Testy

Craft Cadence bike backpack – review after half a year of use [eng.]

In the Craft Cadence – waterproof bicycle backpack, I presented a product review of a London company. I announced then that after a few months I would make a separate entry in which I would focus on how the backpack performed during everyday use over the course of several months. More than six months have passed since I received the product for testing – it’s time for a summary.

A few words about…

Craft Cadence is a 30 liter roll top waterproof bike backpack. It has been designed mainly for cyclists who travel home – work – home on two-wheelers on a daily basis. It has everything a cyclist could expect from this type of product, i.e. optimal capacity, ease of use, durability and resistance to weather conditions. It was supposed to be my backpack for use in commute mode, but as it turned out, it was also perfect for everyday use – not necessarily on a bike 🙂 .

Way of usage

The way I used the backpack was a very important factor for the course of the test. For over half a year I used it almost every day, transporting various items with a total average weight ranging from a few to several kilograms. Taking into account the fact that the bicycle is my main means of transport, it was not just spare clothes or lunch for work, quite the opposite. Craft Cadence is my “special tasks” backpack. In it, I transported almost everything – from groceries, to construction materials and tools with sharp and irregular shapes. The intensity of use was also much higher than when using the backpack in commute mode. In short, I always had it on my back when I left the house. Craft Cadence was my additional luggage space that I could use at any time. Apart from commuting to work, these were also bicycle trips to the forest, family trips to the lake, and above all going to the shops, where I packed it to the limit. During this mode of use, all its advantages and disadvantages were revealed very quickly.

Photos from the attached gallery were taken during a misty morning bike trip to the forest. I did not clean and prepare the backpack for photos on purpose – I wanted it to look like it would in everyday use.

Advantages

I will start by describing the pluses, because there are definitely more of them. Perhaps these are not all the advantages of a backpack, but these particular features were of particular importance to me. They are not only responsible for the comfort and use of Craft Cadence, but also in such a combination they distinguish the backpack from the competition.

  • capacity – 30 liters offered by the manufacturer is a compromise between the capacity and size. Craft Cadence has an optimal capacity. We can pack a large amount of luggage inside it, while not having the impression that we are carrying a backpack in XXL size, which has a significant impact on the comfort of use.
  • comfortable – by convenience I understand the broadly understood comfort of use. Most importantly, the Craft Cadence fits well on your back. After adjusting the straps, we forget that we even have it with us. Thanks to the wide shoulder straps, they do not cut into the shoulders, and well-profiled and reinforced backs prevent sharp edges of objects from sticking into the back – if we transport them.
  • does not limit visibility while riding a bicycle – from the cyclist’s point of view, it is a very important feature. The backpack does not limit our field of vision when we look over our shoulder while riding a bike.
  • waterproof – a very important property, especially if we use the bicycle regardless of the season. More than once, I have driven in a downpour and the backpack has never failed. The contents of the backpack were always dry. It is worth mentioning that this feature may also apply the other way round, i.e. if we do not want the moisture to leave the backpack outside, e.g. when we transport wet clothes.
  • durable – considering that the bags and backpacks that I have used so far did not have an easy life, I was very curious how the Craft Cadence would handle several months of use. Of course, I’m not talking about the deliberate destruction of the backpack, but about intensive use in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Half a year in my hands did not make a big impression on him – apart from a few rubs, but more on that below.
  • easy to keep clean – I don’t think I need to add much here. If necessary, the inner sleeve can be washed in the washing machine, and the backpack can be scrubbed in the shower or in the bathtub 🙂

Disadvantages

Each, even the best product has its weaknesses. Craft Cadence is no different. Fortunately, they are not important enough to affect my final assessment. I hope that my observations will contribute to possible changes by the manufacturer in the next versions of the backpack.

  • the outer pocket is not waterproof – during a downpour, it is better not to keep things that are sensitive to moisture. More than once, after driving in the rain, I had to dry the inside of the pocket. Importantly, drizzle or fog is not yet a reason to empty its contents – the problem starts when the rainfall becomes more intense.
  • damaged material of the zipper machine cover – the damage was my fault – caused by my haste and too abruptly closing the outer pocket
  • abrasions / cracks on the folds of the rolled material – material cracks appeared in the places where the material was folded after closing the backpack. It is partly my fault, because as a result of the constant hooking of the protruding parts of the backpack against walls, frames, trees or other rough surfaces, I was systematically rubbing the material unconsciously. Using the backpack every day, I got so used to having it on my back that I basically forgot it was there. The result was constant rubbing against various obstacles (the traces of abrasions are visible in the photos). In this way, I unknowingly contributed to the weakening of the material and, consequently, to its breakage. Importantly, these are not damages that affect the tightness – the material is intact from the inside.
  • no strings – the only thing missing in Craft Cadence. I would definitely need additional strings to which I could attach irregularly shaped items that do not fit inside the backpack. An interesting solution would also be the use of an external mesh or a system of lines that would allow me to attach a helmet or a jacket. Such amenities would definitely increase the functionality of the backpack.

Summary

In my opinion, Craft Cadence is a very good backpack that will surely find its supporters among people who appreciate comfort, functionality and durability. It is true that the product is aimed primarily at cyclists, but nothing prevents you from using it also in the normal city mode. However, the price of the backpack may be controversial. The cost of £ 80.00 may seem too high at first, but if we compare the Craft Cadence price to the products of companies whose domain is the production of bicycle bags and panniers, then we quickly come to the conclusion that it is not so high 🙂

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