Piggy Pack

Piggy Pack

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England, Mike

When it comes to outdoor recreation, gear is like money: there’s no such thing as too much. Problem is, gear takes up space, and when you’re loading the car for a multisport weekend road trip, space tends to be your biggest commodity.

Enter Piggy Pack, a California-based company that manufactures soft, durable, waterproof car-top carriers for storing everything from camping gear to snowboards. The company makes three different models: the Classic, the Sport, and the RoadMaster. Each one is reasonably priced, collapses for storage, and can be loaded and installed in minutes, no tools required.

I tried all three, and found them to be well-designed, pragmatic alternatives to high-end roof rack systems and hard boxes. Each carrier’s easy-on, easy-off nature meant I didn’t have to leave it up all the time—I could unload it and stash it in the car, carry it right to the campsite, or haul it into the motel room like a piece of luggage. Living in Montana, I wasn’t too worried about someone trying to steal it en route, but the company does offer a Kryptonite locking system to secure the carrier for short stops.

The Piggy Pack Classic is basically a rectangular dry bag—tough and flexible, with a fold-and-clip system in the back to keep the water out. It holds 100 pounds of gear (your car’s roof permitting) and can be installed in under five minutes. A versatile strapping system means you can load it with or without a luggage rack. These straps are absolutely bomber—the bag didn’t move an inch the entire week I had it on the car.

A bit smaller, and with a different closure mechanism, the Piggy Pack Sport fits snugly on smaller vehicles. I liked this one the best of the three, as it fit my Subaru’s luggage rack perfectly, and the aerodynamic design didn’t cost me much in fuel efficiency. The zipper is specially designed to combat updrafts and has a urethane coating that further repels moisture. Determined to put it to the test, I doused the Sport with a hose for ten minutes. Afterward, I could find nary a droplet inside the pack. Pretty impressive.

Piggy Pack’s third and most distinctive product is the RoadMaster, a hybrid hard-shell/soft-sided carrier that resembles a huge bullet. With its heavy-duty tarpaulin body and hard plastic nose cone, the RoadMaster gives you the best of both worlds: you’ve got the strength and aerodynamics of a hard box, but you can collapse the body inside the cone for storage. The RoadMaster is five feet long, so it’s perfect for snowboards and golf clubs. Its nine cubic feet of storage space are fully protected from wind and water by a urethane-coated double-zipper system. Like the other carriers, the RoadMaster cinches down tight and won’t budge at any speed. I did get some funny looks with this one, but my gear stayed dry, and when a hard-box-owning friend wisecracked, "Hey, what’s with that big penis?" I just smiled and said, "Genetics."

Classic, Sport, Roadmaster

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