The two wheeled conveyance we call motorcycles are why I get excited to go to work, why I am excited to leave work, and why I even go to work (so that I can afford one). The one thing that bugs me about motorcycles: without adding bags of some sort, they're not the best way to transport things. Among the easiest pieces of storage to add are tank bags. They come in many sizes, capabilities, and styles.
AltRider decided to get into the luggage game after spending multiple years building some of the highest quality crash protection for bikes of all styles. They have developed an entire line of luggage and we will be reviewing all of it. Today we will take a look at their Hemisphere tank bag and how it performs.
How does it mount?
AltRider's Hemisphere tank bag mounts using a three strap system. The system consists of two pieces: the upper tank bag itself and the bottom mounting harness. This allows the bag to zip off and give access to the filler. The two rear straps of the base wrap around the frame under the riders seat and the front strap mounts around the steering head or similar area depending on your motorcycle design. Once strapped in place, the bag is attached using a full length zipper. It seems like an odd way to do this, but it works really really well. The straps can be cut to length or there are some nice loops under the bag to hold them in place. The one item I would like to see improved is the protection - or lack thereof - under the front buckle. It's the only one that touches the tank, and a little material could protect both the buckle and the tank.
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The bag is made from 1050D Ballistic Fabric with military grade stitching and full strength nylon webbing. When you hold the bag in your hands you can feel the quality of it. The stitching is straight and thick, the material is defect free, and the logo is not only finished well, it's reflective. There is a waterproof liner inside and while the exterior is not waterproof, it does do a really good job of repelling water. The divider included inside is moveable to create different sized spaces. I found this very handy to hold items securely while leaving room to toss in other items. The top has a very usable map pocket that is can be awkward to use. You have to open the bag, and go through a zipper to get a map into the pocket.
What's it like to live with?
At just over 11 liters, the AltRider Hemisphere is a reasonable capacity tank bag. It fits the tank of my Tenere beautifully. There is no interference with lock to lock turns and its low profile keeps it out of your line of sight. The dry bag inside is simple and easy to deal with; taking it off to fuel is slick and simple even with gloves on. The rear snap can be problematic. It sometimes clicks like it is locked but will fly open when riding. It is easy to use and when it snaps properly it works wonderfully. Just pay attention when you close it and life is good.
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Priced at $189.97, the Hemisphere undercuts some of its competition in this adventure level category. The quality of construction and materials are what make this bag worth the extra coin.
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