Not since the Rocketeer slipped on a jet pack has a backpack this cool and well designed for transport graced a human’s backside. Of course the transport in question is a motorcycle, and the backpack a stash for your everyday commuter needs, but past those qualifiers the statement still applies to Axio’s Hybrid.
The semi-rigid shell to the pack will hold a 17-inch Apple G4 Laptop in the pack’s stock sleeve, or with the sleeve removed an undoubtedly heftier Windows machine. That takes care of the main storage compartment, and leaves the outermost for the other ephemera of your sport-bike lifestyle, mice, power supplies, meals, spare Calvin Kleins, gloves… the list goes on. The volume is actually modest, however, once the laptop is in situ. Still, for those who need to cart the PowerBook and a suitable chunk of their life around in the daily commute to the office, the Axio serves well, as do the plethora of internal sleeves and pockets.
And it will keep your precious data dry, that semi-ridged exterior is water resistant and has taken the worst the wet-coast has to offer in torrential downpours over near a year’s worth of use. Complete with waterproof zippers that would make Jacques Cousteau swoon, were he still alive to. Those zippers are indicative of a well thought out design.
The tabs are large and easy to manipulate with gloves on, as are all the other adjustments of the Hybrid – and there are a lot. The strapping is on a par with a high-end expedition pack, allowing you to easily balance and distribute the load’s weight. All the straps have secondary loops, letting you tuck them away to minimize (but not totally eliminate) flapping streamers at speed. Key pockets are found on both sides, and miraculously are accessible with a bit of a stretch – perfect for the garage door opener and house keys.
The now stock, on so many packs, cell-phone pocket is re-locatable to either of the chest straps – another design nicety. But the true specialty is the water-resistant iPod sleeve (we’re just assuming as a cognoscenti you’d not go no-name brand MP3 player).
Over a year of service it has worn well, traveling drenched tours, sodden daily commutes, and even more temperate rides without harm to contents. It’s worn well also, the zips still close and hold their water-resistant seal, there is no fraying to be seen, and it’s not held any stains that nature or human has thrown at it thus far.
The Axio Hybrid will immediately strike a chord with the Puma Sneakers and Diesel Jeans set, but has a lot to offer the more hard-core commuter or the occasional tourer. It’s a rugged and effective piece of kit, that lives up to and exceeds its price tag.
MSRP: 180.00 $USD / 229.00 $CDN