Sunday, April 6, 2008 10.00am
By Guy Kesteven
Kona’s Supreme bag is designed for those who head out for big days in the hills, but it’s equally useful for college/work packhorse duty.
There’s certainly no shortage of features on the Supreme menu. In fact, it’s more like a backpack Generation Game: three LED loops; detachable key tab; money pocket; mesh full face helmet stow; ﬁgure-eight cargo bungee; side cinch straps; twin water bottle sleeves and outer zipped pocket on the outside.
You also get a zipped secondary main compartment with ﬂuffy goggle holder and mesh divider. The main pocket has a hydration pack sleeve; ﬂuffy MP3 pocket; phone pocket and personal details label in case the backpack survives a crash better than you do.
The whole bag is held off your back by a rigid back panel to leave plenty of fresh air behind the mesh contact panel. Heavily padded arm straps, shoulder pad and twin hip pads ensure a decent ﬁt.
If you’re a fan of pockets or need a busy bag for a busy life, then the Supreme probably sounds splendid.
In performance terms, though, it’s not so tidy. For a start, it weighs nearly 1400g before you put the bladder in.
While the elevated frame might theoretically reduce sweating in the heat of summer, we couldn’t tell any real difference in airﬂow, since the side vents tend to be closed off by your clothing anyway.
We could tell exactly where the hard frame joined into the hip pads when we were riding, though.
In fact, painful pressure points on the lower back/ upper pelvis required a lot of wriggling to get vaguely comfortable, even when we’d not got much in the bag at all.
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