Gear Review - Mission Workshop's Sanction Rucksack

6:24 AM

Mission Workshop Sanction Rucksack

Nine weeks ago I became a full-time bike commuter, and I’ve been very happy with the results.  Though not long, my commute runs mainly on quiet back streets and gives me enough time to get ready and wind down as I go to and fom work.  Because of the continuing drought, I’ve enjoyed beautiful weather – just one wet morning and one day when the temperature slipped below freezing so far. 

I think one of the main reasons my switch to bike commuting has gone so smoothly is because of the preparations I made in the weeks leading up to it.  I thought a lot about what I would need to carry with me on a day-to-day basis, what supplies I would need at work to pretty-up when I got there, and what bike-clothing options I would need to face Minnesota’s generally unpredictable weather patterns.  And I thought a lot about what bag I would use to transport it all.

I ended up purchasing the Mission Workshop’s Sanction Rucksack.  I will be honest, it took me an extra two weeks to plunk down the credit card because of the price, but I was won over through its excellent construction and Made in the USA pedigree (sourced and constructed).

What do I like about the rucksack? 
Well, it really is a thing of beauty.  It may not matter for some what they stuff their lunch into before work, but I still have the beating heart of a status-conscious 14-year-old, and damn if it doesn’t make me smile every time I slip my arms through the straps.  The straps themselves are nice and stiff, and hold the pack comfortably high and off my lower back, making heavier loads a bit more manageable.  Though I haven’t had to worry about wet rides so far this fall, the pack is the most minimalist waterproof pack out there – you don’t have to roll up an extra foot of canvas because the top naturally closes over the main compartment like an envelope and diverts water away like the eave of your house.
The rucksack has a main compartment, a smaller secondary
compartment, three zipper compartments, and a velcro
pocket that is always accessible. 

The main compartment itself is a bit inflexible (the stiff canvas keeps it in the shape of a wide rectangle that lacks depth from front to back).  It is this stiff shape, however, that makes it so comfortable once it is on your back – no lumps sticking out, and always a stable load.  The size is perfectly suited to my needs (shoes, work outfit, lunch and coffee thermos), but wouldn’t work for someone who needs to carry a lot of paperwork back and forth.  The limited size has actually helped me, as I am more likely to stay and finish things up at work rather than bring stuff home.

Was the Sanction worth the extra money?  Definitely.  I’ve got a weather-proof pack that will last, and meets my needs perfectly.  And, hey, did I mention how pretty it is? 

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