Gear Review Update: Rocket Science Sports Triathlon Backpack

author : DominiqueL
comments : 1

The folks at RSS weren’t happy with the 4.75, so they updated the backpack and sent me a new one. They have continued engineering this already fantastic bag to make it even better.

By Dominic Lazzaretto


About a year ago (has it really been that long?), I put out a review of Rocket Science Sports’ Triathlon Backpack. I raved, but had a few minor concerns. I thought that the water bottle holders should be slightly larger and the waterproof inner lining ripped fairly easily. Even with these issues, I gave the pack a 4.75/5. That’s how much I liked the rest of it.


Well, the folks at RSS weren’t happy with the 4.75, so they updated the backpack and sent me a new one. No, I don’t really think they changed things just for us, but it’s nice to pretend isn’t it? Either way, they have continued engineering this already fantastic bag to make it even better.

Updated Items
If I don’t mention it, let’s just assume that it’s the same as in the original review, which I’m sure you’ve read several times and committed to memory because you enjoyed it so much.

First, they’ve fixed the water bottle issue. I’m not sure exactly what they did, but even the largest of my bottles sits nicely in the mesh holders and, even though the compression strap still goes over the bottle, it holds things securely while still allowing you access.

The Product

Elite Backpack


The Maker

Rocket Science Sports (

The Price


The Rating


The Skinny

This is a must-have item. I can’t find a single thing to whine about.

They’ve also updated the waterproof lining. Where it meets the nylon edges, things are built so well that I can’t even see the stitching. I’ve pulled on the lining, I’ve twisted it, and I’ve used the bag for months with no regard for its safety. Through all this torture, the lining has shown no signs of distress.

After 5 months, the bag still looks brand new.

Speaking of the waterproof area, the new version of the bag includes a slightly different wetsuit compartment. Where the old wetsuit compartment was held in by six snaps that ran down the sides, the new bag uses just three suspended snaps across the top. You’ll have to just take my word for it that this works better because it would take 10 paragraphs to fully explain why. Oh yeah, and the new version of the wetsuit compartment is lighter, more supple, and comes with a little handle on top.

And they haven’t stopped there.

RSS has added a little transition mat to the bag. It even has its own little zipper compartment at the bottom of the pack. The mat is made out of nylon and measures 26” x 13”. That’s not very large for a packrat, but it’s big enough to hold your transition gear in a shorter race. One side of the mat is waterproof and urges you to “Race With Attitude”, which is strangely motivating when you see it.

A transition mat works nicely for the efficient transitioner.
Color options have changed a bit. The bag I have is mostly black with a red stripe down the middle, which makes it easier to find in a crowded transition area and coordinates with my RSS wetsuit extremely well. There is also an espresso and baby blue version – you know, the color combo that is uber-hip right now. This version is probably designed for the ladies out there, but what do I know? Maybe it works for men too. I don’t judge. I used to own a mint colored bike with purple anodized wheel skewers.

Final Thoughts
I have absolutely no complaints about this bag. The price has gone up a bit in the last year, but $110 isn’t outrageous for a backpack you’ll have for your entire racing career. They have fixed all of my little complaints, they’ve kept all of the greatest things about this bag, and they’ve even added some cool new stuff. Basically, if you’re going to buy a transition backpack, you’d be silly to not consider this bag.




Rocket Science Sports
Triathlon Backpack





The backpack just keeps swallowing gear. It may look small, but it plays big.

Ease of Use

With 24 different compartments, buckles, and straps to hold your gear, you’ll find just the right place to put everything. Several compartments are even labeled to keep you organized.


If the pack were more durable, it would be bulletproof. Stitch points are well secured.

Cosmo Factor*

It’s a good-looking pack. Ergonomic and a few good, simple color options.


Now that they’ve fixed the few issues with the initial run, it gets a perfect score. I think that this may be the best tri bag ever.


Random Thoughts That My Only Interest Me

  • I need to specifically thank Eunice Chen at Rocket Science Sports for being so patient with me. I’ve had this backpack since March and have been promising a review since May and she still contacts me like she’s trying not to bother me. I’d be yelling and screaming by now.

  • Call me sentimental, but I still miss that old mint colored bicycle. That cheap Bridgestone was indestructible and got me through college.

Technical Data

Dimensions: Height (20"), Width (13"), Depth (9"), Depth with pocket (10")
Weight: About four pounds
Smart-Compartment™ Design - allows effective organization and easy visualization of your triathlon gear
Rugged 1680D Nylon & 600D Ripstop - most advanced and durable fabrics so your bag lasts for many seasons
Air-Flight™ Padded Back - designed to allow ventilation, keeps you cool on the bike
Ergonomic Strap Design - comfortable, fitted and supportive
Rain Cover - keep your gear dry when it is raining
Blinking Light Attachment - be safe when you have to cycle to a race at 5am when it’s still dark outside
Helmet Compartment - keep your head safe
Removable Cell Phone Pocket - stay connected
Dual-Sided Mesh Pocket - designed to hold your fluids
Removable Wet-Dry Compartment - keeps the wet stuff wet and the dry stuff dry
Glasses Holder - protects your shades
Inner Organizer Mesh Pocket - for your post-race change of clothes
Reflective Strips - so that people can see you

A Note on the Author: Dominic Lazzaretto has completed fourteen triathlons (kind of near the front of the age grouper pack) and has competed in dozens of road running races, mountain bike races, and road cycling events. He is one of the official gear reviewers for


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date: September 10, 2007