Kriega R15 - Long Term review

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by badrock, May 15, 2020.

  1. badrock

    badrock n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2015
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    5
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    Europe
    After a few years extensively using Kriega’s backpacks, I thought it would be good to share with you some of my thoughts.

    If you want the short version, it’s easy: get one, it’s a fantastic piece of kit and you won’t regret it.

    If you are interested in the why… keep on reading.

    Let’s start with the obvious, the less you have on your back, the better it is… anyway, for the type of riding I do, there are some things that I would rather never leave on the bike (passport, wallet, phone and so on). When traveling, as well as doing hard daily enduro.

    On top of that, once you start carrying a bladder, there is no going back..

    Before the Kriega, I used to use cheap backpacks and water bladders.. Needless to say, the cheap bladders wouldn’t last more than a season before starting to leak.
    After few years I decided to switch to the Kriega backpacks and never looked back.

    For this review I’ve used the R15. This is the perfect size for me… bigger than a simpler bladder, and not as big as a proper backpack such as the R20-35. I don’t know you, but if I have more space I tend to fill it.


    Test field

    This is my go-to backpack when I get on a bike.
    Been using this every weekend when riding enduro.


    done-20170318_124544.jpg

    As well as 1-2 weeks trips on my rally bike.


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    Damn it, since you hardly feel it, I even use it when skiing :super

    done-20170308_151537_001.jpg

    Generally I carry only the basics with me.
    Carrying the water bladder, wallet/phone, waterproof shell, spare gloves, a snack, and, if I don’t carry extra bags, a small emergency tool kit.

    When riding enduro, I tend to pack my bags extremely tight.. And you don’t want to open them during a ride.. So everything I need during the day pretty much fits into the bag.


    Expandability

    It features latches on the side to make it more snag. I’m not a huge fan of the latches, since you tend to have something flapping a bit (they have some clips to keep it together.. But doesn’t always work). I thought about it, but would not know how to improve it. Elastics would have worked better for a while, but for sure would not have the same durability. I’ve always been afraid to catch branches while riding single tracks in the woods, but to date it has never happened..

    The advantage is that when fully expanded you have quite a bit of space.

    I’ve been using the backpack when traveling and I managed to fit my laptop and all my camera gear (mirror-less, few lenses, gopro, but tons of accessories)

    done-20170512_193651.jpg

    Water repellent

    The only part of the backpack that is waterproof is the small internal pocket. This is where I keep all my documents, and has given me peace of mind in case the bladder would start leaking (not that it has happened).

    The rest is only water resistant.

    I’ve always been confused with water resistance… I’ve always been on the fence… either make it waterproof, and leave it.. Till you get in deep mud and you start appreciating it :-)

    done-20170318_135610.jpg

    For the days that it’s properly pouring down, I simply wear it under my waterproof shell.


    Attachment

    This is the smartest part of the backpack and the reason I love it.

    The attachment is genius. Simple to adjust and keeps it fit and snug, and you stop feeling it after a while.

    You can see how the competition has been ‘taking inspiration’ from it. In Sweden, where I currently live, USWE is big on enduro backpacks.. And they recently redesigned all their products to feature an 'upgraded'/'familiar' system :augie


    The R15 also came with a waist strap.. But honestly I never saw the need for it

    Is it the most comfortable backpack to take on and off? For enduro riding yes.. As a normal backpack definitely not.. But yet again, that’s not what it’s meant for.


    Accessories

    Bladder.

    I can’t properly compare this since except for this one I’ve only used cheap bladders… and they suck.

    What I can say is that it’s not leaking after 3 years of hard use..

    The isolation on the tube really works! You don’t think about it till you are riding in the winter at -10 and you try to suck ice cubes..

    done-20190203_125358.jpg

    When hot, I usually add ice cubes to the water to keep it cool, and thanks to the insulation I’m not drinking tea.

    One thing that could be improved is the way the tube attaches to the backpack. It uses velcro, but a good piece ends up flapping about.. Also, the velcro needs to be kept free of dirt..


    Back protector.

    I realized that if I’m sitting on the bike, I always wear the Kriega!

    Recently I’ve added the back protector insert, removed the one in the jacket, and so far I really like it. Takes up a bit of space in the backpack but allows more airflow for the jacket.

    Of course, I don’t use it when riding hard enduro.. There I wear I complete protection west.


    Conclusions: It’s an amazing product.. Not the cheapest but worth every cent.


    Hope this wasn’t too long :type
    If you have questions.. shoot..


    #1
  2. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

    Joined:
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    Yep. I've been wearing Kriega for 10 years. Still works as new. Agree with you 100%
    #2
  3. FunkyMad

    FunkyMad Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    73
    I'll third that review. I have the R20. After a year or two, I had some weird flaking inside but was told not to worry by the company. After about 5-6 years the internal pocket ripped at the bottom. This time contacted Kriega distributor directly and was sent a replacement under warranty. It's definitely not cheap but a great backpack on and off the bike.
    #3
  4. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    There is a pretty new, smaller backpack out.
    https://kriega.us/backpacks-1/trail9-adventure-backpack

    I've had the hydration pack for a few years. Has anyone that has had the hydration pack and one of their backpacks noticed any difference in the comfort over the course of wearing it for long periods? I feel like the hyped comfort of the packs doesn't match my experience. It's better than other packs but somehow falling short of what I expected. Does anyone have any tips on adjusting the pack for best comfort with regards to how high or low you having it sitting on your back via the upper and lower adjustment straps?
    #4
  5. badrock

    badrock n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    5
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    I never used the hydration pack but it seems to use the same quadloc attachment. The way I adjust it is by making sure the upper adjustment strap is set correctly (basically below the 2 dots if I'm not wearing anything, on the 2 dots with armor, and between the 2 and 3 if I'm fully equipped). Only after I tighten the lower straps.

    That said, I keep it pretty high (as u can see in the pics), and the curvature of the pack fits me well. I guess that can be subjective.
    #5
  6. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Some wear it high while other wear it low.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. AdvNener

    AdvNener Long timer

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    For me wearing it high is the key to not feel the weight on the shoulders (the tradeoff is some pressure on the chest).
    #7
    redkerk84 and swimmer like this.
  8. badrock

    badrock n00b

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    Same here. Also, wearing it on top of armour helps spreading the load on the chest.
    #8
  9. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

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    And because you had one, I had to get one....
    #9
  10. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    You had to do it didn't you. I had no idea. That's the bag I've been wishing they'd make. Size in between the hydration pack and the r15 with a usable stash pocket on outside for rain jacket. Both my packs may be up for sale soon.
    #10
  11. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    We need to catch up soon
    #11
    sprouty115 likes this.
  12. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Yeah, probably sell my hydration pack minus the bladder since someone probably won't want my used bladder anyway. This new pack would work betterffor me. Maybe someone with one of their bigger packs uses it with bladder and wants something smaller as well.
    #12
  13. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Location:
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    Kriega 15 and Garmin InReach mini clipped to it are the pb&j of ADV biking!

    The bag just disappears on my back with the clip design. I have the added water bladder.

    I also use it MTB with the same love.
    It's just the bomb.
    #13
  14. moffy

    moffy foolish fool

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    I have the R20. After about 4 months the zipper kept on separating. I sent pics to kriega in Australia and asked for a new bag. I was told they warranty the bag but not the zipper! I went directly to them, said "remember me? We talked on the phone"...she said "oh yea I remember talking to you on the phone, sorry we cant help you". So I grabbed another R20 off the shelf and said "I'm taking this"! I put my old one on the counter and left. Iv never bought any kriega stuff since.
    #14
    brianbrannon and sprouty115 like this.