Riding around town on two wheels is an amazing experience, but it’s also one that inevitably causes you to compromise on many fronts. There’s no storage space on a motorcycle if you don’t have saddle bags, for instance, yet you might still want to bring stuff with you on your rides. Regular backpacks flop around in the wind at higher speeds and tend to become annoying after a while. We were looking for something designed specifically for riding; after some research, we settled on the above. We’ve spent the last few weeks testing the OGIO No Drag Mach 3 Backpack, and we’d like to spend the next few lines telling you about it. If you’re not in the mood for reading, out here we can tell you this much: it’s fantastic and well worth the money.
The OGIO No Drag Mach 3 backpack’s exterior is made from a single shot molded shell that’s mostly waterproof. It’s semi rigid, so you do end up looking somewhat like a turtle. However, it’s a cool look and ends up being distinctive rather than ugly or distracting. It also does mean that the bag keeps its shape under the pressure of the wind, which is exactly the point of designing it that way.
The Mach 3 opens up from the inside, from the part that touches your back, to reveal a very spacious interior lined in a high-visibility red fabric. This rear panel swivels forward, but not all the way, which prevents objects you might’ve stashed in the pockets to fall out. It is itself covered in a ton of compartments designed to hold a variety of things, from pens, to laptops, to pretty much anything you’d want to carry. There are zippered compartments, unzippered compartments, and compartments with holding straps.
On the sides, still on the inside, are two dedicated shoe storage compartments, which stops your shoes from moving around and getting your clothes dirty. And on the top part of the bag, accessible from the outside, is a fleece-lined zippered pocket made specifically to hold electronics, or glasses, or anything else that could get easily scratched.
On the exterior, you have some high quality shoulder straps, padded and comfortable, one side of which features a quick-release clasp. If you ride with a jacket (as you should), this is a very appreciated feature. There’s also a sternum strap that prevents the shoulder straps from sliding off, as well as a waist strap to keep the bag glued to your back. The final strap is a Nubuck-lined “helmet leash” which lets you carry your noggin-saver around with ease.
Interestingly, on the outside of the opening panel, touching your back, are two foam pads designed to create an air gap and increase ventilation. That’s a nice touch.
Rounding out the features is a hydration hole that makes it super simple to route a straw from a container kept on the inside, straight to your mouth. Going on long rides in the hot summer sun makes this a highly desirable capability.
All the features in the world mean nothing if it’s not comfortable, or if there are glaring flaws. We’d like to say that we haven’t found anything to really complain about. It’s super comfy. There’s just something about the shape and positioning of the straps that makes it conform to your shoulders and back perfectly. It never pulls or tugs when riding at higher speeds. It’s super spacious and ingeniously designed. If we had to find something to criticize, we would have to say that the irregular and angular shape of the interior does make it harder to stash certain things without wasting space, like little boxes. It’s also hard to set down vertically on any surface since the bottom part is also angled.
But overall, the quality of the materials and the stitching is top notch. It’s a solid bag designed with ergonomics in mind, and all the little details OGIO thought of incorporating show that they kept a rider’s needs at the forefront. While its distinctive styling would suggest that this is a bag that favours form over function, we’re happy to report that it’s actually quite the opposite. The Mach 3’s style is clearly a result of OGIO’s designers looking for, and finding, an optimal solution to all of a rider’s carrying needs.
+ Semi-rigid outer shell doesn’t deform in the wind
+ Multiple pockets and compartments accommodate a number of objects
+ Spacious interior lined in a high-visibility red fabric
+ Quick release strap
+ Helmet leash
+ Dedicated shoe holders
– Irregular shape makes it hard to set down vertically
– Irregular shape makes it hard to carry squarer boxes without wasting space