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.
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 road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. 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 pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.