The Craft Cadence 21 liter backpack is a seam-sealed water-proof roll top backpack with surprising versatility. Roll top packs are common here in the rainy pacific northwest, as a water resistant pack is a requirement for year round bicycle commuting. However, durable, fully waterproof packs are often heavy, one-trick ponies, useful for commuting, but often too heavy to happily tote anywhere but school or the office. With its minimal heft and features, the Craft Cadence model has proven to be a useful addition to my fleet of packs.
- Waterproof with welded seams
- Durable metal g-hook buckle
- 2 external zipper pockets
- removable laptop & tech sleeve
- EVA foam back panel
- Removable waist straps
- Reflective accents
Craft Cadence offers two models of waterproof, roll top backpacks, a 30 liter and 21 liter. Given my choice of packs to try, I went with the smaller 21 liter model. The 21 liter size is enough to carry a laptop and other essentials, whether its tech gear or snacks and a jacket, and even a few items should you stop at the grocery store on the way home. Though the top doesn’t secure as snugly as a traditional dry bag or even the large 30 liter model, I personally prefer the quick access the g-hook allows to the main storage compartment.
The pack is more than adequately sealed for riding in rainy conditions, and if the top is fastened snuggly and rolled enough times, it’s secure enough for anything short of submersion in water.
If you’ve graduated from messenger bags to packs, the Craft Cadence is a nice upgrade, with everything in its place, neatly organized within the removable tech sleeve. The inside of the pack is black so it can be challenging to find items, which is a bit of a downside. It should be noted that the 30 liter model is available in a bright yellow color that is also yellow on the inside.
In hindsight, wearing messenger bags to commute for years was self-torture. The Craft Cadence roll top features a ventilated back face that helps one avoid the sweaty back of a bag, and adds support and structure for the weight on your back. Unloaded it’s quite light, while still being able to tote quite a bit of gear, should you stop at the store on your way home.
Speaking of sweat, I didn’t have problems thanks to the EVA foam back panel and ventilated shoulder straps that help with heat management. On one of my first big rides with the pack, I dropped my van off at an outfitter in the suburbs then rode over 26 miles to get home, exploring green spaces along the way.
To make things interesting, I rode my mountain bike and rode as much single track as I could find. Utilizing the removable waist belt kept the pack in place, even while descending trails loaded up with snacks and a u-lock.
I’ve since utilized the pack for trips, bicycle commuting, and even on day hikes. Riders looking for a light weight, waterproof commuter pack with a clean, minimal aesthetic would do well to consider it; after several month of use/abuse, its holding up well, all while being a fraction of the weight of other trendy urban rolltop models.
At a listed price of $125, the Craft Cadence roll top backpack packs a lot of value, coming in a few bucks less than many comparable packs. Learn more at CraftCadence.com