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Shellback backpack offers crease-free commuting

New bag is designed specifically to keep suits and shirts neat and tidy while riding to work

The GrüneStrasse Shellback backpack, designed specifically to allow cycle commuters to get suits and other office clothing to work crease-free, is approaching its funding target on Kickstarter, but you'll need to get in quickly if you're interested because the project's campaign ends this coming Monday (10th February 2020).

There's rarely a shortage of bike-related products looking for funding on Kickstarter (that's a polite way of saying that there's usually a lot of weird cycling stuff on there), but the Shellback backpack caught our eye because it looks well thought out.

One of the Shellback's key features is that it includes a 'tri-fold garment sleeve'. This is a little like a standard suit cover but it's designed to be folded and clipped into the rest of the backpack.

Shellback Kickstarter 2020 - 2.jpg

When you get to work, you take the sleeve out of the pack and spin the top of the 'dual utility rotating hanger' around so that instead of working as a clip it now functions as a clothes hanger. 

To be honest, it'll be a whole lot easier to understand if you click this link and watch the video.  

The Henty Wingman Backpack that we reviewed also tackles the need to get smart clothes to work without them ending up a crumpled mess, but the Shellback looks like a more complete commuting bag (although we've not used it so we can't comment on how well it functions). You get 'logical and discrete areas for shoes, water, toiletries, laptop, accessories, and jewellery' and there's also a waterproof laptop/document compartment.

Of particular concern to UK riders, the main fabric is water resistant while the Shellback has its own waterproof and high vis rain cover that's stowed in a bottom pocket, which is a system that's used to good effect in many other bike bags.

Side compression straps allow you to tighten the bag to avoid shifting when it's not full, and you get both lumbar and chest straps for more stability. The back section is ventilated mesh supported by an external frame, designed to allow airflow between the rider and the pack.

The Shellback comes in 27L and 35L versions to suit riders of different sizes, and in four different colours.

Anyway, go to the Shellback's Kickstarter page for all the details. You have to pledge $195 (about £149) to be in line for a Shellback backpack with an estimated delivery date of May 2020. As you probably know, a Kickstarter pledge is not the same as buying a product from an online store. Go to the Kickstarter basics page for all the rules and regs.  

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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RoubaixCube | 4 years ago

£149 is quite a price considering you could just pick up a fairly thick magazine for a few quid (or free even) or few thick ridgid peices of cardboard to fold your shirts around to stop it creasing.

-- I think i got the above suggestion from a GCN video some years back and i have seen the same hack/tips&tricks suggested in other peoples videos.

As others have suggested - always try to leave a change of clothes at your destination if possible. if not, leave a padlocked holdall under your desk or somewhere more secure/convenient for you. Obviously its not got to be as secure as a locker but it will do the job just fine. just dont put anything super valuable in there. -- Though if you cant trust your work colleages - Keep trying to secure a locker.

cptlik | 4 years ago

I get by with a normal (£30) ruck sack. Leave shoes at work and just bring shirt, trousers, underwear in the bag. If you fold the shirt in the manner they do in shops (there are actually youtube videos about this) then its fine. That being said, if this bag were actually waterproof, rather than just providing a rain cover, I would have been more interested.

broomie | 4 years ago

I guess if you have got to go to -  say an office occasionaly,  then big back packs full of stuff is useful - though panniers so much less restricting. I commuted for 25 years plus and used a pannier with maybe one shirt or top in it.



Its work - leave a pair of shoes, trousers, skirts what have you, at work, saves lots of weight and faff. take your stay at work stuff to the dry cleaners is you need to.



Leave your (spare) lock at work too, again saving weight


John Smith | 4 years ago

No pannier clips? That's a no from me then.

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