I first saw River Road’s Cruiser GPS Tank Bag in a vendor’s booth at an event earlier this summer. After making a weekend trip with a backpack stuffed to capacity, I was in the market for something mountable sans hardware to help ease the load. First impressions had me noting the build quality, magnet strength and, most importantly, the large amount of packing space it offered for such a compact piece of luggage. After verifying the fitment and size on my XLC, I was sold.
Part of River Road’s “Spectrum Series,” the Cruiser GPS Tank Bag measures 12.5″ wide, 9″ in height (with available expansion to 12″) and 15″ in length. The “GPS” comes into play in the form of the expandable front compartment that unzips to reveal a clear, waterproof pouch that uses high-strength Velcro mounting strips to display any normal-size GPS unit or smartphone in clear view of the operator—right under your nose. Elastic straps inside the pouch keep the GPS/smartphone in place; a nifty feature that keeps the unit perched for easy viewing at a very manageable eye level for this 5’11” rider.
Construction consists of durable RoadTex 1680 Denier nylon with PVC coating that holds up extremely well repelling water while offering the look and feel of real leather. I rode in heavy rain for approximately 75 miles and the bag’s interior stayed completely dry. Conversely, the GPS Tank Bag also comes with UV protection to prevent fading from harmful rays, while 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material graces the piping on the outer zippered compartments to aid nighttime visibility. The bag mounts to the tank via magnets (four) and straps (front and back), and the non-slip material on the bag’s bottom/backside keeps it from sliding and ultimately protects the paint’s finish when mounted to the tank. The main compartment of the GPS Tank Bag also unzips from the base for use as a backpack, and the base can then double as a road-map pouch if needed. However, the backpack is rather diminutive when strapped to the shoulders of any averaged-sized guy or gal and is better suited as a day bag-type of luggage piece (attachable shoulder strap also included).
Other features include heavy-duty lockable zippers on the main compartment, and three zippered side compartments (front and both sides) that are perfect for items needing quick and easy access. Again, that main compartment is spacious for a tank bag, and also includes a zippered mesh pocket on the inside flap for more easy access. My one complaint regarding the zippers is the fact that they don’t lock in position when closed, causing a clingy rattle while catching wind at high speeds. Other than that, I honestly cannot come up with a single gripe about this unit.
Although a little large for my XLC with 4.2-gallon tank, the bag is exactly what I was looking for in a universal-fit piece of luggage—sharp looking with a quality build, spacious storage and solid, secure mounting via both straps and extremely strong magnets. This may very well be the only tank bag I’ll need for a long, long time.