I’ve never had anything on my bike tampered with, but why tempt fate? Loaded down for a weekend camping trip or an extended tour, the hassle of replacing an essential piece of gear is not something I care to experience. Even on bikes equipped with voluminous hard cases there always seems to be something strapped to the pillion seat. Parking at a rally, how do you secure that expensive leather jacket or helmet so they don’t inadvertently disappear? There is a solution.
A decade ago I reviewed and introduced to the North American motorcycle market a product called Pacsafe. Widely used by global trekkers from Great Britain to Australia, this was a simple net basket made of braided stainless-steel cable into which a backpack, sleeping bag or duffle could be placed and the net closed and secured by an even heavier braided-steel cable that could be locked to an immovable object. Ten years of using this product has proved its worth, even if this has only been peace of mind.
Pacsafe has come a long way in the last decade. The stainless-steel braided mesh still exists, but now it forms the core of a series of products from camera straps to luggage. I chose the Dufflesafe 100 for this review. It’s not motorcycle-specific, but I’ve found it to be quite adaptable to anything from a Ducati sportbike to a Harley-Davidson trike.
The Dufflesafe 100 is made of black ballistic nylon with a bonded mesh core—now called “exomesh”—to protect against it being slashed open to get at the contents. The heavy braided stainless-steel cable and inner security cover fit into a zippered compartment around the perimeter of the bag opening. For normal use the regular zippered cover with two heavy pulls— these also can be secured with a small padlocks—allows complete access to the duffle. Unzip the perimeter pocket and the security cover folds out. The heavy cable functions like a drawstring to close and secure the invisible steel net, then it’s looped around a secure object, like the frame of your bike, and secured with a padlock, which is included. The top cover of the duffle simply fits over the security one and you have nothing to worry about.
The little extras are two long zippered interior pockets (12″L x 6″H), a long exterior pocket on the front outside (10″L x 5″H) and another zippered pocket (6.5″W x 11″D) on the exterior cover. Four reinforced D-rings allow the shoulder or backpack straps to be attached. Two nylon web-strap handles and one luggage strap with a thick plastic handgrip complete the normal toting options.
For mounting on a motorcycle, the double-layered straps for the reinforced D-rings are looped to allow attachments, rope or nylon web straps to slip through and enable the bag to be secured to the seat, rear fender, a carrying rack or top case. Alternately, the D-rings can be used to hook bungee cords or tie 1/4-inch rope. A large loop of ballistic nylon (9″L x 6.5″D) between the reinforcing straps on the back of the duffle would allow it to be slipped onto a sissy bar.
The 35-liter (2,160 cubic inches) Dufflesafe 100 measures 20x12x11 inches and will hold a large, full-face helmet, heated jacket liner, spare gloves and a change of clothes. I found it works well for a laptop computer, professional camera with spare lenses, paperwork and much more. There’s even an optional professional camera insert designed for this bag that’s available for $69.99. It turns out to be far more versatile than any of my motorcycle-specific bags and, I suspect, more secure than my hard cases. Who says you can’t buy peace of mind?