Showers Pass Waterproof Utility Pack
Part of the new Cloudcover line of waterproof bags from Showers Pass, the Waterproof Utility Backpack is a lightweight bag for carrying a variety of cycling and/or other gear in all weather conditions. Showers Pass sent us one of the Utility Backpacks for a preview a couple of weeks ago so let’s take a look at how Showers Pass tailored the bag design for cyclists.
From a construction standpoint the Utility Backpack ticks off a lot of desirable checkboxes.
On the Outside:
Sporting waterproof, fully welded construction and made from 840-denier 100% ballistic strength Nylon, the material gets a single side TPU coating as well.
The 3-D Mesh back panels seem to do a good job of wicking moisture away and allow decent air circulation while 3M Reflective trim is used in several spots around the bag to provide good reflective visibility.
2 Outside pockets are designed to hold water bottles and/or a U-Lock and both have a grommet to attach the Beacon Lights to the sides of the bag. (see below for more on the Beacon Lights)
There is a front pocket with side zippers and stretch mesh gusset designed to hold quick access items. Note that this pocket is NOT waterproof even though the material is. There are drain holes on the bottom though.
4 rows of front webbing can easily hold clip on accessories and there is a fleece-lined, zip pocket on the outside of the bag, next to the webbing. Seems about the right size for a pair of sunglasses.
The sternum strap clip is easily adjustable in that plastic track shown above and quick to disengage or it can be removed completely.
In the back there is a separate hydration bladder pocket with a waterproof zipper and hanging clip that will fit a variety of bladder types. (a bladder is not included)
On the Inside:
The fleece lined laptop compartment fits up to 15” notebook (my Macbook Pro fit with room to spare) and is designed to not touch the ground when backpack is dropped with both space between the bottom of the bag and the laptop and a stiff backing plate behind the mesh back panel that keep the laptop edge from slamming the ground. In practice this seemed to work fairly well but I’m not keen to toss around my laptop at will!
There is also a fleece lined iPad compartment that fits up to 10” tablet.
On the inside of the front flap are 2 nylon compartments with elastic openings are about water bottle-sized though I’d be wary of putting a water bottle in the same compartment as my computer and above them is a partially fleece-lined, zip compartment for what-have-yous. Plus, an anodized aluminum key fob at the top of the bag.
To appeal to your color senses the Utility Backpack is available in 3 color combos (for some reason I have an aversion the the term “colorways” but that’s what we are talking about there) our test version is the Black/Lime combo also available are Black/White and Black/Goldenrod pairings.
The waist band is removable and can be worn separately as a hip pack. Potentially useful but I haven’t harkened back to the ’80s and my fanny pack days yet. However, I do appreciate that it is removable for quick around town use of the backpack when I don’t need the extra weight handling ability of the waistband.
- Weight: 3.4 pounds
- Capacity: 26.8 Liters
- Waterproof Construction
- Fits a 15” Laptop
- 360-degree 3M reflective Trim
- Beacon Light Compatible
Though the backpack is designed with cyclists in mind I’ve also been using it for hikes and have even taken a couple of rides on my motorcycle with it. On the motorcycle I was impressed with the steps taken to keep strap flap/slap to a minimum. There are elastic bands that make tucking the strap ends away easy and secure keeping them out of the breeze.
Any nit-picks so far? I think it would be more useful if the laptop/tablet sleeves could be removed to provide more space when not carrying a computer and the inner zip compartment could either be completely fleece-lined or not at all. But these are pretty minor things considering most people will probably uses their bag differently than I do. It is, after all, aimed at commuter cyclists.
All-in-all, after the first couple of weeks living with the Showers Pass Utility Backpack I think it is well made and if the features of this bag appeal to yo uI think you will find a high-quality piece of gear to add to your collection. If you are looking for more capacity, take a look at the 40-liter Transit Backpack in the same Cloud cover line.
For more info on the Utility Backpack from Showers Pass, and to check out other bags in the Cloudcover line, go to:
Included with the Utility Backpack are high-power wearable LEDs that Showers Pass calls Beacon Lights
The Beacon lights lock into grommet holes on the Utility Backpack and feature:
- 10 Lumen LED with a claim 500 meter visible range
- Flashing and 2 different Continuous modes
- 120 hours runtime on continuous or 240 hours on flashing using a commonly available CR2032 Battery
Note: When the Beacon Lights are turned on ‘flashing mode’ they will automatically turn off after 1 hour. On “solid mode” they will automatically turn off after 30 mins. This is designed to conserve battery life and It could be frustrating if you don’t expect the lights to turn off.
Showers Pass Warranty
2 years. defective items will be repaired or replaced. If you are otherwise unsatisfied, Showers Pass will exchange it for something that better suits your needs.
Showers Pass provided this backpack for review. Regardless, we give honest opinions about our experiences.