Published by Lyn on 13 November 2014
Lyn road-tests the Proviz Nightrider High Visibility Rucksack with the rechargeable light pack add-on.
Proviz Nightrider High Visibility Rucksack
RRP €54.99 / £43.07
Available from Proviz
Firstly let me get the elephant out of the room: I'm not usually a big fan of high-viz.
If I'm pottering about for fun on my three-speed town bike, I prefer to wear everyday clothes and enjoy the breeze in my hair – especially on our local roads, where we can often cycle miles without seeing another road user (save for the odd pheasant).
If I'm on the road bike, I like to look and feel the part in my Lycra, but even then it's pretty understated.
However, there are times when I do feel like a vulnerable road user. For instance sharing our closest main road with inter-regional trucks and cars that go way too fast when I'm running late to my French lesson.
Most regularly, though, those vulnerable times involve cycling with the kids to school early in the morning when it's foggy, or on the ride home on dusk in winter. On these occasions I always make mini-cyclist #1 don her high-viz vest (she's 7: it's pink, of course), and I always take this Proviz high-visibility rucksack with me.
On my back, it's clearly visible above mini-cyclist #2 in his trailer and, when used in conjunction with the Proviz light pack, it truly lights up our little convoy.
The bag is water-resistant and has tons of storage space with a 30 litre capacity. There are side pockets for water bottles, a main section (with assorted mini-compartments), a small top compartment large enough for a wallet, keys and glasses, plus a narrower back section ideal for maps, small books or a set of spare gloves.
It means that on days when I don't need the trailer, I can throw a few things in the bag and head off without having to worry about panniers. The bag is comfortable (the straps are padded) and more than fine for small, light loads (I wouldn't wear anything other than a super light load on my back while cycling – my waterproofs, gloves and a few French books if I'm on my way to my lesson are usually about it).
It's a versatile bag, which I've used on the bike, as well as for local weekend trips away sans bike and as carry-on luggage on the plane. I've also fielded enquiries about it from curious horse-riders and walkers (including from a mum who thought it might be useful for her daughter, who walks home from her after-school club in the dark).
Here's how the bag works with the light system, which is available separately and attaches to the pack.
It works across the Proviz range, which includes rucksacks, messenger bags and jackets.
It's based on a fluorescent triangle that attaches to the bag and lights up at the press of a button. It can flash or remain static. The light is rechargeable via a USB stick that you plug into your computer. Here's how it works.
We use the full yellow fluoro bag, which is bright and easy to see with or without the light pack. However for people averse to the 100% fluoro look, there's also a black option that's compatible with the rechargeable light pack, so you'll still be able to light up after dark if and when you need it.
I don't often use a bag, but when I do, I use this one.
Proviz Nightrider High Visibility Rucksack (€54.99/£43.07) from Proviz.