Product

Alpinestars Charger backpack

We put 10 rucksacks to the test, Visordown style. We've got your back...

Alpinestars Charger

Quality & features: The Italian brand's Charger pack is made in Vietnam and looks well put together. The straps are padded, with rotating clips at the join, and have an equaliser strap adjustable for length but not height. The back of the pack has three sections of padding, at the neck and sides. The waist strap has wide flaps where it attaches to the body of the pack, which have mini pockets. A pocket at the bottom contains a helmet pouch, while the top of the pack has a waterproofed, fleece-lined pocket behind a hard moulded section, supposedly for headphones and sunglasses. The main zip has a single pull and the zipper has waterproof lining. A solid plastic carrying handle is provided. The interior has a laptop section, two Velcro pockets (one with a closure flap) and two mesh pockets for tools and electrical cables, as per the label illustrations.

Load: Billed at 17 litres, the Charger took just 14 cans of beans, with a 15th squeezing in when the helmet pouch was unfolded.

Comfort: The shoulder and waist straps are of medium breadth, and the padding is decent. Aided by its compact size, it does feel comfortable to wear, and sits nicely in the middle of your back so you don’t feel the weight of your load.

Water test: The Charger was let down by the four little perforated vents located a fifth of the way up from the base. Predictably enough, water collected at the bottom of the rucksack. But above this level, the interior remained dry.

Styling: Neat and unobtrusive in all-black, with the moulded portion on the front with the A-star logo adding a dash of style, the Charger is a good looking bag.

Price: Sold for between £98 and £99.95 online, it is at the top end of our budget. A premium bag from an upscale brand, it looks and feels it.

Verdict: A smart and handy pack for the style-conscious urban commuter… but stay out of heavy rain. 

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