Putting the City in Context

Take a closer look at how we tested the City Backpack by challenging our network of adventurous cyclists to rediscover their city – and find out where you can get a first look at the City Backpack.

Reading time: 2 min
A collage of City Backpack testers


Our small, London-based team has ridden around the world, competed in ultradistance bikepacking races, toured close to home and far afield. We’re keen cyclists and our experiences on the bike inform our pack designs and help us uncover the unmet needs of adventure cyclists around the world. But like many cyclists in full-time employment, most of our riding takes place in the city. We commute from all over the city, run errands throughout the day by bike and ride to social events on our way home. This city riding fades into the background – the commute is a ‘necessary’ part of the day, easily forgotten and something you simply ‘get through’. It’s easy to forget how much more enjoyable than the alternatives – the busy trains and slow-moving buses – city cycling is and sometimes you need to break out of your routine to rediscover the joy of city riding.

Just like our bikepacking bags, we developed the City Series to meet the shortcomings of commuter bags and address the unmet needs of city cyclists. We’ve tested the series extensively over the hundreds of miles our team commutes each week. But while all cities are similar, no two are the same and just like our bikepacking gear needs to be tested in as many conditions as possible, the City Series had to be tested in different cities. This is key to our approach to contextual design – our commute is not your commute, and no two cities or towns are identical.

A cyclist rides through Copenhagen wearing the City Backpack

Testing city riding equipment meant a different challenge for our gear testers. No big adventure. No overnighters. We simply challenged them to rediscover the joy of the commute and find new ways to transition around the city they live in. Whether they applied the adventure mindset to city riding or simply tried some new roads on the commute, our testers all found a new appreciation for the cities they live in.

To help you get to know your city better, we’ve partnered with six stores in cities around Europe, including Vienna, Barcelona, Paris, Dusseldorf, London and Prague. Check the map below to find your nearest store and head down to take a look at the City Series and see if you can find a new appreciation for those utility rides you’ve been missing over the past year.

Seb Jarrot riding with the City Backpack