Product review: Dirtsack Frogman tailbag
What is it?
This 50-litre tail bag's claim to fame is that it is the only fully waterproof motorcycle bag on sale by an Indian manufacturer. The Frogman is a massive dry bag that comes with a harness which mounts on a motorcycle.The dry bag is constructed in bright yellow PVC with welded seams to ensure waterproofing. The top seals with hook-loop and you roll it thrice (at least) before closing the snap fit buckles at each end to close the bag and guarantee waterproofing.
How does it work?
Loading the cavernous bag is easy but with no internal organisation, you'll want to make sure you pack such that nothing pokes into your back. 50 litres of space is generous and I was able to pack in a full leather suit and a week's worth of clothes for a trip to the racetrack.
Once packed, you place the bag on the 900 Denier Polyester harness. The snap fit buckles on the roll-top click into the female buckle at either end of the harness. Three snap-fit compression webbing straps on the harness stretch over the bag, holding it in place along with two straps that stretch across the side of the bag.
The process is easier than it sounds. However, I discovered that dealing with all these straps and buckles can get painful in the extreme cold of Ladakh.
The harness has a small pocket upfront and its zipper is reluctant around the pocket's corners. The pocket's not very wide either and is best for small, flat objects. There's a reflective stripe at the bottom of the pocket which would work better positioned at the top. However, all told, the bag feels tough and durable.
How does it mount on the bike?
Mounting it to the bike is easy. You get four separate straps, each with a loop on the end. The looped end connects to the bike and the other side connects to the bag via rugged slide adjust buckles. The front two buckles can be tethered to the pillion footpegs or any other lower anchor point that is preferably vertically under the buckle. The other two buckles are situated at the back of the bag. This can be a problem because you need a mounting point at the rear like a luggage rack or a single-piece grab rail. Dirtsack's solution, like most other Indian luggage manufacturers, is to connect the two straps and loop it under the tail of the motorcycle. It's a fairly effective solution but we maintain that it's a bad idea to have a strap anywhere close to where a spinning tyre can touch it. Not to mention the cosmetic damage that'll come with the miles.
In the real world
On the move, the downside was that the bag never stayed firmly in place, moving a tiny bit forward on bumps and speedbreakers. This is a fairly significant problem on a compact motorcycle where the Frogman already eats into space. By virtue of its design, the bag is quite top heavy and also rather wide, neither of which are good things at high speeds.
The Frogman is, undeniably, waterproof once the roll-top is secured but the pocket on the harness is not. However, it moves around a bit no matter what you do and the only solution is to use it with a luggage rack with secure mount points. So unless you're riding to an extreme location and waterproofing is essential, despite the Frogman's capacity and utility, we think Dirtsack's own Gypsy will be a better bag to live with.
Available at dirtsack.in for Rs 3,850