Sea-Doo offered us journalist types the chance to check out several new accessory products during the company’s 2012 press introduction. And while it’s hard to concentrate on accessories when someone is showing you the latest and greatest watercraft, several items did attract my attention.
One of the more intriguing concepts was the Rear Seat Bag, an accessory that straps to the rear grab handle of all Sea-Doo models from 2009 on, and provides additional storage that’s relatively easy to access while out on the water. The bag itself secures with adjustable nylon straps; when attached, it takes up one passenger spot on the seat, meaning you gain space for your gear but lose one spot for a passenger no matter if you ride a two- or three-seater.
We’ve seen other onboard storage ideas in the past, but what’s unique about the Rear Seat Bag is that it’s like a small pod attached to your saddle. Capacity is 26 liters (6.9 gallons). Construction is a semi-rigid assembly of EVA thermoformed panels, with a PU outer layer, meaning it maintains its shape and offers a more upscale look than soft saddle bags, while offering a decent degree of water resistance from splash. Water that does make its way inside will drain away.
Looking for storage that’s a little more resistant to the elements? The system is actually a bag within a bag, featuring a traditional roll-top, removable watertight dry-bag that fits nicely within the outer shell.
Sea-Doo claims to have tested the Rear Seat Bag in “extreme, offshore conditions.” I can verify that the craft I rode with seat bag attached had no problems in the choppy St. Lawrence Seaway. In fact, the bag stayed tight and secure during some pretty aggressive cornering, rather than flop around as expected. The only drawback that prevents my wholehearted thumbs-up is the $229.99 price tag.
A cool idea for the touring type, but don’t expect it to come cheap.
The second item offered up for testing was a new Riding Goggle design. Now I’ll admit, I like to just wear sunglasses much of the time rather than adopt the goggle look. But I’ll also admit I’ve lost a few pairs of specs along the way, so goggles with their secure strap make more sense. And despite my sunglass leanings, I also won’t go on any serious ocean ride without goggles. There’s just too much salt in the eyes, and too much wind ready to rip those glasses off to chance anything else.
Sea-Doo’s goggles take the streamlined approach. In short, you’ll look more sleek than ready for the slopes or the moto track. The flexible frames are available in four colors — black, white, yellow and orange — and feature a choice of blue or orange mirrored, anti-scratch lens colors.
What truly make these goggles stand apart, however, are two details. One is a patented hypoallergenic silicone seal that keeps the goggles anchored securely to your face to prevent fogging and water intrusion. The other is a simple goggle-to-PFD attachment cord that works with a loop on Sea-Doo’s 2012 Force and Airflow PFDs to prevent loss should you somehow eject them from your face. (I imagine you could also loop that cord to a strap on almost any PFD.) Sometimes it’s small details like these that show a company is in tune with how enthusiasts actually use its product.
Goggles come with a hard storage case, as well as soft bag that doubles as a cleaning cloth. Retail on the goggles is $74.99.
Not available for testing at the press intro, but now in production are Sea-Doo’s new Water Shoes. They’re made from lightweight EVA with TPU support (think more stylish Crocs), and feature a one-hand side lace closure and drainage holes in both the upper and sole. A removable neoprene collar can be added to enhance ankle protection. Retail price is $74.99.