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Verdict: 
A neat and minimalistic alternative to loading up your pockets
Weight: 
390g
Deuter Road One backpack
8 10

Bulging pockets are the sign of a well-prepared roadie, but there are alternatives if you don't fancy overloading your jersey. This Deuter Road One rucksack, for instance, is slim and unobtrusive while managing to carry more than the essentials.

Over the course of a week I can ride up to five different bikes, all with differing inner tube requirements or tools for fixing bits and bobs and the like, which makes for a faff when it comes to sorting what kit I need for the day's ride, especially considering how disorganised I am in general.

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The Road One is actually a really good solution, with loads of pockets for storage and quite a decent amount of room inside for a few extra things considering its rather small 5-litre capacity.

Deuter Road One - side.jpg

Deuter Road One - side.jpg

Inside you get five pockets. Undoing the main zip fully and opening the bag flat will reveal two mesh ones on the front half, with a pump pocket, a deep and elasticated pocket for clothing, and a small zipped valuables one on the rear that's easily roomy enough for a phone, wallet and a set of keys.

Deuter Road One - inside.jpg

Deuter Road One - inside.jpg

Inside the pockets there is little in the way of segregation, so if you are the type of person who likes to have their tools organised then this might get on your nerves a bit, but everything stayed in place even when riding off-road.

I could easily carry four inner tubes, puncture repair kit, a couple of multi-tools, tyre levers, pump and a rain jacket, with room for more if necessary, like some gels or bars.

The bottom of the bag is quite narrow, so if you do want to get anything out of it you will need to open it fully, which I'd say is the only real downside at the side of the road. That said, for anything that you are likely to need often on a ride there is quite a large zipped front pocket on the outside.

Deuter Road One - detail.jpg

Deuter Road One - detail.jpg

Not everybody is a fan of carrying things on their back, but when I was commuting it was always my preferred method and I've got through a lot of rucksacks over the years.

The Road One is very comfortable in use, thanks largely to the mesh padding it uses to rest on your back. It's firm enough to keep it seated in position without applying too much pressure to your body plus it's breathable too. There is also a central channel between the pads to let heat escape from the middle of your back.

Deuter Road One - padding.jpg

Deuter Road One - padding.jpg

It isn't quite as effective as my own Osprey Syncro model, which uses an aluminium frame to keep the bag away from your skin, but it's impressive nonetheless.

The straps are easy to adjust and again are very comfortable, plus you also get a sternum strap to stop the bag from swinging sideways when riding out of the saddle.

Deuter Road One - straps.jpg

Deuter Road One - straps.jpg

Both straps have a small amount of reflective detailing on the front, plus one has a sleeve where you can hang your glasses by the arm should the need arise.

There is plenty more reflective detailing running down both sides of the bag, plus a loop at the bottom to hang a rear light from.

Deuter Road One - detail 2.jpg

Deuter Road One - detail 2.jpg

Positioned at the bottom in its own storage pouch is a bright yellow rain cover. It's a welcome addition as the Road One isn't that waterproof on its own, with a decent downpour soaking through in 10 or so minutes.

Deuter Road One - rain cover.jpg

Deuter Road One - rain cover.jpg

I've had Deuter rucksacks in the past and they are built to withstand a lot of abuse; this one looks to be no different. The Matrix RS 150D Nylon used on the external panels is created in a diagonal pattern with ripstop threads. It's tough as old boots and has shrugged off everything I’ve thrown at it, including being scuffed on thorn bushes and gravel while out testing cyclo-cross bikes.

Deuter Road One - detail 3.jpg

Deuter Road One - detail 3.jpg

Value-wise, decent rucksacks can be expensive and I'd say at £69.99 the Road One can be placed in that category when you can pick up much cheaper, bigger rucksacks, such as this 15-litre one from dhb for £23.99. But it is possible for the Deuter to redeem itself, in part because of that durability; I got five years of daily commuting out of my old one, using it in every weather conceivable without incident. The only reason I changed it was because I was bored of the colour.

> Buyer's Guide: 13 of the best cycling rucksacks

Also the comfort levels are so good that you barely realise you are carrying it, unless you put something really heavy into it. The shape is spot on too. It's narrow enough that it never hinders your visibility over your shoulders, plus it is also short enough that if you do want to keep something in your jersey pocket you can reach it without having to stop riding.

So there you have it, the One Road is the ideal companion for a minimalist commute or just a long day-ride. Shop around for the best possible price and you'll have a bag that'll serve you well for years.

Verdict

A neat and minimalistic alternative to loading up your pockets

road.cc test report

Make and model: Deuter Road One backpack

Size tested: Volume 5L

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Deuter says: "Our backpack specifically engineered for road cycling brings the end of bulging jersey pockets on long rides. Camera, wind protection, or a small first aid kit can all be stored in this minimalist, aerodynamic road expert."

The Road One is the ideal size for long day-rides for those who just don't like carrying everything in their pockets.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Deuter lists these features:

Comfortable, breathable shoulder straps

Mesh pockets inside

Lightweight Aircontact back system with Wide Air Mesh lining

Easily adjustable chest strap

Main compartment with all-round zip

Clever attachment for glasses on shoulder straps

Attachment for pump

Zipped front pocket

Wet laundry compartment

Internal valuables pocket

Reflective 3M prints

5L

Reflective loop for safety light

Detachable rain cover

Material: Super-Polytex / 33D Pocket Rip

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It carries the essentials and is very comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Plenty of storage pockets.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

You need to open it fully to get something out of the bottom of the bag.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

The Road One is a good all-rounder for carrying your ride essentials and it's so robust it'll last for ages, which goes some way to offset the cost.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

6 comments

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TypeVertigo [421 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Interesting review. This backpack has been out for a few years now, and I appreciate road.cc finally giving their two cents' worth on it.

The way I see it, it's probably not something to commute with...but would be very useful for a self-supported audax. Would a couple spare folding-bead tires fit in it? I reckon it would swallow them plus a couple spare inner tubes just fine, plus maybe some energy bars and an external battery pack for USB-powered electronics.

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Yorkshire wallet [1814 posts] 6 months ago
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Looks like a camelback without the water to me.

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Beecho [301 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
TypeVertigo wrote:

it's probably not something to commute with...

Ah, just bought one to commute with yes

Avatar
TypeVertigo [421 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
Beecho wrote:
TypeVertigo wrote:

it's probably not something to commute with...

Ah, just bought one to commute with yes

I stand corrected then  1 How'd you get on with using it?

Avatar
Simboid [135 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

£70 for 5L rucksack? Really? At that cost to capacity ratio my winter backpacking MacPac would be £1400!

Its not even a particularly technical design and will give you the same sweaty back as a very cheap one. That sternum strap will only stop it swinging around because it's so tiny, any bigger and it would need a waist strap too.

As we all know, anything aimed at cyclists carries the same kind of premium you might expect on bespoke space station parts or specialist surgical equipment. Companies think anyone who pays what we do for a bicycle must have more money than sense, any who buy this are proving them right.

Its not even waterproof ffs!

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BarryBianchi [419 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

I've got 2 Deuter's I have roundly abused for years.  They hardly show a scratch, and absolutely nothing has failed/needed repairing ever.  Get what you pay for.