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If there were a word for a suitcase that can be carried on your back, then the Slicks Suit25 would be the definition of that word. And by suitcase, I mean just that: luggage that will carry a suit in it. On your back.
Having to wear a suit at work can complicate plans to cycle there because - unless you're so close you simply wear it and ride there - you will need to transport it without it looking like you have just picked it up off your bedroom floor. The Slicks Suit25 carries your suit, shirt, and even shoes in stylish, business-like backpack.
The streamlined nylon shell is slightly padded, which helps it keep its shape, and with no obvious pockets it looks clean and unfussy. You can make it look even more slick (pun intended) by tucking in the shoulder straps and waist strap and using it as a carry case; there's a handle on the side of the bag.
Its 25-litre capacity is shared between several compartments that help you organise your effects. Firstly, the bit that makes this bag special: its ability to carry a suit without too much distress. Clipped into the main compartment, which can be unzipped and opened completely like a suitcase, is a detachable suit bag. Four semi-rigid panels divide this bag up into equal portions so that your suit can be folded in half, then in half again along its length. This sounds severe but it has a similar effect to rolling up your shirts when you pack: it prevents crumpling and limits creasing.
Despite my doubts, it seems to work even if your suit is packed in the bag for a full 24 hours of travelling. Having the semi-rigid panels in the suit bag does add a fair bit of weight to this bag. It's 2.4kg, of which 800g is the suit bag. That's easily detached, and there's even a foldaway hook so you can hang your suit in your hotel wardrobe.
Aside from the ability to carry a suit, what I really like about this bag is how it is compartmentalised like a descent suitcase. Along the front is a full-length zip, giving you a large, easy-access pocket that's ideal for stuffing your coat or your towel in - or both. Then there is a large, zipped pocket alongside the handle to pack your change of footwear. It's big enough for trainers, brogues, even a pair of thigh-high boots (folded) if that's your thing. Backing on to this, shielded by yet another semi-rigid, padded panel to the main compartment, is a large netted pouch and another zippered pocket for toiletries.
With a suit packed in and folded up in the holder, and a shirt, pants, socks, towel, toiletries and shoes stored away, there are still another two pockets to fill: one for your laptop and a little pocket for your knickknacks like your wallet and keys. The laptop squeezes between the padded back panel and the main compartment, keeping it out of harm's way, but it does flatten the rucksack out on your back slightly for those of us with bony spines.
Fully loaded, the weight seems well distributed and nothing feels lumpy or uncomfortable. The waist strap keeps the bag from swinging about and the moulded back panel helps a little bit with venting and posture. There's plenty of adjustment in all the straps to tailor the bag to your frame. Once adjusted, the bag feels comfortable. It can look like you have a shell on your back when the bag is stuffed to capacity, and this can obscure your vision slightly when you look over your shoulder. However, there are compression straps on each side to squash its profile.
Reflective panels and seams on the back, sides and front are nice touches, and for those that are signed-up members of the neon army there is a florescent yellow hi-vis rain cover with reflective bits on it. The zips aren't sealed so if you were travelling in heavy rain it would be best to put the bright yellow sheath over it and forget that you have a sleek, stylish, executive suit backpack until you get to your destination.
The one thing that would make this bag even better would be the ability to turn it into a pannier and clip it on to your rack.
A good quality, well thought out bag that is tough enough for the daily grind and practical enough to take on overnight business trips
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Make and model: Slicks Suit25
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?
The practical way to carry a suit, shirt, shoes, laptop and more, cleanly, all year round.
I'd agree with that although I'm not sure about the 'cleanly' bit unless you get a lift on a particularly groggy day.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Reflective zipper and back, side and front panels. Light attachments. High vis rain cover.
* Material: PU Coated Nylon
* Outer: 600D
* Inner: 200D Reflective Cover 68D
* Zippers and Buckles: YKK and ITW-Nexus
* Weight: 2.4 kg (Incl suit cover @800g)
* Dimensions: 20117" (422218cm)
* Capacity: 25L
* Designed in: Switzerland
Nicely put together. It looks 'the biz'.
It is a bit heavy even with the suit carrier taken out, and it isn't fully waterproof without the rain cover. But for short journeys, it is fine.
There are some small zips that I can see won't last like something made from Ortlieb, for example. But you should still get at least a year of daily use out of this bag.
Padding to give the bag its shape and integrity comes at the cost of weight. But then on short journeys, it isn't much of an issue because it is comfortable.
Once adjusted for your frame, the bag sits well and can be loaded up without any discomfort.
This will soon pay for itself in making unnecessary all those days that you had to take public transport to work to bring your suit in. The quality of finish is high and it is one of the few bags that do this task (www.suitpak.com is a competitor). It is many different bags in one.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It transported my suit on several occasions without too much bother. Just take care folding your suit into the carrier first.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It carries a suit and is very organised with all its separate compartments. Perfect for those who like order.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It is heavy. It isn't totally waterproof without the cover. The top of the bag is a bit thick and can obscure rear view vision.
Did you enjoy using the product? Riding to work is the best bit about going to work.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, even though I don't wear a suit at work.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, to my City chums
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
I want to see this convert into a pannier bag. That would make more sense to a cyclist.
Age: 38 Height: 179 Weight: 79
I usually ride: Bike that I am testing at the time My best bike is: Giant CFR pro, old school carbon converted to fixed. Kinesis Convert 2 fixed. Shorter cafe racer
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, bare back