Altura’s Grid Backpack weighs 578g on our scales, which made it the lightest bag I had on test, yet still manages to squeeze in a lot of extra pockets: two inside, a separate laptop section, a front slip pocket plus two zipped side pockets. The roll-top also has a zip closure, making the main bag more secure when unclipped.
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What isn’t immediately apparent is that the unassuming grey front pocket is reflective, giving lots of low-light visibility.
The shoulder straps are well padded and are what the grab handle is fixed to, so it doesn’t pull on the body of the bag when lifted up; a neat touch.
A bright lining makes it easy to find things inside the main compartment, while the smooth fabric means it is easy to pack. There’s easily enough room for commute essentials and more.
The laptop section has side zip access which, aside from making the laptop feel more protected, is a slick solution for easy reach. The side pockets open right up, so even though they’re deep, it’s easy to access the contents, while the gusset construction cleverly stops everything from falling out.
The pack doesn’t have either a waist belt or chest strap, but the compact shape and size meant I didn’t miss them. It’s easy to wear and, packed with my day-to-day kit, I found it comfortable. Oddly it was more comfortable with a laptop in the sleeve than without.
I like the understated styling of the Grid, which allows it to do double duty as a work bag. It has a DWR finish for water resistance. The additional pockets and high-contrast lining add to its overall usability.
It’s possible to pay more and get a pack that boasts a higher specification of fabrication and construction, but it’s also possible to pay more for a bag that doesn’t have the features or practicality of the Altura Grid.
How we tested
Commuting on your bike can be more pleasant with the right backpack, but the wrong one could be an expensive mistake.
We’ve reviewed a wide range of commuter bags, from bike-specific packs to more versatile luggage hybrids, to help you decide which is best for your needs.
Regardless of bike size, we packed exactly the same kit for testing: a laptop, a packing cube with a change of work clothes, a shoe bag and a tool roll.
Also on test
- Brooks Dalston Tex Nylon
- Chrome Barrage Cargo 22X
- dhb Waterproof Rucksack
- Fox Transition Duffle Bag
- Ortlieb Atrack CR Urban
- Osprey Transporter Roll
- Oxford Aqua V20 Backpack
- Rapha Roll Top Backpack
- Vaude ExCycling Pack