Other than straps, there aren’t any requirements that make a backpack suitable for wearing while on a bike. (There have been separate instances in which I’ve ridden with a 60-liter duffel and a 70-liter trekking backpack strapped to my back.) Bike commuters know that some bags are better carried by bike than others though, and that’s the idea that brought Bellroy and MAAP together to make a pack explicitly for that task.
The foundation for the collaboration backpack is Bellroy’s Shift, which was released earlier this year as a weather-resistant everyday bag outfitted with minimalism and organization as parallel goal posts. The bag uses a flap top with a unique latch that allows for varying carry capacities and has internal storage for a laptop, tablet and water bottle as well as a separate pocket for small items like a phone and keys. The bag was already well-equipped to take on the motions of daily life and, according to Bellroy, was well-received by bike commuters.
The team-up with MAAP, a cycling apparel company, allowed the Shift to better consider the needs of those who travel by bike. The differences are subtle, yet impactful: the back panel is now contoured to align with the curve of the body atop a bike and features breathable mesh; reflective detailing is added to the bottom; there’s a loop designed to hold a bike light; new zipper pulls are easier to use when wearing gloves. One thing that hasn’t changed: the bag’s sleek, good-looking appearance.
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