Sunday, 31 January 2016

My dirty Dirtsack Frogman report

Share it Please
Mandy and JD to me. The owners, founders, financiers, risk takers behind DIRTSACK to you.

Yes, I’m close, very close to these two. 

The first time I ever rode with the Yezdi club, I tailed Jd all the way till Malshej. At Malshej I heard of Mandy, and him just casually mentioning Khardung La. I sprang out of my seat and got one as close to him as I could find. Before that day, I hadn’t met ANYONE who had ridden Khardung La. Let alone on a freaking Yezdi.

There I stood in the presence of two of one of my most looked up-to riders and human beings. I still look up to them, even though I may possibly have more Km’s under my belt than they do. Ill never feel their level, and I, in my eyes, never will be.

Malshej happened in 2009 and Khardung La, in 2011. My first set of saddles were DIRTSACK’S. JD sold them to me at cost price, right out of the boot of his Scorpio. My parents bought them for me as a gift for completing for Master in Organic Chemistry. (Don’t ask, just don’t ask, everyone needs to graduate!!!!!!)

Those bags went from Ambala to Leh to Mumbai, Mumbai-Bhutan-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai-Kanyakumari-Mumbai and again Mumbai-Leh-Mumbai. They were done and dusted, ripped and stitched, overloaded almost all the time, used and abused. They gave me more memories than I could fit into their 28 ltr frames and for that I still store them in the loft above my loo.

After all this, my first logical choice became DIRTSACK. I own an Ortlieb, from Germany and its waterproofing has always been a boon over the standard tail bags I’ve used. Heck, it was so enormous, my tail bag used to fit inside it along with another full packed haversack.
Before I made a choice of anything I spoke to Mandy regarding the rain covers of the existing saddle bags.

 I told him why this was a major cause of concern for me as it had failed me on earlier rides. That’s when I, was taught the difference between waterPROOF and waterRESISTANT.
The DIRTSACK FROGMAN is waterPROOF!!!!!!!!!

It has amazed me, protected me and now set my standards of biking luggage at a high that is going to be hard to beat. I wasn’t fussy about stuff earlier but it’s going to be hard to go back to something that isn’t as effective with its waterproofing. When I embarked on my ride it poured relentlessly all the way into Khajuraho.

The rain basically followed me for 2 full days. I was beaming with pride, what a smart choice I had made. About 10 days into the ride is when I truly began appreciating the bags full potential. THE HARNESS!!!! It’s so straightforward and easy. The straps stay on the bike permanently and they latch into cross linking buckle loops. Strap the 4 loops tightly diagonally and you’re packed for the morning. The simplicity is just so convenient.

Though, at first glance, I agree, it looks as complex as nuclear science 
Don't be put off by what you see in a shop/showroom. As my granny always said, "Never judge a book by its cover!!!"

My bungees just stayed as dead weight. I didn’t have the heart to throw them out, but somewhere at the back of my mind I knew these bags are stitched together and when loaded rips occur. Thank fully I never had to use the bungees for added packing power.

These are, in my view the most versatile saddle + tail bag combo available in the Indian market. Most would tie down just as tight, and most would have the store capacity you’d want, but none will be 100% waterproof.

When I endorse the FROGMAN like this, my wife, Delzeen says it reminds her of the Nirma Soap ad, “washing powder Nirma, doodh ki safedi, Nirma say ayi”, I still mean what I write, and the bags are very effective and efficient!

Nothing yet comes close to holding your life together on the road for 45 days at a stretch for under 10,000 bucks.