The Solvos are a new departure for CamelBak, aimed squarely at the top end of the fashion-conscious urban cycling market. The smaller Solvo 25 retails for £169.99. The retro-styled aesthetics are what strike you first. The waxed canvas and leather give that tactile, 'lived in' feel of old haversacks from the 60's and 70's though with added refinement and excellent splashs of reflectivity. The exterior houses various pockets: two side ones, a base one for seperating wet kit, and a soft fabric-lined lid pocket for glasses and other delicates. By contrast the interior of this pack couldn't be less 'retro' if it tried, combining padded compartments and sleeves for laptops and tablet devices, plus half-a-dozen smaller pockets and 'stashers'. We've used the Solvo for several weekend trips already, packing an entire change of clothes including lightweight waterproofs, plus 13in laptop,book, bike spares and snacks. Unusually, you don't get a hydration reservoir included, though it's ready to accept one, instead there's a removable waterbottle holder and pocket for a second bottle.
The back is extremely well padded with generous air channels and an airmesh lumbar panel to maximise breathability; the rear of the shoulder straps is similarly well featured. You also get a removable waist-belt and chest-strap, useful for stabilising heavier loads, and a phone holster. Overall it scores very highly in design stakes.
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