Date reviewed: November 2017 | Tested by: Kane Dalton | Price: 40l roll bag - £58.85 - 35ltr rucksack - £82.60 | www.givi.co.uk
I’ve been using this 40ltr roll bag (EA115BK) for about three months now, though I’ve also had a grey one for about three years. The new one’s been used in the pouring rain for 2,600 miles, as well as a snow storm, and a crash, in the Italian Dolomites. Despite all this, my gear inside stayed totally dry,
The roll bag and the 35ltr pack (GRT701) also came with me on a recent rainy 700mile ride to the Netherlands…
Both bags are made from heavy duty waterproof canvas, the quality of which is much like that of the dry bags used on boats and for scuba dive gear.
The tops have a roll-top closure system that seals very well, and prevents any water getting through. Since using my previous bag, Givi has updated the design by adding a closure strap that runs over the top of the roll closure and fastens down with Velcro. Water usually gets through zips and fasteners, but by eliminating these, the packs offer better protection.
Both bags have reflective safety print that catches the light well and can be seen from a good distance in poor conditions.
The 35ltr back-pack has a mesh liner with ventilated airflow in the padding to reduce sweat. The shoulder straps are comfortable and easy to adjust, and there’s an adjustable elasticated chest strap and waist strap, though I don’t find this to be very useful on road bikes as the bag stays in place relatively well… I cut mine off.
Both of these Givi bags have been very thoroughly tested!
On a recent weekend trip I carried, jeans, four pairs of underwear, four pairs of socks , four T-shirts, toiletries, a small camera and a rain suit in the 35ltr rucksack, which also has a mesh pocket on the outside that I found useful on the beach. Despite this load, it was lightweight and comfortable on my back with economical packing. Its pair of carry straps (with a padded handle), as well as a shoulder strap, are both substantial enough to carry a heavy load when off the bike.
Ease of fitting
It’s really ease to strap the roll-bag to the bike, especially as Givi has added attachment brackets to use bungees or tie downs.
The buckles and fastening loops are made from strong material, and the bag comes with two elasticated bungee cords for attaching to the bike. Attaching only using bungees means that there is some movement of the bag on the bike, so I prefer lashing straps, which I bought from B&Q. With these, the bag is secure and doesn’t move at all, and on a touring bike you can use the bag as a back rest.
Givi says that the bags are ‘resistant to heavy rain, temporary immersion and extreme conditions.’ I’ve used them in extreme weather and prolonged heavy rain, and never had a single drop of water get inside.
When I photographed the bags I dropped them in the sea and also let the waves break over them; when I cleaned them I dropped them in the shower and sprayed them with the hose. Still, everything inside was dry.
There are no security features on the bag, though you could easily run a helmet cable lock through a tie-down buckle if you’re worried about leaving it on the bike when you stop at the services.
The back pack is really comfortable, lightweight and with tailor-made adjustments. When I travelled to the Netherlands, two of my friends had standard rucksacks with ‘waterproof’ covers, but both suffered soaked-through kit on arrival and for the duration of the trip. My gear was bone dry.
When I checked the weather forecast before setting out with the 40ltr roll bag, the icon on my app was a cloud with a lightening bolt. I’d never seen that symbol before and had no idea what I was letting myself in for. It turned out to mean I should expect biblical rain and snow. I rode 3,300 miles as hurricane Irma raged, yet all my gear was dry. It’s big enough to carry the bits I need, is easy to attach to the bike and it doubles up as a great back rest. I love it.