GIANT LOOP – GEAR REVIEW – Siskiyou Panniers – Fandango Tank Bag Pro – Columbia Dryg Bag
We first used Giant Loop products to carry our gear from London to Sydney on our KTM 690s in 2012. We had a Great Basin on the back, some dry bags and a Fandango tank bag. This system worked really well. It was rider friendly, light, and could take the odd crash without falling to bits. Despite daily usage for four months, all the buckles and the straps and stitching remained intact with little if any sign of wear. If there were any sharp edges where we were mounting straps we covered them in gaffer tape to prevent chafing. Although I’ve up graded, my friends continue to use my original GL gear that took me on the big trip. It’s very popular with them and some of it will be used on our 2015 trip!
My next trip was an unsupported west east crossing of the Simpson Desert in 2014 and into the Flinders Ranges, a total of around 5,000 ks, of mostly dirt miles. I changed my setup slightly as we needed to carry heavy weights of water and fuel and I turned to the Siskiyou Panniers to keep the weight centralised and low. They fitted perfectly with my Pannier Racks. I upgraded to the Fandango Tank Bag Pro, that had improved access to my cameras and made charging accessories more streamlined. The great double zip mounting improved access to filling the petrol tank. They were topped with a double ended Tillamook Dry Bag. These doubled ended dry bags are excellent. Rather than rummaging around in a duffle bag trying to find what you want, you can quickly open either end. It sits perfectly atop the Siskiyou Panniers.
The only change for our south north crossing of the Simpson Desert this year is the addition of a Columbia Dry Bag. I used this bag last week end and it was brilliant (2nd picture below). It’s a double ended bag similar to the Tillamook with two additional features. A centralised handle so you can carry it like normal luggage and a webbed drying pocket to put those smelly or wet things in. Although not confirmed yet, I reckon in the desert sun this may become my mini drying room, but we’ll wait and see.
The Siskiyou Panniers copped a beating in the the first desert crossing and have now racked up over 10,000 hard kilometres. There are no signs of wear. I use GL water proof pods to make sure everything is kept dry. They are also handy to compartmentalise gear to make it easily accessible.
PS: As the desert is cold for this ride in July we are going to try out some Bushwackers Hand Guards, I’ll keep you posted on how well they go.
Here’s a clip of the Simpson Desert Crossing, legitimate adventure riders that use and test adventure gear.