Alpinestars Tech Aero Backpack Review

Alpinestars Tech Aero Backpack Review | Commuter TestedI commute to work on two wheels, four to five days a week. More times than not I’m packing files, a change of clothes, lunch, and, occasionally a laptop. Suffice to say, my backpack gets a serious workout. Despite its refined metropolitan look, the Alpinestars Tech Aero backpack can handle pack mule duties capably.

As we’ve come to expect from Alpinestars, materials and workmanship are top notch. The outer chassis of the Tech Aero is made from a sturdy polyester fabric that takes a beating without complaint, and has a water repellent coating (though my commuting in the wet is strictly limited). There is also a rain cover tucked into a zippered pocket at the bottom of the backpack.

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The YKK zippers stand up to my shameless abuse when over stuffing the interior cargo space; yes, the Tech Aero backpack is expandable from 16 liters to 26 and by god I’m going to use every last cc.

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The inside of the Alpinestars Tech Aero backpack’s main compartment features useful specifically designed and labeled pockets, the largest able to comfortably hold an Apple MacBook Pro. There’s a mesh pocket to slide your power supply into, as well as two free-for-all spaces (one zippered, the other with a simple Velcro tab strap closure) to segregate and secure additional items.

The slightly convex shape of the Tech Aero Backpack provides a roomy area to stack large items. However, because of its design, even when unzipped all the way, the top won’t lay back flat for loading. This makes packing numerous small items a bit challenging, as you have to stack them with one hand while holding the backpack open.

Additional storage is available for smaller items via two zippered “kidney belt” pockets on the side waist straps. These are useful for things you need to easily access—glove liners, phone, wallet, keys, and the like—without digging through the Tech Aero’s main compartment.

Need a safe place to stash your sunglasses or goggles while your head is in your helmet? The fleece lined zippered pocket at the top of the Tech Aero will protect your lenses from scratches, and you can easily retrieve them when needed. The pocket has an outer hard shell to protect the contents from being crushed.

A stretchy pouch type carrier is tucked into the lower front compartment of the Tech Aero. It is designed to carry an extra helmet, or your helmet after you’re off the bike; the bottom end is secured inside the zippered pocket and once pulled over the helmet, it clips to the top of the backpack. I’ve tapped this additional space for odd-shaped items in a pinch.

On those rare occasions when I’m not carrying a big load, I take advantage of the zip function that reduces the Tech Aero’s interior space by 10 liters, and enjoy the more streamlined look.

Credit the aerodynamic back panel and substantial foam padding on the back and shoulder straps for an outstanding job of evenly distributing the weight; even when the Alpinestars Tech Aero backpack is fully loaded, I have never suffered a back or shoulder ache, and I have ridden it on bikes with seating positions as varied as the Harley-Davidson Roadster and the Suzuki DR-Z400SM supermoto.

Alpinestars Tech Aero Backpack for saleYou can customize how the Tech Aero rests on your back via adjustable straps for length, as well as width at the waist and chest. The latter strap slides on a five-inch track, allowing you to choose where it buckles across your chest—a welcome feature for the fairer sex. This is good, as it’s one size fits all.

For those looking for extra protection, an Alpinestars’ Bionic Back Protector can be added via an internal sleeve behind the laptop pocket. The Tech Aero also allows you to slip your choice of water bladder into the hydro pocket and feed the hose through the top buttonhole to stay hydrated. I didn’t test that, as I’m usually carrying too much cargo and my commute isn’t long enough to need hydration.

Over the last couple of years, the Alpinestars Protection backpack has been my go-to workhorse, but I have grown to like the Alpinestars Tech Aero’s sleeker, urban silhouette, even though the carrying capacity is about a liter less.

The Alpinestars Tech Aero motorcycle backpack is a highly functional, exceptionally comfortable backpack with loads of useful features, including the option to integrate additional components. This is a welcome piece of equipment for the commuting congregation.

Only available in black, the price of the Alpinestars Tech Aero is $180 (MSRP).

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