Troubadour Apex Backpack Review Minimalist City Bag

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Make a great first impression with the Troubadour Apex Backpack - a sleak, minimalist style commuter backpack perfect for a job interview, business meeting or walking through city streets! 

There are a total of 3 external zipper compartments on the Troubadour Apex Backpack, namely a front facing zip compartment, a middle compartment, a back facing compartment and a small secret back pocket (same as the Troubadour Orbis 2 Pocket Backpack) above the passthrough trolley sleeve. The front compartment is a quick access stash pocket with an 18cm long zip opening and measuring 15cm high and 28cm wide. 
The back facing compartment has a narrow zipper opening that opens via a single slider into a narrow compartment with a laptop sleeve (33cm high x 26cm wide) built-in 2 inches above the base, which keeps the laptop suspended and protected from bottom impacts. 
The base of the backpack is thickly padded too. The narrow opening of the back facing compartment makes it perfect for retrieving a laptop, tablet or A4 binder. The only drawback of the back facing compartment is that you can only store slim items.
The middle (main) compartment is the roomiest and largest in the Troubadour Apex Backpack. It opens up via lockable via dual zip sliders which integrate a dedicated hole opening to passthrough a cable lock or small padlock. 
The middle zip compartment doesn't open up like a suitcase due to the limited travel of the zipper, which only unzips 3/4 down the way. That said, the middle compartment opens up wide enough to easily reach store and retrieve gear stashed at the bottom of the backpack.
 Inside the main compartment of the Troubadour Apex Backpack, there are multiple storage areas, including a mesh zippered pocket (22cm long x 15cm high) - perfect for toiletries or tech gear (e.g. cable chargers). There is also a large internal zippered pocket (19cm high x 24cm wide), as well as two open pockets (19cm high x 13cm wide) and a three-piece pocket made of thick elastic fabric. 
The largest of these pockets measures 11cm high x 8.5cm wide. The smaller ones are pen holders and measure 11cm high x 2.5cm wide. The internal Troubadour logos are both sewn-in and made of fabric (large one) and leather (smaller one).
The Troubadour Apex Backpack has side pockets for water bottles. The side pockets measure 17cm high x 18cm wide and are expandable via built-in elastic that allows you to store bulky items inside the side pockets. The side pockets are really wide - the only drawback though, it's the shallow depth, which makes storing long items like a tripod not as secure. 

The backside of the Troubadour Apex Backpack is padded with split foam padding and features a padded passthrough sleeve to mount the backpack over the handle bars of a rolling suitcase. The trolley passthrough sleeve measures 18cm high x 18cm wide. Above the trolley sleeve, there is a neat secret pocket to store a phone or passport.

The Troubadour Apex Backpack shoulder straps have an ergonomic S shape and measure 40cm long x 6cm wide. The shoulder straps are super comfy, thanks to the thick closed-cell foam padding and breathable material. The shoulder straps integrate plastic adjusting ladderlocks but no chest straps. 

The Troubadour Apex Backpack looks and feels like it will last a long time. It is well made, high quality goods with strong stitching and with a 5 year piece of mind guarantee sweetening the deal. In terms of versatility, the Troubadour Apex Backpack is mainly suited for professional environments, city work and work commuting. You could definitely use it for day trips, weekend trips or even the gym, depending on your mood.

All the zip sliders are made of metal and feature long pull tabs - same style as the pull tabs on the Mujjo Tech Case and Tech Kit bags. The Apex Backpack outershell and lining are made of recycled polyester fabric with vegan leather accents, including the grab handle and the top section across the front facing quick stash pocket. 
The polyester outershell has been coated with a PFC-free Durable Water-Repellent (DWR) treatment to make the backpack water resistant, not waterproof. DWR isn't waterproof - it's just water repellent. That said, the front and middle external zippers are waterproof - coated with TPU/PU leather material. The rear zipper isn't waterproof but it's covered by a "fly over", which protects the zipper from the rain.

Potential deal breakers
  • No chest strap (sold separately)
  • No hidden pockets on shoulder strap
  • Narrow rear compartment 
  • Non-branded zippers
  • No velcro fastener to secure laptop
  • Not fully waterproof
  • Doesn't stand upright on its own
  • Shallow side pockets

Selling Points 
  • 5 year guarantee
  • Water repellent outershell
  • Breathable shoulder straps
  • Top grab handle 
  • Free from fluorocarbons (PFC) toxic chemicals
  • Reinforced (scratch resistant) base
  • Padded bottom base
  • 25 liter capacity 
  • Available in different colors
  • Big enough for a 17 inch laptop
  • Lockable main zipper
  • Thickly padded back panel
  • Metal zips
  • Anti theft rear facing laptop compartment
  • Perfect for young professionals
  • Split back padding for ventilation
  • Passthrough trolley sleeve
  • Grab handle
  • Internal pockets for keeping backpack organized
  • Side pockets for water bottle
  • Quick access stash pocket with key lanyard (non-detachable)

 There are two versions of the Apex backpack to buy. The the full size version (25 liters) shown on this review and a compact version called Compact Apex which is 16 liters. You can buy the Troubadour Apex Backpack from Troubadour Goods website. 

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