BMW Motorrad has come out with two textile bags – called BMW Softbag 3S – that secure easily to a luggage rack or rear pillion. The large BMW Softbag 3 holds 50 liters while the small one holds 35 liters and is just the right size to stow a full-face helmet in. Both bags have four additional water-resistant, external zippered pockets, one on top and three on the sides. Both bags are also expandable, adding an additional 5 liters of storage space in the main compartment.
The BMW Softbag 3’s dark gray outer shell is made of a mix of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent polyurethane. This material allows the bag to hold its shape but with enough flexibility to make packing it easier. It’s also resistant to dirt and water and is easy to clean.
The sturdy rigid base is made of EVA material, which feels like a thick, textured rubber coating. It keeps the bag in shape, and its anti-slip coating keeps the bag sitting securely wherever you mount it. The back is also reinforced with EVA and can be used as a back support for pillion passengers if the bag is mounted on the luggage rack. We tested this feature on the small BMW Softbag 3, and it works just as described. The small BMW Softbag 3 comes with six attachment straps (three lengths) with a snap clip on one end and a loop on the other. All you need to do is find a mounting point to loop the open end through, then attach the snap clip to each of the four connectors near the bottom of the bag and tighten the strap. If you have a BMW luggage rack, there’s a retainer on the bottom of the bag that fits over the rear end of the rack, which secures the BMW Softbag 3 even more.
The BMW Softbag 3 also come with a detachable padded shoulder strap, but the wide, padded carry handle that’s sewn into the top of the bag works so well for me that I usually leave the shoulder strap behind.