review

RiutBag X35 Expandable Backpack with Zip Against Back

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

An expandable backpack is an ingenious travel solution that lets you increase backpack space when you need it most. If you're looking for an expandable carry-on type backpack that doesn't look like the rest and will last a long time, the RiutBag X35 is the bag for you.
The RiutBag X35 is made of coarse fabric that is highly resistant against scrapes, stretches and wrinkles, which is good since the RiutBag X35 is designed to fold and unfold between a slim 10-litre backpack and 35 litre backpack without using the accordion-style expansion system that many expandable backpacks use.
There aren't many backpacks on the market that have the expanding feature of the RiutBag X35, which is able to go from a 10-litre bag to a 35-litre bag via a combination of snap fasteners and buckles.
When converting the RiutBag X35 from 10-litre to 35-litre, you simply undo the side snap fasteners and top buckles and manually expand the backpack to increase the height and thickness of the bag.
When compacted, the RiutBag X35 measures approximately 50cm tall, 35cm wide and 13cm thick. When expanded, the RiutBag X35 measures approximately 55cm tall, 35cm wide and 20cm thick.
When expanded, the X35 bag gains approximately 5cm in height and 7cm in thickness, which is a useful increase of internal storage space.
The increase of size does not compromise the bag's ability to be able to be stored in the overhead bin of a plane since the RiutBag X35 is airline-approved so, you can use it as a carry-on luggage.
When unclipping the two buckles on top to expand the top section of the bag, it reveals two male buckles and two female buckles hidden inside.
The male buckles are designed to clip to the front female buckles to reinforce the top section of the bag when expanded. The female buckles towards the back are designed to clip on to the male buckles on the shoulder straps to create detachable load-lifters.
A load-lifter is a nifty feature you find in most backpacking bags that let you relief some weight off the shoulders by bringing the bag closer to the center of your back.
The RiutBag X35 also has the ability to relief more pressure off the shoulders via a hip strap add-on accessory that you can purchase separately. The RiutBag hip strap is intended to work similarly to the integrated and thickly padded hip belt of a backpack.
hip belt female buckles
The RiutBag hip strap is, literary, a webbing strap and while it doesn't offer the same support as a padded hip belt it does help to stabilize the backpack.
The RiutBag hip strap system works better on the X35 backpack than on the 15.3 backpack because of the integration of load-lifters on the X35 version, which seems to make the hip strap more effective.
The front of the RiutBag X35 has a simple, uncluttered design with a natural crease that runs perpendicularly across the bag. In the centre, you find a thick rubber tag with the word RuitBag.com.
Just beneath the tag, you find a single daisy chain webbing loop that you can use to attach gear you don't want to store inside the bag like a cycling helmet.
The RiutBag X35 is a laptop and tablet backpack and can fit a 15.6-inch laptop and average size tablet inside dedicated padded sleeves. The maximum dimension of the laptop sleeve is 40 cm tall, 28 cm wide and 4 cm thick. Any laptop larger than these dimensions won't fit in the dedicated laptop compartment.
The RiutBag X35 has the same secure zip design as the R15.3 backpack with the outside zips sewn on the backside of the bag, resting against your back so, noone can't reach them.
The back zip design is probably the most effective and useful feature of any anti-theft backpack because it gives you complete piece of mind, knowing nobody can't get into your bag from the back.
There is also the reassurance that with the zips out of sight, your bag will be out of the mind of a pickpocketer.
Having the zip against the back also comes with the added benefit of not having to worry about whether you zipped up the bag all the way up. On the occasions where you forget zipping up the bag, you are, literary, covered!
Talking about zips, there are two sets of external dual zips on the RiutBag X35 to secure the main laptop compartment and the secret "d-pocket" located just beneath the pass through trolley sleeve, which is made with a thick webbing strap that is securely attached to the bag via reinforced stitching.
The d-pocket measures 22cm long, 23cm wide and 2cm thick and it's designed for anything slimline such as a smartphone, passport, train tickets, etc.
You can comfortable keep a couple of smartphones inside the d-pocket without bulging out the compartment, which you obviously don't want to overfill since the d-pocket will be resting against your back.
The d-pocket foam padding is thick enough that even with two smartphones stored inside they won't poke against your back.
The backside of the RiutBag X35 features one single piece of comfortable EVA foam padding covered with breathable fabric mesh that provides some back cooling to minimize a sweaty back, which is nice although it doesn't ventilate as much as a backpack with a airflow system.
The d-pocket zips have a matt black finish, while the main compartment zips have a shiny metal finish. All zips feature eyelets large enough to pass through a small padlock or wire lock.
The d-pocket has ergonomic pull tabs to help you unlock and lock the compartment on the go. Undoing the d-pocket zips is easy to do with one hand, thanks to the smooth operation of the zips, which have a reverse coil design.
With a reverse coil design, the zip coil teeth are covered by fabric, making the zips hydrophobic. While the RiutBag X35 zips are water resistant, they are not waterproof as the zip fabric isn't coated with PVC or rubber to make them fully waterproof.
The RiutBag X35 outer shell is mostly water resistant as it isn't coated with any waterproofing. The base of the bag does have TPU waterproofing, which is a good place to have it to prevent water ingress when placing the bag on a wet surface like at a bus stop on a rainy day.
The outer shell of the RiutBag X35 is made of a hardy synthetic material that combines 80% nylon and 20% polyester, which is a nice blend combination because nylon and polyester are both lightweight and durable.
It's nice that nylon fabric has mostly been used to make the RiutBag X35 because nylon fabric is stronger but softer than polyester fabric so, the bag has a nice soft touch to it.
Polyester is better than nylon at repelling water though so, you are getting best of both worlds when combining nylon and polyester. The RiutBag X35 feels like it will last a very long time so, you won't have to worry about premature wear and tear.
The attention to detail throughout the bag can be appreciated in the stitching and with neat features such as elastic webbing keepers to stop excess webbing from dangling in front of you. There is also a detachable sternum strap, which can be adjusted up and down.
The naming of this RiutBag is also thoughtful, using the X roman numeral to represent the 10-litre capacity and the number 35 to represent the 35-litre capacity.
Moving on to the main compartment, the RiutBag X35 features a clam-shell opening style that lets you place the bag on its front so, you can open up the main compartment, just like a suitcase. The clam-shell opening on the RiutBag X35 is, approximately, 180 degrees
With a clam-shell opening, the RiutBag X35 opens in two halves. One half of the bag features two large netted zip pockets and the laptop and tablet sleeve compartment on top, which securely closes via dual zips.
The other half of the RiutBag X35 bag features a privacy zip mesh that secures the contents of the bag via two zips. The mesh can be rolled up and neatly secured via a snap fastener strap on the back.
The privacy mesh has an opening on one of the corners to pass-though a cable so, you could potentially keep a powerbank under the privacy mesh and run a cable all the way through the outer zips to charge a phone.
On top of the RiutBag X35, you will also find, not one but two grab handles back to back. The main grab handle is wide with thick foam padding, while the secondary grab handle is made of a thinner webbing strap.
There is also a small zip compartment, which is so hidden you won't even know is there. This secret pocket is great for stashing things you need to reach constantly.
The side pockets are tall (25cm long) and made of lycra-like material so, they are stretchy, letting you fit various water bottle sizes. The side pockets also integrate snap fasteners so, you are able to store an assortment of small items inside these pockets securely.
The RiutBag X35 is machine washable so, you can stick it in a washing machine as long as it's a 40-degree cycle, which is a good temperature for removing stains, killing germs, mould, etc.
drawstring carry pouch
The warranty policy includes a 14-day money back guarantee that includes delivery costs and a 30-day money back guarantee that doesn't include the delivery cost.

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