*RedSpade Racing is currently sponsored by American Kargo. We enjoy bringing you truthful and honest reviews of the products we choose to use from the sponsors we partner ourselves with. It is our goal to share with you, the products we believe in and enjoy using ourselves.
Recently Mr. Spade and I booked a trip out to The Ridge Motorsports Park in Washington State.
We were fortunate enough to have bikes provided to us by Star Motorcycle School, however getting all of our gear on a plane was a challenge, especially when you’re a tall guy like Mr. Spade and your gear is extra bulky. I’ve flown with my gear before and had to borrow a massive suitcase to fit everything; it worked ok but wasn’t very convenient—everything was haphazardly thrown together and moved around in a big mess. For this trip, we were super excited to be outfitted with American Kargo gear bags.
For a good two years we’ve been looking for something sturdy and reliable to carry our track gear. Even before we flew out to tracks, we would struggle with all of our gear getting to track in a truck with limited space. Initially we purchased large plastic storage tubs to hold everything. While they helped, they proved cumbersome and very difficult to load and carry. Also, considering it was just a large tub, nothing was organized and we often had to sift through a bunch of stuff to find something, making everything an even more disorganized mess.
The American Kargo Large Roller Bag – When Size Matters
This thing is huge (8,000 cubic inches) and surprisingly light! It has all the conveniences built in—roller wheels, a telescoping handle and a bunch of compartments for organizing.
The bag itself is constructed from heavy duty materials and the stitching is solid. It’s wheels are quite rugged and feel sturdy when towing around. The bottom is reinforced to hold it’s weight when full and the zippers are self healing. All solid features that are important when you have your precious expensive cargo stored in something that’s going to get tossed around—and it sure did in Seattle!
Outside are 2 compartments areas for easy access items—the top one is great for quick access when the bag is upright, while the other larger compartment is lined in fleece dividers that you can arrange to pack items and not have to dig around an open bag. Personally, I use these compartments for packing undergarment/clothing or GoPro equipment.
Opening up the bag, you’ll notice a patterned, light-gray liner, trimmed with 2 more medium compartments on the back of the lid—perfect for housing visors, clothes or shoes. This leaves the rest of the cavernous bag to hold a pair of boots, leathers, gloves, back and chest protectors—even Mr. Spade’s large hip pads—with a little room to spare. One small but nice thing about the gray liner is that it makes it easy to spot small items that may have fallen loose or dropped in the bag during travel.
Small American Kargo Track Bag – The Track Swiss Army Knife
This bag is designed to house your helmet and small accessories. The interior is fully lined with soft Micro Fleece to protect your shiny helmet from scratches during travel. On top, the bag has a double layer of mesh to allow that used helmet to vent and keep some of the moisture levels down. I’d still recommend properly drying your helmet before traveling with it.
On each end of the bag are small pockets which close with a magnetic snap. The pockets are just large enough to hold a cellphone, some charge cables and a few miscellaneous items. Along the other sides are 2 large zipper compartments. Each compartment has useful dividers and one is even outfitted to hold small tools that you may want to bring with you if you have a bike that requires special tools (*cough*cough*ducati*). 😛
Much like it’s larger sibling, the AK Track Bag is constructed of the same hardy materials and should stand up well to repeated travel and use over the years.
If you don’t travel much with your gear then you probably won’t find much value in such bags. However, I can tell you they’ve made our travels so much easier and more organized.
With the Large Roller Bag priced at $275USD, and the Track Bag at $110USD, you may feel these bags are expensive—however, you definitely get what you pay for. If you’ve ever looked into quality travel luggage, you’ll find it’s all very expensive regardless.
The one thing that really impressed me about American Kargo was their quality and attention to detail. Every element is thought through and has a reason for being, often giving the user multiple ways of packing, harnessing and adjusting the product to his or her needs.
As an added bonus, the bags are personalize-able; they have an area where you can attach your race numbers or logo patches for easy recognition. These bags were created by riders, for riders that found a lacking in the industry and wanted to improve on what was existing; I believe the team at American Kargo have done a fine job at that.
With two trips across the US, 4 track days and 2 races later, I’m incredibly happy with our America Kargo bags. Having a proper helmet bag eases my mind greatly when I know my expensive race helmets aren’t at a risk of falling and slamming into something in the back of the truck. Aside from being useful and sturdy they are a great looking piece of gear and made it easy to spot at the airport from a distance.
One critique that I would like to see in the future is a bit more ventilation built in on both bags. Otherwise, these are rock solid travel bags!