But unlike any other bag we’ve ever tested, this pack has magnetic flaps on the back panel that open and close with an almost magical snap. Before you make any purchase, consider some basic points. For dedicated single-bag travelers, this water-resistant, durable bag is easy to pack and to travel with. Their line of commuter bags and backpacks have a mature yet youthful flair. Waterproof fabrics, laptop protection, smart pocketing. Midsize Backpack - A midsized backpack is a bit bulkier, will need more robust straps and will typically provide up to 30 liters of storage space. The Allpa has a clamshell design, which means it opens like a hard-sided suitcase: A large YKK zipper runs around three sides of the bag, letting it fall open into two halves when unzipped. Photo: Caleigh Waldman, With lots of handles, the Allpa is easy to grab from any direction. A: More expensive backpacks will use top-of-the-line materials, employ robust double and triple stitching throughout, be 100% waterproof and last for years. Photo: Caleigh Waldman, Osprey placed the laptop sleeve in the outside pocket of the bag; this puts the weight of the electronics in an awkward position relative to your body. The first thing I noticed design-wise in comparison to the Swig was the more rigid structure of the fabric. The best sellers from Timbuk2 are the backpacks, tote bags, and messenger bags. Main Features. Beautiful. But if you’re a business traveler who falls more on the casual end of the business-casual spectrum and you’re not on a budget, you should know that many travel writers have spoken well of this bag, despite its high price. In its place, the company sells laptop sleeves (a fine version if you don’t have one) that clip into the bag’s central compartment. I have a Timbuk2 backpack that I use for travel but needed a new backpack to use for work that was a little smaller. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and makes the best use of space with a bunch of cleverly designed pockets. If you only intend to use the pack to bring your laptop to and from work a small cycling backpack will do. And where do you usually visit: city or outback? If you travel with a camera, you don’t have to use Peak Design’s camera cubes, but they do make carrying that gear a whole lot easier. That said, this is not a bag that makes you go, "wow." I must admit when the latest (and highly customizable) Timbuk2 Prospect Laptop Backpack landed on my desk I was a little underwhelmed. Timbuk2 makes some of the best backpacks on the market, presenting these useful and versatile sacks in different styles and colors, and harnessing different highly coveted features. The Mother Lode is a good suitcase built around a basic (if slightly underwhelming) backpack. Both the shoulder sling and backpack straps are easy to access and feel about as comfortable as using a daily commuter bag. FREE SHIPPING. The shell is comprised of uber-reflective CE EN 20471 material. This is super important when you’re cycling because you don’t want anything throwing off your balance. Even when it’s completely full, the backpack feels stable on your back, thanks to the thick shoulder straps, notched foam stabilizer, and mesh back. In the end, we chose two as our top picks: the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L (for most trips) and the larger Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L. Made from 210D nylon double-diamond ripstop. It’s a nearly perfect blend of backpack and luggage. Spending more, however, can get you such exotic, light, and strong materials as. A: Capacity is driven by need. In terms of pockets, it has two main pockets, an exterior zippered pocket, and two mesh bottle pockets. James Feess is the founder of The Savvy Backpacker and author of The Savvy Backpacker’s Guide to Europe on a Budget. Like all Timbuk2 bags it is very well made. RFID safe storage, magnetic water bottle pockets and weighing only 4 pounds it’s one of the best bike backpacks for cycling commuters. The straps of the Farpoint stow away neatly behind a zippered panel. This bag is a front-panel loader (which we find very easy to pack), organized around a main pocket that can fit two large packing cubes. Less than 10 liters just to carry work tech. Main Results. The hip belt, which can be removed while the bag is on your back if you like, is still substantial enough that it’s comfortable to wear when you need it. Its clamshell design is deeper, and it’s easier to pack. This is a moment to center yourself, no matter how chaotic the journey. (Chase Reeves has done an in-depth video review of these cubes; it’s a good resource for anyone who’s on the fence about buying them.) Timbuk2 offers a wide range of laptop backpack sizes that can carry 13" - 17" laptops and any-sized tablet, and feature storage solutions for phones, chargers, and everyday essentials. It might be useful as a weekend traveler, but we don’t think it would hold up for longer trips. Our collection of Travel Backpacks are the perfect carry-on or Plus, it has a large capacity of 20 liters and a well-designed system of shoulder straps, sternum straps, and mesh back. This feels similar to a strong canvas, but it has a more prominent weave. The Tom Bihn Aeronaut’s reputation for durability, adaptability, and a low-key aesthetic make it a favorite among many dedicated one-bag travelers. Business people and students alike will find functionality in this pack, and for $70, the price is hard to beat. But for the past three years of travel, the Tortuga appears to shrug it all off with ease. Patagonia Black Hole MLC: The MLC used to set the standard for shoulder bags of this size. Opening up your favorite carry-on travel backpack—with all your stuff in the right place and easy to reach—should feel like opening the door to a well-organized closet or sitting down at a clean desk. 99 $99.00 $99.00 "timbuk2" Timbuk2 Commute Messenger Bag. It’s about 2 inches longer and pushes right up to most airline limits. After two years of testing, this single backpack (plus a personal item) has replaced nearly every travel bag or piece of luggage I use. During testing, we packed as much into the Mother Lode as we did in the Tortuga (more, if we expanded the Mother Lode past strict carry-on dimensions). That’s the tradeoff you make for its low price, which is less than half that of other models. If you’re just starting out with one-bag travel, or you aren’t sure what type of travel bag best suits your needs, the Farpoint is an excellent first choice. It’s made from 210D nylon double-diamond ripstop, making it super lightweight and ultra-tough. It is expensive—especially if you commit to the entire system of packing and camera cubes. But after years of testing, traveling with, and occasionally checking our bag, we haven’t had an issue. It’s lightweight, plus rip and water-proof. Proviz provides maximum space with minimum weight. Minaal Carry-on 2.0: This bag was designed to be the absolute best travel backpack for business people. So your cycling backpack should have generous amounts of reflective material. Although the straps are thin, they’re comfortable. Inside there’s a dedicated tool pocket along with a separate pocket for your cell phone, scratch pad, bike lock and more. For heavier loads you’ll want padded, adjustable shoulder and waist straps as well as a sternum strap to stabilize the load when you corner or have to stop quickly. A good water-resistant 480D nylon shell should be more than enough to meet most people’s needs. So how much you spend will be up to you. With its clean curved lines, generous storage capacity, padded inner pockets for your tech, water-resistant 420D nylon shell and two-way access it’s a cycling backpack for the health conscious professional. Wirecutter is reader-supported. That said, for the bag to really stand out against other backpacks, and to take full advantage of its carrying adaptability, you need to buy the $30 internal frame, the $30 hip belt, and (if you’re traveling with a suit or jacket) the $30 shoulder strap (all prices at the time of writing). Get this if: You travel often for work and prefer a bag that’s much easier to work out of than most of our other picks. If, on the other hand, you just ride your bike 5 miles to work each day you won’t. The padded inner sleeve accommodates a 12.9-inch laptop or iPad Pro, there’s a zip pocket for peripherals and the pack as a whole is water resistant and lightweight. If the Tom Bihn Aeronaut is not in your budget but you want a sturdy shoulder bag, the Voyageur may be worth a try. However, we’re impressed by the build quality and will continue to test this bag throughout the year. This bag’s open interior makes packing easy. However, the Peak Design cubes are sized specifically for this bag and fit just so inside it, especially when combined with other Peak Design gear cubes and accessories, like the toiletry bag. On both, the chest-strap clip is also equipped with a small security whistle that’s surprisingly loud. The Topo is well padded on all sides, and it is stitched in a way that keeps the edge of your computer from the bottom of the bag and should protect your computer from all but the worst drops. This is where a good personal item comes in handy. But we’re still on the fence about recommending it. This bag is perfect if you have to travel to a work event, get off the plane, and then use it as a daily backpack without drawing too much attention to yourself. The Mother Lode offers the organizational features most travelers want, at an affordable price. Unlike our other picks, the Mother Lode is not for carrying over long distances, especially when it’s full. When called on, he can still make a mean sandwich. The difference though is in the details. The sleek design also accommodates a 15” laptop, cell phone, tablet, peripherals and more. Hydration System - If you are intent on riding long distances you’ll want to consider bringing along a hydration bladder. 30 liters is usually way more than any bicycle commuter will need. The rest of the paneling is made with 1680-denier ballistic nylon, similar to the Topo Designs Travel Bag or the Tom Bihn Aeronaut. Photo: Caleigh Waldman. Both sizes of the Outbreaker are adjustable for torso length, which means you can manipulate the location of the shoulder straps (video) to fit a wider variety of body sizes. It’s large enough to accommodate all your tech and then some. Choosing between the two is a close call, but we preferred the extra rigidity, strength, and load-carrying ability of the Outbreaker. To compile our list of possible models, we scoured the world of travel blogs and product reviews (most driven by a similar affiliate revenue model to ours), including The Savvy Backpacker, Snarky Nomad, The Travel Hack, Nomadic Matt, The Travel Tester, Where’s Sharon?, Y Travel Blog, Lengthy Travel, and GearLab. A: The best cycling backpacks are made of water-resistant nylon, water-resistant tarpaulin or treated cotton duck fabric like is used on sails. 15 Best Bike Locks For Maximum Safety (Review) In 2021, This product guide was written by GearHungry Staff, Herschel Little America Cycling Backpack-Black, I confirm I wish to sign up to the Gear Hungry mailing list, 8Herschel Little America Cycling Backpack-Black, 12Pelican Mobile Protect 35 Liter Backpack. You won’t be disappointed. Flaws but not dealbreakers Of all the bags we recommend, the Topo Designs Travel Bag 30L comes closest to the style of an everyday carry backpack, due to its small size and minimal external features. That said, this bag is simple, sturdy, and stoic. During testing, we flew with these bags across the country, took weekend trips to nearby cities, lived out of them on extended trips, and tried them locally in our daily routines. There’s a first aid pocket on one shoulder strap and the whole thing is wrapped in light grey Acquaforte 300D high tenacity nylon fabric. Get this if: You travel often with expensive camera gear and need easy access and many storage pockets, or you just prefer a backpack-based packing system with plenty of adaptability and customization. It sure looks slick, though. A buy-it-for-a-lifetime backpack should last you for years of heavy use. With thick shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and a waist strap, you can adjust this backpack to feel like it’s a part of you. The more-diminutive version is a decent choice for weekend travel or for minimalist travelers—but for this size, we prefer the space-saving profile of the Allpa. MEI Voyageur: There’s a lot to like about this bag, especially for the price. Stowable straps: These are nice to have but aren’t absolutely necessary. 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