Slack Pack

It’s been close to six months since returning to inline skating, and I’ve since invested a lot of time to research and skill-building—certainly a lot more than I did during my first foray way back in the 1990s. That research lead me to Rollerblade’s Macroblade 110 3WD skates and accompanying accessories, including a Rollerblade backpack which, like the improvements made to the Macroblades, has its own set of improvements including durability. It was with this mindset that if the Big Box brand Rollerblade could do this, the more specialized brands with core followings within the inline community could & would do even better.

I was wrong.

Some months after first setting a-wheel again on the Macroblades, I scored a set of Powerslide’s new Zoom Pro Lomax 110 skates, a hardshell boot made for the urban skater, sporting longtime Powerslide-sponsored skater Nick Lomax’s name & alleged design preferences. The blue boot matched the hue & aesthetic that much of my kit h taking on, too. That I could land them on my doorstep in a couple of days for a good price from a local-ish small business skate shop was the proverbial cherry on top. But I still needed a place to stash & store them.

Powerslide’s Zoom Pro Nick Lomax 110 inline skates are a thing of beauty.

The Rollerblade bag still held the Rollerblades & related kit, with the plan to be to sell the whole shebang once I was sure the Powerslides were the skates for me. In the interim, I started looking for a bag to stash the PS skates and new kit.

Amazon had nothing that appealed to me in price or (especially) aesthetics, so I started perusing Powerslide’s branded offerings, happening upon the Powerslide Fitness backpack. The size & features looked right, only nobody in the States had the bag in stock. A link from Powerslide’s site sent me north to Canada, where I found inventory at Pro Skater’s Palace. The price was right, shipping wasn’t outrageous, and the bag was on my doorstep a week or so later.

It’s been about a month since receiving the bag, and it’s been doing a fine job of storing the Zoom Pro skates & safety kit when said kit is not on me for skating. Thanks to the abundant rainfall in South Texas this summer, that’s been a lot that the bag & skates have been hanging on the wall in the garage. But that’s about the best I can say about it.

Powerslide Fitness backpack in black. It holds skates & kit.

I really wanted to like this bag. Again, its design looked to be perfect, but there’s a lot to be desired, especially for a bag hovering right around that $50 price-point; just over, once accounting for shipping & taxes.

The canvas construction isn’t terribly lightweight, but it—and the zipper, straps, and construction quality—is certainly not near as spacious or robust as the Rollerblade bag I have, the Pro Backpack LT30. Though, to be fair, that bag is a touch more costly, too, but only a touch.

Powerslide’s Fitness backpack just barely has room for a set of urban/fitness skates.

The Zoom Pro skates are classified as an urban fitness skate, sporting the fairly common 3×110 configuration, and these just barely fit onto the Fitness backpack’s mounting straps. With a minimal amount of finagling, the skates can be securely fastened and stored and don’t really appear to be going anywhere, even if trotting after a bus or ice cream truck or what-have-you.

Velcro straps keep inline skates snugly in place.

However, it is with the arm straps where I guess I feel like I find the greatest fault with the Fitness backpack. The material, the padding, and general lack of adjustment of the straps just leaves so much to be desired in not only comfort but also security. The absence of a connecting strap across the chest for improved stabilization, trotting or no, is just a colossal disappointment. I like to know my bag is snug & secure on me, and Rollerblade and Chrome and countless others get this right on every bag they make—at least ones I’ve used in this same price point.

While I know the Powerslide Fitness backpack is no “pro” series of packs, they didn’t really have to make it so obvious with the cheapness of materials & construction quality. Fortunately, I’ll not be doing much-if-any traveling or commuting with this backpack. It should be able to do fine keeping kneepads, gloves, and skates all safely stashed together and hanging on the wall for when I’m ready to quickly grab kit and head out the door—and do so for the next several years. I just really would have preferred something with a touch more room for a common size of skate and a touch of improvements in comfort & stability without having to go Pro to get it.

Thanks for reading.

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