Styling: Hybrid Tailbag
Price: Rs 5,200/-
In use since: Jul '15 to Present
Crash Tested: Yes
Buy it here:
Saddlebags or tailbag? Or both? Which one to take on the next ride? It’s not a life altering big question, but every rider knows the difference between taking the wrong luggage and the right luggage on a ride.
I recently rode to Khardung La, my 3rd time, and this time I wanted to take the right bag with me. I wanted to take ONE single bag, and not multiple bags. Apart from the luggage, I was carrying a sleeping bag, a carry mat, a tent and spare fuel cans. With so many things to be loaded on the bike separately, I wanted to accommodate everything else inside one bag. And all my gear wouldn’t have fit into either a single saddlebag or a tailbag.
After looking around a little, I decided to take the recently launched Dirtsack Gypsy with me. Off the shelf, the shape of the bag looked interesting enough for me to have that first look at it. And once I got to know a little more about it, there was no doubt I had made the right choice.
The Dirtsack Gypsy is basically what you call a “Hybrid Tail Bag”. I simply love this form factor. For a dual-sport rider such as me, the Dirtsack Gypsy is the perfect choice. The world over, hybrid tailbags have become hugely popular with off-roaders, long distance tourers and adv riders. The design of the Gypsy specifically is no-nonsense and functional. It’s a solid block design and doesn’t waste any space in trying to accommodate contours or angles.
The Gypsy looks like a huge talon. It is immaculately constructed and feels solid and strong to the touch. With a capacity of 60 Ltr, it isn’t as bulky as I expected it to be. My first impression of the Dirtsack Gypsy was that the bag looked confident, like it was trying to tell me, “Bring it on, I’m ready for Ladakh!” Like it was eager to grip the rear seat on my bike and never let go. Because of the black-on-black colour combo, the gypsy doesn’t really look pretty. It looks mean!
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS
The Gypsy opens on top with a C shaped zipper. The opening is generously wide and really makes the task of loading and unloading the bag very easy. The top flap opens to reveal a mesh pocket inside that’s flush with the flap. I found this mesh to be quite handy for storing small things that would otherwise get lost in the large main compartment.
Inside the bag, you’ll notice 2 long strips, or fiber inserts. Before use, these strips are to be inserted in their allocated slots inside both the “legs” of Gypsy. The inserts help to retain the shape of the bag and keep the Gypsy erect even when it is not filled to capacity. This way, you can take the Gypsy even on short rides when you don’t need a lot of luggage, and it’ll still retain its shape. Because of these fiber inserts, the Gypsy truly becomes “THE ONE BAG YOU NEED”, as it is advertised to be. Of course, the inserts are removable, so the choice of using them is up to the rider.
Each side of the Gypsy has two big external pockets. Perfect for storing things like tools, spares, power bars, torch, etc., the pockets are deep enough, open easily and are very accessible. There are two more slim compartments on either side of the bag. These compartments were awesome for storing my small camera accessories and mounts, especially because the external shell of all the four pockets is rubberized and hard wearing.
What I didn’t like about the pockets though, was that none of the pockets are vertical. I make it a habit to ride with a spare can of lube oil and I don’t want to store it anywhere in the main compartment where it can leak. Maybe two horizontal pockets on one side and two vertical ones on the other can solve the problem.
The front side of the Gypsy, the side towards the rider, has 2 vertical, expandable bottle holders. Very cleverly, these are designed to stay flush with the bag when not holding a bottle, and can be expanded really easily when needed. I liked the design of the bottle holders, but I’d have preferred it if they were placed on the rear side of the bag, rather than the front. Also, the holders could be a little bigger in size so that they can accommodate a larger variety of bottles. Presently you can fit only a standard 1.5 Ltr pet bottle into them.
The same rubberized, anti slip, tough material also protects the bottom of the Gypsy against wear and tear. This material also makes the Gypsy take a much better, tighter grip once it’s mounted on the bike.
There’s another feature on the Dirtsack Gypsy that I particularly like. The insides of the main compartment are bright yellow. So what, you might wonder? Well, the bright hi-viz colour makes it that much easier to see what’s inside the bag. Bright yellow is much better than everything inside being pitch black, right?
The primary shell of the Dirtsack Gypsy is made up of 1000D polyester. All zippers and runners are YKK. And the reflective elements are 3M Scotchlite. Dirtsack seems to have used the best possible materials available on the market today, and the superior quality was immediately apparent when I put the bag to use.
MOUNTING AND APPLICATION
This is what sets the Gypsy apart. It is universally compatible with any motorcycle, irrespective of size and type. The bag mounts on the bike with the help of 4 versatile anchor straps. Depending on your bike and its contours, the Gypsy has optional mounting points that you can choose from. My Royal Enfield has been completely modified and I typically find it difficult to mount any bag on it, but not the Gypsy. Not only is the mounting secure, but once you know how to do it, it’s really easy. One more reason I’m glad I got it, the damn thing can be mounted on nearly anything that has two wheels.
There’s a plethora of daisy loops and D rings on the Dirtsack Gypsy. With the help of those, it’s really easy to secure additional gear to the bag.
On the top, the Gypsy has a grab handle and a shoulder strap. In addition, there are 2 compression straps that have a dual purpose. I used them to either cinch down the main zipper a little more or to secure my tent on the top.
The materials used to make the Gypsy are inherently water retardant, specially the rubberized material on the bottom. I found it to be especially good at keeping the bag dry from quick attacks of water.
But for more long term rain protection, the Gypsy comes with a rain cover! After a few days in the mountains in Spiti and Ladakh, I got into the habit of putting the rain cover on the Gypsy by default. Each day in Ladakh means crossing many nallahs and ice-melt rivulets, but thanks to the rain cover and the rubberized bottom, the Gypsy would be completely dry.
The rain cover is a little cumbersome to install, but it covers the whole bag, so I didn’t mind it that much. Also, I wish there had been a dedicated zippered pocket for stowing away a wet rain cover after use, because obviously, I don’t want to keep it with any of the rest of my stuff.
Do I like the Dirtsack Gypsy? Of course I do! It can easily eat up the combined luggage volume of my old saddlebags and tailbag. The center of gravity of the Gypsy is perfect. If loaded and mounted correctly, it sits so tightly on the bike that it refuses to let go of its seat, almost like a seasoned politician! Universal mounting capability, multiple points to secure extra gear, well placed carrying straps add to the versatile utility of the Gypsy.
There’s a definite scope of improvement. But really, it’s more like fine-tuning than improvement. Inclusion of vertical pockets on one side, placing the bottle holders on the rear and an easier way to secure the rain cover and a dedicated pocket for the wet raincover. Dear Dirtsack, I’ll use the Gypsy as it is, just see if you can do something about these features, you know, for posterity.
To the reader, it may seem that I have expressed my opinion about the Dirtsack Gypsy in a very strong manner, but isn’t that what happens with the things you really like? I really like this bag. Other bags I own are going to feel neglected for quite a while, because I don’t think I’m going on any ride soon without the Dirtsack Gypsy, be it a short weekender or a long tour!
Take a closer look at the Dirtsack Gypsy and buy it here.
Note: A sample of the Dirtsack Gypsy Hybrid Tailbag was sent to Motonomous for review.
#motonomous #AintMonotonous #Dirtsack
"Give me a motorcycle, a camera, a good book and I can rule the world", says Aditya.
Aditya is the lead strategist and conceptualiser at Motonomous and also heads the content, design, photo and video teams.
Aditya bought his first motorcycle in 2009, and has been travelling on two wheels ever since...