Verdict: Comfortable pack with some nifty features at a reasonable price
Time tested: 18 months (From June to present)
The Shimano Rokko R16 Backpack is a comfortable slimline pack. It comprises of one large main compartment, two external side net pockets, a small soft-lined valuables pocket and a mid-size pocket with key attachment.
The pack has a waist and chest strap for extra security on bumpy terrain. The waist belt is wide enough so as not to dig into fleshy areas when tightened. The chest strap has a neat little attachment built into the buckle to attach the end of the bladder hose. It holds the hose perfectly, and it is easy to remove and replace the nose one-handed.
The main compartment is split into two sections. There is an area for the hydration bladder and a large central section big enough for a rain jacket, inner tubes and enough emergency kit for a full day of remote riding in winter. Within the main front area, there are three smaller pockets, two net, of different sizes and a third the perfect size and shape for a mini pump. I have been using the larger of the net pockets to store a uni tool, CO2 head and cylinders and the smaller for a shock pump.
On the exterior of the pack, there are two side mesh pockets, both large enough for water bottles. There is a soft lined pocket at the top of the pack suitable for phone or wallet with a slightly larger pocket lower down the pack for keys and other bits. I found this is susceptible to getting wet due to its location lower down the pack.
At the bottom of the pack, hidden away is a rain cover, which to this day I haven’t used but it might avoid the lower pocket getting wet.
On each of the shoulder straps, there are neat, hidden runners for the bladder hose and straps have breath holes in the foam, which is appreciated on hotter days.
The pack has plenty of reflective detailing and some nice little finishing touches, such as tubing on the zippers, making them easy to grip with cold or wet hands, and loops to clip rear lights too.
The pack doesn’t come with a bladder when others for a similar price do. This didn’t concern me as I had a couple of bladders kicking around. I have only used the pack/bladder combination on a couple of occasions as I prefer using a water bottle.
I have used this pack for around 18 months. I have been pleased with the size and how it has performed. The pack is large enough for full-day excursions but not too large or heavy for those shorter rides.
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