AMA Member Tested: LandShark Survival Shelter
February 01, 2014
Shelter Against The Elements
By Curtis Lenderman
As motorcyclists, we can imagine ways we could find ourselves spending an unexpected night on the desert floor or on the side of a mountain. One thing is certain: The difference between an uncomfortable situation and a life-threatening emergency is forethought and preparedness.
Any motorcyclist heading away from populated areas needs to be prepared to avoid hypothermia, especially if injured and he or she can’t “walk out.”
This is where the LandShark Survival Shelter comes into play. Originally designed to protect pilots who crash-land in harsh terrain, the LandShark is a product of Corporate Air Parts of Van Nuys, Calif., whose customers include the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard and other prominent companies and agencies. For motorcyclists looking for a worst-case-scenario barrier to the elements, the LandShark should fit the bill.
The bag arrived vacuum packed and dated. The packed product is stored in a tough canvas zipper pouch measuring 8.5-by-7.6 inches (about 2 inches thick) and packs nicely in the bottom of a saddle bag, top case or dry bag. The vacuum bag is notched for easy opening by wet hands. After use, I was able to refold the bag and easily repack it into the storage pouch, even though it was no longer vacuum packed.
The bag is advertised to fit a range of physical builds, up to 6-foot, 3-inches and 330 pounds. At 6-foot, 3-inches and 210 pounds, I fit easily into the bag and had plenty of spare room to get the bag up over my head to retain critical heat. Two smaller people could even fit in this bag in a pinch.
The installed drawstring operates smoothly and locks in the desired position. The attached (and very loud) emergency whistle is positioned for easy use while remaining warm inside the bag.
The bag is international orange on one side and digital camo on the other.
The LandShark is constructed of a micro-thin layer of aluminized film laminated to a resilient, composite reinforced, ripstop material. The aluminized coating reflects up to 80% of radiated body heat. There’s no need to worry about climbing into it wearing heavy off-road boots; you’re not going to rip this material. The strength of the material lends itself to being used as an impromptu shelter using tree limbs or even motorcycle parts as a framework. You can even double its size by cutting it and then removing the drawstring to use as tie-down cord to secure it in place.
The price may seem a bit steep at first, but the LandShark’s weight and space savings, as well as its toughness and versatility, make it a good buy. And if you’re writing that check in sub-freezing temperatures and a 40 mph wind at 1 a.m. on the desert floor, it’s going to seem downright cheap!
Curtis Lenderman is an independent AMA Member Tester.