- Buyer's Guide
HEX Adventure Armenia 30L Backpack Review
I’d seen HEX on Facebook after being hit with ads. So I wanted to check it out. The company has a unique story and this specific line was created with Serj Tankian, the lead singer of System of a Down.
The founders have a mutual passion for music and the arts; many of the bags that they create together or find collaborations for show this passion. Both Serj Tankian and Jim Lee of DC Comics have worked with the company to create some cool street gear.
Who It Suits
If you are looking for a unique bag that helps a cause or a bag that functions well as a day use bag this would be a great choice. If you are not carrying anything heavy such as a full frame camera setup or something like that, you could use this as a travel bag and live out of it for a few days. I took it on a few day trips to the mountains when I was not taking any camera gear and it functioned well. I had several days of clothing in the bag with shoes at the bottom. The side zip allowed access to the shoes without digging through the clothes. If I was back in college I probably would have used this bag on the daily. With the internal organization and the easy-access laptop pocket I could have used this as an all-day bag. The 30L gives you enough space to carry everything you might need when you are out and about for the day.
This bag would also work great for a ski/snowboard day bag. The straps can hold a board but might not be comfortable for long periods. The bag can hold extra layers and organize well for the day and the side pocket can keep gear protected.
Who It Doesn’t
If you are looking for a technical backpack this is one I would pass on.
If I had to carry super-heavy gear (which I did on a few days for work) or if you are carrying The Complete Works of Shakespeare for school, I would not recommend this bag. The padding on the back is minimal, so it tends to hit against your back in an awkward way.
The Armenia comes with two side pockets. There’s a horizontal zip wet pocket, which I found also helps insulate a small beverage. The vertical zip drop pocket is perfect for snacks, small devices, or other items you may need access to quickly.
The top pocket is almost the length of the entire upper panel and can hold quite a lot of goods.
Internal Admin Organization
The back panel of the main compartment holds a decent amount of items. There is a large slot for a journal or books, as well as a small zippered pocket and several slots for a power bank and pens.
The bag is lightweight with no sort of frame, but as it is 30L it can hold a lot of items. Since there is no frame, waist belt, or much padding on the straps, overloading with heavy gear is not really a viable option.
This is also leaning more to the ‘fashion’ side of the spectrum, and the materials and hardware are okay but nothing to write home about.
The laptop pocket while fairly large (it held my 15-inch laptop in a case) is not that well protected, so I would be careful when using it for your laptop.
The reinforced bottom will keep the bag from wearing out prematurely if you are on the go and it is sitting on the ground a lot.
There is a lot of space. The main pocket is cavernous. One can haul a lot of items inside this bag. The bag also has a unique aesthetic which might be a go-to for some. While the organization is minimal, this offers more space for larger items. There are two access points into the main compartment so you do not have to dig through everything to get to something at the bottom.
Not So Good
My least favorite part of this bag is the lack of support. Not that it needs a frame, but not having a back panel, or support on the bottom makes it hard to carry certain items. The outside pockets are not big enough to hold a water bottle, so the only place to put one is inside. With the side access it could be reached easily, but would take up room.
Overall this is an interesting day bag. It would be great for snowboarding or short-distance travel and could even be used as a bag for someone in school as it has enough room to carry everything you need for the day. It will stand out from the rest of the bags out there and supports a cool cause.
But if you’re a bag enthusiast who cares more deeply about materials and hardware, this won’t really rock your world.
Matt Ritscher is a Colorado-based adventure and wedding photographer. Check out his work here.