Saddlebag Storage Pouches
Innovative Storage Solutions
My riding history goes back to those ancient times when, if you were planning on that front wheel crossing the city limits, you went loaded for bear and resembled a rolling garage. Back before the attitude of “the only tool I need is a cell phone,” any ride over 100 miles included plenty of wrenches, duct tape, bailing wire and a tow rope. While traveling cross-county I usually had two sets of throw-over saddlebags—one for clothes and the other for tools, oil, a clutch and throttle cable, a tire repair kit and spark plugs. Old habits are hard to break and even to this day I refuse to leave for an extended ride without a stash of tools and sundry supplies. An independent streak remains and I’d just as soon try and get myself back on the road rather than sitting around waiting on a wrecker.
Apparently Phillip Jones is of the same ilk, ingrained with the Boy Scout motto “be prepared.” This perspective is what inspired Jones to invent the Saddlebag Storage Pouch system. Not originally designed as a sale item but simply for personal use, only after his riding friends insisted that he make a set for them did he pursue the possibility of actually marketing this unique product. Designed specifically to fit American-made touring motorcycles with hard bags (i.e. Harley), these little wonders fit in the two voids in the bottom of your bags that are created during the molding process to provide space for the support bar running down the middle and underneath your saddlebags. Filling these cavities is an ideal arrangement since tools are a seldom-used item (hopefully) allowing for quick and easy access to the more important items stacked on top like your jacket, gloves and map.
Approximately one inch thick when filled, they are matched sets with two for the left and two for the right saddlebag. And although an inch doesn’t sound like much space, you’ll be amazed at the amount of gear you can stow (just look at the pile of stuff I carried to Daytona and back). Once full, the storage pouches also provide a level floor at the saddlebag base upon which to pile your remaining gear. An additional advantage is that, for the first time, an equal distribution of tool weight can be achieved.
The pouches are fabricated from a high-grade fabric called “Tough Duck” that is noted for its strength and resilience. Everything is stitched together with a vibration- and wear-resistant thread and uses a tough YKK #5 zipper that should last for years. And although various offers have come in from overseas to manufacture the product, Phillip remains resolute in keeping everything 100-percent American made and uses a fabricating company in Maine that’s been in business for over 100 years.
I used the Storage Pouches recently during two extended road trips, Texas to Florida and Texas to South Carolina. The pouches easily carried everything I normally haul and maybe a little more since I wanted to test their limits. (It will even accommodate a 15“ Crescent wrench, the largest weapon in my arsenal.) And other than a little scuffing from where the inside of the saddlebag rubbed up against the pouch (leaving nothing more than some white discoloration on the black “duck”), they performed admirably. I especially liked the fact that I didn’t have to constantly move a big ass tool bag out of the way every time I wanted something. The ideal situation would be to develop a set of road tools and keep the Storage Pouches constantly loaded and ready to roll at the first sign of a few free days on the calendar.
And for those of you aboard a Road Kind Classic, worry not—Mr. Jones has just completed the finishing touches on a set of Storage Pouches to fit your leather bags, also. So ride often, ride far and be prepared.