- Buyer's Guide
QWSTION Daypack Review: Drive By
Freelance photographer and urban creative,Will Hartl runs the QWSTION Dackpack and reports back…
As a freelancer your routines are prone to change. So for a while I’d worked from a home office in between travel, commercial shoots and photographing weddings. I weirdly work better with people around me, so in order to stay on top of a large amount of work and editing I recently moved into a co-share space in Surry Hills.
So there it was, I was back on the morning bus…but wait! What do I need to take? Am I going to a meeting? Am I going out after? How am I feeling? Is it going to rain today? After researching around the web for the ideal bags to suit my above criteria I stumbled across a bag brand that seemed to ask the same questions as me. More importantly they provided a stylish and flexible solution to a variable brief.
I seem to collect black bags, so I’ve got my hands on a QWSTION Organic Jet Black Daypack. QWSTION started in Zurich in 2008, with a bunch of industrial designers coming together to question the norm. QWSTION has totally re-thought the way a bag can fit into our modern lives.
There are two collections, ‘Standard’ and ‘Simple’. The Simple collection offers around five basic shapes in raw materials, while the Standard collection offers a larger variety of high-end materials and premium finishes. In total, there are around 28 different bags.
At 16L the Daypack is the smaller of the two ‘packs’ in the collection. Small enough to be a tote bag and briefcase, while large enough to double as a small backpack. It comes with detachable carry handles and has a stylish leather grab handle, which is attached either horizontally (for an office bag) or vertically (for a tote). It also includes backpack straps, which are used as a backpack or stowed when not in the mood.
“Small enough to be a tote bag and briefcase, while large enough to double as a small backpack.
The bag opens via a two-way zip system and aluminium twist lock. Depending on which zip you open you can store something quickly or completely re-arrange your items.
The main compartment allows for a generous 16L of storage, with an elastic padded pouch which can hold a 15“ MacBook Pro comfortably and the smart little buckle holds everything within. On the adjacent side of the bag there is a padded sleeve, which is perfect for notebooks, magazines and documents needed for meetings.
Closer to the main compartment there are two zip pockets, which share the same area as the document sleeve at roughly 1:2 ratio. These are great as they allow you to maximise space by neatly packing away items rather than have them bouncing around the bag. The smaller pocket (closer to the top main zip) is perfect for sunnies or other quick-access valuables like pens and car keys. The larger pocket is great for hard drives or computer charger cables. With all your smaller valuables packed away you still have the use of the 16L main compartment, leaving plenty of room for gym gear, a spare jumper, packed lunch or a camera.
Who It Suits
QWSTION has been really clear about its intent and mission statement, which is clearly stated on its website. “Our goal is to create bags for people in a modern environment. If you’re looking for a bag that suits your way of life, then QWSTION can get you there. Our bags are designed with the modern metropolitan individual and their demand for mobility and flexibility in mind,” it reads.
Who It Doesn’t
At 16L the bag is a perfect ‘Daypack’, so obviously not suited for the camping, overnight-hiking-adventure man looking for a pack to survive in the wilderness.
Attention to detail:
After receiving the bag, I was blown away at the extra consideration put into delivery. It was a real experience opening the box to find a hand-written note and a premium-coated canvas bag with high-end trims and considered details. What stood out first was the subtle blend of different textures and the harmonious color scheme. Nothing about this bag felt cheap or careless. One of my favourite details is the subtle silver embossed branding on the leather trims throughout the bag. It’s stylish and nicely ties back in with the silver aluminium.
Look and feel:
The outside shell is made from 100% Eco-PU organic-cotton canvas with a PFC-free, water-repellent coating. It has a durable look and feel and will weather nicely over time. What I really love about the exterior is that it feels strong and sturdy while retaining style and functionality. The mixture of black canvas, stylish leather trims and muted-matte aluminium leaves it feeling premium, considered and refined with subtle sophistication.
“What stood out first was the subtle blend of different textures and the harmonious color scheme. Nothing about this bag felt cheap or careless.”
Intelligent storage design:
Above the shoulder straps is a genius little pocket, perfect for quick storage for items like keys, a wallet and a phone. I hate blindly digging around the bottom of a bag for something, so I love this feature and use it all the time.
Wear and Tear:
After the bag has come with me every day, I’m really impressed with how it has gracefully aged, yet still retains its shape. And I have given it a decent workout by stuffing it with my laptop, hard drives and often my lunch, which never gets beaten up or thrown around. Along the way it has gained a few marks and scratches on the coated canvas, but rather than this being a problem or eyesore the wear and tear has given the bag more character.
I’ve had the opportunity to use it in its different forms and in a variety of situations. What’s amazing is I can change the bag to suit the situation. A stylish backpack can transform into a corporate office bag for a client meeting and later back to a backpack on the way home.
Comprising of canvas, leather trims and aluminium buckle clips, the backpack straps are quite minimal. For what they are, they are actually quite comfortable, but not made for the athlete looking to run to work or the mountain man looking to trek cross-country. They serve their purpose aesthetically and functionally.
The Not So Good
The interior is lined with a soft, burnt-orange organic cotton. It wouldn’t have been my first choice of color, but after some time I see how it nicely complements the color scheme along with the interior matt aluminium zips and black leather trims.
If I had to make one slight improvement to the interior I would include more storage options in the main compartment. For example, smaller pouch/s on the outside of the laptop sleeve like QWSTION has done with its ‘Weekender’ and ‘Backpack’ bags.
Whilst easily accessible and offering plenty of storage space, the bag with a half full main compartment can be quite flimsy. Some days I will end up putting in a jumper to give the bag better shape and balance.
“If I had to make one slight improvement to the interior I would include more storage options in the main compartment.”
I have noticed that if I am carrying heavier items I’m more likely to use the backpack straps over the grab handles, but really like how I’m not restricted to a backpack all the time.
Some days I’m happy I have a backpack; other days I need to put on a shirt for a client meeting and need to take a bag which is a little more ‘professional’. The QWSTION Daypack is the perfect bag for the modern urban professional. A stylish and considered carry-all ready for whatever situation you find yourself in.
By asking the right questions QWSTION has created a large, intelligent hybrid range of products that combine the best aspects of each category with a modern and stylish mix of high fashion and functional carry. What’s exciting is that depending on your style, there is a huge range of other bags which have applied the fluidity of the Daypack. Amazing bag, amazing execution and amazing concept. Highly recommended!