Nelson-Rigg Waterproof Hurricane Backpack/Tail Pack | Gear Review

Nelson-Rigg Hurricane Waterproof Backpack/Tail Pack. Image courtesy Nelson-Rigg.
Nelson-Rigg Hurricane Waterproof Backpack/Tail Pack. Image courtesy Nelson-Rigg.

Just as smartphones and multi-tools pack different functions into a single device, Nelson-Rigg’s Waterproof Hurricane Backpack/Tail Pack plays two roles equally well. Available in 40-liter ($139.95) and 20-liter ($119.95) sizes, the Hurricane is made of waterproof, UV-resistant vinyl-coated polyester tarpaulin fabric–tough, thick material that weighs 24 ounces per square yard.

It has an enormous opening at the top that, for the 40L version I tested, swallows a full-face helmet, and seals shut with a roll-down, dry-bag closure secured with three quick-release buckles. A closable purge valve makes it easy to squeeze out excess air when closing the bag, and inside there’s a sleeve pocket, but it’s too small for my 10-inch-wide neoprene laptop case.

Rather than chintzy, afterthought backpack straps, the Hurricane has large, padded, adjustable shoulder straps, adjustable chest and waist straps and a padded, breathable back panel–the same features you’d find on a trail-worthy backpack. And there’s no shortage of places to stash or attach stuff.

The backpack straps have outer strips of webbing for attaching a GPS locator, a multi-tool pouch or other quick-grab items, and there are clips on each strap for securing a hydration tube. On both sides are drawstring mesh pouches large enough to hold quart-size water or fuel bottles and long strips of reflective MOLLE (MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) webbing.

On the front is a pocket large enough to hold a 2-liter hydration bladder, and woven over the outside of the pocket is adjustable, reflective bungee netting. Last but not least, there’s a removable, reversible outer sleeve with a sealable, clear-plastic document pouch on one side and a small zippered pocket and a three-strip panel of MOLLE webbing on the other.

Included are two straps with looped ends and adjustable, quick-release buckles for attaching the Hurricane to a passenger seat/rear rack, but I found the straps to be too short to be of much use (e.g., they’re not long enough to attach to passenger footpeg brackets) and too difficult to tighten. Instead, I used my universal attachment method of choice: Rok Straps, which can be made very tight and secure since one end is made of thick bungee.

I’ve used the Hurricane as an everyday backpack, as a tail bag on a multi-day tour and even as a dry bag on a kayaking trip, and it has been comfortable to wear on my back, versatile enough to carry all sorts of gear and easy to open, close and secure. If you want one bag that can do almost anything, the Hurricane is worth checking out. 

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