For years, my favorite cycling bag was the Road Runner Bags Evil Mini, an ultralight rolltop backpack that collapses down to nearly nothing. Over time, however, I grew annoyed by its lack of interior pockets. A new bag from Road Runner, the Comrad, one-ups the old Evil Mini by taking a similar collapsible design but adds a few storage options, like a sectioned external pocket big enough for a U-lock, a smartphone, and a sunglasses case. There’s also a main compartment big enough for a laptop and a jacket, clips on the straps and on the back for lights and carabiner’d gear, as well as two side pockets for water bottles.
One other key improvement is the top closure, which uses an elastic drawstring instead of a zipper, so reaching inside to snatch something is a one-handed breeze instead of a two-handed chore. The Comrad’s design—ripstop nylon with no padded panels—keeps its weight to just 5.5 ounces and makes it eminently packable. The whole thing stuffs into its own external pocket and squishes down to the size of a paperback novel. —Michael Calore