|Gourdon 20 and 25. Both a bit battered and used|
A few years ago I was bike commuting in London and had to get all my bits and bobs- which in those days included an ironed shirt- and once a week, a suit into work. All good except that when it rained, especially when it really rained, there appeared to be no way in which I could get stuff to work dry. Quite a big thing really when you're sitting around all day in a wet suit and drenched underwear. Not nice.
I tried the obvious- putting stuff in plastic bags etc. and it kind of worked ot a point, but I wanted a waterproof rucksack that I could just throw stuff in and take to work not worrying about whether the plastic bag was ripped/ not quite closed etc.
I looked around for a waterproof rucksack, remembering that Craghoppers had made one a couple of years before. The main issue with that one was the weight- well over a couple of kilograms if memory serves, and also, I've never seen it in the UK.
The best solution I could come across was an old drybag attached to a camelbak with gaffatape, which worked for a bit until the gaffa tape failed (obviously didn't use enough of it).
Surfing the web I came across the Alpkit Gourdon- a supposedly waterproof rucksack in a colour which meant that I might not get run over in London, for only £25. After selling kayak drybags for quite a bit more than than, and looking at the ortlieb range (which are fantastic, but again, involve somewhat more serious financial outlay) this seemed like a great thing, and if it didn't work, well, its only £22.50, and I'll have something else to moan about. Brilliant.
The Gourdon happily took a suit, shirt, shoes, underwear, lunch etc. and kept them all dry, even in the most vicious of downpours. It was comfortable on the bike and it did exactly what I wanted it to do.
I've used it in anger on the hill a fair few times, in the photo it very much matches my coat, but ignore the fashionista thoughts. I carried everything I needed for a day on the hill, the only stuff that got wet was the stuff I was wearing. As I wasn't travelling too fast with it, it was fine and stable. No issues with it as far as comfort or anything- though if I was carrying a heavier load, a better waist strap would be better.
|defunct chest strap|
|non-defunct chest strap|
I have tried running with the Gourdon but found that the 25 is a bit to "wallowy" for my tastes. If its not full of stuff, the stuff thats inside rattles around and drives you nuts, but when it is full, the action of running makes it bounce around a bit too much for comfort. If I'm running I have to go back to a running rucksack with waterproof pouches inside. (Its not too much of an issue now as I don't have to take a suit to work any more).
|broken plastic bit- obviously snapped|
|non-broken plastic bit. it bends.|
For between £20- £25 for a bombproof waterproof rucskack, really, its a complete no-brainer. Buy one.
Alpkit Gourdon 20
Alpkit Gourdon 25
Alpkit Gourdon 30