Klim is known for making highly technical, form-follows-function riding gear, so it’s no surprise that its Kodiak gear bag is designed for maximum utility and seems nearly indestructible.
At $250, it’s not inexpensive, but after withstanding the abuse of half a dozen international flights and being haphazardly stuffed with dirty ADV boots and sweaty gear, it’s gracefully suffered the abuse. A few scuffs on the plastic edges and a small tear on the corner are the only signs of hard wear.
Plus, it’s huge. At 36 x 18 x 18 inches, the Kodiak is so large that it looks like a child could wander inside, walk out the other end, and find herself in Narnia talking to Mr. Tumnus.
Even though it’s such a large bag, it’s easy to maneuver through airports thanks to its rubberized Rollerblade-style wheels and retractable handles. Klim paid special attention to weight distribution, so even if it’s somewhat haphazardly loaded, as long as heavy boots are packed at the bottom of the bag, it stands upright without a problem. There’s nothing worse than standing at a check-in kiosk and having your top-heavy bag topple over and break a small child’s toe or crush someone’s Gucci-collared lap dog. Yes, a good gear bag can prevent awkward social situations and can even save lives.
The Kodiak has a robust skeleton that helps maintain the bag’s shape and protect what’s inside. Hard plastic corners and runners on the bottom add additional protection. The body and lid are padded and the exterior fabric is a tough 600-denier polyester.
Within its cavernous bowels, there’s a removable padded helmet partition and semi-rigid boot bag, each of which Velcros to the interior. I usually carry on my helmet when I’m flying, but having a dedicated place for dirty boots, like most bags have, is great. It’s also perfect for putting toiletries in to keep inevitable leaks from reaching clothes. Klim even included a ground cover for outdoor changing.
I’ll admit I’m a bit OCD about keeping a bag organized. More often than not, I find myself humming Radiohead’s “Everything in its Right Place” as I look for the perfect spot for my sunglasses and stash of sleep aid. The inside of the Kodiak’s lid has two zippered mesh pockets and two concealed zippered compartments: one the perfect size for a folded fleece jacket, the other for 10 days of socks. There’s also a couple of mesh pockets to keep track of cables, first-aid supplies, and other small items.
The outside of the Kodiak has a fleece-lined compartment for MX goggles, which is a nice touch, but since it isn’t protected by any hard part I’d be reluctant to use it if the bag is bound for baggage check. There’s also a generous exterior pocket. Hardy YKK zippers and durable nylon webbing to cinch down the load keep things tidy.
I know a gear bag isn’t as exciting as a high-end helmet or airbag-equipped jacket, but if any gear bag is worth getting excited about, it’s the Kodiak—even though it’s pricey. Come to think of it, maybe that sells gear bags short. After all, a good gear bag like the Kodiak is worth its price because inside, there contains all the trappings, safely stowed, of best-laid plans and untold adventures.
It may not magically conceal a full-size floor lamp, but it’s the closest thing you’ll find to Mary Poppins’ carpet bag in the motorcycle world.