Cycling Backpack

Rickshaw VELO Backpack
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Review: Rickshaw Velo Backpack

“Made right here in San Francisco, The medium Velo edition backpack is an exercise in minimalist design — sleek, simple, lightweight, black. My goal was to address the essential functionality of the everyday, all-purpose carry-all — nothing less, nothing more. I wanted a casual, yet stylish, alternative to the old-school book bag and the over-built wilderness pack — while still working with technical fabrics rather than canvas and leather.”

-Mark Dwight Founder and designer

Meet the Rickshaw Velo Backpack

• MSRP: $139
• Fully customizable
• Ultra light weight at 1.5 lbs
• Waterproof X-Pac™ sailcloth, YKK water-proof zippers
• Top-loading main compartment for quick access
• Seatbelt shoulder straps
• Reflective strip and light loops
• Removable padded 13″ laptop sleeve or document pouch
• Organizational front pocket
• Padded base and lumbar support.
• Made to order in our own San Francisco workshop.
• Dimensions: 15.5” H x 11” W x 5” D (16” top zipper)
Rickshaw Velo Backpack

Initial Thoughts of the Velo Backpack

Pulling the bag out of the box I could tell right away that this is a top quality bag. The seams, fabric choices and the attention to detail is superb!

As the designer stated in the quote above, this is a minimalistic, functional bag for everyday use.  You aren’t going to over load it, or use it for epic trips but for the everyday girl bag that needs to work as a backpack but not weigh you down – this is going to work well

Customization

When talking to Rickshaw about reviewing this bag it was offered to make a customized version. I jumped at the chance picking a bright color that is easy to spot but won’t show dirt horribly. The process is super simple with the Rickshaw online customizer and the back arrived about a week later.

Using the Velo Backpack

The bag is super light weight and easy to move from backpack to tote with the comfortable straps. The backpack straps are of seat belt material, making them wide and comfortable but not too heavy duty. This bag was meant to get you through the day but not to carry tons of weight.

When using it at a farmer’s market it easily was carried as a tote filled with corn and then swung around on to my back for walking or biking.

It’s a verily slender bag, fitting my bag well and leaving room for visibility when looking behind me on a bike.

Rickshaw VELO Backpack

Conclusion of the Rickshaw Velo Backpack Review

These days cycling inspired bag companies are popping up in all areas of the United States.  The quality of Rickshaw and the “handmade in the USA” all have meaning, add in that you customize your bag to your liking and I can’t think of another bag with these features at this price point.

The need to carry my iPad or MacBook Air with wallet and essentials leads me to using this bag more. Walking or riding down to the local coffee shop or office is what this bag was made for. You aren’t going to use this bag to carry you’re whole life but if you are looking for something trim and durable for the every day needs, check out the Rickshaw Velo Backpack.

Disclaimer: This bag was provided at no charge for review

Chrome Barrage Cargo Backpack
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Intro: Chrome Barrage Cargo Backpack

MSRP $160

Features
• Adjustable external 5-point cargo net system for storing / transporting helmet, wet race gear, or shoes
• Waterproof rolltop closure accommodates a range of load sizes
• Dual compartments separate wet/dry cargo
• Industrial strength Velcro accessory shoulder mounting straps
• Easy access side U-Lock/Waterbottle pockets
• Interior sleeve pocket fits 15” Macbook Pro (laptop sleeve recommended)

Specs
Dimensions: 11.5” wide, 20” high, 5.5” deep
Volume: 22-34 L
Weight: 3.3 lb

The Barrage Rolltop combines a Welded-Waterproof floating bucket with an abrasion resistant CORDURA® Brand grade outer shell to make the toughest waterproof rolltop possible. It features a low-profile design and side compression straps for load stabilization and increased visibility, an external cargo net to haul gear on the outside, and a Welded-Waterproof bucket liner that can keep personal items bone dry in any weather. The Barrage adapts to accommodate a range of cargo. The main compartment expands from 22L to 34L and features an expandable cargo net with compression straps for securing various cargo shapes and sizes. - Chrome Industries

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack
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Review: Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

Bags seem to be an addiction for cyclist. You need something for your commute, your mountain riding, your city dwelling and grocery shopping. Finding a bag that can do a little bit of everything and not weigh 40 pounds at the end of the day is pretty important to me.

A few years ago I reviewed the Banjo Brothers Commuter bag. For everyday life the bag was just a bit too big for me. I loved the white color and functions but it was just too bulky for my back. A few weeks back Banjo Brothers sent a care package of review items, one of the bags inside was their newer Metro Backpack, in white of course. As the box was being unpacked my girlfriend quickly put her claim on the Metro Backpack for her daily commute to the hospital. As she is commuting 10 miles a day, 6 days a week, with an extra set of clothes, iPad, overnight “essentials”, lunch and books, I figured she’s a good candidate for testing out the Metro Backpack.

Metro Backpack Essential Details

  • MSRP: $74.99
  • Available in Black or White
  • 18 oz vinyl tarp material (for easier cleaning) with hanging liner for excellent water resistance
  • Full width wicking back pad
  • 12 interior and exterior pockets
  • Padded laptop pocket fits up to 10″ x 15″ notebooks
  • Cell phone holster included
  • Front and rear reflective tape and webbing tab for safety light
  • 16″H x 11″L x 6.5″W / 1100 cubic inches

Details that Mattered to Emily

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

Not too big, not too small. The bag isn’t so big that you can overload and have too much gear on your back. You can stuff it, carry tons of stuff or whatever else you may but it’s right at 1100 cubic inches of space.

It’s white and has a large reflective strips. The added safety of a white bag with a large reflective strip across the back flap, a couple reflective strips on the shoulder straps and light holder is pretty thoughtful for when she is commuting at 5am.

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

12 interior and exterior pockets. Each side of the bag has an outside pocket, perfect for a small u-lock, keys or waterbottles. The main flap has a pocket for items you need quickly but want under the protection of a zipper. Inside you have a large compartment with a padded laptop sleeve. Pen pockets, phone pockets and other smaller compartments to keep things organized.

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

Phone pocket on shoulder strap that fits a Lifeproof iPhone.

Waterproof. The fabric is waterproof, the flap would keep out water in most rain storms and the most water we deal with normally in Denver are sprinklers. I wouldn’t submerge the thing but it will be more than enough for most commuters.

Removable waist belt. She didn’t ever use it, so we simply unclipped it!

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

Compression straps on the sides. Keeps things snug, and when the bags not full you can make it a lot smaller.

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

What’s In Your Bag?

This is a blow out of what is normally in Emily’s bag for her daily commute.

What's In your Bag

Overall Feedback and Thoughts

The bag does not have the classic Banjo Brothers removable liner, which I am thankful for. This is a trimmer, and realistic bag for the everyday commuter (or smaller frame person.) It does still create a sweaty back on commutes over 15 minutes, but that’s really the only downfall of this bag.

There are a few things I would change if I had my way… The material they use is waterproof but that also makes it not stretch or flex very well. The interior and side pockets could be made out of a material that had a little give in it to allow things to get in and out easier. The material also has a lot of friction so sliding things like phones/pens/etc in and out the tight pockets can require two hands. (Note from Banjo Brothers: Truck tarp is stiffer than the ballistic nylon – white is truck tarp, and black and red are in standard ballistic nylon, which is a little more forgiving.)

For $75 I would be surprised if you found a bag comparable for everyday use and easy to use features with out too many thrills to over complicate the bag.

20% Discount with Banjo Brothers Through July

That’s right, Banjo Brothers wants to know if folks that read my reviews actually purchase stuff. They are offering a 20% off discount off anything if use BIKESHOPGIRL at time of checkout (case sensitive.) http://bit.ly/12SPsAu

Disclaimer: This product was provided at no charge for review. 

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