Recently, we received an inquiry from the folks at Viking Cycle, wondering if we’d be interested in testing some of their gear. As fate would have it, I was already in the market for a new denim vest, and the company also sent us their Street / Sportbike Backpack to test.
Viking Cycle is based out of Brea, California, and has a dizzying array of brand ambassadors across the country and beyond. We’ve come across the company on the web and social media, but this was our first time trying their products.
Viking Cycle Freedom Vest
The vest we received was the Viking Cycle Freedom Blue Denim Motorcycle Vest, available here. Firstly, although the website says “True to Size,” the sizes tend to run large, so you might want to order one size smaller than normal. We originally received a Medium, which was too large for a 5′ 8″ / 160-lb athletic rider. VC made the exchange very quick and easy.
Now, given the $59.99 price point, we did not expect the highest quality piece of kit — especially since moto gear can be quite expensive. But this vest truly and honestly impressed us. The material is a stretch denim that’s perfect for riding or casual wear, and it looks incredible — the material itself, the stitching, and the steel buttons and hardware.
What’s even better, it has a ton of storage, both external and internal. There are exterior side pockets, chest pockets, and our favorite, a wide array of interior buttoned and zipper pockets.
There’s a dedicated internal pocket that perfectly fits an iPhone or other smartphone, along with a sleeve for stringing your earbuds.
What’s more, there’s something we haven’t yet seen on such a vest: an internal gun holster / pocket and magazine pouch for concealed carry. The size/shape looks about right for a subcompact automatic or five-shot mini revolver, but there’s also an internal pouch for larger frames.
The vest also has an internal breathable liner — an unexpected comfort at this price point. Overall, we couldn’t be more impressed with this vest, especially given the price. If you catch me in person at a custom show in the near future, there’s a good chance I’ll be wearing this vest — it’s now in my daily rotation.Shop Viking Cycle Vests
International Purchase Links:
- Australia: au.vikingcycle.com/collections/mens-leather-motorcycle-vests
- United Kingdom: uk.vikingcycle.com/collections/womens-motorcycle-vests
Viking Street / Sportbike Backpack
The VC Street / Sportbike Backpack comes from the company’s line of cafe racer luggage, which also includes saddlebags, tank bags, and tail bags. The backpack measures 20″ x 5″ x 11.5″, with an internal storage capacity of 488 cubic inches. The material is heavy-duty Cordura, with reflective piping for additional night time visibility and waterproof external side pockets.
An internal padded sleeve fits most 15″ laptops, and there’s a detailed organizer for your keys, wallet, and other small items. There’s even a protective eyewear pocket — a very nice addition indeed. Duraflex ® buckles round out the exterior construction.
The aerodynamic molded body helps keep the bag from buffeting at highway speeds, and we loved the firmness of construction. The bag was stout enough to carry more than 50 pounds worth of dumbbells on an ad-hoc urban ruck march taken by our staff photographer, who appreciated that the back support and the fact that the bag kept its shape very well despite the awkward weights packed into the main compartment.
Other users have reported being able to fit a bottle of wine and six-pack of cans (on their side) along with their 15″ work laptop.
Our only gripe was the back support is too tall for shorter riders, nameless those of less than 5′ 8″. For those with short torsos, the back support rides over the shoulders so there’s a gap between the straps and the rider’s trap muscles or collarbones, making for an awkward fit.
Other than that, we were pretty impressed with this bag, especially since it costs less than half that of some of the industry competition. You can check out more of the company’s motorcycle and street bike luggage here.