REVIEWED: Alpinestars Slipstream backpack

This 100% waterproof backpack is meant for motorcyclists, but it’s perfect for all-weather travel by any means

Buy the Alpinestars Slipstream backpack
Price as reviewed: £117

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A 25 litre backpack that’s part of Alpinestar’s Global Travel Collection for ‘travelling athletes’, we’re guessing that it’s aimed primarily at motorcyclists and maybe surfers after a robust, all-weather backpack, though it’s perfectly suited to rainy climates.

Travel-tough

Although it’s comfy to wear, we wouldn’t recommend it for the tropics where the sturdy, padded shoulder straps and padded back might bring you out in the sweats, but for cooler and unpredictable climes – or jaunts to the seaside or boat trips – the Slipstream is perfect. If you travel relatively light but like to check-in a small-ish bag, the Slipstream’s stiff waterproof outer has obvious advantages; am I the only one whose bag always arrives on the baggage carousel dripping wet?

Laptop-friendly

Seams are waterproof and zips have both covers and hoods for the actual zip. It’s functional, too, with two small side pockets and one front section for easy access to keys etc.However, they’re next to useless given their tiny size; we would have preferred mesh pockets that, while not waterproof, would have given us somewhere to stash a bottle of water, map or headphones.
On the top is a carry handle while inside is a padded yellow pouch with a fold-over lid. We managed to squeeze-in a 17-inch laptop, though a 12-inch netbook also fits snugly. On the yellow pouch are two reporter’s notebook sized pockets, one small mesh pocket, and spaces for two credit cards.

Trustworthy

Although at 700g there are lighter backpacks – and some won’t like its rather industrial look – few are this trustworthy. The zips almost completely sealed and the zippers themselves slot into hoods at end. The shoulder straps are comfy and the bag is well padded.

Hard to resist

Its sturdy, and totally waterproof build quality is hard to resist, while its all-black plastic finish gives it unusual look. It’s also nice to see a laptop sleeve built-in, which can easily be used to store documents, books and an ebook reader. Keeping stuff dry in all weather and comfy to wear, the Slipstream also adds peace of mind at airports where luggage handlers often deliver sopping wet, torn bags. That’t not going to happen to this tough backpack; it’s the ultimate do-it-all for light travellers and short trips away – and it’s easily small enough for the cabin, too.