When shopping in the higher echelons of the retail market we are often told that a premium brand’s goods can be justified because they last far longer than those of their more competitively priced rivals. Patek Philippe emplore us to look after their watch “for the next generation”. Our customers often talk of a good Belstaff or Barbour jacket as having lasted a lifetime.
It is increasingly rare to find items built to last like these. Many designers are required to factor in a built-in obsolescence so that their goods last past the statutory warranty but will need replacing every few years, ensuring a regular stream of income for the brand.
Kriega have always approached their products from the opposite perspective. They build the product they want, using the best materials and worry about the details such as pricing later.
Writing this review made me realise I have now been riding over 10 years. When I started, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I spent all my savings in one go on cheap gear. I hated the look of all of it and to make matters worse it didn’t even work and, within no time at all, had fallen apart.
My Kriega R25 rucksack was the first item I purchased after deciding to invest in decent gear.
Kriega provide a 10 year guarantee on all of their products and I can proudly confirm that their goods stand up to this test. I have ridden continuously throughout this 10 year period, using my R25 almost every time I have ridden. It has seen me through my sportsbike phase, my adventure phase, journeyed with me all round Europe and has even come on the ski slopes with me numerous times.
The R25 provides up to 25 litres of storage with straps to compress the main compartment when needed. This has shown to provide enough space for commuting and touring. I usually commute with a 15” laptop bag as well as a pair of trousers and shoes in the main compartment. When I go touring I also take a US20 Drybag mounted at the rear. This gives me room for everything I need for up to 10 days abroad. I’d recommend buying the Harness pocket to accompany the smaller and mid-sized bags in the Kriega range. It’s ideal for storing keys, wallets, passports and other items you might need to access on the go. Plus, it makes you look like you're ready for action, ready to base jump off the next cliff on your motorcycle.
I am not a particularly careful owner. I purchased my BMW R1200 GS purely on the basis that I wouldn’t ever need to bother adjusting a chain again. Similarly, my R25 has received no affection, only respect. Despite me, the bag operates perfectly. There is not one single rip or tear to the outer fabric. The zippers have not broken off, the quad lock system still works perfectly and with ease. The bag doesn’t even look particularly used. In short this bag has sat faithfully on my shoulders and watched several full outfits deteriorate and be replaced through the years, without faltering even slightly. I am starting to feel a little bit sentimental in writing this. Call me strange, but I’m going to go and give my R25 an appreciative nod, I think it’s earned it after all these years.