ATV Luggage Guide
ATV's and UTV's are some of the most versatile vehicles out there and one of their most redeeming qualities is their ability to haul gear around. ATV luggage can make them even better. There is a wide array of luggage selections that can make your machine even more dynamic for hauling all of your gear. From rack bags and trunks to cargo boxes and tank bags, there is something out there for everyone.
With there being so many different luggage options available, it might seem like a daunting task to choose what's right for your needs. But when you know what all of the options and what the advantages and disadvantages are of each, you can find the best ATV luggage for you and your machine.
Not all ATV luggage is made equally and some options may fit your needs better than others. It's important to take the different features into consideration so there will not be any surprises or disappointments when you are out on the trail with your machine. Below are some of the considerations that you need to take into account.
Hard vs. Soft
The choice between "hard" plastic luggage and "soft" textile luggage is one of the most important decisions that you will need to make. Where hard luggage is more rugged and impact resistant, soft luggage is more versatile. You can be very confident that your gear will remain protected from impact with hard luggage, but because it is rigid, it is not so easy to store off of the machine. Soft luggage is very versatile in that it can usually be compressed to be smaller, which makes it far easier to store off of the machine. Gear can be secured tighter in soft luggage, whereas it might sit loosely in the hard cases. Soft luggage is often less expensive as well.
If you use your ATV/UTV on public lands and trails, you may want to strongly consider getting luggage that has the ability to be locked. Lockable hard cases and trunks will usually have latches where a padlock can be placed through to secure it. Some even have built-in locks. Soft or textile luggage that can be locked will have lockable zippers that can be locked with a padlock.
Waterproof and Water Resistant
ATV's and UTV's are built to handle extreme terrains and conditions. Your luggage should be able to too. A lot of ATV luggage is water resistant, but very few are actually waterproof. If you need your luggage to be completely waterproof, pay close attention to the designations. Many trunks and bags will have fitted rain covers that can be placed over the top to protect them from rain.
Many models of ATV's have the headlight on the steering column. This will greatly limit the height of the luggage that you can place on your front rack. If you go too high with the luggage, your headlight will be obstructed. Machines with the headlights below the front rack have very few limitations on the luggage that can be installed.
ATV/UTV Luggage Styles
Out of all the powersports, ATV's and UTV's have the most options when it comes to different styles of luggage. With so many options, every rider should be able to find what they need in storage no matter what machines are used. Below is a list of the different styles of luggage for ATV's and UTV's.
Rear Trunk with Seat
Many rear trunks come with added cushioning to extend the seat onto the back rack for a passenger. It is important to note that most of seats are not legal for use while the ATV is moving. Using the added seat in this way will be done at your own risk, even though it has become a popular practice.
For a good alternative to a trunk, riders can go with a rack bag. The soft sided equivalent to the rack trunks can be far more versatile on and off of your ATV due to their textile construction.
A handlebar bag is a perfect place to keep your belongings that you need to keep close at hand like your GPS, phone, keys and wallet. These bags can be quickly attached and detached via hook and loop straps and are small enough to be unobtrusive.
Cargo Box/Tool Box
UTV beds are great for hauling things, but they lack organization. A cargo box or tool box allows you to keep your tools and other gear organized and protected from the elements. They are built tough and rugged enough to handle heavier tools. Plus, many boxes are lockable to keep your expensive tools safe.
ATV tank bags are set up like throw-over motorcycle saddlebags with a bag per side. The yoke between the bags has an opening to fit around the mouth of your gas tank and under the gas cap. Some ATV tank bags have quick-releases to allow you to bring your gear with you.
Roll Cage Organizer
The roll cage on your UTV can be utilized for even more storage space. Organizers can be attached to just about any UTV roll cage with straps. The organizer will give you quite a bit of extra overhead storage that normally would not exist.
The fenders of your ATV are a great place to add more storage. The fender bags can be mounted to all four fenders, giving you plenty of added storage. The bags are shaped to fit the fenders to keep them out of the way. They are another good option for keeping your belongings close to you for quick access.
ATV trunks have become one of the most popular types of luggage and for good reason. Riders can choose from trunks that fit on both the front and rear racks. The rigid construction makes them very durable and will protect your gear very well. Most ATV storage trunks can be attached to your machine's racks either by U-bolts or hook and loop straps.