Pacific Outdoor Equipment's Rejkyavik waterproof backpack should satisfy short-haul traffic jammers and cross country mountain bikers wanting to lug stuff around while keeping their machines frisky and uncluttered whether weaving through the urban sprawl or flicking through the singletrack.
Lightweight, yet old boots' tough construction coupled with an ergonomic profile keeps moderate loads (capacity is 17.5 litres) low and manageable, without interfering with lids and offers better airflow to the back than most. That said, if you need to carry more its stablemate the 30 litre Christchurch, or, one of my personal favourites, Banjo Brothers commuter backpack makes a better choice for expedition quantities and/or harsh conditions demanding greatest weather protection.
The Reykjavik is essentially a fetching 'raft blue' laminated TPU shell (it's available in a range of other colours too) with welded seams, a capacious main compartment with smaller, mesh and zippered types segregating pens, tools, tubes, maps, wallets and other everyday stuff. A pronounced lack of reinforcement around the base keeps the overall weight low but a clever internal harness provides welcome support to this region when toting shoes, U locks and similarly hefty extras. A long laminated YKK zip gives access to an outer compartment just big enough for a tablet computer or small hydration pack.
Reflective logos and detailing strike just the right balance between effective and office neutral, bringing the bag to life from around 300m when caught in the gaze of vehicle headlamps. Weather protection is extremely good albeit of the mightily resistant, rather than totally proof variety. Heavy rainfall simply cascades harmlessly to the ground but ours showed traces of water penetration when the garden hose was projected at the zippers, mind you things are going to have to get pretty extreme for real world weather conditions to mimic that. Carrying a moderate cargo of notebooks, pens, everyday tools, change of shoes and my systems camera complete with lenses, it felt remarkably unobtrusive and comfortable thanks to the broad, supportive shoulder straps, flanked by webbed sternum and waist closures.
Nipping through the town, the sack tracked my every move, retaining the nimble, connection between rider and machine as I swerved around potholes, opening car doors and unpredictably wandering pedestrians. Sprinting away from the lights couldn't induce any surprises either and it's much the same story off road. Despite feeling comparatively thin, brambles and other foliage played gruesome tunes on the fabric but without obvious scarring.
Tough, capable, and rather stylish rucksack for toting moderate loads across town and trail in all weathers
road.cc test report
Make and model: Pacific Outdoor Equipment Rejkyavik Back Pack
Size tested: Raft Blue
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?
"This half pack is ready to be dropped kicked, and crammed full of everything that you need for the day". Nice commuter/trail sack for those wanting to keep their steeds nimble and frisky.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
· Welded zippers, waterproof fabric, external stash for your valuables helps you get through the day without worrying that you've left something behind
· Size: 17.5Litres
Reassuringly hardy given the weight.
Generally unobtrusive and comfortable for longer rides thanks to it's combination of low weight, supportive harness and efficient airflow.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Rejkyavik is a suprisingly tough backpack for short haul, moderately laden commutes and trail riding where it's imperative the bike remains nimble. Set Low enough to avoid compromising over the shoulder glances, it hasn't felt particularly cumbersome or tiring after several hours riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Efficient use of space, low weight and sturdy construction.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the design brief.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes-for short haul commutes and mountain biking
About the tester
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)