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Hailing from the mean streets of South London, Pro Viz’s cycling rucksack is certainly an eye-catching package for the short haul winter commuter looking to haul lap-tops, camera equipment and other sensitive equipment you wouldn’t leave to chance in a pannier. Alternatively, super-efficient packers could even cram a change of clothes, an A4 document folder and some other stationary inside the well- organised compartments. However, a few minor refinements would greatly improve comfort over longer distances and broaden its appeal to mountain biking/trail running too.
In essence we have a sturdy, yet lightweight bag constructed from rip-stop nylon with acres of day-glow yellow with a bit of Scotchlite dotted around for good measure- run of the mill but mightily effective nonetheless. The electro luminescent technology boils down to two electrical strips hard wired into the front section of the bag. A small yellow battery pack cum switch clips into the front section. Padded polyester mesh adorns the back panel and shoulder straps and while elasticated mesh pockets capture keys, phones, patch-kits, stray Allen keys and other oddments.
As a safety tool, the rucksack almost wins top marks-I’ve used this technology before and in either flashing or steady modes, the electric blue light coupled with the other reflective technologies means you’ll make an impression on the darkest night or dullest December morning. Being picky, a dash more hi-viz detailing on the side panels would ensure comprehensive visibility-especially negotiating roundabouts, junctions etc.
Traffic sits up and takes notice from around half a mile or so and the run times are pretty reasonable-forty seven hours in flashing from the original batteries. Judging by the test period, the fabric should comfortably deal with the rigours of daily commuting-brushes with brickwork, sides of stationary busses etc. Weatherproofing seems generally excellent with contents remaining bone dry through persistent downpours and there’s been no hint of electrical gremlins. However, the airflow didn’t match that of similar cycling specific models and sternum straps would eliminate annoying sway when porting heavier loads.
Good rucksack cum safety aid, ideal for shorter commutes.
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Make and model: Proviz Electroluminescent Rucksack
Size tested: Flourescent
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?
"Designed for those wishing to be highly visible in traffic"
The first electro luminescent rucksack on the European market.
Can't argue with the first statement and the second looks to be true, even if the technology has been employed for a few seasons.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Two electro luminescent strips attached to the bag's rip-stop outer fabric, powered by 4 aaa batteries. 28 litre capacity, two main compartments, two nylon stash pockets, 30 mm nylon padding around the back and shoulder straps.
Generally to a pleasing standard.
Sturdy enough on the strength of the test period.
Generally good but leads to a clammy back after a while and sternum straps would combat sway when heavily laden.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
On the whole the rucksack is a real boon for short-haul commuting thanks to clever lighting technology, good quality materials and construction. Sternum straps and better airflow to the back are my suggestions for improvement and the electrical components mean it can only be wiped down but these are relatively minor points.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Solid construction and very, very eye-catching.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Bag sway when heavily laden-easily overcome by employing sternum straps.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)