NELSON-RIGG UTV BAGS EVALUATION
— Handy bags and a cooler from the adventure people —
By the staff of Dirt Wheels:
There is every chance that you may have heard of the Nelson-Rigg brand but aren’t placing it as a UTV company. Well, until 2017, this famed maker of rain gear, luggage, bags and covers for motorcycle touring and adventure riding wasn’t a UTV company, but the recognition that UTV drivers needed the same sort of products that made Nelson-Rigg famous led to a new product line. As soon as we saw the products, we knew that we needed some for our machines.
We selected upper and lower front door bags, rear door bags, a cage-mount hydration bag and a rear-cargo storage bag. Finally, we opted for a padded cooler bag that ties into the machine.
INSTALL IS EASY
These are not universal bags. Each bag is sewed for an exact fit to a specific model line. Our rear-cargo storage bag fits Polaris XP two- and four-seat versions from 2014 through 2017, including the 900, 1000 and Turbo. The bag fit the form of the front bed wall, and it has a variety of straps and buckles that easily secure it to the floor and the roll cage. There are four zippered openings in the UV-treated, water-resistant Trimax Ballistic nylon bag. You choose between four compartments, or you can remove the divider in the main compartment and have a large 58-liter main compartment. The two small end compartments are on top with access from the side of the vehicle.
The cooler easily stays in place atop the transmission tunnel. It is nice to have a soft cooler along on rides.
The $129.95 bag fits great, is well made and has reflective piping for night visibility. This bag is great for soft goods, and you could probably carry heavier items like tools if you bundled them carefully and wrapped them. It is very easy to access all compartments. Installation time is between 5 to 10 minutes.
Normally, we read all directions before installing a product, and we did this time as well. What we didn’t do was read the directions for all the products together before we started. Don’t repeat that. The lower front door bags are supposed to be installed first. In our case, it did not matter. We have Axiom lower doors, and they fit tightly to the stock doors. The lower bags use an adhesive strip on the back and simple hook-and-loop straps to mount to the inner door structure. The gaps were too tight to allow the bag to fit without doing some grinding or filing, so we left them off.
The upper front door bags install like magic. The inner door frame has holes in it from the factory. Three of the holes line up with grommets in the flexible backing that the single large bag is sewed to. Push-pin-type plastic fasteners mount the bags literally in seconds. Again, our lower-door mounting prevented us from using the lower mounting points, but we haven’t missed them.
The door bags fit the same RZR XP models as the cargo bag. Inside the door bag is a kneepad you can remove for more storage room, but you won’t. The kneepads add 1000 percent to the comfort of the RZR in the rough. It is located perfectly where our knees get bruised driving in the rough. These bags are $99.95 a pair, but the comfort is priceless.
The front door bags all but jump into place. They are very handy, and your knees will love the pad inside.
IN THE REAR
It was no surprise that the rear bags fit quickly and perfectly, and they are intended for the same lineup of RZR XP models. Open the package, pop in the pushpins and listen while your passenger’s knees sing your praises. The rear bags are $89.95 a pair.
Next, we moved on to the insulated 2-liter UTV hydration bag. Unlike the specific-fit door bags, you choose where on the cage you want the hydration bag to go. It is super easy to mount once you select a spot to hang the bag. If you are wearing a full-face helmet, the hydration bag makes a lot more sense than a bottle of water in the cup holder.
The rear door bags are even easier to mount than the fronts. The front section is the kneepad. The pad can be removed if you need the room.
Finally, we completed our machine with a mountable 12- or 24-can cooler bag. Nelson-Rigg materials show the cooler mounted in the bed behind the storage bag. We couldn’t come to an arrangement we liked, so we ended up mounting it between the front seats. We’ve had coolers mounted in the bed beat up cans of soda so badly that we were shocked they didn’t leak. Mounting the cooler in the passenger compartment is a lot easier on the contents, and it sort of acts as a soft armrest. To fill the cooler bag, you put in a row of drinks, then cover them with a hook-and-loop-attached divider. Add a second level of beverages above the divider, and add ice if you want. The cooler is $54.95.
IN THE BAG
We enjoy and appreciate all the bags we added to our 2017 Polaris RZR Turbo 4. We are partial to the front door bags, though. That is where we spend the most driving time, and difference in comfort is stunning. We can’t imagine a RZR without a kneepad on the door now. Also, it is far nicer to drive with nothing in your pockets. We just slip everything into the door pocket.
We load up the cooler and stow it for every single trip as well. The hydration bag never leaves the machine, either. The storage bag gets the most use when the ride is long enough that we want to bring along additional clothing for changing conditions. We have admired Nelson-Rigg products from afar, and we are very happy to put them to use in our UTVs. See www.nelsonrigg.com for their full lineup of UTV bags.
RZR Front Upper Door Bag Set $99.95
RZR Rear Upper Door Bag Set $89.95
RZR Lower Door Bag Set $89.95
RZR/UTV Rear Cargo Storage Bag $129.95
UTV Hydration Bag $39.95
Mountable Cooler Bag $54.95