As a biker/hiker who always manages to end up getting rained on, the quest for the best water resistant backpack became something of an obsession. After scouring the internet for reviews and visiting my local bike shops (yes, they still exist!), I came across the Aqua-Quest ‘The Biker’ Waterproof Backpack. Now maybe I’m being a bit naïve, but if they put the word “biker” in the product name, then just maybe they created this backpack to hold up to the rigors of biking (and could serve just as well for a hiking trip).
After purchasing “The Biker,” I made it a point to give it a good examination just so I could figure out the best way to utilize it. I was once one of those people that would just throw everything in a bag/backpack and be on my merry way. The thought of planning my packing was laughable. This changed once a friend who is in the military took the time to demonstrate efficient packing techniques. Luckily, my hiking trips have never turned into a “kill or be killed” situation (knocks on wood). All the pockets and compartments on the Aqua-Quest Biker presented me with great options for filling the pack.
After Action Thoughts
After travelling with the pack for several trips here are my initial observations:
• Waterproofing – Unlike other waterproof biking backpacks I have owned, the Aqua-Quest ‘The Biker’ Waterproof Backpack is completely waterproof as far as the lining goes. All the pockets have a rubberized lining for a nice level of waterproofing. From my field testing, the pack really does hold up to the waterproofing claims.
• Durability – Thanks to a certain level of adventurousness (some say clumsiness), I’ve taken quite a few spills while wearing this backpack and it has held up great. No rips or tears. The only issue that ever cropped up was one of the Velcro pockets opening up after a spill, but the contents remained inside. The manufacturer describes the pack as being made of Oxford 400D RipStop with TPU Lamination and Dupont DWR Coating. As my eyes glaze over with the tech talk, all I will say is that this is a durable waterproof biking backpack.
• Comfort – The Aqua-Quest Biker has a great strap system to help keep the pack comfortable to wear. The shoulder straps have a good level of padding and the waist and sternum straps add a nice level of stability to the pack. As with any lightweight waterproof backpack it took a little bit of time to adjust all the straps for maximum comfort.
• Capacity – Unlike my military friend mentioned earlier, I’m not out humping a ton of gear and weapons when I go hiking or biking. I like to take just the essentials and not much else when going out hiking, but The Biker does have a large capacity for those who like to take the kitchen sink. Its 1500 cubic inch capacity hits a sweet spot for those looking for portability and capacity. (click here to see more 1500 cubic inch backpacks)
• Appearance – Normally, this is not an element I care about in backpacks, but The Biker is a pretty sweet looking pack. Normally, I favor darker colors and the overall charcoal color is great, but I appreciate the splash of color on the body of the pack. I put strips of “safety orange” on my packs anyway thanks to being shot at by a hunter once. I was told it was an “accident.”
I have listed a bunch of pluses for the Aqua-Quest Biker, but I would be remiss if I did not list a couple of the cons I came across using the backpack. First, it seemed to take forever to get this thing adjusted to be completely comfortable. I admit once I got there I was feeling great. It was just the time it took to adjust the straps that annoyed me. The other minor con I can think of is that I wish the outer shell had some sort of rubber coating on the bottom of the pack just to help keep it clean when setting it down in the wild. A minor quibble, but something I would appreciate.
So after all that has been said above, it comes down to the fact that I’ve put this thing through the real world test and it really does come out the best water resistant backpack I’ve ever owned. I see this pack being with me for years to come.
Now I want to turn it into a motorcycle riding waterproof backpack. That should be interesting.