Nomad Tank Bag

April 27, 2016

There’s been a lot of progress on our backpack-style tank bag in the last few weeks. Andrew has been at the factory working on the first production prototype, and it’s looking really good. This design is based on our mountain biking & trail riding hydration packs, adapted to tank bag dimensions and mounting. We’ve been calling it the ‘Nomad.’ There will be at least 1-2 more iterations of this bag before the design is finalized, so if you have additional input, we’d love to hear it on the Mosko thread. We only have a few more weeks to make revisions.

Here’s what it looks like on a KLR.

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And on my KTM 950SE.

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There are a bunch of cool features on this bag. On the top of the beavertail, we have MOLLE webbing, which can be used to attach an infinite variety of MOLLE accessories. The bag will include a map pocket that goes over the webbing, so you can choose between MOLLE or the map pocket. The removable map pocket attaches with velcro, and there’s additional velcro inside the beavertail gussets, so the map pocket folds around the edge of the beavertail and connects on the sides as well.

Top down view on my 950, this is with me seated in my actual riding position.

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Off the bike, the Nomad turns into a backpack with stashable mesh backpack straps that tuck away into a storage compartment on the back. The same straps that connect the bag to the bike also double as a waist belt. We want this bag to look & feel like a real hydration pack when it’s off the bike, not like a tank bag that’s been awkwardly strapped to your back. For me this feature really comes in handy on international trips, when I want to grab my tank bag (with camera/water/wallet), put it on my back as a backpack, and go walk around a village or check out some tourist thing.

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The Nomad has a beavertail on top for quick-stash items like a smaller DSLR camera (in it’s protective case) or as a place to stash gloves, sunglasses, etc when you stop for gas. Also a great place to tuck a redbull or snacks or whatever. I had one of these on my tank bag on the last two big international trips and it was indispensable.

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Inside the beavertail we’re adding a neoprene sleeve for a Delorme InReach or InReach Explorer Communicator, so the screen is protected by the beavertail, but the antenna remains exposed. Plus that way the communicator is always within reach and accessible.

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Most ‘toaster-style’ tank bags are big open buckets with a lot of vertical space. Some bags then divide that space horizontally using camera bag-style velcro dividers. On this bag we want to divide the space vertically into layers, because when we took a poll last year, the vast majority of what people said they store in tank bags are small items (headlamp, wallet, batteries, chapstick, sunglasses, charging cables, etc). So instead of one big toaster-style bucket, where all those little things get mixed and tangled up together, the Nomad has its vertical space divided into two compartments, each with a variety of small-item stash spots.

This is the top compartment.

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This is the bottom compartment, which is a little more spacious, and has zippered mesh pockets for additional small item storage.

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As a convenient add-on for riders with contact lenses (like Andrew) there’s a spot to hold your contact lens cleaning solution. It velcros to the side of the bag, and the velcro holder can be rotated so it’s always vertical.

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This is from the bottom of the bag looking up. There are two pockets down there.

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The top one is really shallow, for change and chapstick and stuff like that.

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The bottom pocket is bigger; it runs the entire length of the bag. We added this with two purposes in mind. First, it’s a hydration sleeve, so you can add a standard hydration bladder and run the drinking hose through an outlet hole on the side of the bag. That way you can drink water while riding, and not have to wear a hydration pack on your back. As a secondary use, we received a lot of requests for a concealed carry pocket, and this pocket can also be used for that. One thing we’re not sure about for CC: what kind of internal attachment or fasteners would work best here? A velcro patch? Elastic band? Belt loop? It’s too tight in there to use MOLLE.

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If it’s used for a hydration bladder, we added this little zipper opening at the top of the bag, so the hydration bladder can be connected to the top of the bag with a clip, so it doesn’t sag inside the pocket.

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At the top there’s a pocket for the raincover. This bag is sewn-seam, so it needs a raincover to be waterproof, even though the materials and the zippers we’re using are water-resistant.

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Here’s what the bottom of the bag looks like.

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The side straps connect to these side release buckles, which are attached to the frame of the bike with heavy duty zip ties.

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This harness goes around the yoke of the bike, and also connects to the bag with side release buckles. So the entire bag can be disconnected by unclicking just four side release buckles. Super fast & easy.

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We’re compiling a list of edits to this prototype right now, and building them into a new spec pack for the factory. There will be at least 1-2 additional rounds of prototypes before this bag is ready for production.

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New Hats

Big thanks to Rick Lieberson at T-Line Design for coming by the shop and helping us develop these cool new hats! We got the first delivery from Rick and will be adding these new items to our website shortly.

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First Catalog

A big project here at Mosko over the last few weeks has been creating our first real product catalog for the 2016 season. If you’ve seen us at a show before, you probably received either a home-printed, stapled handout, or more recently a slightly more professional tri-fold brochure. With all the new products coming in June, we’re stepping up to a real-deal, 16-page catalog. Dan Cox is doing the design work, and he’s been in & out of the shop a lot over the last few weeks. We’re hoping to have these printed in time for Overland Expo in May.

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Our riding buddy Scott Norton runs a printing company in Portland called Image Pressworks. He’s doing the printing.

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Company Ride

Last Friday, while Andrew was still in Asia, Lee, Tiffany, and I took the day off and went for a ride.

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Next week we’re loading up the Mosko trailer and heading to Baja, where we’ll meetup with some friends to ride/camp for a week and do some bag testing & photography. From there we’ll go to Overland Expo West in Arizona, and then from there to the Alvord Desert for Memorial Day.

Back on the road!

18 thoughts on “Nomad Tank Bag

  1. Brent Howard


    I’m just wondering if the tank bag could be expandable. I carry a full sized dslr with me. I like the idea of Lots of compartments, they will be great for filters ect. Do you know if your saddle bag holders will fit on a 95 BMW R100 gs factory rack?

    Thanks for the info

  2. Crew Chief

    “….what kind of internal attachment or fasteners would work best here? A velcro patch?”

    That would work well for me. I can do a number of things with that. Didn’t think I was going to like that bag, but I do. It’s probably a little big for the DRZ, but looks like it will do well on the KLR or maybe a new Husky.

  3. Dan H

    For the internal attachment for CC carry, I think the velcro idea could work best. You could get a small holster you attach velcro too and carry it in place and know exactly where it is if you need to reach in for it. I don’t like the idea of elastic in that sense that it might snag on it as you are trying to pull it out. I don’t think the belt loop would keep it in place the best either?


    for those who don’t foresee using the backpack option, make that, well, optional.

    also, raincover. I’ve never used one that worked and didn’t fly off at speed (speed being relative, of course, for KLR riders).

    great lookin bag!

  5. Ryan Groseclose

    Put me on the list for a tank bag! Like now already! I will test one also. You know I will put it through its paces.

  6. Wilderness Dave

    Let’s talk Tank Bag. I love the concept as a whole. I like how versatile it will be, but it might just have too much going on.

    I also use mine (or try) to carry my DSLR for quick access photos on the road. This doesn’t look like it would fit a DSLR. But it’s a nice size if I’m not carrying the camera so what I would look for is something that is potentially expandable (?). I currently have the Wolfman Blackhawk and it’s just a little too small for my camera but it’s a great size for everything else. I like that the Wolfman is shaped to fit the angle of the tank so that the top of the bag ends up being roughly level when it’s mounted to the tank. This design you have doesn’t appear to do that but it does seem to sit nice and flat against the tank.

    I do very much like the fact that it can be carried like a backpack when not on the bike. That’s part of what I love about the Backcountry Duffel as well. I also like the MOLLE beavertail idea on the top of the tank bag. I never use the map window on mine so I’d prefer the beavertail but appreciate that you’ll have a removable map pocket.

    Will it be waterproof/resistant? Weather resistant? Or have a rain cover?

    Concealed Carry pocket is a great idea.

  7. Michael J Mans

    I love the design. It looks like it opens to the top which is normal for most backpacks, but reverse to most tankbags. Maybe two zippers (I might have missed the layout of that) or a continuous double zipper, I’m sure it’s never been done and gives a lot of loading and unfortunate unloading options. Plus risk of damaging zippers flapping in the wind by a thread.

    Crotch pocket should not open too far. This pocket is for quick and common access items and if it opens too far things tumble out at stoplights. Put a small simple loop in the to attach a mini carabinier to attach keys to.

  8. ForeGeorgeman

    Loop Velcro in the CCW pocket for sure, also it would be nice if you gave that pocket a dual zip, so you could move both zips to one corner or the other so it would be easier to draw depending on your preference.

  9. David Lemereis

    Looks very promising. I would urge you to make the inside a light color. I have had several black daypacks and when I’m looking for something in the bottom of the bag I can’t find/see it because it’s too dark in the bag. Whatever ambient light shines into the bag is absorbed by the black material. With the daypack I have now, that has a light colored liner it is so much easier to find stuff.

  10. J. Snider

    I’m buying one of these for my 1190 when they come out. Two things I would add to the wish list:

    1. Internal electronics – pockets and any other changes which might be necessary to add a Powerlet waterproof through-the-bag connector to keep phone, camera, etc inside and charge while riding. Not necessarily the actual kit, which can be added later for those that want it, but making sure the bag space, waterproofness, and ergonomics work for this option.

    2. Waterproof – agree with above. Would rather not need to add a cover unless it’s been raining buckets all day.

    Thanks for great products.

  11. Evan

    Yeah, I dig the Nomad tank bag that you’re developing. I’m going to replace my Great Basin tank bag with yours IF it comes in a grey/black scheme like my Mosko Moto bags. Offering it in black is great but PLEASE offer it in your trademark Grey/Black too!!!! The grey/blk not only looks good, but it’s identifyable.

  12. Otto Carrozza

    Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is just cool and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.|

  13. Alistair

    The map pocket, what about make this to fit an iPad with touch ability. I use my iPad for navigation and route tracking. Also what about tank panniers or 2 of your tank bags with a harness set up similar to the reckless, unclip and go?

  14. Shane Morkve

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such magnificent info being shared freely out there.


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