- Buyer's Guide
Drive By :: Seagull Bags NightShift V2
Pete Barfoot, marine biologist and surfer, lugs the little-known Seagull Bags NightShift V2 up the coast of Australia…
The NightShift V2 from Seagull Bags is a versatile 26L go-anywhere pack; it has enough daisy chains and webbing attachment points to load it up for just about any mission. It does not have a solid structure so it can be rolled up and stored. Despite the lack of spine structure the bag is comfortable and functional for extended periods of use, as long as you do not pack hard odd-shaped objects at the back.
For a 26L bag the level of internal organization was significant but through effective design methods it does not add bulk or impede use. The main compartment has a laptop slip against the spine and the opposing face is divided into a mix of small and large zippered and non-zippered sub pockets. The small front compartment has two little pockets and there is a third little at the bottom of the pack for stashing the front webbing.
There are webbing loops on the bottom, sides and front of the bag; interestingly the front webbing runs vertically and can be threaded through the daisy chain. Daisy chains run laterally along the front of the bag and vertically down the sides.
“…the level of internal organization was significant but through effective design methods it does not add bulk or impede use.“
Additionally it has some large loops either side of the carry handle which could be used to strap a top load.
To test this pack I took it on a week-long road trip up the East coast of Australia from Bells to Byron. I drove up with a friend and flew back taking my clothes, camera, wetsuit, notepad and other miscellaneous crap that one needs to survive for a week on the road.
“Despite the lack of spine structure the bag is comfortable and functional for extended periods of use, as long as you do not pack hard odd-shaped objects at the back.“
The pack was in and out of the car, the caravan, buses, planes and trains, it was used for a number of hikes into remote beaches and copped a few squalls when the weather turned ugly.
Who It Suits
The NightShift V2 has such a versatile design that it covers a broad spectrum of the carry community. It is an obvious one for adventure carry, being adaptable to most pursuits from rock climbing to freediving and everything in-between. However, its appeal is broader than that. The Seagull was a really practical travel bag and suited day-to-day carry well. The pack really does cover a lot of bases and would suit people who want it to function in the mountains and look good on the street.
Who It Doesn’t
The Seagull is probably not the sort of bag for mono-specific use. There is enough specialized carry on the market to fill the needs of individuals who require their pack for a single purpose. The NightShift V2 does lots of types of carry well, but it does not have the level of specialization to become for example a backcountry ski-touring pack.
The Nightshift V2 has a readily accessible main compartment that uses most of the pack’s volume. The heavy-duty weatherproof zips run all the way to the bottom so the bag can clamshell.
It is a really comfortable bag, it molds to your back and the strapping fits to your shoulders nicely.
The well-thought-out external attachment points make the bag functional for applications well beyond its litreage.
The V2 is a longer and thinner pack than what you commonly see and looks better for it. The fabric is tough and hard-wearing, with a coarse look to it. The zips contrast well with the fabric and break the shape nicely.
It is tough, weatherproof and dependable. The fabric used is durable and functional, and all the zips and hardware are high quality and built for abuse. The stitching has been well thought out and made to last.
The NightShift V2 looks really nice. The overall styling and vibe of the pack combined with subtle branding and good colorways make it shine.
The Not So Good
There is a small front compartment which was handy but a little hard to access when fully loaded. It felt a little like patting a dog through a letter box.
The V2 when heavily loaded with hard objects is not very comfortable; you really notice the lack of spine support.
The lack of structure for the back also means that in hotter climes it becomes a sweat pad.
“There is a small front compartment which was handy but a little hard to access when fully loaded. It felt a little like patting a dog through a letter box.“
An oddity is the flap over the top of the front webbing that dog-ears and begs the question as to what its purpose might be.
Due to the heavy-duty materials used to construct this bag its dry weight is significant relative to comparable packs in terms of structure or lack thereof.
The lack of a waist strap does limit how far you can push the NightShift V2. Even a removable one would prove invaluable for applications such as snowboarding and mountain biking, where the side to side movement of your pack can prove hazardous.
“The lack of structure for the back also means that in hotter climes it becomes a sweat pad.“
Others to Consider
It just became my new everything bag. I really liked this bag; it performed well on the road trip and I have been running it as an everyday bag since. It has the right combination of technical, functional, fashionable and toughness.