Yesterday marked my first real test run of the CityBrix. Having previously owned the first edition of this backpack I knew that the standards had been set pretty high.
On a chilly Thursday afternoon in November I decided to ride the 80km from Llanelli to Cardiff (you can follow my activities on Strava here). Not my usual commute but one I tend to do on the train most of the time, with the weather the way it is I thought I’d make the most of it. The journey takes anywhere between two and a half to three hours with, as you’d expect for Wales, a few leg snapping climbs. Granted, this is probably a lot longer than people would generally ride a bike with a backpack on but the proof is in the pudding that I can ride so long with this bag securely on my back.
Departing Llanelli I headed along the coast and was greeted to a wonderful prevailing wind. My CityBrix was packed with my usual ‘get-by’ mobile workstation. 13inch laptop, camera equipment, charging cables and, not forgetting, ride food. The upper and lower compartments are put to good use on rides like these as I end up putting much of the heavier and bulkier items in the upper half, thus relieving pressure off my lower back and keeping the weight higher up. It also means the bag doesn’t swing from side to side when climbing out of the saddle.
Not far outside Cardiff, at 5.15pm, the sun started to set and traffic became my next challenge.
I’ve always been a fan of rain covers for sports backpacks and the one provided with the CityBrix gives a double dose of visibility and, regardless of my frantic checking of the weather forecast before leaving, excellent rain protection. Handy when you are carrying your life in a backpack.
Even as the air temperature nudges closer to zero and rolling into Cardiff at dusk it is remarkable how well the airflow system works in the back panel of the backpack. Personally it's one reason I used to dislike riding with a bag on my back because if I stopped for any length of time I would catch a chill quite quickly. For me, comfort is a high priority and any small detail that helps encourage people to use a backpack that can carry their gym or work equipment means another person on a bike, or another person walking or running to their appointments.
Probably one of the most commented features I have had thrown at me since using the CityBrix is its unique design to ‘stand up’ using its own sturdy base. Honestly you’ll wonder how you managed without that small trick your whole life. It doesn’t have to lean against anything which adds to the neat, tidy and no nonsense approach that the CityBrix brings to your adventures.
You can see my first impression unboxing video below.