Product Reviews - Motorcycle Touring and Camping

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Yamaha Motorcycles Street Event - Skagit


Product Reviews

Six must-haves for your next road trip

With all the rallies and events going on this summer, it's a good bet you'll be doing some overnight touring. The samples have been piling up and once again it's time for a product review column. We won't waste your time with the stuff that we found useless like the deer whistles, the Otter Box for a PDA and the Scala Rider cell phone accessory that allows you – yes folks – to talk on your cell phone while you ride a motorcycle. Instead let's cut to the chase and talk about the products that reduce weight, allow you more storage space and make your overnight trip all the better for it. And we won't be bashful in pointing out that all the items can be accessed via the Sound RIDER! store - the place you go to get all the stuff you didn't know you needed for your next motorcycle ride. Ready? Here we go!

Niteize Multi Pock-its Gear Holster

Imagine this – you're on the road and as soon as you stop, you reach into your tank bag, clip a holster to your belt or riding pants loaded with your cell phone, credit cards, Leatherman tool, flashlight and more. At your finger tips you have everything you need to pay for dinner, call home, cut and file your nails and locate that new oil leak you just discovered. The Niteize Multi Pock-Its Gear Holster holds it all for the ridiculous price of $17.99.

Outdoor Research Touring Organizers

Outdoor Research pays little attention to the motorcycle touring market, focusing more on the back packing and mountaineering channels. Little do they know that every time they come up with a new item that's durable and lightweight it just might be the next best thing for motorcyclists. They did just that with their three sizes of gear organizers. The small and medium size ones store registration and insurance papers, your license and speeding tickets, credit cards, lip balm and tubes of sun screen, lotion and prescriptions. The #3 size is big enough to be used as your shower kit with plenty of room for shaver, soap, wash rag, nail clippers and sooo much more. They start at just $22.00

PacSafe TailSafe

PacSafe would have liked us to review this last summer when they released this top load tail bag, and some other publications did. But we had to go beat the hell out of it first and see what it was really made of. After 5,000 miles including about 20% of that off-road, we've come to the conclusion that if you own this tail bag, you'll never need anything other than it for a day ride. For starters it's slash proof utilizing a mesh layer woven between the interior and exterior fabrics. Next up, it's totally waterproof and needs no additional rain cover. Finally, it's very roomy with all the space you'll need to store whatever you're taking on the road each day including rain gear, spare gloves, tire repair items, first aid kit and much more. In fact, we've been testing it on the back of a dualsport without any other luggage and still have room to spare! It's pricey at $249 but that's a price you'll be happy to spend when you realize it's the real deal. Oh – one last point – it comes with a built-in cable that allows you to securely close the top and lock it to your bike. Perfect for those ferry rides and stops at the restaurants along the route.

Sierra Designs Baku Tent Line

Okay kids, we're heading into the camping gear section, so if that makes you run for the hotel room you can stop reading now. For the rest of us who would rather contribute to our retirement accounts and sleep comfortably under the stars, look what we have in store.

Sierra Designs has come up with an ingenious tent construction that combines the rain fly and tent into one swath of material instead of two. The end result is a 25% drop in weight and space of these tents over other comparable one-, two- and three-man competitors. Get this – the solo version weighs in at just three pounds, the two person version is just four pounds (2-1/2 pounds less than the el cheapo tent being offered by xyz motogear this month) and the three-person version a mere five! The construction is ultra-high quality and sets up fast without a fight. If you're traveling solo we recommend the two man version so you have some interior storage space. Similar rule applies to two-up riders – get the three-man version so you don't kill each other jockeying for space. They're not cheap ranging in price from $230 to $360, but if you're fed up with leaky tents that rip when you trip over them on the way back from your late night whiz walk, and pack up too big, you might want to step up and do yourself a favor. After all - look at the money you're saving by not tucking it into corporate hotel pockets each night.

Outdoor Research Exped Humming Bird Sleeping Bag

How about a sleeping bag that keeps you warm into the 30s and weighs only a pound? That's right, OR's Exped Hummingbird down sleeping bag does just that. And it packs up small, about half the size of a typical synthetic sleeping bag that weighs twice as much to boot. Comes with its own built-in carrying sack that's easy to stuff when it's time to head out in the morning. Keep it dry by placing it into a dry bag for goodness sakes.

Outdoor Research AirMat 7.5 & DownMat 7

Speaking of losing weight and gaining space, is it time to dump your Thermarest? We think so. The OR Exped AirMat weighs in at 17 ounces and is 20 percent the size of a standard Thermarest. But once it's inflated, it lofts to twice that of its orange, spongy counterpart. It's also half the price for just $39.99. If you need something for colder rather than milder conditions, consider the DownMat 7 which is loaded up with a touch of goose down for insulation and comes with its own dry bag.

And that's the latest from Sound RIDER! touring labs. We hope this has helped you to gain space in your luggage, lighten your load on the road and evolve into the ultimate sport touring road warrior. We now return you to your regular programming. If you want any of this stuff simply visit the Sound RIDER! store .

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