review

PAKT Travel Backpack Review Briefcase with Hip Belt Sling Bag Conversion

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

No bag is nice to travel with when you are forced to over pack it! This makes a 30 liter bag, like the PAKT Travel Backpack, just about the right size for fitting everything you need. The PAKT Travel Backpack measures 53cm tall, 32cm wide, 17cm thick and, it weighs 2 kg.
A lot of clever thinking has really gone into the making of the PAKT Travel Backpack. Take for instance, the hip belt which is also a sling bag/fanny pack. Simply pull from one side and the hip belt detaches, revealing a nifty and cool looking sling bag, which measures 28cm long and 10cm tall.
The height of the sling bag can be further extended to 14cm by unclipping the two press-studs located on the backside. The sling bag is lined with thin blue polyester material and, it features an inner pocket, which closes loosely via two magnets. 
The backside of the fanny pack is padded and also features a small pass-through sleeve that measures 14.5cm long and has an 8.5cm opening. The zipper has a nylon cord pull tab and a reverse coil design; hence the teeth are hidden. The PAKT fanny pack is made of the same rPET material as the rest of the backpack.
The sling bag webbing strap can be adjusted from a minimum of 75cm to a maximum of 127cm long, and features a 6cm long by 3cm wide buckle clip with the words "UTX Flex Stealth Pat" embossed on the underside and, it's a genuine Duraflex Stealth plastic buckle made by National Molding.
Conversion from hip belt to fanny pack takes literary seconds since all that is required is pulling out, undoing the velcro fastening securing the hip belt to the bag. Restoring the fanny pack back to the hip belt takes a bit longer as it requires having to loop it through. Total weight of the fanny pack is 186 grams.

Moving to the backside of the PAKT Travel Backpack, there is a secret pocket and a 15cm wide trolley sleeve on the back with a 19cm long opening to slide over the handlebar of a trolley case.
The secret lumbar zip pocket measures 14cm high and 27cm long and contains a TSA mesh zip pocket, which is sewn internally at the top so, it can be pulled out securely without anyone being able to snatch it and run with it.
The TSA mesh zip pocket is designed so, you can conveniently put keys and valuables inside it without putting them on an airport security tray.
When not in use, the TSA mesh zip pocket easily slides back into the lumbar pocket, which is very shallow and only designed to fit thin objects like a smartphone, passport or travel tickets. The front of the lumbar pocket is nicely padded to prevent objects poking the side of your back.
There is another external secret pocket also on the backside, which is purposely hard to get into and, it's located at the very top of the hidden strap compartment (at the top of the shoulder straps). The hidden strap compartment is designed for stowing the shoulder straps and convert the PAKT Travel Backpack into a briefcase style bag.
When not in use, the hidden strap compartment can work also as a regular pocket sleeve for storing thin items since it spans the entire length and width of the bag.
The PAKT Travel Backpack shoulder straps are very thickly padded with springy foam that is comfortable and prevents the shoulder straps from digging into the deltoid muscles. The shoulder straps measure 45cm long and have an S-curve beveled design so, the shoulder straps are wider at the top (7cm) and narrower towards the bottom (~5cm).
The shoulder straps don't integrate any small zip pockets for credit cards but, they do have well constructed load-lifters and a sternum strap that is adjustable up and down to position the sternum strap more comfortably along your breast bone.
Load-lifters are typically found on hiking/ backpacking bags but, they're an indispensable feature to stabilize a high volume capacity backpack.
The load-liter straps integrate 40mm Duraflex tension buckles (SIMPLX V2 ALULA Double Bar Tensionlock) made of aluminium, while the shoulder strap buckles are made of plastic and are quick release. Simply unclip the part of the buckle and loop it through in itself and voila, buckle undone!
There is one large side pocket on the PAKT Travel Backpack, which measure 17cm long and can expand outward 16cm wide, thanks to being elastic. Large water bottles and even a small tripod will fit in any of these side pockets without issues. The side pocket also integrates a small hole opening at the bottom for ventilation and to let water pass through.
There are a total of 9 webbing loopholes located around the PAKT Travel Backpack. One of those loopholes is thicker and located on the bottom front of the backpack and, it's ideal for clipping just about anything, especially heavy items like a hammer or a pair of boots.
As far grab handles, the PAKT Travel Backpack has five, one of which is a standard thin loop made of nylon webbing. The other grab handles have 5mm springy foam padding.
The grab handles located on top and at the base of the bag measure 17cm long and 2.5cm wide, while the grab handles on the side measure 20cm long.
The PAKT Travel Backpack feature a total of five zip compartments of various sizes, two of which are main compartments. There are two single-zip front pockets and a single-zip stash pocket on top, which is lined with water resistant material.
The front pockets measure 20cm high and 23 high respectively, while the stash pocket measures 15cm high. One of the front pockets integrates a pen holder, key holder lanyard, an open pocket and a zip mesh pocket (measures 17cm long by 10cm high)
There is a dual-zip main compartment towards the rear, which has a top loading style opening. This compartment runs all the way to the bottom and spans the entire width of the bag.
Even though this compartment is not made for a laptop, you can easily and securely fit a large thick laptop in this compartment, thanks to the front and back padding protection.
The second main compartment and the largest opens up along the mid-section of the backpack via two large YKK number 10 zips (with padlock pass through), which open the bag clam-shell style similarly to the PAKT One Duffle bag. The suitcase style opening makes packing things much easier.
One half is covered with a zipper privacy mesh compartment, while the other half has a quilted sleeve for storing a laptop, which can also be accessed from the top without having to unzip the main compartment all the way.
Under the privacy mesh and quilted sleeve lie the main compartments. The privacy mesh side compartment has a small pouch zip pocket (8cm high) sewn to the top with a velcro opening underneath that has the dimension of two smartphones.
There are a few more loopholes (eight of them) located symmetrically on the back and front of the bag to attach the included accessory straps, which you can clip from side to side to secure a tripod or use them as compression straps.
These strap buckles are the quick-detach type for easy removal and, you can increase the length of the strap so, you can attach them across the front of the bag to secure larger items like a sleeping bag, a foam rolling mat or, even a skateboard.
The PAKT Travel Backpack is made in Vietnam and uses Duraflex hardware from National Molding, which is a well known and established USA manufacturer of plastic components.
A good craftsmanship practice has gone into the making of the bag, including the use of barstack stitching to reinforce the pull tabs, grab handles and other stress points on the bag.
The PAKT Travel Backpack ships with minimal packaging, which is cleverly done without plastic or tags. Instead, the spec information has been printed all over the wrapping paper enveloping the bag.
The fabric material covering the outside of the PAKT Travel Backpack feels like 1680D ballistic nylon but, it is in fact recycled polyester (rPET), which is more friendly than virgin PET because it helps remove plastics filling up landfills.
The rPET material is thickly woven so, it's scuff resistant and water/oil resistant. The PAKT Travel Backpack is chemically treated, using AsahiGuard to make the fabric repel oil, dirt and water, which in turn makes it very easy to clean off with a wet cloth.
While the bag is chemically treated, it does not contain harmful PFOA or PFCs; hence its bluesign-approval. In addition to the AsahiGuard surface coating, the PAKT Travel Backpack has a PU coating lining on the inside of the fabric as a second defense against water penetration. You can buy the PAKT Travel Backpack from PAKT Bags.

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