Velomacchi 40L Speedway Backpack review
If you commute by motorcycle, a good commuter bag needs to be more than just a place to stash your laptop. It needs to be weatherproof, comfortable and sturdy enough to protect your belongings from the road without compromising your ability to ride safely.
Velomacchi claims to offer everything a motorcyclist needs with the 40L Speedway Backpack, whether they’re commuting or just out for a ride. The backpack is designed with an innovative harness strap system, sturdy materials and capacity large enough for a two-day adventure.
We wanted to see if the Velomacchi Speedway Backpack was the ideal all-purpose motorcycle backpack, so we put it to the test. Here’s what we learned.
Testing the Velomacchi
We tested the Velomacchi Speedway Backpack over a period of several weeks. We took it hiking and shopping, and wore it to commute by train, bike and motorcycle in a variety of weather conditions. We even had the opportunity to take the Velomacchi to a track, where we tested how the backpack performed carrying 30 pounds at speeds up to 120 miles per hour.
What is Velomacchi?
The Velomacchi 40L Speedway Backpack is a watertight rolltop travel backpack capable of acting as a weekend bag as well as an everyday commuter backpack. Its three-point rotating shoulder straps are designed to adjust to different body types to disperse the backpack’s weight more comfortably. The backpack is constructed with waterproof, abrasion-resistant nylon and incorporates a ballistic quilted back panel, waterproof main storage pocket and quick-access pockets and clips.
How to use the Velomacchi
The Speedway Backpack is a rolltop backpack that utilizes magnetic closures and G-hooks to seal away gear and protect it from the elements. Simply unhook the two G-hooks, unroll the top and fill the backpack, then press the magnets together and roll the top back up before securing with the side hooks.
The shoulder straps of the Velomacchi need to be adjusted at two points, not just one; tutorials are available on Velomacchi’s website to help wearers find the right fit. Since it doesn’t have a waist belt, the 40L Speedway Backpack isn’t ideal for hiking — its design is best suited for motorcycling or even bicycling.
We used the Velomacchi to comfortably transport all kinds of objects for a variety of activities. We filled it with groceries; rode around town with snacks, water and tools; and took a day trip carrying everything from emergency supplies to a DSLR camera. It offers plenty of room for everything you need for a day at work while also providing enough space to pack for a weekend getaway.
Key features of the Velomacchi
The Velomacchi motorcycle backpack features a unique strap configuration intended for a safer and more comfortable experience. Each strap has a pivoting pin at the shoulder as well as a connector that holds the two straps together in a harness over the rider’s sternum. This means the Velomacchi offers more comfortable arm movement, particularly for motorcycle riders who are constantly reaching forward. The straps connect over the chest with a large, magnetic dial that’s easy to fasten and feels secure.
The Velomacchi Speedway Backpack also features a flat section on the harness where a GoPro can be attached with an adhesive mount. Other features include a pouch for a hydration bladder, an outer flap pocket that secures with toggles, side zipper pockets, an exterior clip for your helmet or other accessories, and a labeled pouch for emergency contact and medical information. Even the Velomacchi logo is a feature: It’s an elasticized sleeve for storing a tire pressure gauge.
Quality construction is a priority in this Velomacchi backpack, which uses heavy waterproof nylon fabric, leather stabilizing pads and aluminum fasteners. It also has adjustable compression straps and places to tuck away straps to prevent loose, flapping “tails.”
The Velomacchi 40L Speedway Backpack costs $299. Some hardware, like a motorcycle tiedown strap set, is sold separately.
Where is the Velomacchi sold?
The Speedway Backpack is available online from Velomacchi.
The quality of this Velomacchi motorcycle backpack is evident everywhere you look. Compared to other high-end urban packs in our closets, the quality is the same, if not better, and the Speedway Backpack 40L offers additional purpose-built features for motorcyclists. The backpack was easy to take on and off, even with heavy leather gear on.
The unique strap system was a particularly noteworthy feature. The magnetic sternum fastener is secure and easy to use — all the rider has to do is bring the straps close together and the connection engages until the rider turns the dial to release it. Having the straps connected at the center of the chest kept the straps from pinching our arms or interfering with our movement.
Plus, with the assistance of adjustable compression straps, the Speedway Backpack keeps gear snug and balanced. Even with up to 30 pounds of gear inside, the Velomacchi was impressively comfortable, distributing weight well and keeping it tight to the body. We never felt like the load was shifting while we were taking a turn.
No matter what we were using the 40L Speedway Backpack for, we had more than enough room for our gear. The motorcycle backpack could conceivably hold enough for an overnight camping trip.
We thought the rolltop’s G-hook latches could be a little larger — they’re a bit too small to use easily, especially on a newer bag with stiffer materials that haven’t yet been broken in. The ripstop nylon used throughout is also stiff, though that’s part of what helps keep the backpack compact and stable instead of flapping in the wind.
This Velomacchi model doesn’t have any reflective safety features — riders would have to add those themselves. The chest mount for the GoPro is also not as secure as some riders would like.
While the 40-liter capacity was roomy, the stiff material can make it hard to fully load up the backpack, and only the main compartment is truly waterproof. The other exterior pouches, while also constructed from waterproof nylon, have less secure openings and a few potential weak points in their construction that won’t offer the same level of protection as the main compartment.
We also would have liked to be able to access more of the pockets without having to take the backpack all the way off. There are no pockets on the shoulder straps, aside from a small pouch for medical info, and most pockets can’t easily be reached while wearing the backpack.
Should you get the Velomacchi?
The Speedway Backpack is missing a couple of features that would make it a great all-around backpack, but for day-to-day commuting, motorcycle day trips or weekend touring, this 40-liter rolltop Velomacchi is an excellent, high-quality motorcycle backpack. It offers generous capacity and thoughtful, well-engineered features tailored to motorcyclists. It’s designed to be virtually indestructible to give the user a lifetime of use, whether you’re going on an adventure or simply riding your daily commute.
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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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