The Braasi Industries Webbing 18ltr Urban Backpack is a roll-top rucksack with tough character and a unique external webbing system that can hold a limited amount of extra cargo should its 18 litre capacity be insufficient.
Brassi Industries is based in the Czech Republic and this simple yet robust backpack is handmade in Prague by craftsmen who stem from sporting, outdoor and urban cycling backgrounds, which gives this bag its rugged looks and universal utility, some of which might include cycling.
The Webbing Backpack is made from Cordura 1100D fabric which makes it a tough beast that should survive a long life of being treated badly on the bike and then kicked under office desks and pub tables. While the fabric isn't waterproof, Braasi says it's completely water resistant (whatever that means) and it's heavy duty enough to shrug off a fat shower.
Access to the main compartment is via a roll top that's kept secure by two straps extending up from that external webbing with YKK buckles. If you're used to the gaping mouth of a normal zipped rucksack or large flapped courier bag then unclipping and unrolling the bag to gain entry can be a bit of a faff, especially if you use the bag frequently during the day.
The roll top means that access to the bag is essentially via the open end of a floppy tube, so filling the bag and retrieving stuff can be awkward. Diligent bag packing is a must for efficient use of space. If you're trying to fill the bag with groceries rolling off a checkout belt it can feel like an extremely pressurised game of Tetris, trying to utilise all the 18 litre capacity productively as the ability to leave a wasteful empty void in the bag is incredibly easy.
Complementing the main storage compartment are three pockets big enough to fit a paperback book in, or your wallet, phone, pens, glasses case, electronic reading/playing device... all the bits that might need secure yet easy access without getting them involved in the general melee of the main hold. Unfortunately these are placed a bit down the rear of the bag and are quite deep too, so if the bag is already full they can be a squeeze to access.
Externally there's just the one pocket, zipped and against the back. It's suitably sized for a 17.4in Notebook, but wallets, purses and keys can also fit – anything that needs easy, frequent retrieval. While its capacious nature could be seen as a plus point, it made it a bit of a rummage to find keys as it's nearly a foot deep; a smaller external pocket for constantly-reached-for house or bike lock keys and maybe a wallet would have been great, though that could be a just-me niggle.
Adding to the storage potential is the signature Braasi external webbing, with four horizontal and three vertical straps crossing the rear of the bag. Each of the horizontal straps is adjustable both sides to cinch stuff down, and the bottom of the bag extends up to form a shallow sleeve to tuck things in if needs be.
The external webbing isn't quite as special a feature as I thought it might be, or wanted it to be, though it does come in useful. If the bag is full then there isn't much extra you can stick in the webbing; although all the horizontal straps are adjustable, whatever you want to slip in there needs to the thin or squishy or long and thin, like a baguette. If you regularly need to transport items that are oddly shaped and might not fit inside a regular bag then this might be the backpack for you.
It is a useful feature, however, if you run stop-start errands around town and need frequent and easy access to a lock or somesuch without opening the bag each time, as a D-lock or whatever will slip easily behind the webbing and tuck securely into the little sleeve at the bottom. It's also a handy place to strap a helmet when you're off the bike, and any number of rear bike lights could clip on there as well for blinky safety overload.
You can extend the storage of the Webbing Urban Backpack a little by not rolling the top down and just clipping the straps over the top of everything – if you get carried away with the special offers in the supermarket or need to take homework back – but you'll need to put any squishy items at the top, and mind the eggs. The Braasi Wicker is the same bag but bigger, with 10 more litres for 50 extra pounds.
Once on, the Braasi Industries backpack is very comfortable, even when full and laden with things that can usually cause targeted back pain, like awkwardly packed tins of beans/cat food. This is thanks to the wide and thickly padded shoulder straps and incredibly well padded rear. And when heavily stuffed, the Braasi bag doesn't move or shuffle about even under the most erratic of pedalling efforts, and does so without the need for either a waist or chest strap.
There's a top and centre carry handle for lifting and more manual based lugging about.
The yellow of this Webbing Backpack (black, grey and white are also available) gives a high degree of SMIDSY avoidance from the rear, but only during the day as there are no reflective accents to the bag anywhere for a nod to nighttime visibility.
What everyone needs from a bag they're going to use on (and off) the bike varies enormously, and the market is oversaturated with bike baggage choice now in both size and price, so you can afford to be choosy. Or just go with the one you think is cool.
If you're a bike commuter and know roughly what you're taking to and from work each day and what capacity that requires, with maybe a bit of room for that extra item taken on the way there or pint of milk picked up on the way back, then the Braasi Webbing is a good bag that should survive the rough-and-tumble of daily misuse pretty well. It also doesn't scream 'cyclist' when you're off the bike and need a general sturdy holdall; it easily fits within aircraft carry-on dimensions, for example.
But if you use your bike as a packhorse and run day-to-day errands on it and need to carry all sorts of crap, be that random work-related ephemera or just need to pick up a few days' groceries, then the top-down packing can make frequent use a frustration, either in trying to fit things in efficiently or retrieving something from the bottom. And while the external webbing is a feature that makes it stand out from the crowd of bike-ready bags, it might not be quite as useful as you imagine, and certainly doesn't extend the bag's carrying ability by much if it's already full.
Hardy carrier both on and off the bike, but check to see if storage space and external webbing suit your needs
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Braasi Industries The Webbing 18ltr Urban Backpack
Size tested: 18 litre
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?
A water resistant rolltop utility urban backpack with a signature adjustable exterior nylon strap webbing system. It's for carrying stuff, on or off a bike.
Braasi Industries says:
THE 18LTR WEBBING ROLLTOP UTILITY URBAN BACKPACK BY BRAASI INDUSTRIES™, OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC, IS COMPLETELY WATER RESISTANT AND COMES REPLETE WITH THEIR SIGNATURE ADJUSTABLE EXTERIOR NYLON STRAP WEBBING SYSTEM.
Manufactured externally from robust Corudura® 1100D fabric with yellow water resistant polyester interior lining. This robust but stylishly minimal urban backpack features:
Two YKK side closing buckles and zips
Suitable for 17.4" Notebook
fully adjustable exterior webbing for easy access luggage
Three internal PES slip pockets and laptop compartment
Backside pocket for your wallet, mobile phone or notebook
Maximum dimensions are (HxWxD): 67 x 31 x 9mm (57cm height when closed)
Fully padded back
Shoulder straps with soft EVA foam padding
Maximum capacity is 18 Litres.
Currently available in four amazing colourways
These bags are supremely robust and are hand made in Prague by craftsmen who have an eye for detail and who stem from the sporting, outdoor and urban cycling backgrounds.
Braasi Industry™ bags are inspired by the un-fussed but extremely practical mountaineering equipment from the 1980s.
The Braasi™ mission is simple: to create and manufacture streamlined, functional, but ultimately stylish commuter backpacks for every aspect of daily life.
It's a very well made and sturdy backpack that should survive a lot of daily abuse.
It's a good backpack, although top loading and capacity might bother some.
Get back to me in 10 years when any bike bag should have earned its stripes, but the Braasi looks like it's going to be around a while.
It's sturdy but not overly heavy with nothing in.
The padded shoulder straps and well padded back make it an incredibly comfy pack to wear, even when overladen.
When you can buy a perfectly serviceable bag for on-bike use at a fraction of the cost, the Braasi Urban Backpack could be seen as offputting price-wise. Long-term survivability and features might overcome this.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a backpack it's well built and comfortable on, but top-loading faff and capacity might annoy some. The signature external webbing may or may not be worth your while.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable and stable even when fully loaded.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lack of storage volume frequently thwarted me, and filling the backpack by the narrow open ended tube of a rolltop bag was frustrating for me.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's on the pricey side when you compare it to other bags you can possibly cycle with, but it's a tough beast and should put up with the sort of endless battering a commuting bag has to deal with. The external webbing storage adds to the price and may or may not be worth it, it depending on your carrying needs.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not really, I frequently found it fell short of my needs, but those vary on a daily basis. Those with a more consistent load would be fine.
Would you consider buying the product? No, purely for the reason above. I might consider the larger Braasi Wicker though.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I would say that the bike bag market is a target-rich environment for the buyer.
Use this box to explain your overall score
In a crammed bag market, the pricey Braasi needs something extra to prove itself; the tough build and unique webbing may or may not tickle that for you.
About the tester
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
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: road racing, cyclo-cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.