The hardest trick for any riding backpack is designing it so it doesn't stand out as a riding backpack when you're using it for other purposes. Rapha set out to make one that also had great style, and they nailed it with their new, updated Backpack.
In terms of riding comfort, which is the raison d'etre of this bag, they've configured the body contact points for both dissipating pressure and stabilizing the load. Spreading pressure out begins at the shoulders, where there's a padded yoke to take the weight. Its shape compels you to wear it low enough to rest on your back and clear your helmet as you ride. In front, a sternum strap gives you the ability to adjust the width of the shoulder straps so they won't bind into your arms as you reach for the bars. Not everyone rides with the waist belt engaged, and even those who do, don't use it all the time, so there's a waist belt that's hidden in its own pocket. ...the laptop sleeve fits a 15" MacBook perfectly...Â The shoulder straps rejoin with the bag at the top of triangular wings that give a smooth transition to the straps and also possess thin, zippered pockets for things like your wallet and keys. Rapha incorporates light padding to keep sharp or rigid stuff from digging into your back without making the pack unnecessarily heavy or bulky.
The shape is rectangular. It looks small at first blush, but that's thanks to smart design. The vertical seams, dark color, and even the white leather stripe down the back help minimize its apparent size. It measures 25cm wide by 41cm high by 12cm deep.
In terms of what it can carry, it's more of an errand bag rather than a full-fledged day-tripper. There's an internal laptop sleeve and a space for a water bladder. The laptop sleeve fits a 15-inch MacBook Pro perfectly. The second zipper reveals a bellows that expands the overall volume of the bag to 17 liters. The two pockets on the back are deceptively large. As each is an independent compartment, each is wider than half the bag, and the two pockets overlap on the inside.
The canvas of the bag is durable and water-resistant. When you're confronted with a real rain, you can pull out the included high-viz pink rain cover to protect the bag and your belongings. It has a reflective Rapha logo and is hidden in its own compartment underneath the bag. The side panels have reflective dots for low-light protection, and at the bottom of the leather stripe is a loop for a blinky light.
The Rapha Backpack comes in Black with a White stripe. There is one size.