Osprey – Axis 18 Backpack
So it’s a rucksack. First impressions were ‘Good, it’s blue… it’ll match my bike!’. Second impression was WHAT THE HELL is that colour inside!?!
Inside (apart from the nuclear waste green colour) there are several useful size pouches; one is the perfect size for my Samsung tablet that I use at work; a medium size laptop would also fit.
At 18 litres capacity, the large pocket fits my lunch and my work trousers in with ease, and gives me space to fit plenty of other stuff I might need to ferry to and from work. There are also pouches on either side just big enough to fit a 500ml coke bottle in, and a couple of smaller pouches at the top for various knickknacks (one of these is clearly designed for sunnies, as it’s lined with a linty fabric).
On top of this there’s a useful strappy bit on the outside that can be used to compress it a bit, or strap lightweight stuff to the outside if need be. The handle strap on the top is also a nice feature, as it doesn’t flap about, staying snug on the top of the bag, but it’s still easy enough to get hold of for simply carrying it one handed.
The shocking green internal colour also has trick up its pouches… ever had to find something in a dark coloured rucksack, in anything other than bright light? Easy with this one, nothing hides against that colour!
I have worn this exclusively riding to work and back now for a month and a half now and it’s a very comfy. So comfy in fact that on about half a dozen occasions I’ve had the startling thought on the way to work that I’ve forgotten my stuff, and I’m going to have to spend the day at work wearing motorcycle jeans… not a good look (I’ve done it twice, and it’s embarrassing!) But, I have not once forgot my kit (at least not in the last 6 weeks), it’s just that the bag is so comfy to wear, half the time I can’t actually feel it’s there.
The only annoyance as a motorcycle rider is that the straps that join to and adjust the shoulder straps are quite long, like it’s been designed on the off chance it needs to fit Geoff Capes’ slightly chunkier cousin, and they flap against you the whole time you’re riding… it does however double as a reminder that you are in fact wearing it. This of course is not an issue if you’re not wearing it on a bike, and is generally an issue with most rucksacks anyway.
I do find the waist strap is not required, and I always forget about it when taking it off giving me an awkward ‘why’s this still stuck to me’ feeling, so I’ve strapped this up across the base of the bag. [Ed: It’s removable]
The entire back and shoulder straps are all made from material that allows maximum ventilation, which is great when wearing while not head to toe in motorcycle gear.
In short… I like it. It’s a great rucksack for commuting. It’s very comfy and practical, matches my bike, and is just the right size for my commuting requirements. At £45, it’s priced well, and I get the impression that it will last a good while, since it’s already done over 1000 miles on a bike and shows no sign of wear.