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The Proviz Reflect360 Cycling Backpack will certainly get you noticed in the dark thanks to its impressive wall-to-wall reflectivity. With a 30-litre capacity it's roomy too, with plenty of compartments to help you keep your belongings organised – which will stay dry in all but the very heaviest of downpours. If you want to be seen at night you won't be disappointed by this bag, with the build-up of sweat if you're riding hard about its only downside. It's right up there with its sibling Reflect360 Touring Backpack, which received an honorary mention in our best cycling backpacks buyer's guide.
As its name suggests, the Reflect360 offers reflectivity all the way around – the main body of the bag and sections of the front-facing parts of the straps.
This means that if there is a light source around it will pick you up from any direction. You want more? Well, there is also a loop for a rear light.
The material is water resistant to 1,500mm, which theoretically is quite low when many waterproof jackets are around the 10,000mm mark. In reality, I found it to be much better than this. On opening the bag after an 18-mile commute accompanied by continual heavy rain, some of the contents were a little damp but no water had made its way through.
This resistance to the elements is helped but the bag's waterproof zips. I'd stress that I've never ridden in rain that heavy before so was very impressed with the Reflect360's performance. And if it does get covered in road or trail spray the material is easy to wipe clean.
There are two external mesh pockets that are deep enough to stuff some essentials in, and they'll even take a couple of bottles. The mesh is close-knit too, so it should prove durable.
An external zipped pocket was big enough for my phone, earbud case and keys.
At the top of the bag is a handle, which I found useful. It allows you to carry the bag easily without having it on your back, or to hang it on a hook when not in use.
The shoulder straps are well padded, wide enough to not cause pressure points and they offer plenty of adjustment. Neat touches include elasticated loops on the straps so you can run a tube through from your drinks bladder, for instance.
You also get a chest strap and a waist strap to keep the bag secure when loaded.
The back of the rucksack uses slightly raised sections to keep it off your back for ventilation. I found that fine for riding around town at moderate speeds, but when I was riding much harder on my road bike my back did get sweaty. Other bags I've used create deeper channels away to keep the bag further from your back, so air can escape better.
Inside you'll find a padded laptop sleeve that just about swallowed my 15.6in Lenovo laptop. In front of that you get a large pouch, with two smaller ones in front of that. At the top on the other side, a mesh zipped pocket means that you can grab stuff without rummaging in the bottom.
Overall, these keep the 30 litres of storage neat and tidy.
The build quality is good throughout, and while I'd say it isn't quite as refined as a lot of rucksacks I own, at £69.99 (and presently a tenner less) it's half the price of many rival bags.
Altura's Grid Travel Bag that I tested a while back has very subtle reflectives that come into their own at night. It costs £70 but at just 20 litres its capacity is smaller, though its less shouty looks blend in well for trips to the office when you're not riding.
The dhb Waterproof Rucksack doesn't offer the huge amount of reflectivity found on the Reflect360 and at 25 litres its capacity is also a little smaller. But it only costs £60 and I was impressed with its overall performance.
Insufficient ventilation for faster-riding roadies aside, there is little to dislike here – providing you want a fully reflective rucksack. To be honest though, that is probably the main reason why you are looking at the Proviz bag in the first place. It has a generous capacity, handy external pockets, a well-organised interior and I was impressed with its waterproofing. And the price is good too.
Impressive reflectivity, good waterproofing, a well-thought-out design for organisation – and all at a wallet-friendly price.
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Proviz Reflect360 Cycling Backpack
Size tested: 30 litres
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Proviz says: "The Proviz REFLECT360 Backpack is unisex and fully adjustable and received the prestigious 'Highly Commended' review from Cycling Plus Magazine and the Evening Standard's 'ES Top Pick' for Cycling Commuting Backpacks. It is designed to be an extremely comfortable fitted rucksack that fits closely to your body so that you are completely stable under use. Using 100% CE EN 20471 certified reflective material, the Proviz REFLECT360 backpack's millions of integrated reflective beads helps other road users to identify your position on the road at night.
The backpack includes many added extras including waterproof AquaGuard® zips, adjustable waist/hip strap, adjustable chest strap, webbing haul, gear loops, mesh pockets, laptop compartment and a light loop to make this rucksack the ultimate rucksack for many types of use. The integrated BES Beetle ventilation system helps to ensure good airflow between the bag and your back to help avoid an uncomfortable clammy back!"
The Proviz is well specced, roomy, resists the elements and comes with the added bonus of being highly visible.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
30 litre capacity / Dimensions: 54 x 34cm
Adjustable hip/waist belt
Adjustable chest strap (height and girth)
Light loop (to add LED light)
Front zip pocket
Waterproof AquaGuard® zips with double slides and cord pulls
Mesh side pockets
Highly water-resistant material: 1500mm water column
Webbing carrier handle
Elastic shoulder strap loops for accessory attachment
Elastic loop for accessory attachment
Spacer-mesh back ventilation system
Hydration bladder compatible
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Gives great visibility in the dark and comes with decent waterproofing.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Stands out in the beam of car headlights.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Your can get sweaty if you ride hard.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's similar in price to the Altura and dhb mentioned in the review, though both of those are smaller-volume backpacks and don't offer the Reflect360's all-round reflectivity.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a very good backpack thanks to the design, the bag's overall quality and the waterproofing – which is all backed up by the full reflectivity. If you are riding hard and fast you might get a bit sweaty, but that's not a major issue if your riding is a bit more sedate, and for urban commutes it's an excellent choice.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!