We needed saddlebags for the office XL. We were looking for soft bags that would be detachable for those times when we want to show off our emerging café racer theme. They’d also need to be roomy enough to haul necessities: extra clothes, extra shoes, notepads, laptop, peripherals, and incidentals. These bags might even be put into action hauling groceries from time to time. It was a tall order, but Rev-Pack’s Saddle Packs filled it just fine.
Rev-Pack was started by Rev in 1974 and is now run by his family in New Cuyama, California. In the beginning they produced one bag, the Bar Pack, and welcomed weary riders to what would become a popular motorcycle campground and rally site—the Songdog Ranch. Santa Barbara County officials shut down the Songdog for zoning and permit violations a few years ago, but the family perseveres and the Rev-Pack product line continues to grow.
They now carry over 40 different motorcycle luggage items. Their bags are designed to be long lasting, weather-resistant, and adaptable to almost any bike. Capacity for long-distance riding is a feature that’s important to Rev-Pack as well. The Deluxe Saddle Packs measure 12″ x 14″ x 7″ each and the company is beginning limited production of larger Deluxe Saddle Packs, with twice the capacity. Rev-Pack’s Standard Saddle Packs have the same capacity as the Deluxe Packs we ordered, but can be rolled into a small bundle when not in use because they’re made without the foam walls and heavy cloth lining that helps the Deluxe Packs hold their shape. All Rev-Tech bags can be ordered in black, of course, and they offer a wide selection of colors for an extra charge.
The most outstanding feature of the Saddle Packs is the unique lid design. It has sewn-in rain flaps with drawstring closures, pulls securely over the opening, and snaps closed with two quick-release buckles. The whole thing is crafted of heavy-duty Cordura nylon and each bag has a sturdy carrying handle.
Of course, when the bags arrived everyone had an opinion: “The grey won’t look good on the bike.” “The paint will get scratched.” “We’ll need to mount racks on the bike for support.” “Too many straps.” But when it came time to mount them onto the Sportster, it was as easy as throwing the bags over, attaching the straps to the bike and adjusting them for a snug fit—no racks, supports, or brackets necessary. We could order the company’s specially designed foam shields for $10 to protect our paint. In the end we were all able to make good use of the Rev-Pack bags, a convenient, no-frills packing solution.