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A day mountain biking in Shropshire with the Aquabourne San Remo backpack

As Cabin Max’s resident cyclist/runner/general-outdoorsy-type, I was pretty excited to try out the new bright green Aquabourne San Remo backpack, and what better test than a day mountain biking through the forests and moors of a sunny (if damp underfoot) Shropshire.

When hurriedly packing for our adventure, I was a little unsure how much I would be able to fit in the San Remo. I’m happy to say I found it much more capacious than I had expected. Inside were two 2-litre bottles of water, 2 hoodies, 2 sandwiches, 6 energy bars, wallets and keys for both of us. Alan, my biking partner, reported that it felt comfortable and that the back padding ensured that nothing was jabbing him in the back.

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We hired Scott E-bikes for the day

Mountain bikes with powerful electrical motors built into their frame to assist you as you pedal. As a seasoned cyclist, having a motor with 4 power modes to assist you with your pedaling felt like cheating, but once you’ve zoomed past other mountain bikers, using only the energy you’d use to pootle to the shops, you soon forget your reservations! The motors endow the rear wheel with incredible torque, meaning you can pull yourself up a steep hill with mountain-goat-like ease, but can also lead to some wheel-spinning moments when riding over loose, muddy or wet stretches. As the bikes lacked a rear mudguard, we were soon glad of the San Remo’s ripstop material with waterproof PU lining, which completely isolated its contents from the shower of muddy spray that was often directed right at it.

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We were lucky with the weather on the day

Wall to wall sunshine – but I’d have no reservations about taking the San Remo out in heavy rain. All you need to do to make it water-tight is roll down the top of the bag three times, seal the Velcro strap and fasten the top buckle. I’ve done coastal diving and kayaking in the past, and would like to try the San Remo in a more aquatic environment. Based on what I have seen, if properly fastened, I feel it would do well as a support bag in these activities.

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Alas, back to the activity at hand

Staying visible wasn’t a major consideration of our day E-biking, but as someone who used to cycle a 26 mile round trip to work, I feel the super-bright colour of this latest San Remo would be great for commuter cyclists or motorcyclists. Simply being seen can sometimes be hard on Britain’s crowded roads, but the San Remo’s vivid hue and reflective logo, shoulder strips and buckle strips mean that it does really draw the eye. The waterproof PU lining also ensures the inside of the bag is light and bright, making it easy to find your things once they are inside.

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Final thoughts

“Well if you are looking for a simple, no nonsense bag that will keep its contents dry, the Aquabourne San Remo backpack is difficult to beat for the price. It’s not the biggest bag, but it is a good size for day-trippers or those looking to use the bag to take a few items on their daily cycle commute. It is for this function that I feel the San Remo would be at its best – its waterproof lining and this bright green model’s striking colour and reflectivity mean that it is would be a great companion for the commuter cyclist.”

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