This mid-size pack from German mountain sports specialist Vaude has beenaround for a few years, and little has changed since it launched. But the mantra ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t ﬁx it’ certainly applies here, because the Splash has stood the test of time.
It’s the go-to backpack for many riders, and is ideal for full days or longer trips on the bike.
The body is made from hardwearing polyamide cloth, which is polyurethane-coated to help keep rain and spray out. We ﬁnd it does a good job of shrugging off splashes, wheel spray and light rain, and when the rain gets heavier there’s a fold-out rain cover anyway.
The Splash’s main compartment is 20 litres, but can be expanded to 25 by releasing a cunning zipped bellows section should you need it (such as when the bladder is full, for instance). Vaude don't supply a bladder, but there is a separate internal section to hold the hydration system and an exit for the hose.
The Splash has six external pockets, and the side compression straps work well to squash things down when it’s less full and prevent the contents bouncing around. There’s a clip-on helmet holder provided too.
The AirFlex curved mesh back provides good ventilation, keeping it comfortable and stopping your back getting too sweaty even after hours in the saddle.