Review: ILE Default rucksack - £170

When the nuclear winter descends, only this bag and the cockroaches will survive

THE ILE (Inside Line Equipment) Default is a simply designed, tough roll-top bag and with a 25l main compartment, protected by a waterproof lining.

The main space is so cavernous that after my cat crawled in there for a snooze, it took him three days to find his way out. The large opening at the top means I never have mess around trying to carefully place things in, instead I can just use my preferred, efficient method of ‘shove it full and go’.

While the massive main compartment is the best thing about it, it means the Defualt is a large rucksack. There's no escaping that it's wide and tall, but once on, the size rarely bothered me unless I really crammed it to bursting point, when it could begin to feel cumbersome and uncomfortable, with the top easily knocking the back of my helmet.

The front compartment contains several smaller pockets perfect for a phone, wallet, disc lock and other items you don’t want to spend a week searching for in the main space. There’s a zip-shut waterproof laptop sleeve in there too (for laptops up to 15 inches), although the rest of the storage space at the front hasn’t got waterproof protection an will eventually succumb to heavy rain.

The exterior is made of heavy-duty cordura. In fact, heavy duty is a good way to describe everything else about the Default, right down to the super sticky Velcro and the poppers at the top of the main compartment. I can’t fault the quality and nor should I be able to for £170.

The wide and flat straps arm straps are easy to adjust once the bag’s on, but the excess strapping flaps around once moving. The same thing goes for the straps that cinch up the sides – there’s no dedicated way of keeping them from moving around so they can occasionally knock my helmet as they flail in the wind.

The ILE Default has waist and chest straps which help with its comfortable and secure fit. The strap at the waist is fine but with a bike jacket and back protector on, the chest strap sits too high up on my chest for my liking and although it’s got some adjustment, I can’t move it down as low as I’d like.

The Default is a quality bit of kit - cavernous, waterproof and bombproof. Its uncomplicated design and robust construction make it feel like it’ll survive whatever I can throw at it, and for £170, if it didn’t feel like that, I’d be very disappointed.

A few changes would further improve what it’s like to us on a bike - like making the chest strap thicker and more adjustable, and having some way of stowing loose straps out of the way so they can’t flap about.

Although it’s not a ‘motorcycle-specific’ rucksack, it’s potentially all the bag you could need because it’s comfortable, keeps the rain out and is capable of carrying a lot of stuff (I’m sure more than the stated 25l) when called upon.

Although I've been using the black one with reflective strips (safety first!), the Default is available in a huge range of colours.

Tested: ILE Default

Price: £170

Contact: VAM Performance

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