There are loads of biking backpacks available but Proviz has nailed the practicalities while boosting day and night visibility way more than most, with its new Touring Backpack.
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Design and aesthetics
Proviz has founded its brand on maximum visibility and the whole upper outer section of the Touring (and the $95.00 Explorer which is basically the same but 10L larger) is covered in super-reflective material. The same material is built into the edges of the shoulder straps, hip belt and spare strap loop tabs. That means it properly lights up if headlights hit it from any angle, but if you want maximum safety ‘pop’ look at the totally reflective Cycling Backpack ($120.00).
The Touring backpack really scores with excellent use of space; from back to front the main compartment has a bladder divide with a Velcro hang tab, hose port, and sliding capture clips on both the left and right straps. The sleeve will also take a smaller laptop (a 13in MacBook Pro fits fine) if you’ve got work rather than water priorities. Meanwhile the outer compartment has three simple apron pockets for tools, spares, and snacks and, while there’s no specific tethering loop, it’s long enough for mid-sized pumps too.
There’s another zipped pocket in the base that's large enough to carry a phone or wallet if you don’t want to use the twin zipped pocket pouch that you can strap onto the shoulder straps.
Despite bulky looks making us hesitant at first, we found it worked fine (run it lower than you’d think), and it didn’t bounce or pull the bag off-kilter even off-road. It’s super handy for quick access too. More instant access for snacks and tools is provided by the pockets on the hip belt, while big rubber loop pullers on all zips make opening and closing easy even with thick gloves. There are two mesh bottle pockets on the sides as well, and the only thing it’s really missing is a key clip in any of the pockets.
While the belt strap itself is thin, the hip pockets add decent stability and there’s a sliding chest strap to stop sway even when it’s rammed for commuting or touring, and the shoulder straps are adjustable at the top and bottom to control where the bag sits. The EVA back panel has cut-outs under a mesh cover which also helps to prevent the bag from sliding about and adds comfort from pointy or lumpy contents, but ventilation is minimal so you will sweat on hotter days. The shoulder straps are better vented and padded though, which helps a bit.
The 600D nylon fabric keeps the bag lightweight, considering the number of features it has, plus it’s water-resistant against showers and splashes. It’s not seam taped though, so for wetter days you’ll need to pull the elasticated waterproof cover out of the base pocket for extra protection. While neon yellow is the most eye-catching day and night choice, four other primary colors let you tone things down a bit without losing the after-dark attention grab.
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While visibility is the obvious sell for the Proviz REFLECT360 Touring Backpack, everything about it from pocket layout to fabric choice is super effective and practical for a wide range of riding from commuting to enduro. Shaping and adjustability mean it sits really well when you’re riding, and while it might not be the most indulgently constructed bag we’ve ever tested, it’s not priced that way either.
Tech Specs: Proviz REFLECT360 Touring Backpack
- Price: $85.00 / £59.99
- Weight: 2,280g (medium)
- Colors: Yellow/Reflective (tested) Black/Reflective, Green/Reflective, Red/Reflective, Blue/Reflective
- Sizes: 20L, (Explorer backpack with same features is 30L)