DUCKS IN A ROW – a commuter backpack for cyclists

ducksinarowmountedBack in December I backed DUCKS IN A ROW on Kickstarter, and on Saturday the backpack finally arrived. They call it the perfect cycling commuter backpack. I’ve used it for a few days now, and here are my first impressions.

The backpack is fitted with a handle bar connection and will fit on most bikes where the clearing between the handle bar and the front wheel is at least 27 centimeters. I guess a bike basket would be just as useful, but when looks matter, a bike basket is out of the question. At least for my commuter bike.

Arrived just in time
I was packing another backpack when the doorbell rang and the delivery guy handed over the DUCKS IN A ROW backpack. I had almost forgot about it. Perfect timing, as temperatures were in the high 20s and I was in for a hot ride to the beach.

Attaching the backpack to the handle bar
Of course it takes more time than throwing a back pack in a bike basket to get the backpack attached. But in around 30 seconds it was firmly fixed to the bike. The seams around the handle bar connection are strong, and I didn’t see any weak points on my first inspection. I guess time will show if it holds up.

With the backpack floating just above the front wheel I was ready to go.

Steady ride
The backpack stayed in place and the straps didn’t loosen at all. Going over bumps and cobble stone I was a bit worried about the stress it would put on the connectors, but that hasn’t been a problem at all.

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Travel in style
With a front panel in leather and high quality materials throughout, the backpack looks stylish with an edge. I really like the straps that look to be inspired by climbing ropes.

There’s a padded pocket for a laptop on the inside. In addition there’s enough room for a blanket, a towel and a bottle of water. It offers plenty of room for the daily commute, but for a day at the beach I could naturally use a bit more.

In Copenhagen, the airport is just a short bike ride from the city center. I can easily see myself going on an overnight business trip carrying only this backpack.

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What about the weather?
The backpack comes with a rain cover, and I suspect it’ll be covered in dirt after a ride in wet weather. These days though, with sunny and warm weather in Copenhagen, that’s not at all an issue. The backpack did collect a bit of dust at the bottom, but that was easily brushed off.

Will it last?
That’s the big question, and one that is hard to answer. My first impressions of the backpack are good. But I guess the key is if the bike connectors will stand the test of time.

Also, it’s worth noting that cycling in Copenhagen is almost always on nice and even surfaces. I would imagine that using this in Oslo, where roads are more uneven, will put more stress on the connectors.

My first impressions are good though, and so far the backpack has served it’s purpose. I’ve cycled with a backpack on my back for the past year, and with the warm weather I am really happy to be riding with my back free. No sweat, it’s fantastic.

Then again, I’d achieve just that with a bike basket. But it’s not as stylish as the DUCKS IN A ROW backpack.

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