Buying bikes is great, but sometimes you need gear to get the most out of your ride. With that in mind, I’ll occasionally be sharing some reviews of products that have made my rides more enjoyable in the hopes that you might enjoy them, too.
Just remember – the priority of this site is still bringing you interesting, rare, collectible, and just plain weird bikes for sale!
Let’s just start with the essentials – if you want to read more, I’ve added some details afterwards. We begin with the Aerostich Waxed Cotton Dispatch Messenger Bag.
How’d I get it?
Given to me as a gift approximately 14 months ago.
– Durable (I’ve only owned it for 14 months, but I feel that’s given me enough time to make an educated guess about the future).
– Capacious internal volume for the external size.
– Though velcro is primary method of closing the bag, if you overstuff it you can simply use the straps to keep things secure.
– Waterproof (I don’t exactly see torrential downpours in Los Angeles) – though the edges where the flap folds over aren’t airtight.
– 3M Scotchlite reflective strip greatly aids visiblity at night.
– There’s no pocket on the outer flap, so you must open the entire bag even if you want to get something small. This is doubly annoying, because of the next point:
– Opening the bag is incredibly loud, thanks to the large swatch of velcro. It’s nearly impossible to open this bag quietly.
There are fancier bags out there, but this one is tough, effective, and fairly priced. Those of you that need pockets, zippers, and compartments everywhere would be better served with a different bag, but for those of you that just want something simple to throw on and throw things into, the Aerostich Waxed Cotton Dispatch Messenger Bag is an excellent choice.
4 out of 5 stars.
For years, I never understood the point of carrying luggage on a motorcycle on your body instead of securing it to the bike itself. Why carry a shifting weight on your body while operating a bike? Or if you absolutely had to wear a bag, why not use a backpack?
About a year ago, I was gifted an Aerostich Courier Messenger Bag, and I started to see the light. But first, a comment about Aerostich’s customer service. While initially I was pleased with the size of the Courier bag, after a week of daily usage I realized I didn’t need that much space (these things are much bigger than they look from the outside, as they’re not split up by pockets or internal dividers). For work and school I would typically bring a laptop and a few odds and ends, and the Courier was more than ample for my needs. Frankly, you could carry a week’s worth of groceries in the thing – and I’m curious what people are using the even bigger “Parcel” size for! After explaining the situation to Shannon, a wonderful customer service representative, I had a slightly smaller Dispatch bag sent to me immediately.
Why I now understand the purpose of a messenger bag:
1.) Especially when I’m splitting lanes on the freeways of LA, I prefer not having the side luggage on my bikes. The messenger bag helps keep me as narrow of a profile as possible.
2.) It makes transporting items to and from the bike much easier. The hard luggage is convenient when you’re getting to a destination like a hotel at night, but if you’re just running errands, the bag is perfect.
3.) Neither of the above points precludes the use of a backpack, but I believe the messenger is easier to put on while you’re wearing your gear. In addition, the messenger makes it much easier to access your bag’s contents, particularly when sitting on the bike.
With other messenger bags, I’ve become frustrated with how the shoulder strap eventually finds a way to dig into my shoulder, even seemingly through the motorcycle jacket. Aerostich has solved this with a removable, incredibly comfortable pad that distributes weight well.
Aerostich recently started offering the bags with a waxed cotton exterior – I prefer the looks and feel of it compared to the original material. The interior features a bright yellow waterproof lining, and you can order ‘organizer pockets’ that attach to a velcro strip in the inside liner. Aerostich also offers a stabilizer strap, designed to create another mounting point to keep the bag secure on your back. Though I own the extra strap, I still haven’t put it on as I haven’t found it necessary. There’s a handle on the top, but I never use it (plus the gap is a bit too tight to get your hand through if you’re still wearing your gloves).
It makes a great airplane carry-on, to boot! Back in December 2013 I flew up to San Jose to buy a BMW K1200R, and all I needed was my helmet, jacket, and bag (which fit my riding pants and essentials).
I could go on about how I can fit my laptop, books, and plenty of other extras for class, or…
…just show you how much of life’s necessities it can fit. Realistically, the Dispatch bag is big enough for most of your needs. I wouldn’t want more weight than this on my back while riding.
Want more information, including specifications and sizing, or interested in buying it? Find the Aerostich Dispatch Bag for sale here on the Aerostich website for $97.