Keep your kit dry â€“ and yourself seen â€“ with a hi-viz dry-bag style cycling rucksack
Cycling in Scotlandâ€™s wet and dark winter is tough enough without having a rucksack that leaks. For commuters this is even more important.
Many cycling rucksacks do have a waterproof cover but in torrential rain this isnâ€™t guaranteed to keep the rain out. Â (I know because I have seen several such covers leak.)
An alternative is to pack all your kit inside dry bags or plastic bags and then stuff these inside the rucksack but the fabric of the rucksack will still become saturated. Also, you can never be sure that you have securely tied the bags inside the rucksack.
On test: Lomo cycling dry bag back pack
Enter on to the market the drybag backpack for cyclists. It is designed and created by Lomo, a Glasgow-based company that specialises in watersports equipment such as wetsuits and dry bags.
I have been impressed with Lomo dry bags and drybag panniers (made by other companies) before and so it makes sense to have a rucksack made of the same material.
My thoughts on the Lomo dry bag rucksack
The 30-litre high visibility dry bag backpack is obviously not the lightest of rucksacks. But it is made from 100% waterproof and highly durable PVC material, which means that while it is not light it is extremely good at keeping out the rain. The PVC material will last for many decades.
The backpack has a roll-top closure, so you can roll over the top and then secure it with vertical straps. For additional waterproofing the seams are welded. I have tested the waterproofness of this system with a hose and it is fantastic.
The roll top finish allows you to add as much or as little kit as you want, although you need to remember that youâ€™ll be carrying the weight on your back and in traffic, if youâ€™re a cycling commuter.
I made the mistake of rolling the top over too many times when adding only a few items, which meant that the back became too bent. It looked like a “C” facing away from my back, which is not a comfortable way to wear a rucksack. To avoid this, only roll the top over a few times so that the back of the pack remains flat against your own back.
The backpack has a padded back, at waist height and the top. You should expect some sweating to occur if you become hot while cycling because PVC is not at all breathable but the point of this pack is a practical rucksack that keeps all the rain out so sweating isnâ€™t going to be a major consideration, especially in the winter.
The shoulder straps are nicely padded and adjustable. There is a minimalist but adequate waist strap and a useful chest strap.
I reckon the backpack would suit cycling commutes of up to around 10 miles.
The Lomo dry bag backpack is also in a very bright shade of hi-viz yellow. In addition, there are reflective details. This is a backpack that is ideal for being seen on the roads on darker winter days and nights.
Priced at Â£29.99, this is a very useful, practical and well thought out cycling rucksack for commuters. See Lomo dry bag backpack