Howies Roadsign bag  £49.00

7/10

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

Weight 640g   Contact  www.howies.co.uk

by Leonie Jennings   April 14, 2012  

Howies Road Sign bag

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.

Verdict

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

organiser pockets

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well made from good materials

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Did just what it was supposed to do.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

This bag isn't going anywhere in a hurry.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
5/10

Not exactly light, but not over heavy either, especially when you take into account the bomb-proof fabric

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10

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.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

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

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Quirky graphics, simplicity, cavernous main pocket

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Not much.

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.

Overall rating: 7/10

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,

 

4 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

awesome

tom

posted by to [8 posts]
14th April 2012 - 19:30

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Nothing to attach a light to?

posted by Ting [51 posts]
14th April 2012 - 21:40

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I don't like to disagree with Leonie, but I got one of these for Christmas and it was wending its way back to Howies as soon as the post office re-opened after the holidays.

Awful quality. Awful features.

This bag is reminiscent of those dished out free to conference attendees, or to the language school kids you see milling around tourist sites. For a bag pitched at commuters, laptop storage is a joke. There's seemingly no ergonomic consideration in its design, with limited adjustability on offer, and ill-structured, inadequate padding to back or straps, leaving it totally unsuitable for any activity where you might want to keep a load safe and secure whilst getting a bit of a sweat on, like say, cycling.

Nice reflective panel though.

To offer more constructive comment, I've can heartily recommend and use daily, depending of what I'm carrying, Crumpler and Dakine backpacks, or Timbuk2 and Crumpler messengers. All offering better quality materials, better made, and more considered design.

posted by ped [159 posts]
16th April 2012 - 22:43

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I'd agree that there's little in the way of adjustment to straps etc, but I actually found them to not need it, which is unusual in a pack in my experience. It's pretty pared down as far as protection goes for a laptop, yes, but with a padded sleeve it'd still do the job fairly well.

posted by Leonie Jennings [298 posts]
17th April 2012 - 16:33

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