Velomacchi Speedway Backpack Review
I love backpacks, in fact my wife says I might have an addiction to them. To that end I was recently contacted about reviewing the Velomacchi Speedway Backpack and I couldn’t say no. I mean it looked so legit, I had to review it.
Ben over at Purpleorangepr.
The backpack came in an unassuming grey plastic mailing envelope without any fan fair. Opening up the package revealed the Velomacchi Speedway Roll-Top 40L Backpack along with a brochure.
Velomacchi Speedway Backpack Review
Velomacchi is located in Hood River, Oregon right near the Columbia river and the Oregon/Washington state line.
Back in 2014 a Kickstarter campaign was launched for Syren Industrial Design & MFG. Co. and what appears to be the start of the Velomacchi product lineup. The Kickstarter was unsuccessful, but Velomacchi continued on and now looks to be one of the top manufacturers of high quality motorcycle gear.
Velomacchi main focus is creating exciting products for motorcycle riders, so you might be wondering why I would review a product that was designed for motor cycles. To tell you the truth, my interest was perked when I saw the Velomacchi Speedway Backpack. I envisioned everyday cyclists using it as a commuter backpack option and to be perfectly honest, I thought it looked wicked cool.
Velomacchi makes 2 versions of the Speedway including a 28L and and a 40L. We were sent the 40L. Both backpacks use the same harness system, but differ on how the roll-top is fastened and how pockets and other straps are positioned.
Velomacchi Speedway Backpack
Velomacchi designed the Speedway using a 3-point-pivot harness. The centerpiece in the design and what makes the harness quite unique is Velomacchi’s use of the Fidlock closure system (Mini turn thread handle F alu 40), a magnetic sternum coupler latch that looks something out of the future or maybe something a fighter pilot might wear.
The Fidlock system allows for effortless backpack removal and easy entry and closing when needed. To use the Fidlock, you simply hold it over the closure hole and magnets take over to lock it in place. To remove, a quick twist on the dial will unlock the harness.
Observation: I found the locking mechanism to be very solid and easy to use. It’s actually sort of fun to play with.
Moving upward on the backpack straps you will find clavicle hinge pivot points, one on each strap, that use a rivet type mechanism. These pivot points help improve comfort and provide for greater range of motion.
Observation: When wearing the backpack with a t-shirt I found that the rivet bolt dug into my clavicle. I contacted the company and they suggested placing gripper or felt pads on the bolts. For me a better option would be for Velomacchi to add a padded pocket over the bolt. That would still allow for bolt removal if needed, but provide more padding and comfort. I haven’t been able to test the backpack with a heavy jacket on due to the hot weather here in Austin, but my guess is using a jacket would eliminate the issue I had while wearing a t-shirt.
Velomacchi Speedway GoPro Mount
For those that use GoPros or other action cameras, the backpack is equipped with a camera mounting surface.
The backpack’s harness contains other nice little touches including an emergency velcro id pocket and a tire gauge sleeve.
Velomacchi Speedway Roll-top Backpack
As someone who is a huge fan of roll-top backpacks such as the Timbuk2 Especial Tres or the Mission Workshop Vandal, the Speedway doesn’t disappoint. The backpack comes with a fully seam-taped roll-top liner designed to keep the elements out and stuff completely dry. As with most roll-tops, it can be expanded or compressed based on your needs. There are metal fasteners on each side providing excellent security.
For days when you might have to overstuff the backpack, the Speedway roll-top uses a magnetic strip closure system to help keep items in without strapping it down.
Observation: While the Speedway 40L roll-top provides more room, I didn’t find it as useful as the Timbuk2 or Vandal when you really needed to overstuff the backpack. The main issue pertains to the 40L roll-top 2 point fastening system and not providing excess webbing for larger loads. Had Velomacchi adopted their 28L roll-top fastening system instead, my guess is the functionality would have been similar to what both Timbuk2 and Vandal use. On the flip side, the 2 point fastening system does add a bit more security, especially when traveling at high speed.
Velomacchi Speedway Backpack Strap Adjustment
Strap Adjustment on the Speedway is done via 4 adjustable plastic clamps, 2 on each side of the backpack. Once adjustment is done, excess webbing can be tucked away, thus removing any unwanted flapping or unsightly straps.
Observation: Once you have adjusted the backpack to your liking, it’s sort of set it and forget it. You really don’t have to adjust the backpack straps after that.
Velomacchi Speedway Backpack Helmet Holder
Both the 28L and 40L versions of the Speedway come with an aluminum climbing carabiner type helmet clip attachment that is useful for holding helmets.
Observation: I did find that simply using the helmet clip was’t enough to keep the helmet from swinging while walking. To eliminate the swing I ended up using one of bungie stormproof toggle closures and also wrapped that around the helmet strap. It kept the helmet much more secure.
Velomacchi Speedway Pockets
The Speedway comes equipped with several pockets/sleeve areas of varying sizes including
- 1 Large roll-top waterproof compartment
- 1 YKK zippered rear pocket
- 1 Stormproof toggle pocket
- 1 YKK zippered side pocket
- 1 Hydration Sleeve
The roll-top pocket is perfect for keeping items bone dry. I found the larger YKK zippered pocket useful for separating my change of clothes and easy access to cloths I needed. The Stormproof toggle pocket is great for holding misc items, but it is also useful for holding locks and water bottles. The small zippered side pocket is helpful for holding ids and a phone. The rear pocket is designed to hold a water bladder or a laptop.
Observation: I would have liked to see the main waterproof compartment have a padded laptop sleeve. To me that would have been more useful than housing a laptop on the outside where there is a higher potential of water damage.
Velomacchi does sell some cool Laptop Impact Laptop sleeves that can work in combination with the Speedway.
Velomacchi Speedway Materials
Velomacchi uses 1000d (Denier CORDURA Nylon) Competition Fabric, which Velomacchi claims is water proof, abrasion resistant and stable at high speeds. The back section uses Ballistic Quilted Back panels.
Observation: I absolutely love the material. It’s very rugged and works exceptionally well. I would like to see the backpack incorporate some type of air flow ridges or channels to allow air to flow around your back when wearing the backpack. I did find in hotter climates, like Austin, not as much air flows, so your back can get sweaty.
Velomacchi Speedway Hydration
Liquid water anyone? Yep the Speedway can also house various water flasks for those who want to carry liquids on their adventures.
- Water-tight Main Compartment With Magnetic Roll Top Closure
- Patent Pending 3-point Rotating Harness System
- Magnetic Sternum Coupler For Hands Free Harness Closure
- 1000d Competition Fabric: Water Proof, Abrasion Resistant And Stable At High Speed.
- Ballistic Quilted Back panel With Tuck Away Shoulderstraps
- Water-tight Front Pocket With Storage For Edc Tools, Bike Lock, Keys, Etc.
- Emergency Contact Information And Key Pocket
- Hydration Sleeve Compatible (Bladder Not Included)
- Quick Access Side Pocket (Fits Tool/med Pouch, Purchased Separately)
- Torso Size Adjustment Cam Lock System
- Leather Gripping Side Stabilizing Pads
- Motorcycle Tie Down Anchor Points
- Camera/accessory Mounting Plate
- Tire Pressure Gauge Elastic Sleeve
- Internal Key And Accessory Leash
- Aluminum Hands-free Helmet Clip
- Watertight Quick Access Front Pocket
- “Clip Di Luce” Built For Easily Attachable Bike Lights
- Sensa Codatm Self Tailing Compression Strap
- Retail: $299 40L and $269 28L
If you are looking for a bomb proof backpack that you can cycle with or take on your next motorcycle adventure, the Velomacchi Speedway Roll-Top Backpack will certainly not disappoint. It’s super cool, stays where it should and if the occasional downpour should happen, your belongings will be safe and dry.
Given it’s design, I could easily see it being a useful backpack for skiers and those adventuring in the snow.
For those who are on the fence between the 28L and the 40L, I would get the 40L and not look back. The extra space can come in handy and realistically it’s bigger, but not overly so. I suppose if you’re looking for a mountain bike backpack, the 28L might be a better option.
Is there a downside? The only real downside to the Speedway is cost, where the $299 price tag might deter some folks from getting it. Based on what I have seen, getting a quality backpack like the Speedway always cost a lot more than your average Walmart special and in my opinion it’s money well spent.
I would have liked to see a belt strap option added for a tighter fit on bumpy roads.
Check out the Velomacchi website (https://www.velomacchi.com) for more information on the Speedway and other neat products.