A Safe And Collapsible Way To Carry Extra Fuel
By Seiji Ishii
Carrying extra fuel during adventure and dual-sport rides in remote areas has historically been inconvenient and sketchy. The tried and true repurposed Gatorade bottle works fine, as long as the full bottle isn’t put under any pressure, which can make the lid leak…on to your clothes, your food, your sleeping bag, etc. Purpose-made fuel containers, like the Rotopax, do the job, but when empty, they take up valuable storage space and often require mounting hardware. Enter the Giant Loop Gas Bag Fuel Safe Bladders; they are collapsible and made in collaboration with Fuel Safe, a neighboring business that specializes in fuel storage and transport, both for motorsports and utility. We tested the one-gallon version (MSRP $150), and they are also available in 2, 3, and 5-gallon sizes.
I have deployed various fuel storing and transporting strategies while out in remote areas like Baja. Sure, water bottles and such have worked in a pinch, but I had to be careful of how they were packed, and I made sure to empty them as soon as possible to limit the chances of disaster. Failure of these ad hoc containers when completion of the route requires extra fuel could be devastating. I have used systems designed for the job, like Rotopax, and they do perform their tasks admirably, but when empty they still take up space. These fuel specific containers are often awkward to carry on the bike, many requiring special mounting hardware that again, takes up valuable space when unused.
Giant Loop’s Gas Bag Fuel Safe Bladders offer a practical solution to the fuel storage and transport problem. These collapsible and light gas bags utilize a fuel-proof welded film bladder sewn into a ballistic nylon sleeve. Webbing daisy-chain anchor points and handles adorn this protective cover. The claimed weight for the one-gallon size is 11.5 ounces and rolls up into a tight little 4” roll when empty, saving precious storage space in the bags.
Filling the Giant Loop Gas Bag Fuel Safe Bladder requires some care; holding the bladder upright while dispensing fuel, without squeezing it, of course, is harder than dispensing into a container standing on the ground. There is a fill line marked on the sleeve to indicate the maximum level that will allow you to remove the lid without spillage (this mark began to wear off quickly, presumably from fuel spilling). Pouring fuel into the bike’s tank also requires purposeful actions and care; tipping a flexible bladder while aiming the bladder’s neck opening can be tricky. The sleeve isn’t attached to the bladder at the fill neck, so care must also be exercised to not pour fuel into the space between the fabric sleeve and the bladder. Doing so means storing the empty bladder on the outside of the luggage to prevent contaminating other gear. The bladder neck is the standard size for fuel canisters, so spouts can be purchased to ease filling the bike, and a funnel would also be a huge help. I didn’t use either, choosing to be careful when dispensing fuel over carrying more gear. Leaving the gas bag out in the rain causes another consideration; water can collect in the space between the sleeve and bladder. Draining collected water is prudent before dispensing fuel into the bike’s tank. I found out the hard way, contaminating my fuel with water and suffering lousy engine performance afterward.
The welded film bladder has proven durable and reliable; storing the fuel-filled bladder in my luggage raises no concerns, and the only odors come from accidental splashing of fuel on the exterior. The Giant Loop Gas Bag Fuel Safe Bladder has survived extremely jarring travel both inside bags and lashed to panniers via the daisy chains. It has also survived intense heat and below freezing conditions over the last six months, with no adverse effects. There have been zero fuel breaches either through the bladder film or cap.
If you are in search of a more space saving, light weight, durable, and reliable on-bike fuel storage and transport, the Gas Bag Fuel Safe Bladder is worth investigating. It performs a critical task and doesn’t cramp limited storage space when not required, nor does it need any mounting hardware. I was skeptical at first of a bladder being durable, fuel-proof, and reliable, but the 1-Gallon Giant Loop Gas Bag Fuel Safe Bladder has proven itself and will remain a part of my remote trip kit.