Designed to be a do-it-all backpack for commuters and leisure cyclists, the Roadsign bag from Howies isn't intended as an all-singing, all-dancing technical rucksack. It looks good and it serves a purpose, while adhering to Howies cool image at the same time.
The Roadsign Bag is most noticeable for its large reflective roadsign type logo on the front. In true quirky Howies fashion, this helps make the bag just that bit more visible in low light conditions. With a strong, helpful message for motorists of 'give me space as you pass on the right' it's definitely NOT one to take abroad though.
It's a decent sized bag, with enough space for most of the day's requirements, whether you be office bound or doing the shopping. It'll fit a fair sized laptop - Howies reckon you can get a 17in one in there (mine isn't that big), although whatever laptop you are carrying you'd want it to be in a padded sleeve as the Road Sign bag isn't heavily padded itself. The harness system is quite a simple one, with broad flat straps, but the fit is good, its comfortable and it stays put when you're riding.
There's a mesh pouch pocket for a bottle at one side, and another mesh pocket with Velcro fastening on the other side for bits and pieces. Inside the smaller front zipped compartment, there are organiser pockets aplenty, while the main storage area is sizeable and also contains a zipped security pocket. The bag is made from tough nylon fabric with a good level of water repellency, while the base is a super rugged fabric that'll take a real beating.
In my book £49 isn't bad for a generous, well-made, rugged commuter pack with just a bit of extra cool.
Quirky bag that does a fine job as a shove-it-all-in commuter pack, best not used where they drive on the other side of the road though
road.cc test report
Make and model: Howies Road Sign bag
Size tested: Black
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?
Aimed at commuter cyclists looking for a practical bag with extra visibility.
Cool and does the job.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
100% nylon fabric
2 main compartments
Well made from good materials
Did just what it was supposed to do.
This bag isn't going anywhere in a hurry.
Not exactly light, but not over heavy either, especially when you take into account the bomb-proof fabric
Simple harness system is pretty comfortable in normal use, but heavy weights would make the bag hang from the shoulders quite a lot, due to lack of hip belt.
It's well made, and with quirky good looks so £49 isn't too bad at all.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Quirky graphics, simplicity, cavernous main pocket
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably give as a gift.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Capable, durable commuting bag that does double duty as a safety accessory, but only in the UK and anywhere else that drives on the same side of the road.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.