I spotted Alpkit early last year when I bought my bivvy through them. I really like the idea of the company. They are just a small Nottingham based outdoors company that I feel gives a very personal feel to all of their products. Every piece of kit I have bought from them I have been overwhelmed by the quality and how perfect it solves my problems.
The design of every one of their products is flawless and is always improving. An example of this development would be the Gourdon originally just a drybag with straps it has now evolved into the perfect cycling rucksack. The 20l now has two mesh water bottle pockets and elastic cord around it, so you can attach a light or store something. Also all the sizes (20, 25, 30 litres) come in fluorescent, other colour options are available, however the ‘flo’ colour is perfect for cycling and one of the brightest bags I’ve seen on the market. It is definitely perfect for my morning commute!
The bag, being in essence just a drybag with straps, is completely waterproof. If you don’t believe me go immerse it in a river, it won’t leak. This solves a problem I have had with every previous cycling rucksack. When cycling through heavy rain I would arrive at school often with soaking clothes, not what you want to start the day. However using the Gourdon that is now a problem of the past. Inside is bone dry. I intend to take my Gourdon on some lightweight cycle tours to really test how rugged it is but it was definitely one of my best Christmas presents this year! I was worried at how comfy it would be on my back, as I have had back problems with bags before. The Gourdon however may be the comfiest bag I have ever worn It has a nice long back which is good as I am tall(ish) and the added pad makes a world of difference. A superb design addition. The bag also has the option of carrying a water bladder so those of you who don’t like using water bottles, you’re okay, this bag will work for you as well!
I am lucky enough to have both the 20l and the 30l. I find the 20l is a great day pack/overnight as I can carry my sleeping bag, mat, bivvy and tarp inside it easily. I use the 30l mainly for commuting as I can carry all my clothes, shoes –which take up a hefty space being size 12, and books for school. I am going to try just take the 20l one though and see if I can live out of it for a few weeks this summer on a very light bike tour.
The icing on the cake however about these bags is that they are SO cheap. I was amazed when I saw. They are easily worth twice as much and wouldn’t be too over priced nearing 3 times I think. The quality is truly amazing. Also they come with repair patches which you can just iron on or if it breaks just send it back to them and they’ll fix it. They really are a wonderful company and have a growing bicycle section on their website so I definitely recommend checking them out! No matter what your outdoor needs are they can sort them out! I myself am eyeing up their ‘Stingray’ frame-bag which they make in the UK specifically to order, how perfect. I am in no way sponsored by Alpkit, although I think it would be pretty cool if I was, I just think that those of you who don’t know about them should check them out because their products are of great quality. Especially the Gourdon bags!
PROS: Waterproof, Versatile, Bright, Cheap, Light, Perfect.
CONS: An interior pocket wouldn’t go a miss.