Recently, I was asked to review a backpack for my moto adventures… The Fly Racing Back Country Backpack. I’m a total stickler for backpacks. I own several of them, and each has it’s own function. Normally, you’ll find me in the woods wearing a NorthFace arctic expedition, seal-clubbing, dynamite-carrying, bull-riding adventure pack with all sorts of strappy things and loopy loops and pockety stuff that works flawlessly for what I do when I’m out mashing in the woods at death-defying speeds.
So, being offered a proper back country backpack made by a moto company, Fly Racing, I was totally stoked to give it a whirl!
The day after I received it in the mail, Kevin and myself went on a moto-camping adventure for the weekend. No better time than then!
It’s a nice looking backpack. I felt a little bad about getting it all muddy and dirty and the likes. It’s decently sized too. Not too big, not too small. It fit everything I needed on the trail with me, no problemo. Even had room to put 4x as much as I needed, I’d say.
It’s actually more black than in the stock photo here
The primary contents in the backpack were about 3L of water, snacks, a multi tool, and my anti-bear gun + ammo. Afterall, we were camping out there and would be within a 30 mile range of our campsite, so I didn’t need to bring the whole enchilada.
It was cold out still. I wore my MSR light jacket, and I always wear my roost deflector/back protector/shoulder guards when I ride on top of all my gear…so that means my backpack has to go over EVERYTHING. It’s the last layer to go on. Being comfortable is paramount.
comfort is king!
It’s not comfortable—At all. I adjusted the hell out of it, trying to find a good fit, and there was no good fit to be had. In fact, it has both a lap buckle and a chest buckle. The chest buckle is ACTUALLY a neck buckle, as even smashing it down as low as I could (thus mashing the shoulder-strap pockets into unusable wads of cloth) the neck strap still tried to choke me out. I ended up knotting the straps out of the way entirely, so they didn’t flap in my face.
is there some sort of online manual for adjusting these straps?!
The shoulder straps also were terrible. There was no comfortable way of positioning them. They constantly would feel like they were sliding off one shoulder or the other like some JanSport hipster. It’s very thickly padded in the shoulders as well as the back. So it was HOT. Even in the 30-50 degree temps we were riding in over the weekend, my back would be saturated in sweat. I’m not sure that I would really find much use for a super padded backpack in the woods..I mean, I’m not carrying my porcelain figurine set of antique Russian dolls while I’m in the Back Country… So it seemed pointless to me.
I’m happier than I look in this photo, I swear!
The pros to the “back country” backpack?
– Well, for starters, you’ll feel like Zoolander, all sexy and fashion-esque in your pretty black and red back-sachel.
– It’s got enough room to carry a solid 2 days of supplies…I’d feel confident that you could fill it with rocks and carry it around all day, as the construction of it is pretty sturdy. Seems well made.
– It also comes with a 2L bladder, CamelBack style. I thought that was pretty neat, as typically those are pretty expensive themselves.
– It’s also got about a trillion smaller sub-pockets within each main compartment…meaning, you’ll have a place for all your little trinkets; sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, spare tubes, levers, spokes, emergency snake bite kits, magic wands, hair gel, flashlights, fleshlights, flashing lights, TV remotes, and whatever else you use when you go dirtybike riding. ;)
– I think it’s water proof…or at least water resistant, cause we got rained on, hailed on, snowed on, and nothing inside the backpack ever got wet.
All in all, I wouldn’t really recommend it for dirtbike use. There are far better options, in my opinion.
That being said:
Skip forward a bit, and I put the backpack to use on the street. My girlfriend and I did a weekend long ride down to Monterey from Reno (the long way). She wore the backpack whilst riding on the back of my FJ09. She seemed pretty content with it. It actually functioned as a STREET backpack very well. ANNND it looked good! Haha!
Oddly enough, I have no pics from the Monterey trip except for a blurry shot of me harrassing Josh Herrin and this shot of my stalking Shelina Moreda.
I’ve since worn it on the street over my riding jacket (minus my roost guard) for Starbucks runs and other trendy things…
MY LAPTOP ACTUALLY FITS IN IT! I have a 17″ Toshiba laptop, and it’s damn near impossible to find backpacks that will fit a behemoth of a laptop like mine. Seriously, it took me several days of researching the internet for a solid laptop bag on Amazon before I finally bought a $140 shoulder slung bag that would fit my laptop (BARELY).
So if you’re a commuter running errands or going to work, this bag is spot on perfect…except for the neck-strangulation strap, of course.
Thanks to Kiara at Motorcycle House for sending me some gear to review!