Be honest, who doesn't love a good bag? I'm not particularly a Mulberry kind of girl but give me an everyday, multi purpose, the more pockets and compartments the better bag then I'm in in my element!
Sometimes however, less is more and this is where the Trail Light comes in. Vaude use extremely lightweight material and pare things back to the minimum to make these packs some of the lightest on the market. It therefore has only one main zipped space with an area to hold a hydration bladder but my need for compartments is satisfied by the amount of little additional gadgets and features that are cleverly built in.
It is aimed at people heading to the hills for a day or racing but it's also large enough (just) to hold a change of clothing if you wanted to use it to commute with on a daily basis.
The back of the pack has two deeply padded strips keeping the back off the body for comfort and also airflow. There are also waist and sternum straps, whilst these aren't padded the sternum strap has a lot of adjustability, moving up and down on sliders to give a snug fit. One concern is the lack of padding on the main straps, with a heavily loaded pack on a summers day over a thin top they could potentially dig into the shoulders. The main straps were slim enough to sit on my body without feeling like they were falling off plus more importantly the bag sits low enough on the body to not get in the way of your helmet when riding. When off the bike there is a handy detachable helmet holder meaning you can keep your hands free.
There are two mesh pockets on the outside of the bag which are deep enough to hold a mini pump without fear of it bouncing out but a little too narrow and difficult to use for smaller items. There is an additional zipped pocket on the front off the bag large enough to hold keys, multi tool, phone or any other items you don't want to get lost in the depths of the main compartment. Inside is a detachable purse, which is just too small to take an iPhone 5!
There are some reflective chevrons on the bag outer along with a little slot for a rear light to securely attach, these features are also carried over to the bright orange wet weather cover which is stored neatly in a zipped compartment at the base of the bag. The cover also detaches for ease of washing after use.
This little bag would be a great addition to the mountain bikers and trail runners out there.
Lots of useful features
No padding on shoulder straps
Mesh pockets a little too narrow
Price: £44.99, Vaude.
Best Price, £29.99 available from Chain Reaction Cycles.