
- Easiest and fastest attachment method.
- Can be quickly removed: Perfect for dodgy areas where you want to take your tank bag and its contents with you and for fuelling
- Lots of options and variety
- Magnets are heavy: When you are already carrying your tank bag with contents, jacket, and helmet, you don’t want the extra weight of magnets!
- Weak magnets are unreliable: Cheap bags use small, weak magnets, which could cause your bag to blow away. You’ll want to use tethering straps just in case
- Might scratch your tank: If the magnets get dirty, scratching the finish is almost inevitable
- Easy removal = easy to steal
- Doesn’t work on aluminium, plastic, or fiberglass tanks
Strap mounts are very secure without being pricey. The only annoying thing is when they don’t have a quick release. Then you have to take every valuable item out of the bag and put it into your pockets when making a pit stop.
- More secure than magnets
- Less likely to scratch your tank
- Takes a bit more time to steal
- Not all have a quick-release option.
c) Fuel Ring
This is hands-down the best way to mount a tank bag. You get a special fuel ring for your tank and then attach the bag to this.
The issue with them is that they are only compatible with certain bags. Plus, they are pricier because you have to buy the bag plus the tank ring.
If you are new to tank bags, I’d recommend starting with a more affordable option and seeing how you like it.
- Very secure.
- Won’t scratch your tank.
- Quick-release makes it very convenient.
- Only works with specific models of motorcycles and bags.
- Not all brands have anti-theft devices.
- Are expensive.
The video below shows how easy it is to mount using the fuel ring method.
There are two camps when it comes to capacity. One is adamant that only small tank bags are worthwhile because large ones can get in the way. They think that you shouldn’t use a tank bag for anything but small essential items.
The others will say that large is the way to go because of the extra storage space needs. These tend to be people who tour a lot or need the extra space for a pillion.
One solution to this dilemma is to get an expandable tank bag. Small enough to remain unobtrusive but with flex room if you ever need to shove a 4 pack of beer inside.
Whatever size you get, measure first to make sure it will not obstruct your handlebars. Safety first!
They usually come in three types of materials: leather, canvas, or rigid materials.
- Leather: Great durability and natural waterproofness. Not so good when large leather bags soften and start to droop.
- Canvas/Nylon: Great because of its low price and because they usually have lots of pockets. Not so good against water.
- Rigid Materials: These are usually used with fuel ring adapters. They are great for staying in place, waterproofing, and against theft. Downsides are their higher price and because they typically aren’t expandable.
Note about Waterproofness:
Even the best bag isn’t going to be 100% waterproof. If not the material itself, but the zips which are likely to leak. So always put your vulnerable items in plastic bags or get your waterproof cover on ASAP when it starts to rain.
As for rain covers, be warned that wind always seems to get under the rain cover. It will flap around annoyingly until it blows away or you take it off.
4. Other Features
These features are not essential, but some nice extras never hurt.
- Can be used as a rucksack
- GPS or map pockets
- Reflective strips for enhanced visibility
- Inner pockets (speaking from experience, opening your tank bag, and having all the contents spill out onto the road is not a good look!)
- Light colour interior for finding contents easier
- Cable ports for charging devices while you ride
- Removable device pockets
My favourite of these best tank bags is the Givi Easy T, the size is suitable for everyday use, and it is designed well, so it doesn’t interfere with riding.
For longer trips, though, I’d use the Oxford M30 because of the large capacity and easy off the bike carrying options.