For the seriously packing commuter or weekend adventurer, the Joe Rocket Blaster Max Backpack has you covered.I’ve been hauling clothes, food, a laptop, and a variety of other paraphernalia to and from work for the past nine years, so I’ve been through a lot of backpacks. Inevitably, I run into occasions where that one extra item I want to carry doesn’t fit. That hasn’t yet happened with the Joe Rocket Blaster Max.
With a right-triangle shaped design, the voluminous Blaster Max has an impressive carrying capacity. There are nine external zippered pockets of varying sizes that I’ve designated for specific items I carry every day.It’s easy to get to any one of them without digging into the vast interior, and I know exactly where to find my sunscreen, sunglasses, phone, charging cables, and other small items. The zippers are heavy duty, slide super smoothly, and have good-sized pulls that are easy to operate with gloved hands.The zippered compartment at the bottom of the Blaster Max contains a helmet sling that pulls out and wraps over your helmet. It secures to the back of the pack via adjustable straps with two plastic side-release buckles and a metal bolt clip. I’ve fit an Arai Signet-X in, without issue, as well as an HJC RPHA 11 Pro. The helmet will not fall out, but the fit is casual.The Blaster Max’ spacious interior has a hook-and-loop secured pocket at the back of the pack for your laptop, and a small zippered ‘media pocket’ at the top of the pack where you can stash your smartphone or iPod. An audio port allows me to fish a pair of ear buds up to my helmet.Two zippers open from the top and run down each side of the Blaster Max pack, making it easy to fill the large cavity. Because of its unique shape, a quick stop at the grocery store on the way home is a no-brainer; a half-gallon of milk easily sits securely upright.Built of rugged polyester with a dobby weave that has a perforated look, the Joe Rocket Blaster Max is ready for my daily abuse. The shoulder straps are nicely padded and are secured across the front at the chest and waist. The former is height adjustable; the latter has wide pads at the sides.There are also two wide padded strips running down the back of the Blaster Max backpack. They add comfort and keep the backpack from laying completely on your back, so a bit of air can circulate. Finally, there are two reflective panels on the shoulder straps to create some nighttime visibility.The Joe Rocket Blaster Max is a large backpack, so even with the shoulder straps at their shortest adjustment, it is a bit long on my 5’ 6” frame. Because of its length, if I’m riding an upright bike with a stepped passenger pillion, the Blaster Max is a bit awkward.It ends up sitting on the raised seat, which takes weight off the pack and leaves the shoulder straps draping a bit loose on my shoulders. While the pack is in no danger of falling off, it’s a less secure feeling. On any bike with a slightly lean-forward riding position, a flat seat, or a solo seat, this isn’t an issue at my height.What makes the Joe Rocket Blaster Max one of the most comfortable backpacks I’ve carried, especially when it’s loaded to the max, is its shape. Most of the weight is distributed in the bottom, and it gets lighter/smaller toward the top.The Blaster Max is well thought out and extremely functional. Instead of simply being large, the space is parceled out into useful sizes and shapes—all easily accessible. My one complaint is there is no D-ring for attaching a key clip—a surprising omission.Not for the casual toting rider, the Joe Rocket Blaster Max is ready for serious hauling without dragging you down or wearing you out.
Our first segment introduces you to the new Arch 1s. This latest, slightly more sporting American V-twin, adds to the original KRGT1 coming from the boutique manufacturer based in Hawthorne, Southern California. Senior Editor Nic de Sena rode through Malibu with Gard Hollinger, who co-founded Arch Motorcycle with his friend, Keanu Reeves. The 1s is a unique ride for sure, and Nic explains what makes the bike really stand out.
For the entertaining story behind Arch Motorcycle from Gard Hollinger himself, you must listen to his podcast episode on Motos & Friends HERE
The guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—visit your local dealer or suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In our second segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with multiple Emmy award-winning writer, Producer, Director, and actor, Thom Beers. the former Chairman & CEO of Fremantle Media North America, responsible for American Idol and America’s Got Talent.
Thom’s fertile imagination led to most of the really big reality TV shows such as ‘Deadliest Catch’ (now in its 17th season!), and many others. Of course for us in the motorcycle world, you’ll be interested to hear the genesis and story of how he started the first real fabrication reality show ‘Monster Garage’, that showcased Jesse James, and then how that led to ‘Biker Build Off’ and the ‘Zombie Choppers’ movie.
You’d imagine that most of Thom’s time is spent sitting behind a desk and on his phone. Not so. His intense stories of capturing much of the content for these shows make for some hair-raising listening.