Space and Access
The pack has a dual-buckle top lid with a drawstring closure underneath to secure the main compartment. While they don’t have the speed of magnetic buckles, the pack’s lid buckles were secure yet easy to open as needed and the drawstring opening was simple to operate too, with no unwanted slippage while in use. The adjustable lid buckle webbing and drawstring closure provide flexible volume too, allowing you to store additional gear or taller items if you need to.
The pack offers plenty of space for daily essentials in urban or outdoor settings. It comfortably holds an outer layer, a camera, food, a multitool, a water bottle, and more if you’re hitting the trails. I’ve comfortably carried everything I needed for me and my dog for an overnight trip too, including a change of clothes, toiletries, dog food, a dog bowl, a dog towel, some toys, and his blanket bed rolled up and strapped to the outside. Only having to carry one bag made it easy for us to maneuver on and off the train and complete the hour’s trek home from the station on foot.
The white lining is convenient for quickly discerning different items in the main compartment. Additionally, I found the main compartment offered a good amount of space without being too deep, so I could still easily retrieve items at the bottom of the pack.
To confirm, this is a top-loading pack with no other access to the main compartment. So you’ll need to pack accordingly to ensure frequently used gear isn’t at the bottom of the pack. However, the exterior webbing straps and pockets provide flexible storage for keeping quick-access gear close to hand.
The back panel and shoulder straps are well padded and the sternum strap is easily adjustable in height to find your preferred position. The pack doesn’t come with load lifters or a waist strap but I don’t think this is too much of an issue, as you’re unlikely to regularly haul really big or heavy loads with it, given its size. The option of a removable webbing waist belt might be a future design iteration worth considering. There were a couple of instances where I was clambering over rocks and felt the pack shift to the side, making me more conscious of having to maintain balance. However, I was carrying a fairly heavy load and moving in awkward angles so pack movement was understandable here. So again, I think “optional” is the way to go if a waist belt features in a future design, as not everyone will require one for their intended use and loads, though it could come in handy for load stability during active use.
I like to wear the pack quite high up and the shoulder straps are straightforward to adjust by pulling on the strap webbing. There is no excess webbing management but you can create a temporary fix by tucking the excess into the webbing running up the front of the shoulder straps. Not ideal, but it does in a pinch if you don’t have an alternative means of webbing management on hand.
Apart from the shoulder straps for portability, there is a simple webbing grab handle at the top rear of the pack. It’s not padded but it feels fine for carrying the pack over short distances or lifting it into and out of vehicles or tight spaces and has come in useful on multiple occasions.
One thing to note is that there is no breathable airmesh or large airflow channels on the back panel. So this won’t be the best option for really humid conditions. I’ve hiked for several hours with this pack in Scottish early summer conditions and it’s been fine. But if you’re tackling extended hikes in sweltering heat, you may want to look at a more specialized hiking pack.
I like to think of this pack as a jack of all trades; a day bag you can use across a variety of environments. While it’s not the most comfortable pack I’ve ever worn, it’s comfy enough for day-to-day use in town or exploring some trails on your travels.
The pack’s floating liner makes it highly weatherproof as there are no seams from the bag’s exterior to the interior. You’ll find the lining under the lid, in the main compartment, and on the front interior face of the front pocket. I had no issues with water getting into the main compartment during testing. Do note though that you’ll want to make sure the drawstring is securely closed and the sides are tucked in at the top of the main compartment so you benefit from the lining underneath the top lid. Plus obviously don’t put anything in the open side pockets that can’t afford to get wet.
If you’re going to be in monsoon conditions, you’ll likely want a 100% waterproof bag but I’ve used this pack while kayaking and in moderate rain and the contents have been fine.