Designed in the Netherlands, the New Look Office Postino has that decidedly utilitarian, yet stylish feel synonymous with that cycling nation. Made from a rugged weather resistant canvas/faux leather fabric, it's a 16 litre satchel doubling as a pannier, which has some implications on the bike, depending on riding style... but more on that later on.
Lifting the porch like storm flap you're greeted with a genuinely tardis like and well-organised layout. The outer wall has a Velcro closure strip and a medium sized outer pocket, segregating spare tube, tools, lunch or indeed, that office jar of coffee and milk ration, swooped from the supermarket en route.
Delving into the main compartment, this is basically the nerve centre, comprising of a 40x23cm string vest type section, ideally suited to holding a smart phone, A5 stationary, lights/blinkies, pencil cases, and similar goodies. It also has a nifty little sibling, this time with an elasticated cuff, perfect for keys, money/similar valuables you wouldn't want the pocket dippers getting their hands on.
Laptop sleeves are something of a must have for many, so the two elasticated parallel straps came as something of a culture shock but do a surprisingly good job of restraining smaller (15inch) laptop and tablet computers. That said; padding at the base isn't overly generous, so I've lined ours with some medium-density foam and slipped my computer a in waterproof sleeve just to be on the safe side. The remainder of the main compartment is less open plan, expanding outwards to entertain textbooks/manuals, A4 pads/folders, middleweight armoured cable locks and even office trousers and shirt for good measure.
Reflective strips are sewn into the outer, thus offering some peripheral visibility but that outer flap makes a sturdy mounting point for blinkies, reflective stickers here would rather defeat the object of a formal satchel. Flipping it over to expose the back/belly reveal another compartment, which houses the two mounts and Velcro tie for securing the bag to a carrier. This is neater than most briefcase types since it won't snag on clothing off the bike.
However, while seemingly universal on most diameters of rack, the hardware seems happiest on those with really beefy diameter rods. Standard alloy racks had the test version slide annoyingly fore and aft, nudging my heels like an impatient Labrador and it was even ejected while negotiating a lumpy section of road at a distinctly pedestrian 10 mph. Worn messenger style, the absence of a waist strap means it has a tendency to slide about when you're wearing it, thus precluding fast riding in traffic. On a brighter note, weather resistance is pretty good, resisting three-minute garden hose torture testing from thirty centimetres, snow, sleet and pretty much everything else we hadn't bargained for in March.
Great looking bag with some good design touches but needs a waist strap and to move less when fixed to a rack
road.cc test report
Make and model: New Look Postino Office
Size tested: 17L
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?
"The ideal stylish business bag for the person who cycles to work. Easy on and off the pannier rack with mounting hooks that can then be hidden away behind a zipper cover to avoid the hooks catching on your clothes". Certainly has some very neat features but would benefit from minor tweaks.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Manufactured in water resistant canvas and artificial leather
Water resistant closure
Lots of varied style and sized pockets
Adjustable shoulder strap
Mounting hooks in zipper pocket to avoid catching on your clothes
16 litre capacity
Dimensions 39 x 31.5 x 13cm
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
There's no doubt the office postino morphs competently between business and bike, looking smart while keeping the contents safe and dry. However, it would benefit from a waist strap, some padding at the base and mounting hardware seemed prone to irksome sliding on standard diameter rack tubing.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Smart civillian looks, neatly hidden hardware and hardy fabrics.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Hit n' miss rack compatibility, padding sparton around the base.
Did you enjoy using the product? On balance, yes
Would you consider buying the product? With some minor tweaks
Would you recommend the product to a friend? With the above priviso
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)