You're probably wondering how much can really be said about a backpack. However, if you're frequent reader here then you're probably similar to most of us staff writers in that you just love a good backpack and you know exactly how easy it is to have a lot to say about one.
This isn't a compartmental camera bag, it is a business travel backpack meant for anyone that travels, really. It is a fantastic option for photographers, businesspeople, and anyone else that needs a durable travel bag or carry on item. Inateck has clearly put some thought into this bag and I honestly have to say that I am impressed. Like most photographers, travelers, or outdoors people, I have a propensity for collecting backpacks. If you're like me, but at all, then you already have your list of preferences for backpacks and travel gear. This bag checks of quite a few important features on my list for travel bags.
I am a big fan of the modern design of this one. For me, black is almost always best, which works great because right now black is the only color in which you can get this backpack. But the durable woven texture of the exterior serves both to work as a great protective outer layer as well as a stylish choice for the fabric. The backpack is not waterproof so don't take it scuba diving, but it is abrasion, scratch, and splash resistant so it really is meant to be taken on adventures with you. It even comes with a rain cover so you can stay outside if need be without having to worry about whether the contents inside are being ruined.
According to the company's own literature, both the top handle and the side handle have undergone 1000 vibration tests while carrying a load of 20 kilograms (that's just shy of 45 pounds to you Americans, I just saved you from having to run to Google for a weight conversion, you're welcome). Their vibration test actually sounds pretty intense, a target being set to vibrate 30 times per minute with the 20kg load and a vibration rage of 4 inches. Along with sturdy handles and a durable exterior material, the bag's zippers were another thing that solidly impressed me. The zippers are thick, come together with ease and no sticking, and have metal handles that just feel solid to the touch. There's nothing worse than having a good backpack fail because of poor zippers, but that's not something that I feel anyone will have to worry about with this pack. Of course, the main compartment and laptop compartment both come in a dual zipper design, allowing you to lock the zippers together if needed.
One thing that honestly surprised me with the bag is how light it really is. Most of what I tend to sling on my back is heavier, rough, and used to having the crap beat out of it. But having a bag that is both durable, stylish, and lightweight is really something new for me and I have to say I'm a fan. For particularly heavy loads the bag has buckled belts around the chest and shoulders to alleviate pressure as well as a buckled belt across the chest to connect the main shoulder straps. This isn't a backpacking pack, so the waist straps are to help keep the pack secure, not necessarily to transfer a lot of weight to the hips. Then again, this pack wasn't meant for scaling elaborate mountain trails with several days worth of survival gear. Having the waist, shoulder, and chest straps is already more than what most travel bags have anyway. It definitely makes a difference if you find yourself in a position where you will be wearing and moving with the backpack for any extended amounts of time.
As far as compartments go, the laptop opening is mostly self explanatory. The sleeve inside this compartment is designed to fit a laptop of up to 15.6 inches and has an elastic Velcro strap at the top to keep the laptop from slipping out in the event that the zippers were left open. There is also a deep pocket sewn into the interior wall and the compartment itself goes the full length to the bottom of the bag, allowing a traveler to store other flatter items as needed. It's just wide enough that other devices such as hard drives, cords and cables, and even tablets or other travel electronics will fit inside with relative ease. The zippers only pull down the bag a few inches, so this area really wasn't meant for any heavy packing, but it's perfect for keeping laptops and other devices protected by keeping them stored in a nice padded environment.
The main compartment is pretty much what I want to see in a travel bag. The zippers open up all the way down allowing complete access to the area, allowing for meticulous packing rather than just stuffing things into place. That may not seem like a big deal to some, but whenever I take a trip for more than a day, then my packing tends to have to be more calculated in order to make sure I don't forget anything. So having the ability to pack with specific order and having the visibility to see everything really does make a difference. There are two large mesh sleeves found in the main bag which make it easy to store smaller items that need to be accessed quickly. There is also a translucent zippered storage bag sewn into the bottom of this bag, which would work great for storing things that you won't need for a trip, but things you can't afford to lose. Like, for me, my car keys when traveling out of the country are something that I would certainly place in this zippered compartment.
All in all, I really am impressed with the pack. The shoulder straps are comfortable, adjust very easily, and the backpack itself just wears easily. Not every bag I've ever had conforms as easily to my body as this one does and it truly makes a difference. The one thing I had a hard time with was the way that the two smaller front pockets work. Both are nice, zippered pockets at the front of the bag. The smaller one is just a straight pocket, nothing crazy. But the larger one goes full length down to the bottom of the bag and only opens up at the top. It does have some smaller pockets stitched into it as well, allowing for more items to be stored in an orderly fashion, but the single linear zipper across the top means that with a fully packed bag, sometimes a little digging is required to find something in that compartment since the zipper doesn't open up beyond across the top and the area does go full length down. That's being really nit-picky, but it's something that affects how I pack my bag. All in all, I am a big fan of the bag and would definitely recommend it to other travelers. You can get your own on Inateck's website, or through Amazon.
What I Liked
- Comfortable Fit
- Useful Strap System
- Durable Zippers
- Spacious Packing Area
- Sleek Design
- Good Affordable Price
What I Didn't Like
- Deep, slit-opening front pockets are difficult to use adequately.
- Would have preferred at least one more zippered inner pouch inside the main storage area instead of all sleeve style pockets.