Riding a bicycle is hands-down the best way to get to work – it’s fun, it’s healthy, and it doesn’t require a drop of gas. However it’s a challenge to arrive unruffled after a morning spent sprinting down streets and dodging cars. Fortunately, Timbuk2 has your back with a new ultralight pack designed specifically for bike commuters. The Especial Raider Backpack weighs less than a pound, yet its ripstop, light-reflecting shell is roomy enough to carry a pair of shoes and a change of clothes. Best of all, the bag’s back panel doubles as a folding board – so your workaday duds will arrive sharply pressed and wrinkle-free.
Timbuk2 teamed up with San Francisco’s Mission Cycling Club to create the Especial Raider Backpack. Every Tuesday and Thursday the team heads to the hills north of San Francisco for the Headland Raiders Ride, which involves quite a bit more gear grinding than your standard downtown commute. The Mission Cycling Club needed a bag that could carry their daily essentials without weighing them down on uphill climbs – so Timbuk2 created an ultralight bag that is fine-tuned to the needs of the urban cycle commuter.
The Especial Raider Backpack is made from durable, lightweight ripstop nylon that is woven with reflective thread. The reflectivity is subtle during the daytime, but it lights up at night when it catches the throw of a car’s headlights. The bag weighs .8 of a pound, and its 1,098-cubic-inch main compartment has enough room for a change of clothes. An internal shoe pocket can be used to store dirty bike cleats, and accessory pockets provide places to stash sunglasses, keys, and spare bike tubes. The bag’s flat back panel can be used to protect a folded dress shirt from the rigors of morning rides. The Raider retails at $79, and it’s backed by Timbuk2’s lifetime warranty.