Slicks Expanded Review

We’ve had our hands on a Slicks backpack before and generally found it to be both a great travel companion and perfect for carrying a suit around uncreased.

Flash forward a few years later and Slicks are now launching a new, more utilitarian edition on Kickstarter.

We decided to give it the London Cyclist indepth review treatment.

The backpack

The pack has been rated to an upgraded capacity of 30 litres. This makes it easy to fit a change of clothes, shoes and various work paraphernalia such as a laptop.

It is also a good size for a weekend away, with plenty of features for travel in mind include a shoulder strap that unclips and can be tucked away.

Slicks on bike

Pockets wise, this has more than you can possibly keep track of. At the back, accessed from its own zip, is a separate laptop sleeve which fits  a large 15″ PC laptop. It is nice to be able to keep your laptop separate from the rest of your stuff. It also makes it easier to take it in and out at the airport.

There is a large main compartment with several slip pockets and mesh pockets. There are straps to hold clothes down, like you get in a suitcase. These work with the add on parts or on their own, again making it great for travel and carrying clothes into work.

There are a couple of slip pockets on the sides, one large enough for carrying shoes, the other a designed for a phone. On the front there is a large zip, behind which is a stuff compartment. The capacity of this will depend on if you put shoes in the compartment behind it.

The Upgrades

Slicks is now a system, with attachments that fit into the bag – a suit bag and/or a mobile wardrobe with a shirt folder, toilet bag and laundry bag. Either of these two things clip into the main compartment of the backpack so they are easy to use.

Slicks options gif

The suit bag is the same as before – pretty slimline and basic, but this means it does not take up any more space than necessary. It has a folding hanger and concertinas into 4 so as to fit into the backpack. with this in the bag, you can fit a t-shirt, some underwear and a laptop, but not much else.

The same goes for the mobile wardrobe. The shirt folder is kind of smart with its collar protector. The compartment for the toilet bag and dirty laundry is also convenient. It does require a lot of zipping and unzipping to get into though.

The good

The backpack is amazingly organised. We got sent the full monty BIZ version, and there seemed to be a never ending amount of pieces to it. If you are the type of person who needs a pocket and a place for everything, particularly while travelling, then this is the bag for you.

Without the extra bits, the bag can carry a lot of things and the back panel is pretty comfortable. As a highly adaptable travel bag it is excellent, particularly as you can pick the style that fits your regular use. It’s rectangular shape also means it makes a reasonably good briefcase, although quite a large one.

There are reflective hits on the front and sides of the bag, enhancing nighttime visibility when cycling. It also has a rain cover fro extended exposure to rain, although for shorter trips it would not be necessary as the fabrics are pretty water repellant.

The bad

When the bag arrived I thought all of the bits would be great, and having so many storage options was perfect. However, The bag with all the bits in it is heavy; it weighs 3kg empty. It is also bulky with or without the bits. Externally the pack is large, which would be great if it had more usable capacity. All of the pockets and zips take up the space without it being usable.

Slicks on a small girl

The main problem I have with this bag is that it is far too big for me. The straps are quite far apart, which won’t be a problem for people 5’8″ and above. However, for a small girl it makes it very uncomfortable when leaning forward on a bike, to the point where I couldn’t cycle with it. The shape of the bag is not particularly bike friendly either – it would be fine for short trips but not a long commute.

Review Conclusions

This is a fairly good update on the original bag, although I think they have perhaps engineered it a little too much to try to update the previous version. It is quite good that you can select a version that fits your uses.

Slicks on a man

The Slicks Expanded travel system has just launched on Kickstarter and they have some good earlybird offers on it at the moment.

Join 10,221 fellow cyclists who are subscribed to the London Cyclist newsletter

Sign up for our free newsletter to get...

  • Advice on the best cycling gear
  • A Friday roundup of all the latest London cycling news
  • Exclusive content not available on the blog

Subscribe today, and get exclusive access forever! (It's free)

*No spam, ever!

As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

4 Responses to Slicks Expanded Review

  1. MJ Ray 22/01/2016 at 9:58 am #

    I don’t understand. Does it not hang on the rear rack, or on a saddle mount like the union34 backpack? If not, how is this a cycling product?

    • John Wysocki 22/01/2016 at 12:41 pm #

      MJ Ray makes a good point. As with any backpack, if it’s loaded with heavy stuff it could compromise yer ability to stay balanced on yer bike.

  2. Antony Marcou 06/02/2016 at 10:28 am #

    I do a lot of European travel for work and would like to bring my Brompton with me but have previously been put off by the restrictive airline baggage allowance of the low cost carriers. I think this would allow me to pack my Brompton in the hold while bringing this on board. I am slightly concerned by the following: 1) Does the Slick fit within with standard cabin baggage 2) The wash bag doesn’t appear to be see thru and would be a problem at security 3) I am less concerned by the weight (I’m 6ft 1) but if anyone out there has used the Slick i would appreciate their views before I purchase. I have to say it appears to tick all my boxes but looking for some pre purchase reassurance. All views welcome

    • John Harrison 17/04/2016 at 9:40 pm #

      I have been using the older Slick 25 and I can honestly say that I am very impressed with it. The shirt carrier is extremely good, although, I never keep them in the bag for more than my hour commute, so don’t know how they would fair over a longer period. My only drawback to the Slick 25, was that it was just that little bit too small to take my laptop, lunch, shirts and running kit all together. So if you don’t mind carrying a larger backpack on your bike, I would not hesitate to get this bag. The build quality is fantastic and after 3 years of use it stills looks like new.
      I hope this helps.

Leave a Reply