London brand Vel-Oh has been on the British bike scene since early 2014, but is only now getting the full recognition it deserves for the high quality products it produces.
The company was set up by Zulfi and Greta, a husband and wife team of urban cyclists. They’ve worked to bring edgy city focused style to their selection of commuter’s bags, without overlooking durability, form or function. Their very first design, the simple Commuter Bag comes in a range of colours, including the gorgeously bright sunshine style that we decided to take for a spin on our own morning cycle to work.
Thanks to interchangeable straps, the bag can be used as a backpack, or as a tote. Costing £185, we were expecting something pretty impressive – and we weren’t disappointed.
The Debate: Backpack vs Panniers
The first thing you notice about the Vel-Oh Sunshine commuter bag is how well made it is and the incredible quality of its materials.
The baby blue British Millerain waxed cotton is simultaneously soft and sturdy and the yellow leather straps give the design a pop that makes the bag stand out from most commuting backpacks of its kind. Opening the bag, it’s a nice surprise to find a separate, polka dot pattern in the lining, made with equally smart material. This is definitely not a bag that you only buy for practicality, it can give most fashion satchels a run for their money when it comes to looks also.
This bag is much more than a pretty face however. Hidden within its good looks, the Sunshine Commuter Bag has a lot of clever technology. At the front you’ll find a secret external magnetised front pouch to keep your phone and purse handy and at the bottom you’ll find a studded base, for ease when taking on and off as you chain up your bike. Furthermore, at the back you’ll find a padded section, to keep your back protected and inside there’s a hand cut, concealed carbon fibre support. Pretty nifty, ey?