Howies Little Haven backpack review
Is the Little Haven pack the perfect cyclists' day/commuter pack? We tested it to find out.
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A great pack for commutes and day rides
Really well thought out design
Comfortable to wear
In-built Keep Right rain cover
Capacity a bit small for larger loads
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Howies’ Little Haven pack has a capacity of 10 litres and a host of well thought out cycling friendly features. The pack has a single main pocket with a double zip, a long narrow front pocket which is good for tools or a pump and a small zipped valuables pocket. There are also two elasticated side pockets which will each fit a bottle, two helmet fixing loops and a carrying handle.
>>> Best backpacks: a buyer's guide
Inside the main pocket, there’s a sleeve and hanging loop for a bladder and there’s an exit hole for the drinking tube near the right shoulder.
There are plenty of subtle reflective elements built in: the side pockets and base of the pack have reflective ribbing, there’s a reflective light loop on the lower back and the Howies logo is also reflective, so there’s good low light visibility.
The pack’s shoulder straps are made of a wide mesh so that they don’t get sweaty and they have a chest strap to keep the pack stable which is part elasticated so that it has a bit of give and sits more comfortably. The bottom of the straps is lightly padded and there are reflective strips which sit on the front of the shoulders.
The nylon webbing lower part of the straps comes with a clever winder which fits to the bottom of the length adjuster, so that the ends of the straps form a coil and are not left flapping around.
I found the pack to be a great size for commuting and day ride duties. It stays comfortable to wear and does not give you a sweaty back due to the four padded areas which ensure good air circulation. There’s a slight tendency to bump around when riding out of the saddle, although the wide straps and the elasticated chest strap do a good job keeping this under control.
The Little Haven shrugs off damp and mud from the back wheel, but if things start to get really wet, there’s a raincover attached to the pack and hidden in a pocket in the base. This is blue with a large reflective “Keep Right” sign (or Keep Left on the Continent).
If you need more load space, the Broad Haven pack has similar features, more pockets and increases the volume to 18 litres.
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Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.
He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.
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