Cross Air Weight: 1050 g Capacity: 22 l Dimensions: 50/32/20 (H/B/T) Material: Deuter-Super-Ripstop / Deuter-Diamond-Rip Colours: granite-silver or fire-silver Price: £59.99 From: Jim Walker & Co. 08707 528777
Deuter are a German company that started making bags many years ago for the German postal service. They soon satrted making bags for mountaineers and before too long one of their bags topped Everest. Their bike range has long been recognised as a market leader for mountain bikers, however they do make well respected panniers and bar bags too. But what if you ride a short distance and want to carry your stuff with you when you stop? This is one of the reasons the courier bag works in principle, but riding to work for several years with a courier style bag has knackered my back. So I tried a rucksac and it just swayed around and made my back sweaty. So I needed something big enough for a 15" laptop and to allow for a change of clothes and a pair of shoes. But please can it be comfortable?
The Deuter is large but not too large you are tempeted to fill it with too much, it can manage a set of clothes and shoes easily. There is a separate internal pocket for a hydration sack, but it's well handy to keep papers and stuff in if you don't use it. The added smaller external pocket is perfect for keys, wallet, walkman etc. there is even a strap with a clip on it in here to attach your keys - well handy if you're anything like me and can never find them.
The 'Deuter Advanced Aircomfort' back is a mesh sheet held in tension over a frame that keeps the body of the bag about an inch away from your back, it's simple and highly effective. This makes the bag a strange shape and means that packing it can be a little awkward. But it isn't a real problem as comfort is the mainstay of this bag. However this is where you have the advantage with a courier style bag, of having a large compartment and a flap to cover it which makes it really easy to pack.
The result of this, combined with padded shoulder straps and a waist and chest support staps, is close to total comfort. Even when it was full with stuff I didn't really notice it was there.
Additional features include; a new helmet or jacket holder, internal separation pocket, interior valuables pocket, 3M reflectors, attachment loop for a LED flasher and it is also hydration system compatible.
There are generous elasticated side pockets with mesh fronts are great for all those things you can't find quickly (spare tubes, tools, mobile etc.). Although the bag is 'shower proof' there is a large rain cover stashed in the bottom of the bag to keep all your stuff dry, they really have thought of everything.
Basically this is the best way to get your stuff to work if you can't fit panniers or a saddle bag. It's perfect for riding to a race or as a day pack - should you want to go walking or mountainbiking. Great quality and tough fabrics mean it will last well too. Couldn't fault it at all.