- Buyer's Guide
ARKTYPE hail from San Francisco and are purveyors of everyday goods that cater to the modern professional. However, that isn’t just a buzz phrase, they truly live that mantra and are keen pursuers of innovation and functionality. With a curated product catalog, ARKTYPE are focused on refining products until ready, as opposed to a catalog filled to the brim with standard designs. Their Dashpack was a great success, a bag that prioritises ease of use, considered design, and quality materials; it quickly established ARKTYPE as a brand to take note of.
If there was one critique of the Dashpack, it was its size. At 15L, for some folk it was a little too restrictive for their EDC or too small on a larger frame. Well, ARKTYPE was listening and they took that feedback on board to bring us the new Jetpack. Let’s get into it.
Aesthetics and Materials
Inline with ARKTYPE’s philosophy, the Jetpack flies under the radar. It is available in two models, a ballistic nylon version, and a special edition waxed canvas version. Both are equally subtle, and feel great in hand.
The Ballistic Nylon is, as you’d expect, tough, robust and ready for the grind of urban commutes. Made from 1680D ballistic nylon, that is DWR treated and paired with YKK #8 AquaGuard zippers, the Jetpack is designed to handle it all. It isn’t waterproof per se, but this material, coating, and the zippers will handle pretty inclement weather. Internally a 210D ripstop nylon is used and matches the same high quality finish that you see on the exterior.
On the Waxed Cotton version, the interior and AquaGuard zippers remain the same, but the ballistic nylon is substituted with a luxurious 10oz Army Duck Waxed Canvas. In my opinion, it elevates the bag, and it would be the one I would choose out of the two models, particularly when you consider it is only a fraction more expensive. The waxed canvas gives a nice matte finish, and blends well with surroundings. It has a great hand feel and will take on its own identity over time as it is used.
Both packs use the same exceptionally comfortable Evazote® EV50 forms for the back panel and shoulder straps. I found these to be very comfortable and they began to form to my body pretty swiftly after a few uses. The back panel also has a frame sheet that is removable so that you can have some structure during the work week, and relax a little at the weekends.
On the front of the bag is a strip of ladder-stitch webbing, which is the perfect spot to customise your bag, or add on some essentials. Like the rest of the construction, this is incredibly robust and made from Class I Mil-spec webbing. In my time with the bag, this was the perfect place for my trusty hero clip, and the webbing also lends itself as a handy spot for a bike light if you’re a cyclist. You could easily attach extras like a jacket, umbrella, or tripod by using any accessory straps you may have.
A removable sternum strap and compression straps round out the construction, allowing you to wear the bag as you please, both from a comfort and aesthetics standpoint. The compression straps allow the profile to become even more svelte if you’re not loaded out. There is no doubt that the Jetpack is an exceptionally well built bag.
How you organise and utilise your EDC bag is a very personal matter; some prefer to have a slot for every single item, some prefer a cavernous opening where it can all be thrown in, while others like somewhere in between with good organisation but the ability to use their own pouches or systems. That is the camp that I fall into, and the Jetpack delivers a great balance of useful organisation and space to use.
On the front of the Jetpack is a zippered quick access pocket with three pen/accessory loops, a D-ring for keys, and a horizontal zippered pocket. This has been home to all of my quick access items like earbuds, pen, edc knife, flashlight etc. I even felt comfortable having my wallet in there thanks to the double zipper, meaning that any pickpocket would have to get through two pockets without me noticing. Not impossible by any means, but somewhat unlikely. It’s a slender QA pocket though, so be careful to avoid overstuffing.
Inside the main compartment you have an elasticated slip pocket on the back wall of the bag. This could act as a secondary laptop sleeve, or a spot for notebooks, although with the other organisation on the pack I didn’t find myself using it. On the front of the bag there is a simple zippered mesh pocket, this is an easy home for an IFAK or general use items such as hand sanitizer and tissues. It’s easy to access without opening the bag all the way up.
The rear entry laptop compartment is well suspended, and houses my 14″ Macbook (in a case), it can hold up to 16″ (slim) machines. In side this laptop compartment there is also a second zippered compartment which can hold up to a 10″ tablet. I housed my e-reader there, and it’s a great hiding spot for important things like passports or documents when travelling.
The profile of the bag lends itself well to using tech organisers, which I always transfer from bag to bag. The Jetpack easily has space for a small or medium camera cube, or a selection of tech pouches. There is also an interior d-ring, should you want to use a hydration bladder when hiking (slip the bladder into the elasticated pocket) or to attach your keys to so that you know where they are at all times.
Externally, you’ll find two large water bottle pockets that house 32oz bottles. These are great pockets and stay out of the way when they aren’t in use. There are also a couple of D-rings–one on the upper side, and one near the strap attachments. Anything you want to clip on is within easy reach.
The Jetpack feels just as accomplished as the Dashpack, and personally, the 22L size is more appealing to me as a larger chap. 22L is a sweet spot for EDC I find, as it allows me to take enough with me to feel prepared for the day ahead, but not too much that I’m dripping in sweat by the time arrive anywhere on account of the extra 10lbs of gear that I’m bringing with me for no real reason.
The Jetpack is sleek, comfortable, and very well built. Not to mention it is made here in the USA with materials from states all over the country including CA, CO, GA, NJ, OR, PA, and WA. For a bag of this quality to be coming in under $250 is quite an achievement. ARKTYPE continue to evolve and make great products, we’re excited to see more from this thoughtful, functional, and affordable USA made brand.