Best Saddlebags for Sportster

A Bike Like No Other

What makes the Harley Sportster unique is its adaptable nature. From saddlebags to sport windshields, practically any modification can be made to the Sportster. There are many accessories for the Sportster out on the market, ranging from appearance accessories to performance accessories.

People can give their Sportster a chrome job, which will provide a striking look and extra protection. You can also buy tank knee pads to give you a better grip when riding. Air filters are also a good investment to make as they will increase the power of your Sportster engine.

The customizable nature of the Sportster allows every rider to add their unique touch, which makes the bike an instant favorite. Harley released the first Sportster in 1957. It included many of the same features of their previous K models such as frame, fenders, front suspension, and a large gas tank.

Since the late 50s, the Sportster has transformed in significant ways but has retained its original essence. One of the most significant changes made to the Sportster happened in 1986 when its ironhead engine was replaced with the Evo engine.

Since then, the Sportster has undergone many important transformations including improved transmission, higher compression, and the introduction of fuel injection and an all-new frame with rubber. As of now, Harley has released a new Sportster bike called the Sportster S.

It is powered by the Revolution Max 1250T motor and includes new features, such as forward foot controls and safety enhancements. Some of the timeless features of the Sportster are its low center of gravity, suspension geometry, and iconic sound. All these features make the Harley Sportster a pleasure to ride and preserve its legacy for years to come. 

A Crucial Accessory

Saddlebags are one of the most popular accessories for motorcycles. They are not only stylish, but are also extremely practical. If you are traveling long distances, a saddlebag is a great place to store everything you may need on your trip.

Saddlebags are just as useful on short distance trips because anything can happen. Your bike can break down unexpectedly or your tires may lose air. In a situation like that, you would wish that you had tools or a tire pump easily accessible to you. Saddlebags are notably versatile and durable.

There are all kinds of saddlebags for different purposes. You can choose between a saddlebag with buckles or one without buckles, a plain saddlebag or a studded saddlebag, a throw-over or hard-mount saddlebag, etc. You can even choose a saddlebag with a keylock or padlock.

The list of saddlebags to choose from is truly endless. Generally speaking, there are three main types of saddlebags: soft saddlebags, hard saddlebags, and leather saddlebags. Below is an in depth breakdown of the three main types of saddlebags:

Soft Saddlebags

 The primary advantage of soft saddlebags is their capacity. Soft saddlebags are usually made of synthetic fabrics that can easily stretch and accommodate for many items. Some also include many pockets, which increases the number of things you can store.

They are also the most common type of saddlebag and the most inexpensive.You will be sure to find one for your specific bike or if you are on a tight budget. Soft saddlebags are throw-over saddlebags that attach easily to your bike.

The main disadvantage of soft saddlebags is their security. Since soft saddlebags are attached with straps instead of brackets, they can easily be removed. They can also be damaged by excessive heat or water.

Hard Saddlebags

Hard saddlebags are the most durable of them all. They are produced from molded plastic or fiberglass, which makes them waterproof and resistant to extreme temperatures.

They also securely attach to your bike and have little to no risk of being removed or falling off. Hard saddlebags generally come with lots of space, so you can store just as much as you would in a soft saddlebag. The main drawback is that it can be difficult to find a hard saddlebag that fits your specific bike. Hard saddlebags are also significantly more expensive than soft saddlebags. 

Leather Saddlebags

 Leather saddlebags are the middle-ground between soft saddlebags and hard saddlebags. Leather saddlebags are more durable than soft saddlebags and more affordable than hard saddlebags. They also come in a variety of sizes and can store many items.

However, there isn’t a variety of design options for leather saddlebags. Leather saddlebags are designed to look best on cruiser motorcycles. Even though leather saddlebags are more durable than soft saddlebags, they are still not as durable as hard saddlebags. This means there is risk of potential damage.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Saddlebag

How do you choose a saddlebag when there are so many options? To answer this question you need to consider the type of bike you own and your preferences. Below are the main factors to consider when buying a saddlebag:


This is by far the most important factor to consider when choosing a saddlebag. You need to make sure the saddlebag you are buying has the appropriate size and dimensions for your bike. Most often than not, when you are buying a saddlebag, the website or seller will tell you if the saddlebag fits your bike.

However, you can go ahead and find the dimensions yourself to be sure. You first want to measure the length between the rear turn signals and the rider’s seat. This length needs to be longer than the length of the saddlebag you are buying.

Then, find the height below 2-3 inches from the top of your fender to about 1-2 inches from the top of your exhaust pipes. Always make sure the height of the saddlebag is at least 2 inches shorter than the height between the fender and exhaust pipe. Allowing this space of 2 inches between the bottom of the saddlebag and the top of the exhaust pipe will ensure no accidents or damage happens. 


Consider what is your primary purpose for buying a saddlebag. What are the main things you will store? This will help you decide whether a soft, hard, or leather saddlebag is right for you.

For instance, both soft and leather saddlebags can accommodate about 20 Liters of luggage. Saddlebags with no shock cut-out allow more space than bags with shock cut-out. If you know you will be carrying extremely heavy items, then a hard saddlebag might be the best option. 


Safety refers to the durability and security of your bag. Make note of the types of weather you will be riding in. Also consider how much time you can put into maintenance. If you can not dedicate much time towards the maintenance of your bag, then a leather saddlebag might not be for you.

Moreover, consider whether you prefer a throw-over saddlebag or a hard-mount saddlebag. Throw-over saddlebags are easy to attach because they require no bolts or tools. Hard-mount saddlebags offer more security, but it will take some mechanical knowledge to install it on your bike.

Best Saddlebags for the Harley Sportster

As mentioned before, one of the best things about the Sportster is how customizable it is. You’re in luck if you are looking to add a saddlebag to your Sportster because there are many options. Here is a list of some of the best saddlebags to buy for the Harley Sportster:

1. Kemimoto Synthetic Leather Studded Saddlebags

  • Material: Leather
  • Dimensions: 13.6 (L), 7.1 (W), 11.4 (H) inches
  • Weight: 5.95 pounds
  • Capacity: 30 Liters

Price: $134

This Kemimoto leather studded saddlebag is suitable for a large variety of motorcycles. It has a broad capacity of storage, which is about 30 Liters. You can store everyday items that you might need on your trip.

The Kemimoto’s full cover design keeps it sturdy and firm. It also has a hard cover inside which preserves the shape of the bags. The Kemimoto is a throw-over bag, which means you don’t need saddlebag mounts to attach it. For the high-quality and reasonable price, the Kemimoto leather saddlebag is a great choice for your Sportster.

2. EGO BIKE Vivid Black Large Hard Saddlebag

  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 19.5 (L), 13 (H), 8 (Thickness) inches
  • Weight: Not disclosed
  • Capacity: Not disclosed

Price: $154

The EGO BIKE saddlebag is a hard saddlebag made of tough plastic. It is a shiny black saddlebag that fits most motorcycle models. It includes a chrome lock with two keys. The EGO BIKE saddlebag is waterproof and extremely durable. However, you will need hard mounts to install it.

3. Chase Harper USA 3775 Phoenix Saddlebags

  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 13 (L), 5.5 (W), 10 (H) inches
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Capacity: 21.2 Liters

Price: $94

The Chase Harper Phoenix saddlebag is an economical bag made of nylon. The bags are water and tear resistant. They are constructed with thick foam walls inside the fabric, which protects items and provides insulation. It is a great saddlebag to pack your meal while on a trip.

The Chase Harper saddlebag features multiple pockets, which can be used to store small or fragile objects. Overall, the Chase Harper saddlebag is a great choice if you are a fan of soft saddlebags and also desire quality. 

4. Dowco Willie & Max 597780-00 Synthetic Leather Swingarm

  • Material: Leather
  • Dimensions: 10.5 (L), 4.5 (W), 11.5 (H) inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Capacity: 9 Liters

Price: $86

The Dowco Willie & Max leather saddlebag is a swingarm bag that is perfect for packing essentials. It is easily mountable and includes protective film to keep the frame from being scratched. The Dowco Willie & Max saddlebag is durable and high-quality. It is the perfect option for those who prefer a lightweight bag.

5. TCMT 5” Hard Saddlebags

  • Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
  • Dimensions: 31.8 (L), 21.4 (W), 19.8 (H) inches
  • Weight: 29 pounds
  • Capacity: Not disclosed

Price: $229

The TCMT hard saddlebags include the left and right pair, two keys, and two latches. They are easy to install and come in a variety of colors. The saddlebags are stretched an extra 5 inches to cover the muffler of your bike, giving your bike a cool look. The TCMT hard saddlebags fit a variety of Harley models from Touring bikes to Sportster bikes.

6. INNOGLOW Motorcycle Tool Bag

  • Material: Leather
  • Dimensions: 8.1” x 3.9” (L*D)
  • Weight: 0.89 pounds
  • Capacity: Not disclosed

Price: $29

The INNOGLOW saddlebag is a unique and inexpensive leather saddlebag. It is ideal for people with specific needs. If you are looking for a lightweight saddlebag to store tools or other essentials, then the INNOGLOW saddlebag is a good option. It is practical, easy to install, and keeps your belongings handy. It is also great if you are on a tight budget. 

7. Stansport Saddlebag

  • Material: Cotton
  • Dimensions: 37 (L), 15 (W), 5 (H) inches
  • Weight: 1.375 pounds
  • Capacity: 1,056 cubic inches

Price: $23

The Stansport saddlebag is a heavy-duty nylon saddlebag. It has a large capacity for space, so you can store many big items. It is also budget-friendly and easy to attach to your bike. The Stansport saddlebag is another great option for those who prefer soft saddlebags with lots of storage space.

8. Kemimoto Throw-Over Saddlebag

  • Material: Faux Leather
  • Dimensions: 11.8 (L), 6 (W), 10.2 (H) inches
  • Weight: 7.28 pounds
  • Capacity: 20 Liters

Price: $112

The Kemimoto leather saddlebag is a high-quality and durable bag. It includes a cup holder, which creates separation between the dry and wet items. The bags can be opened by the pin buckle or the quick-release buckle. Both bags are also lockable.

They are water-resistant and can handle light rain, but should not be taken out during heavy rain. Additionally, the Kemimoto leather saddlebag has decent storage space.

9. Chase Harper USA 3550 Aeropac II Saddlebags

  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 14 (L), 8 (W), 11 (H) inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Capacity: 40 Liters (20 liters per side)

Price: $118

The Chase Harper USA Aeropac saddlebag is a high-quality soft saddlebag made of nylon. The bags are water-resistant, tear-resistant, and use non-abrasive vinyl material to protect the exterior of the bag.

The saddlebag also includes many pockets, which increases the storage space. The Chase Harper Aeropac saddlebag is both lightweight and durable.

10. BikerAccess Braided Two Tone Slanted Saddlebag

  • Material: Leather
  • Dimensions: 13 (L), 6.25 (W), 10 (H) inches
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Capacity: Not disclosed

Price: $117

The BikerAccess slanted saddlebag is a chic leather bag. Each bag includes quick-release straps, adjustable center yoke, and UV protection. The bags are also 100% waterproof unlike other leather options. The BikerAccess saddlebag is easy to attach and fts many motorcycle models.

Final Words

All the saddlebags presented today are great choices to consider when buying a saddlebag for your Sportster. The list provides saddlebags for all types of people with all types of budgets. Remember to find the measurements of your bike and compare them to the dimensions of the saddlebags.

This will ensure that the saddlebag will fit your bike comfortably and not cause any issues with the exhaust pipe. Also consider your primary intention for buying a saddlebag. Are you looking for something to store just the essentials or do you want something capable of storing larger items?

You can also invest in multiple saddlebags for different purposes. Moreover, don’t forget to take into the account the weather conditions you mostly ride in. This can determine whether a hard, soft, or leather saddlebag is the right choice. Once you have considered all these factors, it is no doubt that you will find the perfect saddlebag for you.