Form: The waist pack. Quintessential nerdiness or level-headed practicality? The Kriega R8 motorcycle waist pack manages to be practical while eschewing the dorky stigma associated with lesser waist packs. The matte black color scheme, tasteful logos, and overall design speaks more to understated practicality (aka “tactical”); far from the neon-green images of fat Americans at Disneyland with Peanut M&Ms and jelly beans strapped to their ever-expanding waistlines.
Function: As a stand-alone piece of gear, the waist-pack 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. 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 gear such as a thermal jacket, extra visor, glove liners, etc. The R15 + R8 combo works so well, in fact, that it has become a go-to system as part of my overnight touring system (with the addition of one or two Kriega US tailpacks, of course).
Fit & Finish: 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 Waist Pack is no exception.
Final Words: I bought the R8 Waist Pack on a whim. I wasn’t so sure about it’s overall usefulness for my style of riding based on how Kriega markets it: as an Enduro accessory. With use, however, I think it’s baseline practical functionality is going to appeal to a lot of folks. By itself, it’s a comfortable way of carrying everything you need for half-days out through your favorite roads. Coupled with an R15 pack and possibly a couple of tail-packs, and it becomes a worthy companion to any overnight or multi-day tour. It’s a charmer.