Have OGIO, will travel
I got my first Ogio gear bag when I went to ride the first Yamaha R1 in Spain. I believe that was late 1997, and I’ve left the same bag to the tender mercies of international baggage handlers probably 50 times in those 20 ensuing years – and probably twice that many domestic trips. It’s still perfectly fine. No holes, no tears, no puncture wounds, no busted zippers, no problems. Even the rollerblade wheels spin as freely as my own little imagination as I wheel my trusty Ogio through the world’s airports…
I would’ve been happy to keep using the old girl, until I was scheduled to go on a junket that would involve track riding and an off-road component, which meant I’d have to pack two sets of riding gear. I needed a bigger bag, man, so I got hold of Ogio and got myself a new Rig 9800.
We’re talking 7500 cubic inches (that’s 17.6 Chrysler 426 Hemis) of displacement, in a wheeled antechamber that’s 34 inches tall by 16.5 in. wide by 15.25 in. deep. (On the downside, it weighs 14 pounds before you pack it.) This thing has no problem swallowing a set of leathers, a riding jacket, one helmet, a pair of riding boots, enough clothing to get you through a few days wherever you’re going. And when you stuff even more stuff in for the trip home, you can always find a way to get the big nylon main zipper (formerly steel) to close, sometimes inch by painful inch, then secure the contents by snapping closed the two big buckles on the nylon straps on the outside.
There’s an adjustable divider in there I never bother to adjust, and the whole right side here is a big zippable compartment you can use to keep clothes separate from riding gear. Padding all around maintains shape and provides protection for contents.
A heavy-duty rip-stop nylon exterior reinforced with nylon webbing straps contains a slick nylon interior with a bunch of zippered compartments for people who believe in organization. The tag says Made in China, but the bag is engineered by somebody who’s given a good deal of thought to hauling things around.
Wheeled luggage is the greatest technical innovation of the 20th Century. Discuss.
The whole bag is bonded to a hard nylon SLED base (Structural Load Equalizing Deck!), which slides nicely on truck beds and mounts the big sealed ball-bearing equipped wheels complete with rubber tires. Which allows you to extend the telescoping handle from the top of the bag, and wheel it easily from terminal to terminal wherever you may roam, however much you’ve crammed into it. The Rig 9800 carries a retail price of $269.95: Not cheap, but probably the last gear bag you’ll ever have to buy.
Ogio is pronounced “Oh-gee-oh,” a name the founder of the company came up with, reportedly, over a game of Scrabble. In other breaking news, the company has been sold to Callaway Golf. For now, you can still scope out Ogio’s entire line of bags, backpacks, etc., at OGIO.