One of the universal truisms of touring on a motorbike is that, at some point, everything will get wet. When that point is high up in the Black Forest at the end of a long day’s riding and the rain is coming down not so much in stair-rods, but in stair-cases, the very last thing you want to get wet is that place of solace; your sleeping bag.
So it’s nice of Coleman to come up with a design of bag which fits some of the most important criteria of bike touring – small packing size, and protected from rain.
The Biker isn’t anything particularly special in terms of a sleeping bag. It’s a fairly standard 2-season (Summer and the very first blushes of Autumn) bag suitable for use in temperatures down to around 10C. It’s insulated with something called Coletherm, which is a synthetic filling that keeps its insulating properties if it does get damp, and lined with a soft polyester. It’s not a luxurious place to be, by any means, but then if you’re touring on a bike you’re probably not expecting the Hilton.
The shape of the Biker is a mummy style, and quite narrow. I’m generally a medium in most clothes and I sleep on my side, but at times over our 2 week tour the Biker felt snug to the point of constrictive. This could be because I was turning around inside the bag rather than turning with the bag, but I can’t be sure.
The bag weighs in at just under a kilo, which is pretty good for a basic bag with hood. The zipper is solid and easy to use, and opens both ends for ventilation. It has a cover at the top to protect your face in the night.
The hood is nice and adjustable to be snug, and a further adjusting toggle sits inside the bag at shoulder level to snug things down further. A great idea, but the toggle which Coleman uses here is large (Malteser size) and if you roll on it in the night it hurts like a sod.
The sales point of the Biker is its drybag pouch. This is a nice little bonus and it’s easy to get the bag in to. With a couple of rolls this seals out any rain (and seals in any smells!) and then a purge valve allows you to sit on the bag, squeeze out any air and minimize the size of the pouch for packing on the bike – brilliant.
The Biker bag has a couple of little hanging straps for those days when the stench of your leathers has permeated the bag so deeply that it wakes you from your sleep when you smell yourself.
SUMMARY: The Biker is a neat idea as a package and worked very well on the bike. The drybag pouch is excellent and handy, but the bag itself isn’t quite warm enough for my liking. A 15C comfort level when you’ve been on a bike all day leaves you chilly when the evening is cold. Quality seems good, but the shoulder toggle is very uncomfortable if you roll on to it.