Vaude’s ExCycling Pack is not so much a backpack but a portable office with its incredibly organised storage.
The main compartment has a roll-top fastening with the additional security of a zip closure. The laptop sleeve can be accessed from the side so you don’t have to open the top to reach it, and it also has a small mesh zipped pocket.
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A large external front pocket has more mesh organiser sections, plenty more room (the extra 10 litres) and a rain cover clipped into its own storage bag. A helmet holder sits over the front pocket, and there are multiple attachment points and compression straps.
Both the shoulder straps and the inverted Y-shaped back support are deeply padded, creating airflow channels across the back for ventilation, and they are mesh-lined for extra comfort.
The pack feels good to ride in, thanks largely to the straps and back configuration giving lots of stability, and despite there being no waist belt. The chest strap has plenty of height adjustment and I especially like the way it clips, rather than slides into place.
As you’d expect from Vaude, this pack is very well constructed from quality materials in an environmentally and ethically responsible way, and it has a water-repellent eco finish.
Off the bike, it feels heavier than it actually is but once packed and riding it doesn’t. And although it’s larger than many of the bags I also had on test, it doesn’t feel substantially bigger when riding.
My only gripe is that the wider, square shape means that I got glimpses of it when I was looking over my shoulder. But, overall, if you have a lot of kit plus a laptop and documents, this is a great system to carry it all comfortably as well as access it easily.
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
- Ortlieb Atrack CR Urban
- Osprey Transporter Roll
- Oxford Aqua V20 Backpack
- Rapha Roll Top Backpack