I’m planning a 4 months trip and I wanted to have a suitable soft pannier for my KTM 690 Enduro R. After plenty of research, I decided on the backcountry. I brought it for a short regional trip, and I have been using it for a few months locally, these are my comments. MoskoMoto Backcountry Installation (5/5) Installation was easy and straightforward. Everything clipped on well and I still had some spare pucks left that attaches to the wedge. A hex key set is required. I also installed these bags on a 990 and the longer pucks made everything easy to install. I Realise it’s probably not necessary to install all 4 pucks, 3 will probably suffice if you wanted to save a little weight. Build Quality (5/5) With multiple layers of tough (but heavy) fabric and an additional beavertail at the sides, the BC was extremely tough and even with plenty of drops, it still looked brand new. The wedge seemed very solid as well and each puck had 4 long bolts, for a total of 16 bolts mounting the wedge to the frame. Usability (3/5) Maybe I’m too used to hard panniers, but going in and out of the panniers, un-clipping/clipping the side buckles and the locking strap (from steelcore) became a dreaded exercise especially when I forgot to put something back in the bag. If I didn’t have the steelcore cable, maybe it’ll be better. Expandability (5/5) The MOLLE webbing is brilliant, I wonder why all the manufacturers don’t do such a simple thing. Everything attaches easily though I feel they could have found a lighter solution to the pegs attaching the pouches to the backcountry. Yes, it’s tough, but I’m sure there’s something easier and lighter. Still, top marks for such a simple thing. Lockability (4/5) As a deterrent, the steelcore straps seem to serve its unintended purpose, however I really hate using it. If I take the BC off the frame, the steelcore straps need to be unhooked, rerouted etc.. it’s all very fiddly, I do hope a locking buckle gets installed soon in the BC. The BC also comes with a lockable catch that attaches to the rack. Very clever. Transportability/Weight (1/5) First up, it’s very easy to remove the bags from the bike. With a single handed twist of the catch, the bags are ready to be taken off (although the catch sometimes fall and re-latches the pull again). The bags are heavy, and with the content it does becomes very obvious. The non-ergonomic and thin carrying handle is also offset, which makes carrying the bag to be really difficult, causing the frame back to hit your shin every other step of the way. Combine it with your own duffel bag and other items, it becomes a real pain in the neck every time I stop at the hotel. After the first night, I left the bags on the bike itself and covered the bike. How can it be improved ? I think the whole point of the BC is its toughness, and reducing the weight of the fabric may compromise the toughness of the bag, so let’s not go there.. If I could choose, the wedge holder on the back of the bike will be redesigned to leave more of it on the bike, thus reducing the bag’s weight. The rear lining need not be that tough as well, so unnecessary fabric weight is removed, leaving most of the toughness on the sides and back of the bag. Lastly, i’ll redesign the carrying handle so that even if the bag was heavy, the ergonomics and position of the carrying handle will help greatly. Backcountry Conclusion Bottom line is, if you’re on a big bike, going off-road, camping and the bag can remain on the bike, this is a must-have. There’s plenty of areas for tie downs and it sits perfectly on the frame. If you’re doing a 50/50 dirt/urban touring with hotel visits lining the trip, hauling the BC from hotel to bike is going to be a problem, especially if you have other luggages with you. I think this is perfect for a big ADV bike going for off-road camping where you’ll always be by your bike. Enduristan Monsoon 3 Installation (3/5) I have to say, I was rather perturbed with the installation of the Monsoon 3s. First up, the stiffener panel which was supposed to be installed at the base didn’t sit 100% properly in the bag from end to end. Not a big deal, but for an OCD person like me, I got a bit irked. Perhaps I was wrong, I’ll investigate again, however both bags seemed to have the same issue. Again not a big deal. It was easy to velcro the top straps, but when it came time to install the bottom two rokstraps, I got slightly annoyed again. The top part of the monsoons is strapped to each other with velcro, and the bottom part has 2 buckles that clip to the bottom of the frame. The end of the monsoons go through the rear rack to give it some lateral support. I had no problems with the top and sides, but because my frame was short, the sides of the monsoons went past downwards the frame so there wasn’t much vertical tension from the bottom. Easy enough right ? Just pull the top part of the monsoons together more, but after I did that, I realised it distorted the top parts of the bag and it stretched over the top part of my frame, causing the bag to lean over the top part of the frame and reducing the useable storage space. I thought the rokstraps idea inside was great, but it didn’t seem to fit my tiny frames properly, I’m sure it’ll fit bigger bikes well. I added some stuff in the bags and my monsoons looked a little distorted. I will have to do some kind of modification. I think it’ll help greatly if there were additional slots above the end slots so bikes with smaller frames can still have some strong lower tension. I’ll probably have to cut the slots myself but I don’t want to do it now in case I want to sell the monsoons. I strongly believe a better tensioner can be designed for the back using the rokstrap ideas. Another think that I hated were the excessive straps all flapping around.. yes there were elastic straps to keep these orphans but I wonder when it’ll come loose. Again, cutting it will make it perfect but I’ll only do it on the eve of my trip when I’m very sure I’m using these bags. Another thing I noticed was the stiffener panels installed at the bottom causes the bag to be permanently wide. It means if the bag is empty, you can’t easily flatten it unless you go into the bag, fold up the stiffener. Build Quality (5/5) The build quality is excellent, everything seem to be seamed properly, the overall look of the bag is great. The fabric is noticeably much thinner than the BCs, which explains the lower weight. I’m not sure how it’ll hold up for continuous around the world expedition where the bike will fall continuously on the bags, and the fact that enduristan provides a repair kit must explain that holes should be expected. However, I think on-road touring should be fine, time will tell. The buckles seem to be much smaller than the mosko ones, but I think it will hold up. The female buckle is attached directly to the bag, I’m not sure yet if this will cause problems, but because it’s attached, the angle in which the male meets the female must be parallel to the surface the female it sits on, potentially this might not be the best considering it becomes a little less flexible, but it definitely looks much neater. Usability (3/5) Because there’s no beaver tail or any other side pockets, the monsoons large wells were easy to fill and access. Even though the monsoons have 3 straps + the lockstep similarly to the backcountry, I found the lighter material easier to roll/unroll and access. Again, How I wish for some zipper and flaps. There’s no beavertail, so usability level becomes slightly worse than the BC. Another thing to note is the BC roll top seem to allow for more rolls vs the monsoon which kind of stops at 3 rolls+. I think it’s because of the size of the horizontal strips which means you have to either roll thick or thin. On my 690 E/R, I sit on the front straps, which makes me slide around. The velcro also sometimes stretch due to the weight of the contents.. I do wonder how long it can last if you don’t put something else to secure it to each other. Another annoying thing is the enduristans deforms easily. If your bag isn’t full, it’ll look absolutely strange. Another strange thing that I encountered was the cleaning of the bag. I went through some mud and it had plenty of mud stains. It took 5 washes with different cleaning solvents to remove the mud stains. Because it’s so textured, a lot of the stains couldn’t come off easily. Just a note. Expandability (2/5) The lack of any small pockets, beaver tail was absolutely annoying. I had to unbuckle the 3 clasps + my locking strap when I wanted to throw some litter away. There’s little hope of adding any additional fuel pouches or any form of pouch on the front, sides and back due to the lack of molle straps.. To be fair, there are some nylon loop straps on the top part of the bags and I know enduristan sells the bottle holster which attaches to the top loops. However, I think accessing the bag with the holster intact will prove to be a little troublesome, I’m curious why Enduristan doesn’t add any attachments on the sides of the bag. Maybe they don’t want to cover the reflective panels. I can add some molle straps, but that’ll take a lot of sewing and I don’t wish to make any holes just right now. Lockability (1/5) By itself, the monsoons don’t provide any form of lock ability. I ported the steelcore over and disappointingly there’s only loops at the top I can fit the steelcore straps through, the bottom is just hanging free. Transportability/Weight (5/5) Because the fabric weight is so much less, the bag itself becomes way much lighter. I like that Enduristan made a ergonomic grip which makes carrying the bag so much easier. This to me is the main reason why I got this bag. Final Conclusion The main reason why I bought the Enduristans to try was because I felt the Backcountry was a little too heavy. However after I encountered the Enduristans’ lack of pockets, the constantly deforming bags, the slipping bag, the intrusive velcro straps, I decided the additional weight of the BC was worth it after all. If budget is an issue, the enduristans are ok for its price, albeit the lack of expandability does make it slightly annoying. If budget isn’t an issue, the Backcountries are the bomb. My Wishlist for the BC Improvements 1. Locking for the BC bag buckles. If the top buckle can be integrated with the locking clasp (to the rack), one single lock can do the job of locking the bag and securing the bag to the rack. 2. A little lighter material where it’s not needed (roll top, rear) to reduce the weight a little bit. 3. A more ergonomic handle at the top for easier carrying, and a more centralised position so carrying won’t be awkward. A handle perhaps on the side of the bag instead of top ? Who says carrying the bag must be upright. 4. A rethink of the quick release glass nylon mounting to bring down the weight, I feel it can be improved with a little brainstorming, with a product engineer. 5. The Beavertail could perhaps do with a stretchable strap so i don’t need to release the side straps to fit things in.. I can just pull it hard, which also helps with securing the gear automatically. 6. A simple zippered pocket at the top flap (after you roll down) to just throw valuables in (eg. tissue, coins etc). I know there’s one in the inside beaver tail, but it’s not very accessible if the straps are already secured tightly. This will reduce the need for a tank bag.