Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L

Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L

Editor Score: 90.75%
Aesthetics 9.75/10
Protection 10.0/10
Value 7.0/10
Comfort/Fit 9.0/10
Quality/Design 9.5/10
Weight 8.5/10
Options/Selection 8.0/10
Innovation 9.5/10
Weather Suitability 9.75/10
Desirable/Cool Factor 9.75/10
Overall Score90.75/100

Velomacchi has quickly made a name for itself in the motorcycle backpack and luggage biz. The company was founded by Kevin Murray, a design executive who has worked for The North Face as well as establishing his own design firm in the performance outdoor and tactical rescue markets. Murray has now set his sights on creating unique, elegant, timeless motorcycle luggage that performs just as well as it looks.

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The company’s products range from tablet sleeves to backpacks and duffles – and even a pair of classically inspired Speedway gloves. After checking out the Speedway 28L backpack and including it in our 10 Best Motorcycle Backpacks article, we managed to get our hands on the Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L for long-term testing.

Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L

Loosen up the Sensa Coda straps and you have a pretty massive amount of space at 40L, to be carrying on your back.

The Speedway 40L is designed to be aesthetically pleasing while being built out of seriously tough materials that will withstand the rigors of motorcycling. The outer material of the Speedway is 1000-denier nylon with a classic linen weave which is then laminated with TPU on the backside to ensure water-resistance. As if the 1000-denier fabric didn’t offer enough abrasion resistance, the fabric is then coated with polyurethane adding to both abrasion resistance and waterproofing. The weight and rigidity of the fabric also helps the bag stay put as speeds increase. Between the stiffness of the fabric and the Sena Coda (self-tailing so there are no loose ends flapping around) straps on the back, there is no buffeting or flapping at speed.

Where the pack meets your back, you have a reinforced panel with quilting. I did find myself wishing this panel was more heavily reinforced. When packing the main compartment, the bag had a tendency to push back toward the straps when loaded rather than out toward the front. This was even more of an issue when using the side pocket on the bag as it is closest to the rear of the pack. This led to a space between my upper back and the actual bag when wearing it. Loosening the Sensa Coda straps and careful packing helps to alleviate this problem but not fully.

Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L

The magnetic sternum closure garners plenty of attention. Everyone digs it.

The shoulder straps are one of the premium features of Velomacchi’s backpacks. The shoulder straps meet in the middle and latch with a magnetic rotating sternum coupler that instantly pulls itself together and turns to lock when the pieces are within about a half inch of each other. On the uppers of each shoulder strap, there are stretch loops for use with a hydration tube.

Mid way down the shoulder straps we have what Velomacchi calls a clavicle hinge. The hinge consists of a pin on the lower piece and a grommet on the upper which is then fastened by a keyring. The idea is simple, looks nice, and hinges well, though if you find yourself using the backpack without a motorcycle jacket or some sort of thick shirt, the base of the hinge’s pin digs into your collarbone. This is only exacerbated as the bag is loaded with more weight and is one of my biggest complaints with the bag.

Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L

I’ve had this bag strapped to the back of a bike during some serious rain and, although some of the closures I would suspect might let water in, all of my belongings have been dry afterward.

On the front of the shoulder straps, where the sternum coupler attaches, there are a few extra features. On the right side, there is a pocket for an emergency ID as well as a mounting spot for an action camera such as a GoPro. On the left, you have the Velomacchi logo which is actually printed on a stretch material allowing you to slide a tire gauge, pen, or whatever slim object you would like to bring with you.

The straps can be adjusted at the bottom for different sizes and are labeled with marks to easily adjust both sides to the same point. If you plan on strapping the bag to the back of a bike or something similar, you can tuck the shoulder straps under the rear quilted panel to keep them out of the way. There are also loops on the four corners of the bag to easily lash it down.

Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L

In the front pocket and side pocket are attached elastic lanyards to attach your things to.

The Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L has a total of four pockets. The main compartment is lined with a white (for ease of seeing what you have in it) ripstop liner that can be pulled out for cleaning and provide an open compartment for large items. The closure is a roll top design simulating that of waterproof drybags used in all sorts of outdoor gear, with two metal hooks on each side. This is my second biggest complaint with the pack. The bag rolls down fine, but unless the backpack is not absolutely stuffed with gear, the hooks easily come off leaving the closure loose to slowly open itself, or if you’re on a motorcycle, to potentially flap itself open allowing the elements to peek in. The mid-strap cinching point on the smaller 28L Speedway backpack seems like it would provide a more positive closure than the system used here.

Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L

An aluminum clip on the back can be used for helmets, hats, or anything else you feel like clipping to the back of the pack.

On the front, there is a zipper pocket which I typically put my 13-inch Macbook Pro in. You probably wouldn’t be able to fit a computer much larger than that, but honestly, you may want to keep your electronics in the main compartment anyway because it offers more of a watertight seal. The side pocket has a taped zipper, which one would assume is more waterproof than the standard zipper on the front pocket previously mentioned. Lastly, the Speedway 40L backpack has a fairly large pocket on the front which has a “storm-proof” closure that consists of aluminum bars attached to stretch loops to be put through grommets on the flap closure. This compartment has several pockets for pens and pencils as well as a few larger items. It’s probably the least watertight closure of the pack, though I haven’t had any water get in with the bag strapped to a bike in the rain. That being said, I would put valuable electronics in the main compartment for safekeeping when the weather turns bad.

Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L

All of the pen/pencil pockets along the top row are nice, but I could do with maybe three and rather have larger pockets next to them for things like cables or other slightly larger items.

The Velomacchi Speedway 40L backpack offers well thought out, nicely designed features in a motorcycling backpack. With a few simple revisions, this bag could be an absolute opera d’arte.  

Learn more about the Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L here. MSRP $299.99.

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