- Stylish design
Smart and minimalistic, every aspect of this bag’s design screams sophistication.
- Ethical production process
The company use recyclable materials in their production of the bag in such a way that eliminate environmental waste.
- Smart organization
It’s spacious with the right number of pockets – perfect for school, travel or busy commuters.
- Hidden water bottle pocket
You have a water-resistant hidden pocket where you can stash your water/wine bottle, wet umbrella, you name it.
- Dedicated laptop compartment
A separate laptop zip compartment is padded, and lined with fleece to protect the electronics inside.
- Color options
You have beautiful 6 colors to choose from, including olive green, charcoal black, etc.
- Trolley sleeve
There’s a pass-through strap to attach your rolling suitcase and travel in convenience.
- Free repair for life
The warranty is such that, if anything goes wrong you can always contact the company for repairs.
- Laptop compartment lacks suspension system
Since the pack doesn’t have a false bottom, your laptop isn’t protected from hard surface impacts.
- Quite pricey
It comes with a triple-digit price tag and so isn’t a cheap bag.
Having the indestructible trademark of a Tom Bihn bag, the Brain bag is a reliable bag that’ll last you for a long time.
- Efficient storage
Aside the different pockets in front, it has two main compartments that you can expand to accommodate more items, even up to two or more laptop.
There are tons of easy access pockets, O-rings, clips and separate add-ons to enable you have optimal organization of your items.
When this bag grows on you, you can use it as an everyday bag, travel go, and literally every other thing.
The bag is water resistant with flaps that cover the zips from taking in water.
Even when you stuff the bag full, it still comfortable to wear on your back and doesn’t feel ungainly or unwieldy.
- Doesn’t look good
A major drawback, this bag won’t get you compliments because of its somewhat busy and laid-back exterior.
- Extra accessories required
If you want to get the most out of the bag, it’s advisable you purchase extra accessories, which translates to extra cost for you.
- Lacks false bottom to protect your laptop
Unless you buy the extra laptop cache from Tom Bihn, your gear isn’t protected from drops.
Day Owl Backpack Review
Interested in the Day Owl backpack?
Awesome – here’s a detailed review of the pack so you can learn everything about it.
What is it made of?
Does it have all the necessary features of an everyday backpack?
Is it worth the triple digit price tag?
In this Day Owl backpack review, we’re going to find out!
Day Owl in a Snapshot
A Kickstarter funded company, the Day Owl is a sustainable brand that makes backpacks and travel accessories for today’s modern carry.
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA, the brand is a certified BCorp that believes in using sustainably sourced materials and ethical labor practices of its employers.
In a partnership with First Mile since 2011, the brand focuses on sourcing materials from a supply chain that has fair working condition for laborers in underdeveloped countries like Haiti, Taiwan while also being environmentally sustainable.
Now let’s dig into a detailed Day Owl backpack review.
Table of Contents
Design & Quality
Cute yet functional, this eco-groovy backpack is perfect for everything from school to outdoor activities.
A travel companion also, this carry-on sized bag has a minimalistic design that blends in well in any setting as well as a luggage sleeve you can attach to your roller for a smooth transit.
All the 5 external pockets are hidden so the bag has a clean and streamlined exterior.
And the inside is deceptively roomy, making this the perfect bag for the busy student, harried commuters or whimsical traveler.
It even has a cushioned sleeve for your laptop.
Wait, there’s more.
The Day Owl pack also comes in 6 different colors of Olive green, Nickel grey, Deep navy, Pale Pink, Charcoal black and Moss green so you can really match your style.
Materials & Construction
One great thing about this bag is that it is recyclable and made from ethically sourced materials- 100% post-consumer plastic bottles, leather and metal.
The backpack itself is made out of First Mile wax canvas. First Mile focuses on sourcing materials from a supply chain that has fair working condition and is environmentally sustainable.
Other materials used include LWG certified leather and 100% recycled polyester lining and trim.
Plus it’s water resistant as well – so your precious items would stay dry if caught in a slight drizzle.
Abrasion and stain resistant as well, it has a total of ‘5 sneaky pockets’ and a 21L capacity for all your everyday necessities.
And it’s also an amazing travel backpack. This small carryon sized bag also has luggage sleeve you can attach to your rolling suitcase.
You can easily fit all the in-transport necessities, and even clothing for a couple of days for that overnight or short weekend cruise.
You can expect to use this bag for a long period of time but if it were to get ruined, Day Owl would repair the bag, at no cost to you.
Fit & Comfort
Ideally, an everyday backpack needs to be comfortable, especially if you’ll be wearing it every single day.
The good news is that the Day Owl pack is a pretty comfortable bag.
While the straps are not heavily padded, they are comfortable since the bag isn’t big nor heavy.
Don’t you just hate it when you have to deal with dangling straps that won’t stop getting hung on something!
Zero dangle and tangle, these straps are ergonomically shaped, such that you can go hiking or take the bus with this bag.
Lightweight too, at 2.8lbs, it’s not heavy, even when fully loaded and makes for a comfortable fit for people with big or small torso.
The leather top handle comes with a clasp to hold the two handles together and also makes for a comfortable carry.
From the minimalist design, chimney hidden pocket, and no-slack straps, you can tell Day Owl wanted to keep this bag as simple and clean as possible.
Storage & Organization
At 21 liters, this bag is just the right size for a laptop, large books and an extra set of clothes!
What I really fancy is how all the pockets and compartments are hidden, thus giving the bag this clean and minimalist profile on the outside.
Top pocket: On the top is a quick access fleeced line small pocket where you can stash your go to items like your sunglasses, phone, air pods, or any item you don’t want accidentally scratched.
Front panel pocket: This pocket is quite spacious and can fit items like your wallet, headphone, sunglasses or a book.
Chimney pocket: You also get a hidden chimney pocket where you can put your water bottle, a wine bottle or a wet umbrella.
The great thing about this pocket is that it is hidden, so your bottle doesn’t fall out every time you bend over.
Water repellent too, it’s lined with neoprene to prevent any spills or leaks from entering the bag.
Sadly though, the space here cuts into the main compartment of the bag, so you may want to keep that in mind if you’ll be packing a lot.
Side pocket: On the opposite side of the water bottle pocket is a hidden flat pocket that you can just slip in your phone, a bar of chocolate (yum), keys, passport or any small item.
Padded laptop pocket: Located on the back is a dedicated zippered and well-padded laptop compartment.
It can fit your 16-inch laptop, books or whatever item you wanna keep there.
Keep in mind however that it doesn’t have a false bottom to protect your laptop from hard impacts or nasty drops.
By the way, if you prefer a backpack with much better protection for your laptop, check out my post on the best laptop backpacks.
Main compartment: It opens clamshell style so you can have full access into every aspect of the bag.
Inside, you find two simple slip pockets and an attachment webbing in which you can attach your keys.
Now the internal space is fully lined and is spacious so you can cram in your clothes or other bulker items.
You can also use packing cubes, if you intend to travel with the bag.
Here’s the thing – the Day Owl backpack isn’t cheap.
But if you can afford it, you get to use it for so many uses and for many years.
Plus you have the opportunity of paying in 4 interest-free installments!
Remember, you get a free repair for life!
However, if you’re on a really tight budget, you can go for a cheaper one like the North Face Borealis Backpack.
Day Owl offers a free repairs for life!
This is an awesome dedication to the product and to sustainable practices, which goes to show the brand is very confident in their bag to offer such a claim.
Repairs every 2 weeks would just be too much stress for everyone involved, right?
It’s an amazing warranty as it’s a good indication that you’ll be carrying your cute little bag about for a long, long time.
You can learn more about it here.
How does it rate in this Day Owl backpack review?
I rated it 4.8 out of 5, because it performs very well in certain aspects and lagged behind in a few other.
Lots of users were impressed with just how durable and luxe this backpack feels.
While others wouldn’t stop gushing about all the secret pockets and spacious compartment, despite its deceptive small look.
And of course, the promise of repairs for life and sustainable practices.
But a very few others were less than enthusiastic with the lack of false bottom in the laptop compartment.
If this is a feature you’re particular about, then this bag is probably not for you.
Another qualm is with the price point. It’s quite expensive especially if you’re on a budget.
Overall, users were mostly impressed with their purchase and the Day Owl backpack is not also classy and professional, but also rugged and sturdy enough to wear anytime!
Alternative to consider: Day Owl Backpack (Small)
The Day Owl backpack 16L is an exact replica of the 21L pack.
Same features and construction, the main difference is in the capacity- 16L instead of 21L.
Another is in the dimension and weight of the bag.
It’s lighter at just 2lbs and packed with 5 pockets so you know you can stay well organized wherever you go.
If you’re looking for the perfect cute little bag that you can take just about anywhere, this is it!
Check it out here.
The Day Owl backpack is a recyclable product that makes a positive impact on our environment.
But that’s not the only reason I love this pack. I’m also impressed by how versatile it is.
A spacious compartment with hidden pockets here and there, this is a pack you can use for almost everything, ranging from school, work, travel, daily commute, and even to outdoor activities.
I rated it a 4.8 out of 5 in this Day Owl backpack review due to its high price and lack of false bottom in the laptop compartment.
Determining if this bag is worth your money is an individual thing really.
However, for a pack that is designed to be a very versatile for various purposes, I think it’s worth your buck.
Related: Also a sustainable backpack, check out my detailed review of the the Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack.
This article is not sponsored in any way by any company. This backpack have been independently selected by myself and my team. And the only thing I receive is a small commission from our affiliate program if you buy any of them through the links and buttons on this page. It doesn’t cost you a penny. But it really helps me out as this money goes to paying for maintaining the website, editing software, my time, team and everything else that goes into preparing this post.