Mack Workshop The Sack cycling rucksack review

Simple, semi-bespoke commuter pack

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £100.00 RRP

Our review

The Sack may be simple and lack some of the bling features found on other high-end bags. But when you consider the price, durability and bespoke service, I think it's a real winner
Buy if, You want a high quality and minimal fuss bag, with the added bonus of full customisation
Pros: Simple quality with construction that stood up to some real abuse
Cons: The unfinished ends on the black straps
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Mack Workshop is an independent manufacturer of bags and accessories, designed with cyclists in mind. Everything is hand produced by a chap called Jon Mackinnon, who fits Mack Workshop around his full-time job.

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This means you might have to wait a little longer for your product, but being a small operation ensures that Mack Workshop can offer a fully bespoke service. If you want your bag a few centimetres wider or deeper, Mackinnon will be happy to accommodate this free of charge. Larger customisations, such as extra straps or fitments, can be added for around £10-15, helping to cover the extra costs.

The bag goes without chest or waist straps
Oli Woodman / BikeRadar

After a quick conversation with Mackinnon, I went for a standard size in bright orange — hoping that it would help me to be more visible on those grey morning/evening commutes.

The bag has a fairly simple construction; there’s a roll top entry with one giant compartment and laptop sleeve on the inside. For all your smaller items, there’s one large zip pocket on the front and this is all encased in sturdy 1000D Cordura fabric, making it tough and fully waterproof. The shoulder straps are nice and wide with generous padding, which should mean no sore shoulders or pinch points.

As I’ve already said, a very simple design. There’s not a huge amount of exciting tech or interesting storage solutions going on, you just chuck your stuff in and away you go.

Commuting everyday over four months means I’ve put this bag through some serious abuse; come rain, wind or (occasionally) sun. The Sack has dealt with whatever Mother Nature has thrown at it and without missing a beat. I was a little worried the roll top could let water in during the heaviest of downpours, but each time I’ve arrived at work from a soggy commute, everything inside was bone dry.

During dark early mornings, I came to appreciate the white internal fabric, which made finding anything inside the bag a touch easier than if it were jet black. The same goes for the bright orange outer, which didn’t hurt my chances of being seen by motorists.

During dark early mornings I came to appreciate the white internal fabric, which made finding anything inside the bag a touch easier than if it were jet black
Oli Woodman / BikeRadar

The wide straps meant the Sack sat on my shoulders comfortably and I never felt like it was slipping or sliding whilst out and about. It does lack chest and waist straps, but once again this didn’t seem to affect how secure the bag felt.

I was surprised by how much I could fit in the bag. No matter how much junk was needed for work, or trips away, the generous dimensions meant I was never struggling for space. 

Although the bag wasn’t totally perfect — the unfinished side straps would occasionally slip out of the black buckles. I spoke to Mackinnon from Mack Workshop about this and he said he will now be finishing the black straps with simple double back stitch to prevent this problem occurring.

The Sack costs £100, which might seem expensive, but when you compare it to other high-end bags and consider that it’s fully customisable, I think it represents decent value for money.

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If you want a bag with loads of pockets and interesting storage solutions, this isn’t it. But for those folk looking for a simple, high-quality workhorse pack, the Sack comes highly recommended.

Product Specifications


Name Name, 0, 10, Name, The Sack
Brand Brand, 0, 20, Brand, Mack Workshop

Available Colours Available Colours, 2, 0, Available Colours, Black Orange