This multi-function pack is a great combination of a daypack and bike pack, holding a huge 2, 100 cubic inches of gear. Floating shoulder harness suspension accommodates a wide range of torso sizes. Movable hip wings ensure pack rides like a dream on your hips. Aeroflex suspension creates a space between your back and the pack, creating a breezeway to move air across your back. Features a built-in helmet holder, raincover, outside pocket and a map pocket. Interior sleeve accomodates a hydration reservoir, sold separately.
a Weekend Warrior
from Portland OR
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2005
Strengths: Fantastic design! Super comfortable, even in the hottest weather due to the vented airspace in back. Great cold/bad weather pack too, thanks to the built-in day-glo raincover. Unbelievably durable, still in great condition with almost zero problems after 5 years of heavy use. Usable for more than just biking - excellent pack for hiking and travel too.
Weaknesses: Heavy, a bit hard to load bulky, items due to the curved internal stays, could use more reflectivity IMO. A bit expensive but no more than a good messenger bag, which is what this replaces (and more).
5 YEAR UPDATE! I wrote the first review below as "Dan W". After nearly 5 years of hard use, I wouldn't change much of what I said 4 years ago. This pack has held up fantastically well, through years of regular commuting, mountain biking, hiking, traveling and even fast-and-light backpacking. Only thing that has gone wrong was that at about 1 1/2 years, the bolts that hold the hip wings in place pulled through the nylon sheet. Added washers on both wings and solved the problem - a 10 minute fix. Other than that, the pack still works and looks great, and only the raincover shows visible wear. 10 flamin' chilis.
Similar Products Used: VauDe Dash 10 (small/light version), Ortlieb Panniers w/ Blackburn & Tubus racks (best panniers ever, but still panniers), VauDe panniers (awful - balky to adjust & mount, not dependably secure), REI panniers (not secure - dangerous and almost got me killed once)
Bike Setup: Custom Vulture 29" MTB (singlespeed), Surly Karate Monkey 29" adventure/commute bike (2x5 in summer, 3sp gear hub in winter), Bianchi Volpe cyclocross bike (singlespeed)
a Cross Country Rider
from Minneapolis, MN
Date Reviewed: March 27, 2003
Strengths: Very comfortable, durable, has well thought out features.
Weaknesses: The volume of the main compartment is oddly shaped due to the "aeroflex" feature.
I have used this pack an average of 3-4 days a week for over a year now as my commuter backpack. It is just the right size for me to fit my roled jeans, sweater and undergarments with a little room left over for sundries. I have had nothing break or wearout yet. I have found the integrated rain cover to be an outstanding feature. It is very easy to use and I sometimes use it just for high visibilty (it is very bright yellow). When this thing finaly wears out I will certainly get another one. Even if I have to pay the full price.
Similar Products Used: Regular old cheap backpacks.
Date Reviewed: February 16, 2003
Strengths: Feels great...looks great...works great
Weaknesses: storage for helmet could look and work better.
This bag is great for day trips, holding whatever you may need. There is a pull out strap thats tucked under the bag that looks like a thong, plus it doesnt look great. All in all it serves the purpose though. The bad feels good and can adjust from a midget to a giant. If you are looking for a bag I advise to buy this one, you get a bang for your buck.
Weaknesses: hip pivot bolts too short and came off (but replaced for free)
Great for carrying lots, good airflow, comfortable. Get the largest size you can if you use a big internal bladder, it has compression straps anyway so the extra room is there when needed. Great bag! Bit costly!
a Cross Country Rider
from Porterville Ca
Date Reviewed: May 31, 2002
Strengths: very structural, plenty of pockets, nice built-in rain vestibule, lots of room, huge air channel, impeccable craftsmanship.
Weaknesses: absoloutely none with the 2000 model I have. But I understand that VauDe had been bought out after they released the 2000 models. The 2001 models and on are far less quality. They have a very weak frame and are not stitched as well, and don't hold as much.
I wear this bag every time I get on my bike, 100+ miles a week. I have not had any problems with this bag in the past 2 years. I consider this the best cycling backback on the market. I just wish they made them like they used to...............well, that's what corporate will do to you
a Weekend Warrior
from Leeds, UK
Date Reviewed: February 22, 2002
Strengths: Airflow design keeps most of bag off the back and keeps you cool. Very adjustable allowing good fit Mesh outside compartment for helmet
Great bag, keeps things dry, very comfortable to wear. Various pockets inside and out to keep things separate. Bent side profile of bag (allows the air space and keeps bag off the back)does mean that large objects can be a bit of a jam, but I can and do pack a lot into it, including shoes and change of clothes. Good for biking and walking use. Got it at a great price too, in a winter sale, so no complaints here.
Bike Setup: Cannondale F900SL 2002 model, unmodified (report to follow after some months use but I reckon this bike is not nearly so bad as some like to make out)
a Cross Country Rider
from San Francisco , CA
Date Reviewed: January 5, 2002
Strengths: Use this for commuting. Got large size. Its big enough to fit a change of clothes, lunch and then some. Can buy bladder separately $15. I did and it works great. Pack is very comfortable to wear. Does keep my back cooler in hot weather. Lots of relective bits. The rain cover works a dream. Can stow helmet on outside.
Weaknesses: Pack is a little on the heavy side but comfortable fitting makes up for that. Got to agree that the rain cover could do with more reflective strips.
Baulked at the price but nice features mean its been worth it. If u want to carry a lot of stuff on your back this is the bag.
Similar Products Used: A lot of non bike specific day packs
Bike Setup: Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo
a Weekend Warrior
from Portland, OR USA
Date Reviewed: December 5, 2001
Strengths: Holds a lot. Airflow design keeps you dry. So comfortable you barely notice it's on, even with 10+ pounds in it. Built-in chartreuse rain cover keeps pack dry and you visible.
Weaknesses: Puts weight on your butt (but still beats panniers!)
If you commute with a single pannier now, get rid of it and take the rack off your bike. This is your pack, period.
I barely notice I'm wearing it because it fits so well. You still get sweaty under the straps and hip belt, but that's it - the frame design keeps most of it 2" away from your back, allowing for airflow and keeping you dry. I also use it for hiking and x-c skiing because it holds so much gear. For hiking and most biking I use the hydration bottle, then I take it out for more room for all my commuting stuff. Also, it has a couple of nice internal pockets, and two nice mesh side pockets for extra water bottles or other large items. And it has ladder-stitched webbing loops down the straps so you can attach more stuff. Very cool.
The built-in neon yellow raincover keeps it dry, makes you visible in low light, and stashes into a built-in compartment in the bottom so you can walk into your office building not looking like a total geek. For riding in actual darkness, though, raincover should be more reflective - only a tiny VauDe logo in the center reflects.
Buy it if: you need to carry more than an underseat bag will hold. Skip it if: you have to carry 2 panniers' worth of stuff. Or if you like the bad aerodynamics and handling your bike gets from carrying a pannier.
4 jalapeno value rating - $100 is steep, though it IS worth it. 5 habanero overall - this is by far the best daypack I've ever had for hiking, let alone biking.