During the summer of 2014, Mike and Jenny went on a 3 day motorcycle camping trip through the North Cascades in Washington. The ride was incredible, and other than a few minor mechanical issues, there was only one problem- their backs ached from the packs they used to carry all of their camping gear.
Immediately we knew we needed to find a better way to carry our gear. After searching for saddle bags, we realized there was nothing available that we liked. Nothing that would look good on our old bikes. Sure, there were options, but they were either too small, or designed for huge adventure bikes, or had more tassels and fringe than really fit our style.
Our good friend Chris was working at Filson at the time. He had been involved in making hard wearing and beautiful bags and luggage there for years. Together we began drawing up ideas for the saddle bag we had been looking for. Something classic, made from waxed canvas and leather. Something that could come on and off the bike easily.
After a few months we made our first prototype. It was a bit rough, but had much of the function and style we had been looking for. Jenny field tested the bag on a trip to Joshua Tree for Babes Ride out 2.
When she got home we began revising, and planning the next prototype. We purchased a couple of industrial sewing machines, and made some new bags just in time for Motos in Moab. Once again, Jenny loaded up her old CB550 and hit the road. She got caught up in several rain storms and we were pleased to find that the bags had kept her gear dry through all of them.
This saddle bags however, were too small for such a long trip. Once again we hit the drawing board and took what we had learned and put it to use. A new pair of bags were prototyped. The next trip was to Montana and Wyoming. To ride the Beartooth highway, Yellowstone, and the Tetons with the Iron & Air crew on their Westbound 2015 trip. The bags were larger, and functioned exactly how we wanted, keeping the weather and mud out, coming off the bike quickly and easily, and even being mounted to two different bikes.
There was only one problem, the bags looked too plain. We not only wanted something that was rugged, but something that looked fantastic and had classic character.
A fourth revision was necessary to accomplish aesthetically what we had already accomplished functionally. New materials were chosen, and finally we had the bag we wanted. The bag we now want to make available.