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The Elops Cycling Backpack Speed 520 is a capacious waterproof pack from Decathlon that works as well for urban and rural cycling as for walking. It's practical, effective and well-priced – plus there's a grey version if you want to blend in.
If you're looking for more options, check out our best cycling backpacks of 2023.
This is comfy to wear thanks to chunky padding and supportive side straps that really hug as you move.
The padding lifts the surface of the bag off your back for a bit of airflow too, so you don't start perspiring excessively on those panicky dashes to catch a train.
The waterproof zips feel strong and durable. In addition to the mini pocket which can house phones and passports and those sorts of bits, there is a full-length waterproof zipper so you can dig through your luggage without unrolling the top. The roll top strap is handy for clipping helmets onto, or securing bulkier items like shoes or roll mats. There is a Velcro panel hidden under the roll section to create a secure bond when you're closed up.
There are reflective stripes on the straps and bag to help flag you up in traffic, and this yellow is pretty bright too. I clipped a bike light onto the roll clip for added visibility.
Everything is adjustable and simple to use, and there are loose-end keepers to secure those annoying bits of slapping material. Inside, the laptop compartment takes up to 17in machines.
The external pocket is super springy and stretchy, and I was surprised by quite how much you can cram into that little guy! Most would probably opt for a water bottle, which it will handle with ease.
Unbelievably I didn't get rained on while using the bag, so I stepped into the shower instead, giving the Elops a pressurised downpour to withstand. No ingress whatsoever, so it's got to be full marks there.
This is £69.99, which is a fair bit cheaper than some cycling-specific competitors. For instance, the Ortlieb Commuter-Daypack City is double the price at £145, and it's a bit smaller at 21L too.
Meanwhile, the Rivelo Coombe Dry Rucksack contains its own internal dry bag, weighs just 620g and costs £100. It's even smaller as well at 18L.
However, you can still get good drybags for less. The Alpkit Gourdon 25 Drybag Rucksack has been updated since we reviewed it and now has similar features to the Elops, and is £39.99. It comes in a very jazzy chilli red, too.
As this is a Decathlon brand it's not unusual for the price to be significantly reduced – at the time of writing the Elops was on sale at £49.99, which is an absolute steal.
This is simple but not basic, with attention to detail in its zips, reflective strips and internal pockets. Despite its 25L size it folds down quite compact, and I found myself using it for pretty much everything. It's great, and the price is impressive too.
Thoroughly practical, versatile bit of kit that's ideal for commuting and more
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road.cc test report
Make and model: ELOPS Cycling Backpack Speed 520
Size tested: 25L
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?
From Decathlon: `'Dreamed up by urban cyclists, check out our 25L backpack designed for cycling. WATERPROOF, COMFORTABLE AND REFLECTIVE! Our desire? Give you the benefits of a true rolltop bike backpack that is 100% waterproof, stylish, and comfortable, with reflective strips to be seen at 360° at night and 5 compartments/pockets."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Protects your belongings from heavy rain (60 L/sqm/h)
Perforated foam back and straps which perfectly contour the back and shoulders.
Built-in reflective strips on the straps and on the front of the bag.
Chest strap and supportive foam at the hips.
TPU laminated and PU coated polyester fabric.
25L to carry a laptop, book, notebook, and work or sports gear
Computer, lock, quick access side pocket, double interior compartment.
Ease of use
Easy rolltop opening and fastening. Quick access side zip!
Quick side access and accessories
Rolltop bag users, have you ever forgotten to put something into your bag after it's already closed, strapped on, and ready to go? You're not alone! That's why we designed this backpack with a built-in side zip so you can easily access the main compartment!Plus, the addition of an outer pocket and a water bottle holder makes this bag even more complete and practical.
The computer compartment is foam padded to protect both your equipment and your back... No more feeling like you're carrying a piece of metal on your back! Allows you to carry a laptop with you (up to 17" max.)
Resistance to wear
We reinforced the bottom of the bag to improve resistance to wear and therefore the durability of your backpack.
You can of course wash your bag. But make sure you only use soapy water. Never use detergent, or any alcohol or product which could damage the fabric.
Feels totally strong and secure.
Functions well as both hand-luggage and for commuting in questionable British weather.
Stood up to everything I could throw at it in a reasonably dry month.
Against other bags around the 25 litre mark, the Elops compares favourably, coming in at well under a kilo.
Nice to wear even with a heavy load. It has good padding and the straps work really well.
This comes with a 2-year warranty and gives me the impression it will last far longer than that.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Admirably. It didn't fall short at any point during the test process.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I love the flexibility of size and the super-secure clips and zips.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
This yellow is rather garish (but there's a tasteful grey version too).
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £69.99 it's a fair bit cheaper than some cycling-specific competitors. For instance, the Ortlieb Commuter-Daypack City is double the price at £145, and it's a bit smaller at 21L too, while the Rivelo Coombe Dry Rucksack costs £100 and is even smaller 18L.
However, you can still get good drybags for less. The Alpkit Gourdon 25 Drybag Rucksack has similar features to the Elops, and is £39.99. It comes in a very jazzy chilli red, too. As this is a Decathlon brand it's not unusual for the price to be significantly reduced though - at the time of writing it was on sale at £49.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, absolutely
Use this box to explain your overall score
I think buyers will struggle to be disappointed with the Elops. It's both cheap and a good investment, feeling like a bag that has been made to last many years in challenging conditions. It isn't too basic and provides enough flexibility in its features and size to make it helpfully versatile.
About the tester
I usually ride: Pearson Hammerandtongs My best bike is:
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: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Ultra endurance