JUST THE FACTS:
If you want just the facts of the comparison, you can skip to the aptly named section:
"JUST THE FACTS. " However, if you'd like a ride on the Ramieri Roller-Coaster of Rigorous Written Report, then read on!
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a spectacle of splendiferous satchels, a flagrant filleting of fanny-fabulous, tote-tastic trunks of travel! Which magnanimous module of migration might make the motorcycle merch master's mark? Well, regale in the scent of a sanguine-soaked skirmish as we pit pack against parcel, haversack against humpback, and rucksacks versus barracks bags.
In the Blue corner, weighing in at 4 lbs. and measuring 20" x 5" x 11.5" is Viking Bag's "Vessel of Versatility": The Viking Medium Black Street/Sportbike Backpack. Also referred to as the "Axe" Series backpack from Viking Bags, this crown contender has a 12" x 9" central lid opening and can contain a respectable 488 cubic inches of crap.
The Viking "Axe"Series... so called in "Viking Eric's" video:
In the Red corner weighing in at 5.09 lbs. and measuring 21.9" x 14.4" x 8.9" inches, is the O.G., the Reigning Champion Supreeeeeme: The Ducati Redline No Drag Backpack by Ogio. This Redline B1, made by Ogio with Ducati emblazoned embellishments, is a preformed knapsack designed not to lose its shape in the wind. Ogio toutes this backpack as a true technical knapsack (I haven't used that word since I was 11) to accompany sporty riders on road trips. There are a few non-Ducati-branded versions of the "No Drag" Ogio design. The equivalent non-branded version is the Ogio No Drag Mach 5.
The Ogio Ducati Redline B1 No Drag Backpack... that's a mouthful. Real nice for all you "Ducatistas" out there, but no... you don't need matching gear to wear this pack. I even wear mine on my Kawasaki! Well, I did before I crashed it, and I will when (and if) my new one finally comes in!
Now before we get into the epic dual "whole-hog, It feels appropriate to present a couple of disclosures. First, Viking Bags did pay me to do this review. Dude, did they pay me! Whoa-hoah, boy! I might as well drop the mic and head for Aruba... set fo' life! Well, no... obviously, I jest. They did not actually pay me with paper monies, digital monies, or even jingly forgettable monies. They sort of paid me... by providing the bag for review for free. The deal was that I have to write a review. However, and this is a BIG however, I made ZERO agreements to present this product in a positive light. Also, I will not be keeping this backpack. Now that I have concluded my research, the pack will be raffled off via All Riders so that one lucky All Rider can win it and ride off into the sunset with it.
Wanna win it? Win the Viking Bags Backpack reviewed here or a brand new Cardo Packtalk Bold communicator with JBL Speakers by buying raffle tickets here:
The other disclosure I feel I should make is that the Ducati Redline B1 No Drag Backpack by Ogio is one I purchased many moons ago for my riding pleasure. If you didn't know already, while I wouldn't call myself a "Ducatista," I am a Ducati fan who owns two Ducatis. Hence the choice of the Ducati-branded version of the bag. As a matter of fact, I bought the bag at Euro Cycles Ducati of Tampa Bay just because it and I were there simultaneously. That bag has been in use quite a bit for several years now, so it does have the disadvantage of being old compared to the brand new Viking Bag.
The two bruisers side by side.
Another point worth noting is that Viking Bags makes a bag that would be a better apples-to-apples comparison to the Ogio. That bag is their Viking Velocity Large Black Street/Sportbike Backpack. It looks a whole lot like the Ogio. I'm not going to point fingers, but someone had the idea first. Anyway, I am not pitting that bag against the Ogio simply because it is not the bag I got to try out. Viking Bags decided to send me the Axe series bag, so I am reviewing the Ave series bag.
Now for some details. We'll start with the O.G. (Original Gansta), the Ogio pack. As I mentioned earlier, the Ogio has been a staple of mine for quite some time now. With its "no drag" molded shape, it maintains a predictable size, and it doesn't make you look like Egor, the hunchback when you are walking around. It does, however, make an impression. When I wear it, "Friends" call me "Dora the Explorer" and often refer to my bag as my "Ninja Turtle" pack. I say they are just jealous but be warned: If you are a "shrinking violet," then this may not be the right backpack for you. However, if you are steadfast in your awesomeness, and you boast some mental fortitude, then by all means, ride on!
Dora's gone explorin'
This bag opens from the inside: in other words, the side that goes against your back. So there is no zipper on the outside, the side that faces the world. This is nice because stuff won't fly out if you forget to zipper the bag and go riding. Yes, I have done this numerous times, and my property has stayed stuffed within. Also, you might find yourself traversing the tributaries and varicose veins of a big city. You find yourself in an alley at night, or packed tight into a dimly lit subway train. If you do, you can be confident that some master "pick-pocketeer" will not be able to wiggle his whittle digits into a pocket containing your medical marijuana card.
With this bag, if a criminal wants something from you, he cannot be passive-aggressive about it. He'll have to go full-aggressive and stick a Glock in your face, or just shiv you where you stand. Comforting.
While the open-from-the-inside deal is an excellent security feature, it also has the downside of making it a pain-in-the-ass to get stuff out when you need to on the fly. Always a double-edged sword. You see, many times when you need to grab something out of a conventional backpack, you can let one-half of the bag drop down to the front by releasing just one strap, unzip a pouch, and pull the thing out. All of this time, you have the strap on the other shoulder still holding the bag in place. This is an easy way to retrieve something without having to take the entire pack off of both shoulders and set it on the ground to get at that tube of vaseline, uh, err... tube of chapstick that you need in a pinch. The Ogio "No Drag" backpacks are also "no easy access" backpacks because the nature of the location of the zipper opening makes it impossible to gain access in such a way. You really have to pull the whole bag off of your shoulders and set it in front of you to get into it.
Once you do get into the bag, however, it does have a lot of exciting components that make carrying most of what you'd want to take doable. This bag has a section for a 15" laptop, 2 separate slotted pockets, a mesh retaining divider, two elastic sleeves for shoes, a key holder, a bunch of small pockets for pens & pencils, and a semi-rigid visor bag that uses the contour of the molded shell to fit up against. There is also an auxiliary expandable aspect of the bag controlled by an extra zipper that runs around the bag on the inside. Unzip this for mo' space.