MXA TEAM TESTED: ALPINESTARS XL TRANSITION GEAR BAG

April 5, 2012
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WHAT IS IT?
Part of Alpinestars’ new “technical collection,” this gear bag is designed to hold everything a motocross racer might want to haul to the track.

WHAT’S IT COST? $219.95.

CONTACT? www.alpinestars.com or (800) 727-8277.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Alpinestars’ XL Transition gear bag.

(1) Space. The Alpinestars XL Transition gear bag is cavernous. At 34.5 inches by 16.5 inches by 17.5 inches, the Transition holds over 40 gallons of stuff. On each end are compartments designed specifically for your helmet and boots. To make the bag even more versatile, the walls that separate the end compartments from the main storage area can be removed to turn the XL Transition into one enormous bag. Although it has little value to a motocrosser in this form, it could hold some jumbo-sized objects (like a snowboard, for example).

(2) Pockets. Few things are as irritating as not being able to fit boots into a gear bag’s boot compartment, so we didn’t take the XL Transition’s roomy boot bin for granted. Our boots fit in with ease (although we are more familiar with putting one boot in each end of the gear bag). With the Alpinestars XL Transition, the opposite end of the gear bag has a compartment big enough to house a helmet, or lots of goggles, socks and gloves. The main section can easily store a chest protector, knee braces, helmet, jersey and leathers. Alpinestars added three external pockets, including one with dividers for organizing gloves, tearoffs and tools.

(3) Materials. The XL Transition is made from sturdy nylon and polyester with padding to protect the bag’s contents. The fabric is easy to clean, and it can take some exposure to oil and dirt. The added removable boot bag and changing mat are waterproof tarpaulin.

(4) Transport.
The XL Transition’s size comes more from length than width, so it was easy to slide it between two bikes in the back of a pickup truck or van. The bag’s smooth wheels and telescoping handle made it easy to tow around. The wheels didn’t gum up or get damaged after rolling through dirt and rocks. MXA test riders love gear bags with lots of grab handles. Alpinestars didn’t disappoint. There were plenty of handles to heft the bag, but no shoulder strap. We missed the shoulder strap, but realized it would take Paul Bunyan to carry a fully loaded XL Transition over the shoulder.

(5) Extras.
Included with the XL Transition gear bag are a fleece-lined helmet bag, separate boot bag (to keep mud out of your nice gear-bag lining) and a changing mat that Velcroes to the side of the bag so it won’t blow away. Other features include reflective logos, lockable zippers, ID windows and vented pockets to let sweaty gear breathe.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We had two complaints. (1) All the padding and sturdy materials are awesome on the durability scale, but when the airlines see you coming from a mile away, they start ringing up the cash register even before you get your ticket. (2) The boot bag and helmet bag were functional, but most MXA test riders already have a helmet bag, and putting your boots in a bag before putting them in your gear bag seems redundant. Some test riders did like the changing mat.

For serious racers, a gear bag is a home away from home. The XL Transition’s size and added features make that home a mansion.

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