There’s a campaign underway to eliminate the use of plastic grocery sacks at supermarkets and convenience stores and we’re all for it. These bags are, after all, a tragic waste of petroleum which would be better purposed in the gas tank of your bike. They also litter the landscape through which we ride and clog the landfills where we dump the bodies. The true cost of that “free” convenience is actually pretty steep.
But doing away with those bags does have a downside for rough-and-ready (and cheap) touring riders like myself who have long pressed them into service as readily-available, functionally-sized clothes bags for packing panniers or saddlebags. They have rudimentary handles, provide some illusion of dampness protection, and punch down into the pannier accommodatingly. I’ll miss them in that regard, and that regard only.
Luckily, Harley-Davidson has come out with a replacement item that dramatically improves on the basic plastic bag concept. Their new Shrink Sack sets are essentially durable, waterproof, sealable freezer bags proportioned for ready use in any bike luggage and equipped with a sturdy handle. Available in both medium and large sizes, to fit virtually any saddlebag, trunk or luggage rack configuration, they’re sold in sets of three for $15.95 and $17.95 respectively.
On the long side of the bag opposite the handle is a pair of press-seal zip lock closure tracks and a plastic widget tool for zipping them up simultaneously and securely.
So the drill is simple: roll up your garments individually (like you normally would), stick them in the Shrink Sack, seal up the zip lock most of the way and then roll up the Shrink Sack while keeping the pressure on and forcing the air out the remaining opening. Then zip it completely. Voila; your togs are practically vacuum-sealed. The resulting bundle is remarkably compact, easy to handle, easy to stuff into a saddlebag or Tour Pak, and, because of the handle, easy to transport to your motel room or tent. Highly recommended—except for formal wear.
Harley-Davidson Shrink Sack sets
Medium size set of three, $15.95
Large size set of three, $17.95