The Samvær City Camino Backpack is a good looking and lightweight backpack, but it is a little fiddly to use and doesn't feel the most robust.
It's a fashionable and aesthetically pleasing bag, with significant similarities to designs with a Danish influence from companies such as Fjällräven. It has two main compartments with a large roll top compartment and a smaller front pocket. There are also three fabric pockets inside the primary compartment and a small external pocket on either side of the bag. These all add up to more than enough space for most trips and I used it several times while commuting and it could hold everything I needed for the day.
Securing the roll top is done through two straps which each have a clip that attaches to a steel loop above the front pocket. They hold everything securely, although one of the buckles had a tendency to overextend slightly, which meant it it occasionally came loose. It was also a little fiddly to unclip two clips, then unroll, to get something out of the bag. The front pocket is secured through a robust-feeling zip which seems to work well.
The bag is made from British Millerain Waxed Cotton and is fairly water resistant. I didn't use it in really heavy rain, but in the showers I did encounter it kept the majority of the water out, although the zip design would let rain through in particularly heavy downpours.
The straps are relatively comfortable and secure, but they aren't particularly well ventilated. Aesthetically, they have really pleasingly well made metal clips and loops that look good and make adjustments easy.
There are some cycling-specific design choices, with high-vis strips added to the bottom of the bag and on the loop at the top, which is a nice touch for low light conditions.
Riding with the bag is okay, but because it is a relatively packable construction, there aren't really effective ventilation channels, so riding with it in hotter conditions often meant I got a sweatier back than I would with something more explicitly designed for cycling.
The finishing quality isn't the best either – I can't help feeling a little more care could be taken. Although the build quality is generally good, there are a couple of niggles such as a buckle that comes undone and some fraying at the end of material.
It's not as if it's cheap, either. With an RRP of £109, it's quite steep for what it is, with few technical elements. It is a good looking bag, though, so if you're looking for something stylish then you might consider it a fair price.
To compare, the Shimano Tokyo 23 urban daypack is £10 more but is considerably more robust and has a lot more features. Also, although not a backpack, the M-24 Messenger bag comes in at less than half the price but is more durable and holds around the same amount of kit.
The Samvær comes in this one colour – yellow – which I quite like, although it does have a tendency to get dirty fairly quickly and isn't that easy to clean.
Overall, I think it's a really nice little bag for casual city riding. It looks good, has plenty of storage, and the main elements are built to last, but it is slightly let down by some of the finishing on the non-core elements and it is expensive.
A stylish bag that carries everything you need for the day, slightly let down by finishing touches and price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Samvær City Camino Backpack
Size tested: n/a
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?
It is a casual and fashionable city bag for those looking for a stylish commuting option.
Samvær says, "We've taken a simple roll top backpack and added some additional features to make it a versatile accessory that works for you.
"We've combined tough British Millerain Waxed Cotton to offer water resistance for those wet days dashing between meetings or commuting to and from the office with simple design and functionality.
"The roll top opening allows you to really stuff the bag with all you need to carry."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- water resistant material
- Internal and external pockets
- high viz stripes for low-light riding
The main elements of the bag hold together well and stitching is strong throughout. However, the finishing in places could be better with some fraying and the buckles not being as robust as I would like.
Performed well, great for short city rides and because of its stylish look I was happy to have it sat next to me on a bench at a pub.
Some of the finishing lets the bag down a little, but overall it seems like it would last well, even with a bit of fraying here and there.
It is lighter than most cycling-specific backpacks because it doesn't have as rigid a structure, so needs less material and hence the lower weight.
Relatively comfortable with nice wide straps, however they don't have much padding and the flexibility of the back panel means that it can make your back fairly sweaty.
It is expensive for what it is, especially considering some of the finishing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed well. I could fit everything I needed for my daily commute or a trip around town.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It is stylish and looks good on your back, not just for a cycling backpack but for backpacks in general.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The finishing could be better.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There's no getting around that this is an expensive bag for what it is. The Shimano Tokyo 23 urban daypack, which is only £10 more, is considerably more robust and has a lot more features. Also, although not a backpack, the M-24 Messenger bag comes in at less than half the price but is more durable and holds around the same amount of kit.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes – if the price came down.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes – if the price came down.
Use this box to explain your overall score
I really enjoyed using this bag, it looks good, it's relatively comfortable, and it fits everything that it needs to. However, the finishing and price knock points off, and the buckles could be a little more robust.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.