Ortlieb’s Atrack CR Urban bag is a high-quality, sustainably-made German hybrid; it’s part daypack, part duffle travel bag.
Made from waterproof, durable Cordura fabric, unusually it opens with a zip that extends the full length of the back. The plush, well-placed hip and back padding ensures you never feel the zip against your skin, though, and you also needn’t worry about pickpockets gaining access while you’re wearing it.
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Useful external features include lots of daisy chain attachment points, a chest strap, a removable waist belt and two external stretch mesh side pockets.
Packing the Atrack couldn’t be easier, with the top-to-bottom watertight zip giving instant access. The internal compression straps made me less nervous about the lack of laptop sleeve; once everything is tightened in a matter of seconds, nothing moves.
Inside there are four floating zip pockets for small items which, when fastened with a compression strap, float on top of the contents – not just keeping them in easy reach, but also adding a protective layer.
Once you’re packed, simply zip up and cinch in the compression straps at each end of the zip.
Another clever piece of design is the vertically adjustable back carry system that allows a custom fit – you can both lengthen the shoulder straps and move the back pads up and down. I tried this on a few people and it worked comfortably for all. Set the compression straps, dial the fit and once you’re on the bike this pack really doesn’t budge.
Its narrow shape means it doesn’t impede over-the-shoulder vision either.
With a technical specification that probably extends beyond most commuters’ needs, its price does make it a significant outlay, but the Atrack boasts a versatility that goes well beyond the bike.
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
- Altura Grid Backpack
- Brooks Dalston Tex Nylon
- Chrome Barrage Cargo 22X
- dhb Waterproof Rucksack
- Fox Transition Duffle Bag
- Osprey Transporter Roll
- Oxford Aqua V20 Backpack
- Rapha Roll Top Backpack
- Vaude ExCycling Pack