Issue #032 Review

The Lab: ION TRANSOM 16 Backpack Review

In the “The Lab” we present the latest products and put them through their paces for you. Some undergo long-term tests, while we check others out only briefly. This time we reveal how the ION TRANSOM 16 backpack fared.

Backpacks are like sand by the sea. They vary in size and scope, they come with or without a back protector, with or without a hydration bladder and each one has a number of more or less useful features. But what makes the ION TRANSOM 16 special?

Manne tested the ION TRANSOM 16 for 10 months
Manne tested the ION TRANSOM 16 for 10 months

Getting straight to the point: The ION TRANSOM 16 has an Air_Condition_System that is meant to improve back ventilation on climbs, which is achieved by a clever and unique carrying system. The backpack has an additional adjustment mechanism on the hip belt, through which, when riding uphill, it rests only in the shoulder area of your back instead of being pulled flat against your back. With a little practice, this process only takes a few seconds – without having to remove the backpack to do so.

ION TRANSOM 16 Backpack Review
There is a latch on the waist strap with which to engage uphill mode
In uphill mode, a lot of space is made between the backpack and the lower back area, which greatly improves ventilation
In downhill mode, the ION TRANSOM 16 stays firmly attached to the back and provides optimal protection with its back protector

Before going downhill, simply fasten the latch, and a clearly audible clack confirms that the ION TRANSOM 16 is re-attached firmly to your back. With its wide shoulder straps and the even wider waist strap, the backpack sits very securely yet comfortably on your back in all riding situations. The waist strap also ensures that the backpack does not swing from side to side in uphill mode. At 1,791 g, the backpack is not a lightweight, but the flexible, back-adaptive and multi-impact SAS-TEC back protector is easy to remove, saving 226 grams in weight for everyday riding.

With its 16 l capacity, the ION TRANSOM 16 offers enough space for all the utensils you might need on a day trip. A hydration bladder, tools, a spare tube, muesli bars, a rain jacket and a spare jersey, can also be safely stowed thanks to a multitude inner pockets. Among other features, Manne liked the removable tool organiser with its netted pockets and elastic bands. A small zipped pocket houses a helmet strap for a full-face or open-face helmets. If you need more space in your backpack, you can opt for the ION TRANSOM 24 instead.

The SAS-TEC back protector is easily removable. The glasses/cell phone pocket is nicely padded. The highlight, however, is the tool board, which is secured in the backpack by means Velcro and can be removed if necessary.

If you like the contents of your backpack to be orderly, the ION TRANSOM 16 is the right backpack for you. The ION TRANSOM 16 is available in two sizes: S / M and L / XL. We advise taking your time to find the optimal adjustment when initially setting up the backpack with its adjustable V_String_Carrying_System you.

Even when diving headlong into the ground, The V_String_Carrying_System should always keep the backpack and the back protector in the correct position


The ION TRANSOM 16 is a well-designed touring backpack with all the features we could think of having. Its unique selling point, the Air_Condition_System, works well and significantly improves the ventilation during long uphills.


  • good workmanship
  • solid, secure fit
  • Air_Condition_System
  • removable tool compartment


  • weight
  • price

Tester: Manne
Duration: 10 months
Price: € 169.95 (incl. Rain cover), protector: € 29.95

Weight: 1,575 g (+ back protector 226 g)
Volume: 16 l
More info:

This article is from ENDURO issue #032

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Words: Manne Schmitt Photos: Valentin Rühl

About the author

Manne Schmitt

As the proud father of Robin and Max-Philip, Manne has been there from the start and is the wise elder of the editorial team. He won his first cycling race in elementary school at a school sports day. After less successful attempts at football, he found his passion for cycling via endurance racing in 1989! The world of racing still consumes him and no one in the team knows the EWS pros better than Manne. As a former head analyst of a state agency, he knows how to do proper research and finds exclusive news that no one else has. He supports his sons in day-to-day business dealings as the authorised signatory for 41 Publishing – viva la familia!