Written by Gary, Senior Graphic Designer at Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative
“After my trusty Revolution rucsac gave up the ghost recently, it was time to purchase a new bag for the commute to work. I was after something that could take a pasting and could carry more than my lunch and a pair of socks, but equally not something large enough to create its own weather system. After canvassing opinions here at Bike Co-op HQ I decided to go for the Oxford Aqua 20, and at £49.99 it’s turned out to be a great buy.
If anyone is looking for a good waterproof rucsac for commuting, then I can highly recommend this bag. What do I like most about it? The fact that it’s a simple, no nonsense, get-the-job-done rucsac. It is basically a waterproof tube with straps. You won’t find a plethora of compartments for your gels, for your keys, for your phone and so on, ad nauseum. It only has one compartment and 1 small pocket on the front.
This makes it really easy to pile in your clothes, lunch, waterproofs, spare inner tubes and anything else you fancy taking along. The closing mechanism is also something I like – it’s like the dry bags you get for canoeing, where you simply roll the top and clip in the two side buckles. Genius. Having the ability to roll the top down also means you can eliminate any unused space.
How waterproof is it?
I’ve been using this bag for a couple of months now and have been caught in a couple of torrential downpours, and the contents of the bag have been kept bone dry. It’s so waterproof that if you were ever caught in a flood on the way home you could probably empty it out and use it as a buoyancy aid.
Don’t let the white colour put you off, because any dirt/road spray is easily brushed or wiped off the slippery smooth laminated fabric (though it’s more like shiny, heavy-duty rubber than fabric). A real ‘Brucey bonus’ is that since it’s already fully waterproof and covered in super reflective graphics, there’s no need to buy a hi-viz waterproof cover. This means less faff as well as the obvious cost saving, which are both good things in my mind.
Is it stable? You betcha. With padded shoulder straps, good sized hip straps, and a chest strap, this bag can easily be locked into place. Its teardrop shape also means the top doesn’t get in the way when I am checking for traffic behind me, always helpful.
We all have our own hall of fame for those items of extra special kit that we love. Will I be adding this rucsac to my small but illustrious list? Most certainly.”