Since several of my co-workers are also bike commuters, I asked around to see who had what for their ride and if anyone had suggestions for my search. Luckily, I was pointed towards the ORCA Waterproof Backpack as the solution to my quandary.
Thoughts and experiences after road use
Waterproofing: This is the main reason I bought this watertight bag. And the verdict? It is a winner! Since it’s made completely out of PVC, this thing better be waterproof. The main compartment opening has a roll top that gives an extra layer of waterproofing protection. I saw one reviewer try to spin the ORCA’s construction as just a big piece of rubber. To that I say, I am glad. There have been a few downpours I have been caught in where I was convinced would soak everything in the bag. Once I got to work, the only wetness was from me dripping on the stuff as I pulled it out of the ORCA.
Capacity: With a capacity of 30 liters, the ORCA can hold a good amount items. Of course, this depends on what you are hauling. My daily trips are primarily clothes, a pair of shoes and lunch. Should I be feeling productive, I’ll take my laptop home with me in the bag as well. This I wrap in my clothes because the ORCA really has no means to secure items in the compartments. This isn’t an issue for me, but if you are the kind to worry about your items bouncing around, then take note Of course, if I’m going to take a spill on my bike, the last thing I’m worrying about is my work laptop. In fact, I hope the stupid thing breaks my fall. (click here to check out more 30L backpacks)
Durability: Speaking of falls, I’ve taken a couple while wearing the ORCA and the bag has held up great. The straps and material have maintained their strength and overall I’ve been really happy with the bag. While I can’t say I’ve put it through the toughest rigors (I will not be taking it to the bad neighborhoods to see if it can stop a bullet), I can say that for what the ORCA backpack has been through in my possession, it is a nice, sturdy bag.
Comfort: The ORCA has enough straps to fully secure the bag and make it comfortable while I’m riding. Since I don’t over fill it or stick anything really odd shaped in it, the weight of the bag and its contents have never been a problem for me.
Appearance: One of my coworkers told me she feels this is a great, trendy backpack for women. She is a bit of a style freak so I take her word for it. As for me? It is a nice looking sport backpack that performs wonderfully. I am a function over form kind of guy. I purchased the white backpack, so it does tend to get dirty over time, especially from bike riding. Thankfully, it cleans up pretty easy, but I thought I’d mention this in case someone saw dirt visibility as a negative.
Price: Here is where the shine might come off the glowing review for some. I feel the bag is a bit on the pricey side for what you get. There are no bells and whistles with it for what you pay. However, as much as I hate saying it, because it is not always true, you do get what you pay for. My needs called for a solid watertight bag and the ORCA answered my call.
Go or no go?
The ORCA Waterproof Backpack has served me well. The backpack may fall on the pricey side, and its white color show the dirt you’ve been through, but overall it has performed like I’d hoped it would. I even bought one for my wife as a great ladies’ backpack for when we go riding together. A friend suggested we get “His and Hers” stenciled on the ORCAs. We’re not friends anymore.