Jun 27, 2010

Product Review: Roadgear Toolbag

All Rights Reserved © 2007 Thomas W. Day

The highly attractive Roadgear Toolbag before I loaded it with gear and spoiled it with grease.

I'm a paranoid type, always assuming the worst will happen and that it will happen to me. My V-Strom came sans-toolkit, which gave me the opportunity to put together my own kit of good quality tools. First, I needed a place to put all the tools I'd want to carry. The Roadgear Toolbag is one of those things I spied at the Cycle World Motorcycle Show in 2007. t that time, I hadn't figured out what I needed for the Alaska trip, so I stored the information in my computer and, early this spring, I contacted the Roadgear folks (http://www.roadgear.com/) to get my hands on their toolbag.

The toolbag was a pretty little thing, when it arrived in the mail. The bag is made of heavy duty nylon that comes in a variety of colors. I picked gray, to match my 'stitch and my personality. The bag incorporates a pair of straps closed with nylon buckles into a logo-bearing carrying handle. That feature is more practical than you might think. There are nine assorted-sized compartments for tools, a large partition behind the tool holders, and three small Velcro-secured partitions to store sockets and small parts/tools in front.

Some of the stuff I stored in my Roadgear Toolbag, also after 10,000 miles of Alaska abuse.

I immediately began to stuff tools into the bag until I had most of the things I expected to need in a mechanical crisis and a package that would fit into the storage container I'd added to my luggage rack. The bag would have held a lot more stuff, but then it wouldn't have fit into my available space (the inside of a 4" PVC pipe). As it is, I had almost everything I wanted to carry wrapped into a neat and convenient package.

For a lot of reasons, this was the perfect setup. It forced me to assign places for each tool, making it difficult for me to misplace a tool during a field repair. If I put everything back the way I'd originally organized the bag, it would roll up into exactly the right size package for my storage container. The combination of custom container and the Toolbag gave me fast and easy access to my tools and that meant that I would do maintenance a lot more often.

After 14,000 very messy miles, I am almost tempted to pull the tools and send the Toolbag through the laundry. Almost. The Toolbag has proved to be tough, well-made, and functional. It was a terrific addition to my touring kit and I recommend it without reservation.

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