User review - Cadence backpack from Alex in London

This week we are happy to share an user review of our Cadence backpack from one of our customers Alex, who is a commuter and keen cyclist in London.   It was so detailed, came with photos and contained some great advice for us in terms of improving the product in the future.  It was so good we thought the whole community should know about it.  Here is Alex's review below.  

The bag is made from a mix of tough yellow plastic and black nylon fabric on the underside, all IPX5 certified waterproof. It is similar in appearance to the Ortleib Velocity (Which I used to own). A nice touch is the addition of two reflective strips on the lower back. Other bags either don’t include this (like the velocity), or are guilty of reflective overkill. The cadence gets the balance right. The design is very simple with a small Cadence logo, which keeps the bag looking smart and clean.

The bag has one large compartment and a smaller outer pocket. The main compartment has a removable inner lining which has two additional smaller compartments - a front net compartment and a rear padded compartment for laptops and tablets.

This is a really handy feature; I used the bag to travel up to Edinburgh, where compartmentalising my clothes, laptop, washback etc with the lining was handy. The netting was great as I was able to see what was in it too, which saved rummaging around on the packed train. Conversely, I found that commuting to work I just wanted maximum capacity for clothes so I ditched the lining to make space. In terms of capacity the bag is on the larger side. I was able to fit my chunky 15” laptop into the padded compartment, along with lots of clothes, waterproofs and a thermos flask snuggled on one side (August weather Scotland style), with room spare to take home a few packets of shortbread!

The bag rolls down and is held by two Velcro strips and two click straps. This was easy to do most of the time. The only issue was when the bag was quite full, I felt the Velcro strips could have been longer to allow it to shut better; as it is, you have to very tightly roll it when full or it won’t stick.

The rear of the bag has a large back pad area which makes it very comfy to wear, with grooves to help reduce back sweat. The Velocity rucksack I previously owned had a smaller padded area and was less comfortable as a result. This bag has chest and waist straps which are easy to adjust and ensure the bag is supported on your back.

My one major let down with the Cadence is its lack of ability to attach things to it. It has a small loop strap at the bottom, primarily for clipping a light. However it would great to have a few extra straps or d-rings on the back. This is useful to simply attach your helmet when you are off the bike, or bungee that awkward object that wont fit inside. I’ve used a hiking bag (for its numerous attachment points) to transport a whole bicycle frame before, using bungees. While that is extreme, this bag could do with a couple other attachment points for those makeshift moments, as many other cycling bags do.

The bag currently retails at approximately half the price of the Ortleb Velocity and cheaper than many other similar offerings from established brands. Having put it through its paces, this hasn't equated to a reduction in quality; it’s comfy, strong, high capacity, and all-important, kept my clothes bone dry the one day it rained in Edinburgh.

Overall this is a smart looking rucksack with plenty of cargo space. This makes it ideal for the regular commuter, who needs extra capacity for the odd shop after work, and the assurance of keeping possessions dry. It is equally adept at a long weekend away. While the bag has a few issues around closing shut and its lack of attachment points, it’s excellent value more than compensates for this; for a fully waterproof bag at half the price of similar offering, this is a smart choice for any cyclist.