Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12

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Key Features

  • Sternum Chest Strap
  • Front Pocket for valuables
  • Four side mesh pockets (for water bottles)
  • Raincover included
  • 12L capacity
  • Hydration bladder compatible.
  • Size: 44cm x 24cm x 13cm
  • Weight: 660g

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Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 Review

 

If you are in the market for a budget running backpack, you could do a lot worse than look at the Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12. The Velocity 12 is actually marketed as a bike pack, but will work just as well as a back pack you can use for short runs, such as commuting to work.

Material and Ventilation

As with most products in this category the Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 has a system for reducing the build up of sweat on your back whilst you run. The Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 backpack includes a channel down the spine to allow the movement of air and hopefully ventilation.  The backpack itself sits more flat onto your back and, More so than other backpacks in the category, so there is a slight risk of sweat build up.

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The Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 backpack is actually made from Nylon, or to be specific a mixture of Nailhead 420D, Cross Rip 300D and Armatech Plus 600D. Now we’ve got that out of the way…lets explain what each of these does. Nailhead 420D is a very tough and hard wearing nylon fabric which has tiny projections on the surface. The theory being that these tiny little projections actually prevent any abrasions on the surface of the material, clever eh? Cross Rip 300D is a matrix of reinforcement threads inside the normal nylon fabric which increases the strength and tear resistance. Finally Armatech Plus 600D is an abrasion resistant fabric from Jack Wolfskin made from crinkled polyester yarns which help provide a durable waterproof coating while also being colourfast and UV resistant so your bag is less likely to fade after heavy exposure to the sun.

 

The build quality of this back pack is what you would expect from a Germany manufacturer, of the highest level. It comes across in the feel of the material and every day use of the pack. When there are problems with any product the reports of customer service response from Jack Wolkskin are excellent.  Being based in Germany we have heard and read stories of broken parts being replaced free of charge!

 

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The Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 comes with reflective strips built into some of the seams. Along with the anchor loop (to attach a light) it means this backback is suitable for use in all seasons of the year. This is definitely an advantage (to be seen!) for anyone out there looking for a bag to use running to work and back.

One of the best features of the Velocity 12 range is the variety of colours available. While other manufacturers limit you to maybe one or two colours, Jack Wolfskin practically spoil us with a choice of six variations. Choose from yellow, black, blue, orange, dark steel and red.

 

Straps

Jack Wolkskin describe the straps as including a ‘full-contact suspension system”. It is true that the straps are easy to adjust to fit many different sizes of person, although unlike some other products they are made from a solid material as opposed to mesh. The advantage of them being made from mesh is ventilation is massively improved. This does stand again the Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 as the straps may cause the build up of moisture underneath them. At this price point however, it is hard to grumble too much given the other positive features of this product.

The waist belt provided is annoyingly thin and perhaps the worst feature of this backpack. It doesn’t offer much in the way of support or padding so can dig into the hips if tighten to much. As with the solid straps, it is possible to overlook this issue given the great price point of this bag.

As mentioned above, there is an anchor loop at the bottom of the back which is useful for any number of things. You could attach a lightweight running jacket or a light (for night time running).

 

Size

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The bag has a rated capacity of 12 litres, which compares well to other products in this category. There is certainly a balance to be had between space, weight and the amount of stuff you can carry inside. The Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 doesn’t have any capacity to increase this capacity further, like the Deuter Race EXP Air pack.  As a result the bag is only big enough to fit an iPad into and not a full sized laptop which might deter some people. It depends what you intend to use the bag for ultimately. You will be able to fit a work shirt into it on top of the iPad, but not must else.

 

Weight and Capacity

At a weight of 660g, this one of the lighter bags available, perhaps as a result of the lack of internal compartments. The back pack does have four web compartments on outside which can be used to store anything from gels to water bottles. There is also a zipped compartment on the back which is useful for stashing your mobile phone or wallet

 

Hydration Options

The Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 backpack does include an option for inserting a hydration pack, although it is not supplied with one as standard. Again different options are available depending on your needs.

 

Conclusion

The Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 offers exceptional value for money and will make an excellant first-time bag for the running commuter. The bag offers a decent amount of storage space and strong build quality.

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Pros
  • Excellent customer service from manufacturer.
  • Rain cover included
  • Great value for those people with less demanding uses
Cons
  • Thin support strap around the waist.
  • Hydration bladder not included

 

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Deuter Race EXP Air pack

Deuter Race EXP Air Pack

Deuter Race EXP Air pack Review

This Deuter Race EXP Air backpack comes from German backpack experts Deuter and will certainly suit the commuting runner over those of you who run endurance or ultra events. Strong, light and very durable, this expandable bag will serve you well for many years.

Deuter Race EXP Air Key Features

  • Sternum Chest Strap.
  • Wet Pocket inside.
  • Pocket for valuables.
  • Side pockets (for water bottles).
  • Raincover included.
  • 12L capacity with expandable volume (3L extra).
  • Hydration bladder compatible.
  • Size: 47 x 24 x 22 cm.

Material and Ventilation

Honestly one of the most important thing you should look for a running backpack is ventilation. The Deuter Race EXP Air pack has an internal frame called the Air Comfort Flexlite System which prevents the contents inside the bag from meeting your back. This of course means less sweating and sticky tops which something which we all want to avoid!

Deuter themselves say this about the system:

“Twin-frame construction gives the Aircomfort Flexlite System its special lightweight properties at the same time as guaranteeing excellent flexibility and ergonomic fit. The secret lies in the combination of complimentary round and flat spring steel frame profiles. It easily follows body movements and transfers the load perfectly to the hip fins. It also gives the back mesh a stable tensioned platform for the patented Deuter 3-sided ventilation system.”

Straps

The Deuter Race EXP Air pack has shoulder straps which are made from an airy mesh material. This encourages ventilation circulates and prevent moisture buildup. The shoulder straps come with a sternum strap which helps to provide extra stability when running along. The bag also comes with a hip strap which gives you extra stability on hips as you run. These are fitted with anatomically shaped, sturdy hip fins to help transfer the load from the bag to the hips. You will really see the benefits of this when running on rough or difficult terrain or if you’re practicing sprints for example.

The rucksack is constructed using Deuter’s own Ripstop 210 material along with Hexlite 100 which have fibres woven into the nylon material to increase tear strength and add more stability to the bag. These materials will repel light rain but in case of a sudden downpour there is a rain cover included to cover the bag this is stored at the base of the pack in a separate pocket.

Size

The bag is quoted as having a 12 L capacity, which is great on its own but the Deuter Race EXP Air (EXP stands for Expandable) can be enlarged by an additional 3L using the zips on the side.  The overall size of the bag is small, 47cm high by 24cm wide and 22cm deep.


Weight and Capacity

The weight of the Deuter Race EXP Air is quoted as 870 g, although we found the actual weight slightly over this.  This is a very respectable weight to have achieved, but that comes at the expense of less internal dividers for your kit.  As mentioned above if you carry lots of small items or laptop this might become annoying. There is room for an iPad or Macbook and some shoes if you’re using the bag for a commute to work. You might have to think creatively about the rest of your work clothes and be picky about what you do take or leave at work! The front zipped pocket has dividing areas for things like your wallet or phone, very handy for quick access.

Unfortunately that the aforementioned frame is curving in nature so this is going to make carrying a laptop in the back difficult. The trade-off of this means that the frame gives a consistent feeling on your back whatever you side put into the bag.  What you will have to be aware of these items are moving around in the bag, something you might be able to solve by the addition of a jackets or a jumper

Hydration Options

There are a couple of options for carrying water with this bag with side bottle pockets. There is also an internal sleeve for a hydration bladder. The Deuter Race EXP Air does not come with a bladder fitted but these are sold separately so you can pick the required capacity. As with most backpacks in this category there are attachments on the shoulder strap for the hydration bladder hose.

 

Conclusion

Clearly you buy a backpack for a specific purpose and with the Deuter Race EXP Air you are getting a strong and dependable bag which will certainly last a number of years. This bag is definitely going to suit the casual runner getting to work and back each day rather than the endurance or ultra runner looking for a full hydration pack. This is not to say the Deuter Race wouldn’t have some uses in endurance running. I have certainly used backpacks on runs up to around 15 miles to carry additional fluids and energy coursesm plus any wet weather gear (definitely needed in the UK!).

Pros
  • Comfortable rucksack for running
  • Excellent Aircomfort Ventilation System
  • Raincover included
Cons
  • Limited volume for work commuting
  • Needs more internal compartments
  • Hydration bladder not included