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Craft Cadence Backpack – Review [Waterproof Commuter Bag Tested]

My glasses go with me wherever I go. 

As such, they are fitted by a trained optician, each element entirely customised and tuned to me and my requirements.

It also took no fewer than 37 messages, photos and videos on the family Whatsapp chat to choose the design of my current pair. 

The only other object on this planet that does go with me wherever is my rucksack. 

However, historically, it has not been selected in the rigorous manner as befits its frequency of use. There is no appointment with someone trained to fit it and at best only 3 WhatsApp messages to decide on a bag. But having had a number of bags fail on the job through damage, lack of waterproofness or just lack of style, the search for a pack that could be my everyday carry through London has intensified. 

Enter British brand Craft Cadence’s suggested solution to this problem: their 30L waterproof backpack aimed squarely at the cycling commuter. It comes in yellow and black and costs £89.99.

Craft Cadence Waterproof Backpack

This bag has been designed by commuters in London and as a fellow London cyclist I can say that this shows. 

As anyone who commutes in the UK knows, a waterproof bag is nigh on essential, assuming you enjoy your clothes and laptop being dry, and this backpack is waterproof in the extreme. Rated at IPX 5 – effectively providing waterproofness in all weather conditions – this pack kept all cargo totally dry in extensive rain testing both in London and the rainy North (Manchester). This is achieved by welded seams and proper tarpaulin material which means it’s also tough, suitable then for the rough and tumble of city bike commuting.

Big Waterproof Backpack for Commuters

Unlike many other waterproof bags, this one is big. The 30L capacity is ample for all the commuting essentials. My usual payload (laptop, clothes, shoes, lunchbox, towel, flask) all fit in comfortably without origami-esque folding and with space to spare. 

Craft have added a removable internal sleeve to allow a greater degree of organisation. Initially I didn’t see the merits of this, however I’ve recently come to see the light. When going to work, the sleeve was helpful in keeping things in place. But when raw capacity needed to be maximised, like my weekly shop, then one large compartment allowed me to buy and transport way more junk food. There’s also one external, non IPX 5, pocket which was handy for keys/wallet/mask as it allows quicker access than the main compartment.

I can’t decide whether I like the fastening mechanism or not. It’s slightly fiddly but it does work, however my cold winter hands might have appreciated something a bit simpler. It does however allow the bag to be filled to (and slightly beyond) the brim.

Ventilation

As someone who sweats like a pig at the mere thought of cycling, a backpack usually only serves to further compound this issue. In order to alleviate this, the designers at Craft have cleverly added extruded back panels of foam which allows air to flow across the rider’s back. While this didn’t make it a completely sweat free experience, it certainly is better than many other backpacks in this department. With both hip and chest straps, the bag sat securely at all times in a way that didn’t impede my cycling at all. 

Style wise, the yellow variant I got sent is very clearly a cycling rucksack but the black edition is discrete enough for more formal settings. That being said, we were often asked what bag it was as fellow cyclists eyed it up.

So all things considered, has the Craft Cadence Backpack ended up becoming my everyday backpack? Well, not quite… Because it’s been hijacked by my parents who have made it their day to day bag. While my search for a bag may continue, theirs won’t because this bag is waterproof, tough and comfortable, all you need from a bag like this.

Rohan Joseph

Craft Cadence Waterproof Backpack

£89.99
7.6

Fit

8.0/10

Function

9.0/10

Style

5.0/10

Value

8.0/10

Quality

8.0/10

Pros

  • Completely waterproof
  • Spacious
  • Good storage options

Cons

  • Fiddly to close



TOP 5 FAVOURITES FOR WINTER RIDES


1. 🧥Rapha Lightweight Commuter Jacket
Stylish, waterproof and easy to throw in a bag.

2. 📍Sherlock Anti-Theft GPS Bike Tracker
Get alerted if your bike moves without you.

3. 👖DUER All-Weather Denim
Waterproof cycling jeans - need I say more?

4. 🪖LIVALL BH60SE Smart Bike Helmet
A helmet with lights that plays music.

5. 🥾Chrome Storm 415 Workboot
Waterproof shoes. No more soggy feet.




Rohan Joseph

Rohan is Discerning Cyclist's chief reviewer. Most of his exploits on a bike involve hurtling across London's streets to either his lectures or church. He also enjoys labouring up inclines in an attempt to feel athletic and has recently joined the minimalists in riding a fixie (of his own creation). As a firm believer that a small exertion justifies a large meal, he passionately extols the virtues of a post-ride pizza to anyone who will listen.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Coffee funds may be converted into beers funds on Fridays.