Peak Design Travel Backpack 45LGET IT
When it comes to travel bags, flexibility is essential and Peak Design’s Travel Backpack proved that when we took it along to cover the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver. We asked a lot: hold three days’ worth of clothing—including two bulky sport coats—along with toiletries and tech, yet keep it all organized.
Aside from the brand’s Tech Pouch ($59.95), which we filled with a tablet, Goal Zero battery, and cables, which we crammed into a smaller satchel that was easier to handle on the plane, we fit everything else in the expandable Travel Backpack that was tucked in the overhead. Heavy? Sure. But we were able to zip around the show faster than with a wheeled carry-on with both hands free, and getting on and off the plane was easier, too.
The bag’s design is smart, with pockets and panels that max out your organization, but with the ability to convert into duffel-like open space for those times when you just need to shove a bunch of stuff in and get out the door. While the bag expands to 45L it will compress down to 35L when you’re traveling lighter, and handy straps on every end help get it in and out of tight spaces. The build sits up and zippers on all side get you into the main cavity from any angle. That design feature makes it really easy to swing the bag around to your chest, unzip, and yank out a laptop, tablet, or your camera.
Our favorite parts are the rotating straps that tuck away and clean up the look of the bag, making it easier to get in and out of overhead storage. Okay, that’s not exactly true: Our real favorite part is the nearly 20-minute long video tutorial on the brand’s site walking you through all the features. You don’t often see that for a bag, but this one warrants the education. But, don’t worry, use the bag once or twice and it becomes second nature.
Get it alone, or use it like we did, kitted out with packing cubes designed to fit inside (from $29.95). Equally as impressive is its Wash Pouch ($59.95) which might be the best design we’ve used: flat bottom that sits up tall, with a clamshell opening in the right mix of bulk storage and tiny pockets for contacts, toothpaste, and shave gear. — Sal Vaglica, Senior Editor
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