Marsee Rocket Pocket Tank Bag
will probably laugh at the size of this tank bag. After all,
it's not uncommon to see 20, 25 and even 30 liter tank bags piled high
on some touring bikes.
But, let's face it -- when you only need
to carry enough for an afternoon ride, an oversized and understuffed
tank bag is going to look like a deflated balloon sitting between your
I've also had more trouble trying to keep big but empty
tank bags in place on the tank than I have with bags that are nice and
tight and full. The wind seems to make the empty ones flap
around more than they should.
So the search was on for a reasonably-sized
tank bag that would hold maybe a sunglass case, a pair of gloves, a
bottle of water and a few other goodies like an air pressure gauge and
a cell phone. Maybe a sweater, too. And while I'm wishing,
how about a nice clear map pocket on top?
Off I went to a couple of motorcycle
shops, but I came away disappointed. It seemed like the only
choices were either some really tiny bags that are big enough to hold
a wallet or glasses case and would maybe look good on a cruiser-style
peanut tank, or the monster bags that can hold two weeks'
worth of laundry.
was about to give up when I found this Marsee "Rocket
Pocket" 10-liter bag. This tank bag is just the right size
for a day-long adventure. It's small enough to pretty much stay
out of the way on just about any bike, yet it has a large enough
capacity to carry all the essentials.
Its petite dimensions (5”
high, 8” wide and 11” long) are in part due to the absence of any
outside pockets, which usually end
up flopping around if they're not full anyway.
If you really need them, Marsee does offer two optional attachment pockets; one
attaches to the handle, and would be perfect for a pair of
sunglasses. The other optional pocket attaches
to the two snaps on the front of the bag.
Rocket Pocket Tank Bag on a 1999 Triumph Thunderbird
The bag is made from 1050 denier
ballistics nylon with a waterproof coating. Marsee claims that ballistic
nylon is more water resistant, abrasion resistant and fade resistant than
DuPont's Cordura material, which is often seen in motorcycle
The Rocket Pocket also has a nice map
pocket on top that's accessible from inside the lid. Inside the
bag, there are 3 pen or pencil holders; a small clear window to put a
business or address card for identification, and a small zippered
The bag is well-made, and uses the same
robust zippers that are found on other Marsee tank bags. The
zippers have nice, big pull tabs, but I found that the oversized zipper
teeth seem to be
pretty reluctant about opening or closing. I'm hoping that over
time they'll loosen up a bit. Perhaps a shot of silicone spray
There's a bit of highly reflective,
3M-brand piping around the sides of the bag, and the Marsee logos are
also reflective, which is a nice touch. Other features include a
2" wide adjustable shoulder strap, which allows you to easily
carry the bag when you're not riding. The small size of this bag
makes it ideal for that task.
Besides the optional pockets, Marsee
offers a rain cover (why isn't it included in the price?) some webbed strapping that turns the Rocket
Pocket into a backpack (ditto), a cell phone case, CD player case, toiletry
bag, or a 1 or 3 liter Hydration System.
Note that some of these
items will take up room inside the bag. There's a strap in front
of the bag with two snaps used for attaching the optional external
pocket. But if you don't buy the pocket, the straps just flap
in the breeze.
There should be a bit of "hook and loop"
fastener or some way to secure the flaps to the bag if you're not
using any attachments. The Rocket Pocket can
also be purchased as a strap-on version with bases for various tank
The Rocket Pocket is expandable by 3
more inches high, and it features a built-in network of reflective
compression cording that allows you to snug everything down nice and
tight. Pull the ends of the cord through some spring-loaded barrels,
much like a stuff sack that is used for stowing camping gear.
I was kind of hesitant about buying the
magnetic version of the Rocket Pocket, even though both of my bikes
have steel fuel tanks. I've owned tank bags before, but not the
When magnetic tank bags first became
available (back in the "old days"!), the rumors were that
the magnets didn't work well and that the bags would scratch the paint
on the fuel tank. The older style magnetic bags also used huge
magnets and sometimes had big, bulky flaps that went down over the
sides of the fuel tank and looked pretty dorky.
The zippers are
nice and big and have large sized pulls, but I've been
disappointed so far that they don't work as smooth as I'd
The piping, tabs
and logos are highly reflective 3M material.
Pocket fully expanded.
In fact, I had originally settled on the non-magnetic Rocket Pocket, but
the guy I know behind the parts counter convinced me to spend the extra 10
bucks on the magnetic version, with the promise that I could exchange it
if I didn't like it. I'm really glad I didn't buy the strap-on
version, because the magnets on this bag are plenty strong, yet they make
it very easy to put the bag on and off the bike.
Marsee claims that
the 6 magnets used on the bag are "polarized", and offer 40%
more strength than normal magnets. There's a safety strap that comes
with the bag, and you're supposed to clip it to the front of the bag and
then wrap it around your handlebar or headstock, but I haven't found it to
At the gas station, it's easy to simply
remove the bag and place it on the seat of the bike, rather than have to
mess with the straps each time. Also, the side flaps are small
enough not to affect the look of the bike, and they fold under and secure
themselves to the magnets on the bottom of the bag when you do use the
shoulder carrying strap.
The bottom of the bag isn't as soft as
you'd think it should be, but Marsee claims it's some type of specially
developed material called "Tough Tek" that's designed to protect
your paint. Be careful that you don't get any dirt or metal chips or
filings that might be attracted to the magnets!
The bottom line is that I'm pleased with
the Marsee Rocket Pocket. But to be honest, I think the price is
very high for what you get. I'm glad I didn't pay the list price,
because for an extra few bucks you can get a lot more bag.
the zippers worked a little more smoothly; they should have at least
included a rain cover; and the lack of an attachment for the accessory
strap in the front is annoying. I guess that means I'll have to
spring for the optional front pocket, which can also be
used as a belt pocket when it's not attached to the bag.
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Rocket Pocket Magnetic Tank Bag
Retail Price: $116.00;
street price about $80.00
made, smaller sized tank bag is just right for
carrying a few items. Zipper can be balky at times.