The waist pack. Quintessential nerdiness or level-headed practicality? The Kriega R8 Motorcycle Waistpack manages to be practical while eschewing the dorky stigma associated with lesser waistpacks. The matte black color scheme, tasteful logos, and overall design speaks more to understated practicality (aka “tactical”); far from the neon-green images of overweight Americans at Disneyland with M&Ms strapped to their ever-expanding waistlines.
As a stand-alone piece of gear, the waistpack does handsomely for day-trips and quick blasts out to the canyons and mountains. It is designed to carry tools (in the included Kriega tool roll), food, small electronic accessories and other bits you might need on a short ride. There are two main compartments, one small and the other large. The larger is water-resistant and can either house the Kriega Tool Roll or any other gear (small camera, etc.) Included in this compartment are compression straps to hold whatever you decide to carry nice and tight. The smaller compartment is basically a mini dry-bag with removable white liner (kudos Kriega!), which is great for carrying water-sensitive gear. I don’t do much riding in the rain so I usually carry things like glove liners, food, extra ear plugs, wallet, microfiber cloth, etc., in the R8. You can augment the usefulness of the pack by wearing a Kriega R15 rucksack right above it, adding the ability to carry up to 3 liters of water in a hydration pack and more necessities such as a thermal jacket, extra visor, extra pair of gloves, and more.
- Outstanding quality: Kriega makes some of the best motorcycle-specific gear out there, and their sound conceptual designs are backed up with second-to-none fit and finish. The quality of the materials, stitching, snaps, zips and buckles is evident in all of their products and the R8 Waistpack is no exception.
- More useful than you would think. Works great as a small pack for quick jaunts or as a companion to the R15 backpack.
- On some bikes, the waist pack can interfere with the pillion section of the seat, making it uncomfortable to wear. Overall, if you already don’t have much fore-aft space on your bike, then the waistpack is going to limit you even more. I found the pack to be a bit cumbersome when I had a couple Kriega tailpacks on the rear of my Bonneville as it forced me to remain in the most forward position during long rides.
- At a price of $129.00, it’s pricey, but Kriega is nice enough to include their excellent tool roll…
- I wouldn’t ride with your accessorized tool roll in the bespoke compartment; I found it to be uncomfortably heavy and the pack tended to sag onto my bum. I elect to put my heavy tools in my tailpack.
The Verdict: This Kriega provides baseline practical functionality and that is going to appeal to a lot of folks. By itself, it’s a comfortable way of carrying everything you need for half-days on your favorite roads. Coupled with an R15 pack and possibly a couple of tailpacks, and it becomes a worthy companion to any overnight or multi-day tour. It’s a charmer.