Keen Steel Bridge Pack Review
The ultimate commuter/cycling pack.
Following a quick glimpse of the archaic pack hanging on my shoulder, the Tech Editor for Roadcycling.com offered me an opportunity to review the Keen Steel Bridge Pack. Being familiar with Keen products and their reputation for quality, I immediately accepted the offer to review this pack. Expecting nothing less than a great product from Keen, I am very impressed with the Steel Bridge and highly recommend the pack to commuters/cyclists without hesitation. Whether you're on the bike, headed into the office, or needing a carry-on bag on your flight, I truly believe the Steel Bridge will meet your needs.
In terms of overall appearance, the Steel Bridge is both sporty and professional. Both the outer shell and hood are made of durable polyester material that redefines toughness. The bottom panel with abrasion resistant padding made of recycled rubber is a clever and environmentally friendly feature. The same can be said of the closure hooks made of recycled aluminum. Being mindful of cyclist safety, the reflective patches on the side pockets are placed appropriately.
Let's talk space, shall we? I was very impressed to find one pocket/pouch after another. Preparing for an afternoon ride on the mountain bikes with my wife and three children, I was able to carry every necessity in the Steel Bridge. I packed a full change of clothes for both my two year old and nine month old. I packed two 20 ounce water bottles and two 12 ounce cups. Let's not forget the snacks, rain gear, diapers, wipes, changing pad, cell phones, and keys. Even with all of those things packed away, I was still able to find an empty pouch before closing the hood! Prior to having the Steel Bridge, a good share of these items had to be packed in our toddler trailer. My two year old couldn't be happier with the additional room he now has!
After returning home from the ride, I noticed some mud from my rear tire had made its way onto the pack. Clean-up was a breeze with nothing more than a rag and warm water.
For those who carry laptops, you might as well find a place in your storage closet for your old computer bag. The Steel Bridge provides more than enough space for your laptop and various accessories. With room to spare, I was able to pack the laptop, power supply, mouse, external hard drive, wireless internet card, and spare battery pack.
If you're a cyclist who demands a pack that rides with both comfort and stability, I've found that the Steel Bridge is the answer. The contoured and adjustable shoulder straps make for a snug fit, with both a sternum strap and waist belt for additional stability. Regardless of the load I'm carrying, the Steel Bridge does not slide around and/or shift from side to side. I'm also pleased with the comfort of the mesh foam back, which doesn't leave my back soaked in sweat.
To be honest, there is a rather minor issue that I believe needs to be addressed within this review. While carrying a light load, I've experienced moments in which closing the hood did not entirely cover the inner pockets. Should you be cycling in inclement weather, this minor imperfection may leave your belongings more vulnerable to rain/moisture. However, it is very easy to manually adjust the hood to cover the exposed area, and this issue may very well resolve itself over time with more use. With that said, while carrying a heavier load and expanding the pack, this was not an issue.
There are an abundance of notable features with the Steel Bridge, and what I've found to be the most impressive is the versatility of the pack. If you want a seamless, multi-purpose, all-weather pack, I encourage you to strap on the Steel Bridge and see for yourself. I highly recommend this pack and hope you enjoy the Steel Bridge as much as I do.
The archaic pack has left the building!