The Review Smiths
Motionlab Active Commute Motionlab Active Commute
Motionlab Active Commute

The Motionlab Active Commute has been designed for people commuting on foot or on bicycle as a way of bringing all your belongings along with you but without putting unnecessary pressure on your back, shoulders and spine caused by regular backpacks.

Created with a revolutionary carry-technology the straps sit completely free from the shoulders, the weight is spread across the hips and chest producing better stability and balance. The wraparound harness features the patented BreathEZ buckle technology for comfort and the bag moves with your body without restricting movements or breathing. The suspension system cushions the impact caused by running and cycling and mirrors the human body in how it flexes, twists and extends with your movements, the structural frame holds the bag off your shoulders and away from the body for minimal contact with your back and allowing maximum airflow.

The ergonomic hip-belt places the load on the hips where the body is designed to carry load, and remains there even with vigorous movements, the Active Commute also features reflective detailing for better visibility and is constructed from a durable, waterproof smart fabric and waterproof zips. There are plenty of pockets to organise your gear including a large purse pocket with discrete zip, elasticated side pockets, easy access rib pockets, padded 15” laptop sleeve, a fleecy iPad pocket, pen holders, multisided mesh pockets and a work section with zip pulls hidden in the side pockets, there is even a storage space for keys to stop them rattling around.

Getting the bag on is rather awkward, the straps have to be set up precisely for it to work correctly, the straps also have to be quite tight which can take a bit of getting used to, it requires a slightly different set up on the bike as it does when running or walking which makes it harder to switch between activities. The straps also need to be done up fully for comfort so you cannot simply sling it over one shoulder whilst moving from the bike to the office, when riding a regular bike it certainly feels more comfortable than a normal backpack however in a racing position on a road bike some of the weight can press on the middle of the back instead of the waist.

When running I didn’t notice a huge amount of difference than with regular backpacks, the weight is off your shoulder but the straps are so tight I found them irritating, as a rule I tend to avoid taking anything with me when I run. I enjoyed the Active Commute best when walking, a long day’s hike with all the gear was noticeably more comfortable, my shoulders and neck didn’t ache at the end and the ventilation on the back kept me cool and dry.

The Active Commute is rather pricey and not the most versatile of bags, however it does offer lots of storage organisation and distributes the weight in a new way, if shoulder, back or neck pain is a reoccurring issue this could be just what you need. RRP £189.00

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This clever bag takes the weight off your shoulders and distributes it over the hips
  • Supportive structural frame
  • No weight on the shoulders
  • Moves with the body
  • Lots of back ventilation
  • Lots of storage pockets
  • Reflective detailing and compression straps
  • Not ideal for racing position on the bike
  • Straps need to be tight and precisely fitted
  • Not comfortable over one shoulder
  • A bit awkward to fit properly