- Buyer's Guide
Is The Trakke Hoy Backpack the Perfect Heritage EDC?
It’s no secret that we are fond of our Glaswegian friends over at Trakke. They’ve consistently created handsome, functional products that blend traditional materials with modern design perfectly.
Their newest product, the Trakke Hoy Backpack, is a progression of their philosophy and aimed at the modern nomad. Does this new 25L clamshell backpack live up to its predecessors in Trakke’s lineup?
While the idea of modern heritage may sound oxymoronic, I can assure you it isn’t. Trakke continues to use luxurious dry finish waxed cotton from Halley Stevensons – one of the oldest fabric mills in the world – and their bags are all the better for it. The olive exterior is one of my all-time favorite colors, and I know from using other Trakke bags and slings in this fabric and color that it will age beautifully.
Color: Black, Olive, Whisky
Volume: 25 liters
Fits: 16″ MacBook Pro
Outer Fabric: Dry Finish Waxed Canvas
Liner Fabric: Dry Finish Waxed Canvas
The Trakke Storr was their first travel backpack. Like most younger siblings, the Hoy is more refined and “modern” – particularly aesthetically. The rounded profile of the bag allows you to blend in as you glide through airports, head on your morning commute to work, or cruise around the city streets at the weekend. It is a versatile bag that can work in many situations.
Internally, the signature Trakke orange dry finish waxed canvas makes light work of finding your items, while all zippers have the delightful circular pulls that are a tactile experience in their own right. Trakke always uses great hardware, and for me, it makes a vast difference in my interaction with the product. AquaGuard zippers team up with the waxed canvas to provide a good level of protection against most passing weather. I wouldn’t be worried about my items inside unless it was the severest of storms.
Where to next?
The Trakke Hoy is a do-everything pack. But I feel it really excels as a travel pack; perfect for those slightly longer weekends where you need a little more than usual. It is a considered design, and while designated at approximately 25L, it feels larger than other bags I use that size in the EDC range. The cavernous main opening lends itself to easy packing too, with just one large zipper pocket in an otherwise blank space. It comfortably fitted clothes/shoes/accouterment for a 4-day trip, and my wife has also used it as a carry-on.
I found I got the most out of the Trakke Hoy by customizing the layout with my own cube/pouch/sling setup. I traveled with one pair of shoes towards the bottom, a packing cube of clothes, their excellent Largo sling as my EDC, and a small wash bag. The Hoy comfortably fitted these, and I could even make it swallow a light jacket on top of that.
When the Hoy is fully loaded, it is a comfortable pack to wear and you don’t notice what can be a significant weight. This is thanks to a clever harness design that sits the bag slightly away from your back, keeping the load centered. The straps are surprisingly comfortable and break in very nicely over time; I’m already starting to feel the “form” happening. These straps are easily adjustable via the cotton webbing and steel adjusters, which both complement the look of the bag.
I did notice that the distance between where the straps meet is definitely on the slimmer side. And with my wider neck, I had one or two occasions over the four weeks where it rubbed. However, this wasn’t an issue in the slightest for my 5’9″ tall wife. Not a big issue, but worth noting if you plan on hauling this bag great distances on your back.
“Ah, just right!”
When it comes to organization, Trakke has a knack for getting things not too hot, not too cold, but just right. Such is the case here with the Hoy, where all of the organization options are streamlined, but vital. You have a rear laptop sleeve that is combined with a shorter tech pouch. This cavity is accessible from the outside; something I think travelers will appreciate for airport security and working on the go.
The open pouch at the back of the laptop sleeve is large enough to hold a good-sized organizer, like the Trakke Laggan Pro (which is a great solution for tech storage, made from the same wonderful materials as the bag!). I love this laptop sleeve; it’s easy to get to at a moment’s notice, even when the main section of the bag is full. However, I do wish it had a little more padding (particularly at the base) for the days when you take a larger laptop computer. I usually only travel with my iPad Pro (12.9″) so it isn’t the biggest concern for me. But if I was traveling with a MacBook or similar, I’d certainly put it in a sleeve too – as there is enough room to accommodate both!
On the front of the bag is a useful section that folds open, revealing three pockets in a wallet/pen/notebook configuration. An elastic strip runs across these, giving you extra organization for smaller items such as pens and knives, etc. I also found them a useful spot for my glasses.
On the section that folds down, you’ll find a zippered pocket which is a great size for a passport, wallet, tissues, etc. It’s worth noting that whatever you put in this pocket is directly against the outside of the bag; the bigger and bulkier the item, the more visible it will be against the shape of the Hoy. If you place a larger item in this pocket while the main cavity isn’t full, the Hoy will sag in at the pocket seam. Since I mainly used this bag for travel – i.e. when it was full, I didn’t find it a big problem. But it highlights why I feel that this bag excels in the travel format as opposed to EDC.
There aren’t a million bells and whistles on the Hoy, and there doesn’t need to be. This bag is subtle, and I personally like that. I enjoyed its simplicity because that is often what I yearn for when traveling as well as in an everyday pack. It has just the right amount of pockets for your essentials. In true Trakke fashion, they give you the tools to make the adventure your own – with the Hoy, you can do just that. Comfortably.