TESTED: MOSKO MOTO MULE ADVENTURE ROLLER BAG
BY: CHAD DE ALVA
Adventure riding, dual sport riding, moto-trips where you’re going someplace to ride for a while, and fly-and-ride trips all have different gear requirements. Yet most moto gear haulers or gear bags are made for carrying what you need for an afternoon at the local track, so they’re not exactly the best tool for carrying the gear you need for other types of riding. The limitations of a moto gear bag have become very obvious to Pete Day, who has spent years of his life riding all over the world. Pete also happens to be the co-founder of Mosko Moto – a company that makes outstanding riding apparel and luggage systems. Like any other person with an insatiable desire to ride the world and a crack moto gear company at his disposal, Pete and the team at Mosko Moto set out to build the ultimate moto gear hauler that could be configured for hauling everything needed for an epic month-long moto safari, or pared down to carry everything you need for a rip in the backyard single track. What they came up with is called the Mule.
The Mule Gear Hauler is like any other Mosko Moto product in that a TON of thought and real-world testing went into its development. Pete’s goal was to create one gear bag to rule them all and do it all, and the Mule delivers. Other moto gear bags on the market are made for carrying what I’ll call standard moto kit: boots, some armor, riding apparel like pants, jersey, and gloves, a helmet, and if you’re lucky there are a few pockets for storing and organizing smaller pieces of kit. Yet as anyone who has ever used a regular moto gear bag knows, there is always an element of making things work. Some pockets just don’t hold what you want them to, and/or other compartments don’t accommodate what you were hoping they would and so you have to compromise. Whenever you need to pack more gear than a regular moto bag can carry, you’re stuck dealing with multiple bags which can be a pain if airports or multimodal travel is involved. The Mule on the other hand, is far and above the most flexible, dynamic, and versatile gear bag I’ve ever used in that it can accommodate everything I need for an afternoon riding my local trails, to everything I would need to fly and ride anywhere on earth all in one gear hauler system.
The key to this versatility is that the Mule has two main portions that together create up to 200 liters of storage volume. The bottom portion has 110L of storage and the trolley chassis. The top portion attaches to the bottom portion when needed, and with its expansion zipper opened, provides an additional 90L of storage for a system total of 200L. On their own, each portion abides by the airlines’ 62 linear inches requirement and not having a second trolley chassis in the top portion saves seven pounds of weight, making respecting the 50 pound airline weight limit that much easier. Each portion can be divided into 1/3 and 2/3 volume, or left as a single cavernous storage compartment to better accommodate the gear you need to carry.
200 Liters of total storage is more than enough volume to lose small items, but Mosko’s well thought out organization provisions help prevent gear from getting lost in the Mule. A single pocket on the outside of the top portion is clutch place to quickly store small things, like those little, last second almost-forgot-it items. Inside the bottom portion, you’ll find mesh pockets on the inside of the lids of the 1/3 and 2/3 compartments, and I really appreciate these pockets as you can see what’s in them. Further gear organization is handled by the optional internal organizer bags, which is a must have to get the most out of the Mule. This gets you five more bags perfectly sized to work with the Mule: a boot bag, a helmet bag, a large packing cube, and two small packing cubes. Each of these bags features mesh paneling so you can see what’s inside, and gear can dry out after a hard ride. The helmet bag is padded and holds moto and ADV style helmets without issue. The boot bag swallows up proper moto boots with ease and can pull double duty as a changing mat if needed. Both the large and small packing cubes can be expanded if needed to help you better dial in your kit. One final quality of life call out here is that the interior spaces of the Mule and the organizer bags (except the boot bag) are blue, which makes the inside of the bag much brighter than a bag with a black interior.
My approach to using the Mule is to use the bottom portion as my daily driver and the top portion to carry extra gear as needed when I’m kitting up for bigger trips. With the divider in place in the bottom portion, I use the smaller 1/3 compartment for storing the items I don’t need for every ride, but that I want to always have in my gear bag just in case. I use one of the small packing cubes to hold all of my gloves (warm and waterproof options), and the second small packing cube holds all the stuff that never quite fit right in the pockets of other gear bags; things like a bolt kit, a spare set of ear pro, a code reader and wake-up dongle, and some other odds and ends. In the 2/3 compartment, I keep the riding gear I need for the day. I’ve got a complete rain layer (Rak Jacket and pants) in the large packing cube, and I just toss in the other gear as needed. I’m generally a boots out of the bag kind of guy, but having the boot bag is nice for when everything has to get packed into one bag to prevent a gear explosion.
When I need to pack more gear, I’ll bust out the top portion of the Mule and fill it with the other kit I need to bring with me. With the volume expanded, the top portion can hold a fully kitted R40 and Wildcat pack, or an R80, or pretty much anything else I can think of – 90 liters is quite a bit of space. The top portion also has a 1/3 and 2/3 divider for both volumes, so the bag can be configured to carry and organize all sorts of gear. In the 47L configuration, the top portion of the Mule works great as your general use gear bag where you can stash all of your street clothes and other items you may need. The Mule Gear Hauler is very versatile – so make sure to spend some time getting to know how the Mule works in order to figure out how to most effectively employ it.
Using the bottom portion of the Mule as my daily driver gear bag is where I identified a potential opportunity for improvement. It would be awesome if there was a place to stow the straps on the bottom portion when they’re not in use. The bottom portion has a great system for protecting the buckles from damage when the straps are in use, but when you’re using the Mule for local rides, the straps are superfluous, and they’ll just flap about the place if you don’t buckle them.
Mosko Moto’s Mule Gear Hauler is truly the one gear hauler to rule them all. It is incredibly versatile, working equally well as a daily driver for local single track rips, or completely packed full with all of the kit you need to travel anywhere for any sort of ride. The optional gear organizer bags are a great add on as they’re a superior system to a bunch of random pockets for organization. Even with the optional organizers, the Mule costs less than two large trolley bags from other brands, and having one trolley bag is always easier to deal with than two when it comes to getting around the crowded and busy parts of the world. If you need THE gear hauler for any sort of riding, you need to check out the Mosko Moto Mule. For more information, visit Moskomoto.com