MO Tested: DRYSPEC H35 Waterproof Cases Review
Hard bags for hard cases
When I picked up our Triumph Tiger 1200 for a 900-mile trip up to northern California’s Monterey Peninsula, I had really hoped Triumph would have outfitted the big adventure touring bike with the OE luggage. Alas, the big trumpet was devoid of storage, save for the impressively large underseat compartment and a not-so-impressive rear rack. Thankfully, Evans Brasstacks always has a backup plan. No sooner had I called Evans whining, he was on the horn with our friends at TwistedThrottle.com working out a solution. Enter the new DRYSPEC H35 waterproof cases.
2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCa Review
TwistedThrottle LLC is the sole distributor for DRYSPEC in North America and was quickly able to get the necessary mounting rack and cases to us for our trip. Being that we had a lot going on with the Triumph Tiger 1200 in a relatively short amount of time (as usual), I asked Johnny B to bring the Tiger straight to my house once he was done shooting his video on a Thursday evening so I could install the rack and cases for an early departure the following morning.
Maybe this only happens to me, but anytime I’m installing/wrenching on something it always takes longer than expected, either I overthink something or impatiently breeze through the necessary steps. To that point, I expected to run into some issue that would cause the installation process of the rack to take longer than it should. So, I wasn’t stoked about having to install the product the night before I needed to leave.
Twisted Throttle Announces “Bomb-Proof” Adventure Luggage
The A-Lock adapter kit for the DRYSPEC cases fit SW Motech racks as well as most GIVI PL series racks. This gives customers who are interested in mounting up the DRYSPEC luggage a few options for racks. TwistedThrottle sent us the SW Motech Quick-Lock EVO side carriers as well as the A-Lock adapter plate to get our H35 DRYSPEC cases mounted up on the Tiger 1200 XCA.
The black powder-coated tubular steel carriers of the SW Motech Quick-Lock EVO system was easily installed in about 30-45 minutes with no hassles or hiccups along the way. Wonderful. It should also be noted that if you wish to remove them while they aren’t needed, the Quick-Lock EVO system has four quick fasteners that let you pull off the rack and leave the subtle mounting points in place. SW Motech also offers optional key locks in order to lock the racks to the motorcycle should you find yourself concerned about security.
After the rack and adapter plates are in place, the cases easily slide down onto the A-Lock plate, securing via four steel bushings and securely mounting in place with a lockable 18-gauge stainless steel over-center latch.
DRYSPEC H35 Cases
The DRYSPEC H35 cases themselves are made from a proprietary resin co-polymer material that features a 3/16-inch (5mm) wall thickness, waterproof seal, and 35 L of storage capacity. The cases are symmetrical and can be used interchangeably from side to side and also as a top case with the appropriate mounting hardware.
The H35s feel robust and worked just as they were supposed to during my time with them. I was unable to test their waterproofness in much more than heavy mist, but the cases hold IP67 and MIL-STD-810F ratings which should offer some peace-of-mind.
As mentioned previously, the cases are able to be locked to the mounting rack and have a specific key dedicated to over-center latch. The TSA-approved locks that keep the case’s lid closed use the same keys for both cases. It word turn out that all of the case’s TSA-approved lid locks are the same on the current production. Convenient, but it could be risky if your archrival buys the same cases, granting them access to your precious luggage.
The silver plastic bit with the lock must be pulled backward to release the lid latches. One of my only complaints with the entire setup are with these latches. I wish the latch itself had some sort of detent because opening the case with one hand is nearly impossible as you need to hold the latches up or they fall right back down rendering it a PITA to open one-handed.
The quick disconnect from the mounting rack made unlocking and bringing the cases into our hotel in the evening a cinch. The handles work great and are spring-loaded to stay against the box while not being used.
With each case weighing in at 10.7-pounds and the rack at something around 12, you’re looking at just over 33-pounds for the entire set-up as we ran it on the Tiger 1200. Not the lightest option perhaps, but the rack and cases feel like they could withstand some serious abuse.
DRYSPEC offers MOLLE accessory mounting kits for the lid and sides of the cases allowing you to strap all sorts of accessories to the outside of your H35 cases.
The DRYSPEC H35s are priced at $349 per case, the SW Motech rack rings up at $356.95, and the A-Lock adapter plate for the SW Motech racks will run you $114. As tested, the setup we used retails for $1,168.95. While the OEM luggage for the Tiger 1200 is currently unavailable, the Triumph Adventure 2 cases, which fit the previous Explorer model, offer slightly less capacity and ring up for just over $1,000.
If you’re in the market for new luggage for your adventure bike, I would suggest considering the American-made DRYSPEC H35s. After all, like the company’s slogan says: “70% of the world is wet”.
A-Lock mounting system for strength, security and simplicity
Proprietary Resin Co-Polymer case construction
3/16in (5mm) wall thickness
18 gauge stainless steel over-center latch
Stainless steel mounting bushings
dual layer steel and HDPE mounting rail
Premium lid latches with TSA approved locks
Fold away carry handle
Submersible: IP67 & MIL-STD-810F
Impact certified: Category 1 ATA Specification 300
Drop Certified: ATSM D-4169 D-18
Vibration Certified: ATSM D-4169 D-18
Versatile use as side or top case
35 liter capacity
Interior dimensions: L18in x W13in x H9.5in (45.7cm x 33cm x 24.1cm)
Exterior dimensions: L19.9in x W16.1in x H10.1in (50.5cm x 40.9cm x 25.7cm)
Weight: 10.7lbs (4.9kg)
Good review. Regarding the bottom hinge, stuff falling out problem, get a set of fitted nylon inner bags, that's what I use, unless I just want to store something big, like my jacket.
This is more a comment on the SW Motech racks than the bags, but they could have tucked the left bag in a lot closer to the bike. OK, it would look less symmetric but there's a lot of wasted width in there.
I also don't understand why the Adv bike Mfr's insist on running a high pipe. Dropping the pipe would allow the bags to be tucked right in to the bike and avoid the Kardashian look from the rear that these bikes have.