May 30, 2011

Product Review: REI Luggage Tag/Key Case

All Rights Reserved © 2007 Thomas W. Day

From the copyright date above, you can tell this is one of my older product reviews that didn't find a publisher until the product disappeared from REI's shelves. However, it's such a cool product, that I'm hoping someone will point me to a similar replacement. 

You'd think this would be an obvious product for somebody to make, but I haven't been able to find one anywhere; a key case that holds more than two keys and doesn't scar up my motorcycle. Think all you want, but I don't think this product exists. Maybe the problem is that I'm a homeowner and motorcyclists aren't supposed to be homeowners. We're supposed to be carefree vagabonds who only need one key for the motorcycle's ignition and we're on our way into the night.

Nuts, I don't ride at night either. Too many drunks and hoofed rats for my tastes. I go home at night or put up my tent or hammock and go to sleep. I'd love to live up the stereotype, but my wife would miss me. She says she would, anyway.

So, I'm stuck with the problem of carrying at least four keys and, sometimes, more. I tried a leather case my locksmith recommended, but after only a week the lame ball-end swivel popped out of the case, dropping all of my keys in the parking lot (lucky for me). I tossed that piece of crap into the trash and went back to looking.

During a shopping expedition to REI (looking for something to cover my video camera on the bike), I was prowling the luggage and travel gear area when I spotted REI's Luggage Tag. At $3.50, it's probably the world's most expensive luggage tag, but with a little modification, it made a terrific, secure, abrasion-free motorcycle key case. Just add an ordinary metal key ring (twenty-five cents at my local hardware store) and you have a nice looking, practical key case. There is even a window for storing your business or address card, in case you lose the case and someone honorable finds it and wants to return it (fat chance, I know).

The "luggage case" has a large hook-and-loop closure that allows you to really snug the unused keys into place, so they won't slip out and gouge up your console or handlebars. I'll admit that it's a little bit larger than ideal, but it's the best I've found for the purpose. And on the Geezer's Night Out, it saves me the trouble of buying a cucumber for that "big man on the prowl" look.


  1. Where and how I ride I mostly just leave the key in the ignition anyway, so I put my other keys on a caribiner with a key ring attached. I can easily clip the caribiner to something that either stays with me (belt loop) or I am sure to take off the bike with me (small tank bag). Another thing I do is use a click-clack storage container for my wallet, keys, phone, etc. so I can just grab the container when I leave the bike.

  2. You are a more organized man than me.

  3. "You are a more organized man than me." Not sure about that, but I got tired of spending 20 minutes hunting through every pocket on my riding jacket, vest, and pants every time I needed my keys, wallet, or chapstick so now I mostly just put it all in the click clack and grab that when I leave the bike. Plus, it keeps it all dry and not rattling around, and my guess is that there is some protection in case of a fall. Rant--why do most motorcycle touring jackets have more pockets than I have niches in my memory? Who uses all those cubby holes?


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