I’ll be the first to admit it: If there’s space, I’ll fill it. Empty drawer? I’ll find something to put in it. Extra space in the food pantry? I’m off to the grocery store to stock up. So when I first laid eyes on the Marsee 50 Liter Zipp motorcycle bag I was already thinking ahead to all the stuff I could bring along on a motorcycle trip. The second thought was that since it was so big, it would take one large passenger seat or luggage rack to accommodate it.
As the name implies, there are zippers all over this seatbag. The entire bag, which is made of 1050-denier ballistic nylon with a waterproof coating, unzips to lie flat, metamorphosing into a garment bag with carabiners and hooks for hanging up in a closet. Three outside compartments zip completely off, making them into their own little independent bags (two have carry handles), and another stays permanently attached.
I think of the Zipp Bag as a portable condominium with a garage (complete with a roll-out tool wrap and stretch loops to organize tools), a powder room (toiletry bag with mesh pockets and six stretch loops for toothbrushes and mini stuff), an office (holds papers and pens) and a snack bar, all attached to a family room (the main compartment). The snack bar doesn’t zip off but the mesh pockets are perfect for holding bottles of water and munchies that are easy to get to at stops. The family room is roughly 11 1/4 x 17 1/2 inches, measured from the inside, with storage pouches and four zippered mesh pockets. It’s about 10 inches high and can hold a leather jacket and a full-face helmet.
Six quick-release straps with buckles hold the condo in place on a rack or passenger seat, and the grip bottom helps keep it from sliding around. I attached it lengthwise to a Yamaha FZ6’s passenger seat, and while the Zipp Bag–at approximately 21 inches long–had plenty of room and appeared to be quite comfortable, it left me cramped with very little seat room. Next, I tried it across the seat and luggage rack on a Suzuki V-Strom. It attached quickly and simply to the rack and grab rails, and there’s no hardware to scratch the paint. For me, the Zipp is great for stopping by the grocery store as it easily holds four or five plastic bags of groceries.
There’s reflective piping on the side bags, and the main compartment has a large, sturdy carry handle and a shoulder strap. As convenient as it is for transporting a bunch of stuff on a motorcycle, it’s cumbersome off one. It weighs 71/4 pounds empty; add a jacket and helmet, and you’re now talking about a bag that is not so comfortable slung over your shoulder. It works great for taking along everything but the proverbial kitchen sink (and I believe a small sink would fit in the “family room”) and carrying it into a hotel room. Presumably, it would be great for a motorcycle vacation where you travel by airplane, though it’s probably too big to meet most carry-on regulations. According to our source at Marsee, “It’s sturdy enough to hold up to most abuse airlines can throw at it.” I used it as a beach bag and could fit in a small ice chest, towels and snacks. The “garage” even accommodated a shorty spring wetsuit. I was careful not to get sand in the heavy-duty zippers, which already have a tendency to stick.
The literature says the bag is wide enough for 15-inch hangers, though the hangers I can find are more like 16 1/2 inches–which do work when you turn them a tad sideways. If your condo needs to be tented (in case of rain, not termites) an included silver waterproof cover keeps the contents dry. I have to remember to zip the compartments back on as I’ve left one behind once or twice. The Zipp Bag retails for $225 and comes with a limited lifetime warranty to the original owner.
For more information see your dealer or contact Marsee Products at 651 Niles Ferry Road, Madisonville, Tennessee 37354; (800) 293-2400 or (423) 420-1117; www.marseeproducts.com