I was immediately impressed with the Wingman shoulder bag when it came out a couple of years ago. It perfectly protects a suit in a roll instead of a fold, provides a waterproof utility bag for toiletries and shoes and has outside pockets for all your personal effects.
What’s more, it’s cleverly designed to sit comfortably on the rider’s back. All this in a tough, water-resistant, adjustable and good-looking bag.
This new backpack version will suit people who don’t like the strap-across-the-body format of the original. The backpack straps provide a more secure position on your back, particularly with the waist strap as well. The new format also provides a sleeve for stashing a laptop of up to 15 inches and the suit hanger attachment is improved. On the bike, the Wingman backpack sits high on your back, obscuring a quick glance over your shoulder.
The secret skeleton of the Wingman are semi-rigid ribs to keep the roll from collapsing and crushing your clothes. On the outside, reflective piping improves visibility and there’s a loop for attaching a bike light. It also comes with a bright- coloured rain cover that stashes away. A outside zipper reveals a nest of organiser pockets for your tablet, phone, book, headphones, keys, etc.
There are handles where you need them to haul your luggage through transit, and a separate strap for toting the utility bag to the shower or gym. Within a couple of uses you can tell the Wingman has been thoroughly prototyped, tested and refined.
I’ve used the original Wingman as luggage for a few short interstate trips by plane and coach. I love how it cleverly stashes everything I need and still qualifies as carry-on luggage for airlines. For an interstate funeral, the Wingman did a perfect job of transporting my suit and formal shirt crease-free, along with casual clothes and personal gear for a few days. Having carried a suit in a pannier for riding to a wedding, I can tell you the Wingman does a far superior job.