You can add a back protector to any Kriega pack now

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Know what’s awesome? Being able to carry virtually anything with you on a bike, totally securely and comfortably inside a Kriega backpack. Know what’s less than awesome? Carrying hard, oddly shaped objects against your back, they can cause huge damage in a crash. Now, Kriega is offering a slim CE2 back protector that’ll slip inside any of its backpacks, adding much-needed protection.

A lot of you probably already wear a back protector either inside a pocket in your jacket or strapped on separately underneath. If you do, you’re fine. What this Kriega thingy does is make wearing race-level CE2 protection super easy and convenient. Throw your backpack on and with it comes that protection.

That protector was developed by Forcefield specifically for Kriega packs. At 3/4 of an inch thick, it’s sized specifically to slide into the pre-existing sleeve in all of them. The Small fits the R15 and R20, the Medium fits the R20, R25 and R35. There’s one on the way to go in my R35, I’ll let you know how it works.

Of the protector’s construction, Kriega states, “The M15 formula gives a shock absorbtion material with outstanding performance characteristics. It’s light, elastic, it has slow recovery and is robust. The ideal impact absorbing material is one that on impact compresses to a degree but then slowly returns to its orginal shape and size. So the better the material the longer this moment is delayed. M15 slows the moment of peak transmited force and spreads the damaging forces over the whole surface which means that the material is used to its maximum. Combination of M15 and multi-layer construction results in a system that is both lightweight and flexible.” In short, it’s relatively thick, flexible memory foam.

Kriega’s not the first company to put a back protector in a backpack. It is the first to put one in a backpack that shifts the load off your shoulders, freeing your arms to control the bike and facilitating long-range comfort, even while carrying heavy loads. Add a back protector and you’ve got a convenient, comfortable, easy way to carry stuff around with you in safety.

  • karlInSanDiego

    I stopped carrying glass bottles in my lunch in my daily commute backpack when I thought about how it could end in a crash. I ride with a Knox Gilet but figure a glass bottle could punch right through that.

    • orthorim

      Same reason I stopped carrying the daggers. Good thinking.

  • Strafer

    Seems like a great idea
    Reminds me of that video posted on here a while ago where a sportsbike went straight into a parked car near a gas station at good speed and the rider bounced off his backpack and walked away

    my trick for carrying heavy loads in a bag on the bike is to loosen the straps and try to let the bag rest on the seat behind me. This way the straps are just there to keep the load from moving and not to carry all the weight (my bike has upright riding position)

  • The_Doctor

    Now I have no excuse not to get a Kriega. Except as to which size…

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      I like the big one. Compression straps draw it down to a very slim package when it’s not full, but when you really need to carry a 24-pack plus a week’s worth of clothes and various odds and ends, you can.

      • The_Doctor

        Yeah, I figure the R25 might work, but what if I need the space.

        Also, Wes, the page format for HFL is finally working and my eyes no longer bleed when visiting. Good job.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Still in progress…

        • sean macdonald

          I went with the R25 after wearing wes’s R35 because the front compartment was too slim and difficult to use to be worth it and the zipper front was much more difficult than I expected. I dig that it’s a tad slimmer and a bit more appropriate for every day use, but I can add an expansion pack for trips and such.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.r.scott Andy Scott

      This is great news…I always think about my back when I use my backpack. I have the R35 and it is great. When I am not carrying much, it cinches down small, but will also carry quite a bit of stuff when I need it to. I’m going to order one right away.

    • MeatyBeard

      I would get the R35 and this is from someone with an R25. Wish I had a little extra space sometimes. How does that saying go? Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Works with condoms and guns too.

  • AHA

    Picked one up at the UK bike show last week for my R25 and it fits well giving extra protection for no great loss of capacity or ease of use. Been a bit paranoid since reading Wes’ account of the medic feeling for spinal injury the last time he had a spill.

    Forcefield showed a really cool item on their nearby stand: a full length level 2 backpiece with lumbar & kidney protection inside a zip up sleeveless fleece. Really usable.

  • Dan

    Im curious- does anyone have any experience crashing with a backpack on? What happens to the bag?

    It seems to me like the pack’s not likely to stay put at the time you need it. Shoulder and sternum straps are probably designed to stabilize the load as you ride, not keep the pack held close to your body as you tumble and slide (binding yourself to your load doesn’t sound like a great idea anyway). Doesn’t hurt to have a protector there, but this sounds sortof like putting a chest guard on the outside of your leathers.

    • Mark D

      Don’t worry, I’m sure Wes will have a crash report in a few weeks…

    • KriegaUSA

      Can’t comment about the other backpacks out there, but here’s how it can go with one of ours: http://blog.kriega.us/crash-test-report/

      • Dan

        Wow. The writer claims he wasnt wearing a jacket during the crash. Does that mean he went sliding down the road, face-down, with only the pack strap between him and the ground? Yikes! Strap seems to have performed admirably, though.

        Is the back protector inside the backpack to protect the rider from normal crash injury (as with a normal BP), or is it more there to protect the rider from the sharp/heavy/etc contents of the bag itself? I currently use a US10 to store tools, and don’t like to carry them in a backpack for basically that exact reason (puncture risk).

        • KriegaUSA

          Yup – that’s about the size of it. Skidding and tumbling across the asphalt at 60mph. Very lucky indeed.

          The reinforced back panels are actually stiff enough to protect the wearer from the contents in most cases, but the Forcefield will do an even better job. That said, the insert is also intended protect from general injury in the same way that a good CE Level 2 pad in a jacket would – especially when the bag may not be fully packed.

          Essentially, the idea behind this is to give riders who don’t generally ride with a decent back protector more chance of walking away from an ‘off’, wearing a backpack, than they would have without one.

          • Miles Prower [690 Duke]

            I’d love to see Kriega design a backpack that’s in two pieces such the back protector and harness stay on during a crash, but the bag compartment (with whatever you have stuffed inside it) can come off during a tumble. That way, there’s a greater chance that the protection will stay on your back — while you decelerate sliding along and/or bouncing off the ground/rocks/etc — instead of getting yanked off along with whatever you have stuffed in the bag.

            • KriegaUSA

              To be honest, chief, I’m not sure we could design a better system for keeping something strapped to one’s back that we have already, but I’ll definitely pass your feedback onto Dom & Mike (the two Kriega partner/owners who personally design every item) and see what they reckon.

    • http://profiles.google.com/mugget mugget man

      I have experience crashing with a regular backpack on the road. Busted one shoulder strap (no it didn’t stay in place on my back). But I just tied the strap ends back together and carried on!

    • KriegaUSA
  • the antagonist

    Good idea. Looks like it could fit in other backpacks that have a frame pocket between the main compartment and the back piece. Going on my Christmas list.

  • orthorim

    Yeah OK – can companies now start making backpacks that don’t look like crap? Then I’d buy one. I have a Boblbee – which also counts as back armor according to some standards, as the whole pack is hard plastic, and strong at that. I also have an Axio Fuse in black. But both these models are old designs – 10 years or more. Boblbee has practical issues, and Axio hasn’t updated their stuff in years.

    Kriega, why don’t you design a nice looking hardhshell backpack one would not be embarrassed to be seen with in the city? Backpacks that don’t look like they’d be most appropriate for a 3 day hike in the wilderness. I have nothing against these – actually, I am a huge fan of backpacks in general; but please make them look appropriate for the city. Maybe make them look good, even.

    • Speedo007

      I have the R35 and think it looks great! The detail and quality is second to none. Everything I bought from them has exceeded my expections. Designed by people who actually ride bikes. I really don’t know what you find unattractive about these backpacks…and they are just so practical and comfortable.

    • KriegaUSA

      Stay tuned, mate… I hear whispers of an urban pack being in the design stages back in the UK at the moment. It won’t be a hardshell cos that’s not really our thing. But it will be cool.

  • MeatyBeard

    This will be ordered for my R25.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

    This is awesome, Kriega. I’m thoroughly impressed by your gear. That said, I have two Marsee backpacks and I recently made the change to a US-20 for my day-to-day needs. Then, I picked another one up as a Christmas present for the lady’s bike.

    After which time I spent about an hour trying to figure out how to justifying spending another $61 to take advantage of the “free stuff” offer. I don’t need another backpack, don’t really need any more bags (like a US-10) at this point in time, so… dang. My plans were foiled.

    Still. Fantastic products that I highly recommend.

  • HammerheadFistpunch

    Is it just me, or do folks just look awkward, uncomfortable & unsafe wearing a backpack on a bike? Why wouldn’t you just want something lashed to the (vacant) passenger seat, instead?
    If you want a back protector wear a real one. Tailbags or bungee nets work great & I don’t have to worry about my luggage stabbing me.

    • http://rideapart.com Wes Siler

      That’s just you. For those of us that use bikes as primary transportation, backpacks are an extremely convenient, safe, secure way for us to carry all the stuff we have to carry.

    • http://twitter.com/Smoke4ndMears stephen mears

      It’s just you. My backpacks are my first choice for riding luggage, second being said backpack strapped to the pillion.