In the last couple of years there has been a long list of capable back packs that have piqued my interest. The Slicks Backpack is available in numerous configurations depending on the accessories you buy. Can this one product be good at everything?
The story of Slicks started in London 2010. Like many Londoners, Chris chose to avoid the congested roads and packed trains in the British capital. The Charity Manager rode his bike to work each morning instead. A stimulating workout through leafy side streets. But once he reached the office his suit looked like a cow had chewed it. Also he had nothing to carry his laptop, shoes, shower items and spare clothes. Chris searched for a suitable bag. Without success. That was when he took matters into his own hands.
Slicks Suit 25 was very popular. Now owned by the Swiss company that helped develop the brand, Slicks extended distribution and entered the market in the USA as well as Asia. In 2016 they launched the new improved Slicks Backpack. It’s now a modular system available to buy as one of four different bundles depending on the accessories you require for your intended use. They launched this new edition with a crowdfunding campaign, which exceeded all expectations.
So, who is Slicks’ Backpack aimed at? Is it aimed at users like the original designer who will use it for varied-mode commuting? Slicks state the Backpack is “a piece of luggage that will keep up with a varied lifestyle”. The Backpack is “a mobile office and a reliable fitness companion”. The price of the Slicks Backpack suggests it should be a premium product. I like to push products to their limits so I planned to find out if the Backpack really is suited to a multi-faceted lifestyle. Their 3 year guarantee suggests they believe in the durability of the product, so that’s a good start.
The sheer amount of possibilities is impressive. At first appearances the Slicks Backpack is a Premium business backpack, but with a change of accessories it’s also perfect for travelling and outdoor activities. There’s four options for buying the Slicks Backpack. You can buy the Backpack on its own, which comes with the raincover. The next level up is the ‘Suit Bundle’ which has the bag and includes the Suitcover and a hanger. The ‘Trip Bundle’ adds the Tripcover, Shirtcover, Laundrybag and Washbag to the basic Backpack. The ‘Biz Bundle’ includes everything in the ‘Trip Bundle’ and adds the Suitcover and Hanger. All of the accessories are available separately so if you change your mind or decide you need additional items they’re in the shop.
Slicks has been my true companion at races, served as a race entourage back pack, a repurposed tool-carrier, and had to take a beating in extensive hiking in relentless weather too. As I mentioned above, I was mesmerized by the Backpack’s quality, execution, used materials, and endless amount of fine, useful details, but I was still battling with its price. Hence, I wanted it to deliver beyond its comfort zone. Bottom line, Slicks took all this in its stride. It excelled even away from the beaten track. To go from a race weekend to a business trip just requires a clean. This chameleon converted from a multi-purpose outdoor back pack into a neat high-class business back pack in no time.
Even fully loaded it is ergonomic enough, and given its rain cover, nasty weather doesn’t catch it by surprise.
The Tripcover came in handy as a mobile wardrobe, which I used only on one occasion, but serves its purpose very well. The laundry bag however, has been indispensable – it’s been used on daily basis in race environments. The same is true for the washbag.
Every time I review an item with a high price, I am looking to justify the price from the get-go. It’s not only the long list of options and flexibility of these pieces, but the close attention to the smallest details. Slicks have only one product, but they have honed that product to perfection. The Slicks Backpack dares you to take it where it hasn’t been before. And this is exactly what I did. If you want to keep the back pack for a long long time, without paying too much attention to maintenance, Slicks will deliver. No need to be concerned that it will not hold up outside of its intended use either. It’s robust and tough enough to take abuse up to a certain extent. Keeping that in mind, your investment is well funded.
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