I know I’m certainly not the only person who has struggled to find an ideal luggage solution for the ride to work. I’ve flirted with rucksacks, suit carriers and pannier bags, but always end up returning to my big, uncomfortable and cumbersome backpack. While the suit carrier seems ideal on paper, it wasn’t for me. However, I’ve now found a rucksack made for commuting. In the review – I’ll share what’s got me excited! (And indeed what got the Independent excited when they placed this bag as their number one backpack).
The Rapha Rucksack is what you’d expect from the cycling world’s most desired and often mocked brand. Brushing aside questions of the price – what we’ve got here is: excellent quality, reliability and long term durability. Exactly what you’d expect from the makers of the Team Sky kit.
More than a rucksack
I spent a good ten minutes exploring the rucksack when I first got it – not because of size but because of the number of compartments the backpack has. This is a streamlined rucksack, and so is smaller than most rucksacks on the market, and yet by my count the number of compartments is easily into double figures. These range from the normal and expected – a five litre main compartment – to the not so expected: a tricot-lined sunglasses pocket.
When you think you’ve discovered the whole thing, you find more: two outer key compartments and – and this is what most impressed me – a zip away high-visibility pink rain cover with a reflective Rapha logo.
This is a backpack meant for those who adore having lots of pockets for everything.
Rapha is a company that epitomises quality and the Rapha Rucksack is a great example of this. The robust Italian leather zip pullers and the durable fabric ooze quality at the touch, and the rucksack has the Rapha look: sexy and cool.
Quality comes at a price
There are certainly less expensive options than the Rapha Backpack out there. At the other end of the scale, is the £40 DHB Slice Backpack. The DHB includes a laptop compartment but it’s not padded. It also includes space for carrying water bottles and has easy to reach while cycling compartments for energy bars. Both of which are features missing from the Rapha Rucksack. However, it doesn’t open as wide making it harder to reach the components.
As you can see, it’s tough to get the perfect bag!
However, there are many features to love about the Rapha Backpack:
- A padded laptop compartment – crucial for keeping your laptop safe
- Expandable five-litre main compartment
- Zips go right down allowing you to open up the bag widely so you can see all the contents and you don’t have to waste time looking for something.
- Zip-away rain cover – quick to fit and keeps the rain away – plus it’s pink!
- Reflective dots on side panels, base and straps
Add on to this the excellent adjustable straps, across both stomach and chest, and you’ve got a comfortable, reliable rucksack for your commute and for when walking around London. This backpack certainly doesn’t look out of place on your back while cycling, or down the pub with mates.
Is it worth £125? I would argue that The Rapha Backpack does. For me it’s the ideal luggage solution for my commuting and I’m sure it will be for years to come. I spend a large part of my day on my bike so I’m happy that I’ve now got the right rucksack to accompany me on my commutes.
5/5 – The Rapha Backpack costs £125 and is available directly from Rapha.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.