When you’re in quarantine, you don’t need very much stuff. That’s why I’ve found myself reaching more and more for the Aer Slim Pack. It has a minuscule volume of 8.5 liters, which is less than half the Tom Bihn. That’s enough for my essentials: A laptop and charger, hand sanitizer, face mask, wallet, water bottle, phone.
I like the clean, unfussy look of its simple nylon face, which has a durable polyurethane coating that wipes clean after it’s spent some time being kicked around my dusty garage floor. I also like the easy-to-access fleece phone pocket and simple interior organization. It also has a pass-through on the back to slide onto a rolling suitcase; I’m looking forward to sprinting through an airport with it sometime soon.
One of the most beautiful backpacks on the market, period. And packed with features. The Vandra’s got some stunning aesthetic options from top-to-bottom, exactly what you’d expect from a Scandinavian design company. It supports most major battery packs on the market for on-the-go phone charging, and comes with a Bluetooth tracker for, God forbid, finding it when it gets lost.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a rucksack that can pack away? Especially if you live in a tiny studio apartment where storage space is in limited supply.
The Venture Pal is one of the most lightweight backpacks on our list, coming in at only 0.3 kg. What’s more, while 40 litres in size, it can be easily folded into its own pocket for storage.
Despite being lightweight, the rucksack is far from flimsy. It’s made of tear and water-resistant nylon with heavy-duty metal zippers. It’s also been reinforced at all the major stress points.
This backpack is an essential for any outdoor adventurer. It would also be great for those who travel infrequently and don’t want to take up valuable cupboard space with a large and bulky rucksack.
Like all their kit, the Arc’teryx Granville 16 Zip (£170) is a lesson in technical brilliance and high performance. It’s designed for urban commuting and the occasional day hike, but is made using N400r-AC² nylon 6 ripstop and finished with fully taped seams and waterproof zips. It looks, feels and works just like the finest Arc’teryx jacket, meaning it won’t let you down even in the wettest conditions.
Unloaded it weighs just 0.85kg and the clever concertinaed design means you can expand it by a few inches when you need to stuff more in, but it still lies nicely flat on your back.
The laptop sleeve is snug for a 15-inch design, with the elasticated sections holding tight and the compartment stopping a few centimetres short of the base to avoid drop damage. Plus the stretch mesh zipped pocket means you can see what’s inside before rummaging around. There’s also a watertight external top pocket for phone/keys etc. with double protection from the fold-over top section.
Given the low weight we didn’t expect much from the straps, but they are exceptionally well padded – easily the most comfortable on test. On first glance, especially given its no-frills design, you’d be forgiven for thinking this minimalist bag is overpriced, but the quality of the materials used, the waterproof seams and all-day comfort should convince otherwise.
If you have a lot to carry, this is the way to go. The NOMATIC 30L Travel Bag has enough room for the necessities and beyond, ensuring you have everything you need to enjoy your trip. This smart backpack is loaded with compartments and everything is enclosed in a waterproof shell.
Why You Should Get It
With the NOMATIC 30L Travel Bag you can pack everything in one bag, and go. It even has a dedicated shoe compartment, which is ventilated to keep them dry and prevent nasty odors from spreading to the rest of your gear, or clothes. It can be worn like a conventional backpack or carried like a duffle bag, thanks to the adaptable straps. If you need a larger size pack, you can always choose the 40L model. Additional features include an RFID-blocking pocket, a cord pass-through, a laptop or tablet sleeve, detachable waist straps, and much more.
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