Review by Ken Freund
[This Lee Parks Design Laguna Tail Pack Review was originally published in American Rider magazine]
Many American cruiser motorcycles are perfectly capable of covering long distances, and often share the same drivetrain as the touring models, but lack any sort of provision for luggage. When it comes time for a road trip, this leaves the owner scrambling for something in which to carry gear. For the occasional traveler, it’s not cost-effective to spring for a set of hard saddlebags and mounts, and wearing a backpack gets old fast. So what to do?
Lee Parks Design now offers a versatile Laguna Tail Pack motorcycle luggage system that can carry enough gear for a weeklong ride and serve double duty as luggage when traveling without your bike. It’s practical anytime, but especially if you plan to fly to a destination and then rent a motorcycle or go on a tour.
A sturdy, adjustable shoulder strap lets you easily carry your gear when it’s off the bike. The roomy bag’s dimensions are approximately 19x11x11 inches in regular configuration and 27x11x11 when both ends are extended. Expandable end compartments can add 4 inches each and boost capacity by about 30 percent for those times when you need a little extra room.
Inside there’s a microfiber-lined computer pouch that fits a 15.4-inch widescreen laptop, and a lined front pocket that also won’t scuff or scratch fragile items. Underneath there’s a zippered compartment that conceals the four adjustable mounting bungee cords and hooks. Unzip the cover, and you can slap the Laguna on the passenger seat and be on your way in seconds. The bungees can hook under the seat or fender, and two sturdy 1.5-inch-wide web straps with adjustable hook-and-loop closures quickly secure the bag to a sissy bar.
Lee Parks, the man behind this product, founded Lee Parks Design in 2001 after more than eight years as a professional motojournalist. During his tenure with Motorcycle Consumer News, Parks tested hundreds of motorcycle products, which taught him a great deal about materials, production and quality. Today he’s employing that experience to design his own products.
The Laguna name and design were inspired by Lee Parks’ annual multi-day ride to Laguna Seca Raceway to attend the motorcycle races. As a result, you’ll find some features not included on other bags such as a water-bottle holder, sturdy tie-down points, and an adjustable elastic cord to cinch down a rainsuit or light jacket. Wide carry straps include a wraparound handle to connect them together for luggage that is easier on hands.
Accessories include handy zippered Cube-It packing cubes that allow you to organize clothes or other items for fast access. The Jr. Cube-It ($19.95) measures 10x7x3.5 inches and the larger one ($29.95) is 14×9.5×3.5 inches. Both are well made from sturdy Cordura and make good additions to the Tail Pack. The optional Laguna rain cover ($29.95) is made of lightweight yet durable waterproof breathable membrane material, and its elasticized bottom keeps it snug against the Tail Pack.
The American-made Laguna Tail Pack retails for $169.95. I’m not prone to making such strong endorsements, but this is truly the sturdiest, best-made tail pack system I have ever used or tested. Every component and detail seems to be well thought out and executed, using quality materials and workmanship. Parks says the Laguna was designed to be the last tail pack you’ll ever buy—and to prove it, it’s backed up by a lifetime warranty. Lee Parks Design also offers innovative deer- and elkskin gloves, books on riding, and other quality motorcycle products.
For more information contact Lee Parks Design, 800-943-5638, www.leeparksdesign.com.