Pakt Travel backpack review: a female carrying the Pakt Travel backpack
Credit: Pakt

Our Verdict

4.7/5
A well-designed compact carry-on travel backpack with handy features for conscientious travelers.

Pros

  • Smart thinking in the design. Excellent, well-thought-out features for organized travel.
  • Recycled, earth and animal-friendly materials: very sustainable, Pakt takes great strives to ensure that they minimize their environmental impact and are 100% animal friendly.
  • Removable fanny pack. Pakt also won me over with the smart idea of to being able to convert the waist belt into a sling bag or fanny pack.
  • Organization friendly: The Pakt Travel backpack has lots of pockets that although takes getting used to, are very handy.
  • Unique laptop sleeve design: The laptop sleeve is padded, suspended for protection, and is cushioned between your clothes inside the main compartment, rather than being behind the back panel. 
  • Flexibility of use: You can stash the shoulder straps of this backpack behind the back panel and carry the bag like a briefcase.
  • Useful features: a carryon sized pack with a luggage pass-through sleeve, water-resistant fabrics, comfy straps, water bottle pocket, etc. come in handy on trips.
  • Comfortable. Wide and padded shoulder straps, removable chest and waist belts and padded back panel make for a comfortable wear.
  • Carry-on sized. Minimal and compact, you can fit in your travel essentials without the fear of having to check the Pakt backpack.   
  • Lifetime guarantee: The Pack comes with a lifetime warranty, so you’re guaranteed to have the best experience and peace of mind as you carry your bag everywhere. 

Cons


  • Quite pricey: At over $200, it’s not the best option for those on a tight budget. 
  • Laptop sleeve can take getting used to: If you’re used to having your laptop cushioned behind the back panel, it may take a while getting used to seeing it in the main compartment.
  • No dedicated tablet sleeve: Maybe an oversight, but there’s no separated sleeve to keep your tablet nice and snug. Even the slot in the front organizer pocket mostly makes for a tight fit.
  • Can’t stand on its own: Unlike the AER backpack, the Pakt Travel backpack can’t stand up on its own.
  • Not for longer trips: If you’re heading out on a longer trip, chances are you’ll be packing the bag to its very limits.

Pros


  • Smart thinking in the design: Excellent, well-thought-out features for organized travel.
  • Recycled, earth and animal-friendly materials: very sustainable, Pakt takes great strives to ensure that they minimize their environmental impact and are 100% animal friendly.
  • Removable fanny pack. Pakt also won me over with the smart idea of to being able to convert the waist belt into a sling bag or fanny pack.
  • Organization friendly: The Pakt Travel backpack has lots of pockets that although takes getting used to, are very handy.
  • Unique laptop sleeve design: The laptop sleeve is padded, suspended for protection, and is cushioned between your clothes inside the main compartment, rather than being behind the back panel. 
  • Flexibility of use: You can stash the shoulder straps of this backpack behind the back panel and carry the bag like a briefcase.
  • Useful features: a carryon sized pack with a luggage pass-through sleeve, water-resistant fabrics, comfy straps, water bottle pocket, etc. come in handy on trips.
  • Comfortable. Wide and padded shoulder straps, removable chest and waist belts, and padded back panel makes for comfortable wear.
  • Carry-on sized. Minimal and compact, you can fit in your travel essentials without the fear of having to check the Pakt backpack.  
  • Lifetime guarantee: The Pack comes with a lifetime warranty, so you’re guaranteed to have the best experience and peace of mind as you carry your bag everywhere.  

            Cons

            • Quite pricey: At over $200, it’s not the best option for those on a tight budget. 
            • Laptop sleeve can take getting used to: If you’re used to having your laptop cushioned behind the back panel, it may take a while getting used to seeing it in the main compartment.
            • No dedicated tablet sleeve: Maybe an oversight, but there’s no separated sleeve to keep your tablet nice and snug. Even the slot in the front organizer pocket mostly makes for a tight fit.
            • Can’t stand on its own: Unlike the AER backpack, the Pakt Travel backpack can’t stand up on its own.
            • Not for longer trips: If you’re heading out on a longer trip, chances are you’ll be packing the bag to its very limits.

            Pakt Travel Backpack Review 2021

            The Pakt Travel backpack stands out with its well-thought-out features and the bold claim of being ‘the best damn travel bag you’ll ever carry.

            The Travel Pack, as you may or may not know, is a collaborative product between Pakt and well known Youtuber reviewer, Chase Reeves.

            And as if that’s not interesting enough, there are literally so many features, so many nooks and crannies, and so many design details in the pack…

            And just like you, I’m intrigued…

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the Pakt Travel backpack carried by two models
            Credit: Pakt

            Does the Pakt Travel Pack come close to that “the best damn travel bag you’ll ever carry” goal the team is going for?

            And is it for you?

            Well, in this Pakt Travel Pack review, we’ll break it down together to see how it fares out.

            This Pakt Travel backpack review is detailed with all you need to know so you can better decide if it’s the best backpack for you.

            Let’ go!

            Pakt in a Snapshot

            Pakt about us image
            Credit: Pakt

            The Pakt was created by Malcolm Fontier in 2017.

            The reason was to bring back the Getaway bag: a travel backpack that was loved and in high demand since it was featured in the 2016 documentary, Minimalism.

            To bring it back, Malcom collaborated with Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (The Minimalists) and released an improved version of the bag- The Pakt One.

            And since then, Pakt has collaborated with other creatives to create travel bags and accessories for the environmentally conscious travelers.

            Even better, Pakt One does their part with being an environmentally conscious company, which I appreciate. They use all eco-friendly and vegan materials that have the lowest environmental impact possible.

            They also use plastic-free packaging that’s designed by SeaHive (a company that helps reduce plastic pollution in the ocean through environmentally friendly packaging).

            As a bonus, the company provides fair working conditions and environment for factory employees.

            You can learn more here.

            Table of Contents

            Design & Quality

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the Pakt Travel backpack front view
            Credit: Pakt

            The Pakt Travel Backpack is a 30L bag that comes from a collaboration between the Pakt team and Chase Reeves – a youtuber known for his entertaining backpack reviews.  

            You can tell that a lot of thought and consideration went into the design of the Pakt Travel backpack, and the outcome—in my opinion—is a fine bag you won’t be mind being seen with.  

            Starting with the aesthetics of the bag, it spots a modern and minimal appearance without being too boxy or techy. The sort of bag that blends in well in a ton of different environments, especially when not loaded out.  

            I like that even when the bag is packed out, it maintains a minimal silhouette making it easy to navigate crowded areas or jump on a public transit.

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the Pakt Travel backpack black and green color option

            The bag is also fully carry-on friendly both on domestic and international airlines.

            With a weight of 3.25lbs and the dimensions of 21 x 2.6 x 6.7 inches, it fits in the overhead bin or underneath the seat in front of you.

            Made with the planet in mind, you get two color options (black and green) and very subtle brandings while being very comfortable and organization-friendly.

            Materials & Construction

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the Pakt Travel backpack front and back view
            Credit: Pakt

            Looks are nothing unless they’re built on a solid foundation, and the Pakt Travel backpack doesn’t disappoint in this regard.

            In fact, the bag is with the environment in mind. This pack is made using materials that are animal friendly and have least impact on the environment, which is something I admire.

            The exterior material is 900D rPET, a recycled material consisting of single-use plastic bottles with 150D polyester for internal lining. It’s a very rugged material with a DWR finish (durable water-resistant coating), and the zippers and constructions are designed to shed water.

            It’s even stated on the Pakt website that ‘the material is just as durable as nylon and has a lower carbon footprint than both nylon and organic cotton fabrics.’  

            Wrapping up the materials, the Pakt Travel backpack have durable Duraflex hardware on the strap adjusters and buckles.  

            One thing though, the zippers are not YKK, but they seem to work well and smooth.

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the Pakt Travel backpack water resistant material
            Credit: Pakt

            So going onto the features, there are about 20 of them with compartment to help you make the best out of your trips! We’re going to have fun exploring each of them later on in this Pakt Travel backpack review!

            Organization friendly, it features a dual compartment in the main section with useful pockets that keeps items accessible and in their place. For easy access, there are top zippers which allow you to access the content of each sides quickly including your laptop while on the go without opening the entire bag.

            Cool, right?

            My qualm with the Pakt Travel backpack however is with how limiting it can get to pack your stuff for a one travel bag. At 30L capacity, it may be tough cramming in 4-6 days items, unless you are a minimalist. 

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the Pakt Travel backpack worn by a female
            Credit: Pakt

            To increase comfort, a few key elements were included: padded shoulder straps, a hip belt, a chest strap, a padded back panel as well as beefy luggage handles. With the travel pack, it’s easy to squeeze it into the last overhead bin spot or even stash it under the seat in front of you.

            If security is a concern, the travel pack has lockable zippers on all three of the exterior zippers, which is what one feature I like to see in a travel backpack.

            And it offers flexibility of use.

            You can stash the shoulder straps behind the back panel and carry the bag like a briefcase thanks to its beefy grab handles. plus the ability to convert the waist belt into a fanny pack. 

            All in all, the 30L size strike the perfect balance of airline carryon capability and packing capacity with all the features you need for a smooth and organized journey.

            Fit & Comfort

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the Pakt Travel backpack back panel with features
            Credit: Pakt

            As you’ll see in this Pakt Travel backpack review, the bag has a lot going on as far as convenience and carrying comfort is concerned.

            The shoulder straps are padded and have wide width to prevent it from digging into your shoulders when the bag is packed out. Even though there’s a small air mesh, I would have loved to see more breathable materials on the straps to give room for proper ventilation.

            At the top of each strap are load lifters which allow you adjust how the bag sits on your back.

            You can also detach the shoulder straps by releasing the duraflex buckles on the lower straps and tuck them away behind the back panel.

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the Pakt Travel backpack worn by a female
            Credit: Pakt

            Another nice addition is an adjustable and removable sternum strap to help with weight distribution. What’s great about the sternum strap is that it’s ambidextrous.

            It has quick-release buckles on both sides of the shoulder straps so if you are more dominant on your left hand, you can release from your left and vice versa.

            At the bottom are removable waist belt to help add additional support and weight distribution when the bag is a little bit more packed out. I like that its fully removable when you don’t wanna use it as opposed to tucking the straps away.

            That being said, the waist belt padding is fairly thin. While this is good in maintaining a minimal aesthetic, it’s not great especially if you’ll be wearing it for a long period of time.

            Still, I like that with both the sternum strap and waist belt, you can stash them away or completely remove them when not in use.

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the Pakt Travel backpack fanny pack being worn by two models

            A nice bonus with the waist belt is that once detached, it actually doubles as a fanny pack or sling bag.

            Snap buttons are integrated into the pouch to give additional capacity so you can keep your essentials close. It has a zippered opening into one large main area and a magnetic divider that allows you to add some separation to your items. So, when you’re traveling, you don’t have to pack additional bag to fit smaller essentials. Smart.

            At the bottom and side of the bag are decently thick and padded grab handles that allow you carry the bag more comfortably.  The handles make it easy to grab the bag out of an airplane cabin or to carry the bag like a briefcase when you don’t wanna wear it on your back.

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the Pakt Travel backpack attached to a suitcase

            The back panel is flush.

             It’s decently padded and has air channel for a little bit of breathability. Just like in the shoulder straps, the air channel here could be better.

            Lower the back panel is extra padding for lumbar support. This is also where you fit the waist belt that comes with the bag.

            And there’s a little loop to hang your bag on a hook at the bathroom or at home.

            Still at the back panel is a nice luggage pass through sleeve that allows you attach the bag onto your suitcase when you walk around the airport to save some weight on your back.

            As seen in the Pakt Travel backpack review, the pack comes with features for carrying comfort, if only on a short-term wear.

            Storage & Organization

            Pakt Travel backpack review: a male carrying the Pakt Travel backpack
            Credit: Pakt

            This is a 30L bag that works as a good one bag travel size. This is because it’s quite roomy and comes with good organizational features to make the pack a winner.  

            Depending on what side you lean to, the compartments although helpful, may be an overkill for those who are not hyper-compartmentation friendly. To help you get the best out of it, we’ll be highlighting each pocket in this Pakt Travel bag review.

            Without wasting time, let’s dig into all the pockets and compartments!

            Top quick access pocket: At the top is a waterproof and deep section where you can stow anything wet or pretty much any item you want to have easy access to. The unique thing is that it’s waterproof, so it prevents anything wet from getting into the rest of the bag.  

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the waterproof pocket of the Pakt Travel backpack

            Admin Organizer Panel

            It features internal organization – a zippered pocket, a divider pocket, pen slot and space underneath it for your items with a key leash. You can put iPad (when the backpack is not loading out), a headphone, and other smaller items.

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the organizer pocket of the Pakt Travel backpack
            Credit: Pakt

            Front bottom pocket

            Quite deep compared to other bag’s front pocket, you can throw in a pouch, a cable, power bank, or other smaller items. Seriously, they would all fit!

            I also like that it has a flap over the zipper to help add additional protection.

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the interior of the Pakt Travel backpack stuffed with travel items

            Main compartment

            A unique feature to the Pakt Travel backpack is that it opens like a suitcase (e.g., it has a clamshell opening). This allows the bag to lay flat as you organize and grab your things. 

            At the same time, you don’t have to fully open the bag to grab what you need quickly. Intrigued?

            Well, there are two external zippers that give access to the main compartment and of course, the laptop compartment that’s inside the main compartment as well. All you have to do is open up the zipper, reach in and grab any item you want easily while going through TSA.

            With that being said, opening the suitcase style main compartment, you have two separate sides to the bag so that you can just segment everything out.

            I like when a travel bag opens into a free space, because it makes organizing your stuff straightforward, with the freedom to pack however you like.

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the laptop sleeve of the Pakt Travel backpack

            On one side is a cushioned laptop compartment.

            The laptop sleeve is suspended off the ground, which is always a good idea. It has a zip so you can easily reach in and grab your laptop from the external zipper at the top of the bag.  It can fit a 15-inch laptop with room to spare, if you have something bigger.

            An interesting thing about the Pakt is that the laptop compartment is in the middle of the bag. Ideally, I prefer to have my laptop cushioned my back, but with the Pakt system, your device is protected in between all your stuff.

            It’s not worst idea if you think of it.

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the interior of the Pakt Travel backpack

            Behind the laptop sleeve is a main area that opens to into a big space where you can keep your clothes, a pair of shoes or if you like, packing cubes. The layout is simple, no form of compression straps, just a space with two little mesh pockets (for a rain cover) for you to organize your stuff however you like.

            The only issue I have with this compartment is that it’s not so deep, so if you stuff it with items, it can affect the laptop sleeve and thus make it bulgy.

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the interior of the Pakt Travel backpack with travel items beside it

            Moving onto the other side, there’s a big mesh divider pocket great for storing small accessories you wanna easily identify.

            Behind the zippered compartment is another big space where you can stash your clothes and accessories with or without packing cubes. This area is deeper and larger and at the top is a zippered pocket great to hold smaller items.

            Phew, we are finally done with the main compartment!

            Take a moment to wipe the sweats. Still wanna continue? Great. Now let’s check out the back pockets.

            Hidden top compartment

            At the back where you can tuck straps away, there’s a pocket hidden at the top to keep sensitive items or documents.  You should note that it makes for a very tight space and so not great for items you wanna have easy access to.  

            Back panel TSA pocket

            I really like this pocket because inside it, there’s an attached TSA mesh zippered pocket with a red strap where you can keep your phone, passport or other needed small items.  

            This attached pocket can quickly be pulled out during airport security, so you don’t have to remove your items into a plastic bin, and thus keep things moving quickly during the security process.

            And because it’s attached to the bag, you’re less likely to leave anything behind.

            Pakt Travel backpack review: a female carrying the Pakt Travel backpack
            Credit: Pakt

            Accessory loops: One clarification to make, there are no compression straps on the Pakt backpack.  

            Instead, there are a pair of accessory travel straps and eight lashing points that makes it easy to attach items on outside of the bag.    

            Should your bag be packed to the brim, it’s a good way to securely carry bulkier items like a tripod, jacket, yoga mat, or any long objects.

            I like that the straps are removable.

            Also, you can attach the straps to any of the attachment points along the front if you want to attach larger items like your yoga mat in front rather than on the sides of the bag. I like the flexibility that this affords.

            What’s great about the straps is that they offer easy access and quick release to any item.   

            Water bottle pocket

            On the left side of the bag is an elasticated and gusseted pocket that opens to fit a large water bottle. What’s also great about this pocket is that when not in use, it simply folds back in nice and flush to maintain that slim silhouette.

            Pakt Travel backpack review: a guy wearing the Pakt fanny pack

            Fanny pack

            I’m sure you know by now that you can convert the waist belt into a fanny pack!

            I love that the pack is simple and offers enough space to fit some essentials like a phone, a small camera, a wallet, etc. It’s great for when you’re out exploring because won’t have to pack additional bag to fit smaller essentials. Minimalism on point

            Price

            Pakt Travel backpack review: the Pakt Travel backpack with rain cover

            It’s a bit of an investment at 295$

            If you consider the long-lasting and eco-friendly materials used and how its functional, organized and is backed by a lifetime warranty, I think the price is justifiable.

            Note: If you want a rain cover for extra protection of your gear from the elements, it comes at an extra price of $35.

            Warranty

            The Pakt Travel Pack comes with a lifetime warranty.

            If you notice any manufacturing deforms in your gear, send a note to support@paktbags.com, and they will work with you to make things right.

            The warranty covers manufacturing defects, and excessive damage occurring during normal use. Normal wear and tear from everyday use is not covered.

            You can learn more about it here.  

            Users Thoughts/Reviews

            The Pakt Travel bag is comfortable to wear, has a great build quality, with interesting and useful organizational layout.

            In love already?

            Before you go in too deep, you may want to know about the areas where this bag does not excel, so you can make a more informed decision.

            The most obvious con of course is the price.

            Another is that I don’t think it’s the best option for longer trips. At 30L, there’s a limit to how much you can pack, unless you’re a minimalist.

            Again, the bag is quite roomy and is comfortable to carry, but if you’re heading out on a longer trip, chances are you’ll be packing the bag to its limits because it lacks the depth to accommodate more items.

            From my research of the Pakt Travel backpack review, some people are on the fence with where the laptop compartment is located. It will take getting used to, especially if you’re used to having your laptop behind the back panel.

            Also, finding a place for a tablet that’s slightly 11” or above is quite tough. The organizer compartment only features a key ring, a pen holder and two pockets that are not deep enough to hold an iPad if the bag is packed out.

            Unlike the AER backpack, the Pakt Travel backpack can’t stand up on its own because there’s’ no structure in front to enable this.

            But other than these, the Pakt Travel backpack is a solid backpack you’ll grow to love.    

            Alternative to consider: Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack

            Pakt Travel backpack review: Tortuga Setout Travel laptop backpack
            Credit: Tortuga

            Tailored for the modern traveler, the Tortuga Setout backpack allows you organize and carry lots of gear in a streamlined, compact package.

            If you like traveling light, you’ll love the Setout backpack.

            This 25L one-bag travel solution is stuffed with features: a protected 15” laptop compartment, useful pockets, sternum strap & waist belt, and contoured back panel with padded straps for all day comfort.

            Made with a 900D polyester with a water-resistant coating and YKK zippers, it has a clean design without any distracting straps.

            Its simple design and streamlined look make this look more like a backpack and not a travel bag (and that’s a good thing).

            By the way, you can read my review of the Tortuga Setout Laptop backpack for a more details.  

            Final Thoughts

            This wraps up my review of the Pakt Travel Backpack.

            A summary of the Pakt Travel Backpack review – organized, minimalist, and interesting straight-forward.

            If you’re into minimalist travel, this is an ideal go-to carry-on for the weekend and shorter trips. 

            While it’s not perfect, the Pakt Travel backpack is an ideal travel companion packed with clever features to keep you highly organized and comfortable on your every journey.

            So, over to you.

            Have you heard of the Pakt Travel backpack and what’s your general impression of the bag?

            Kindly let me know in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.

            Oh and If you on the hunt for a backpack designed specifically with laptop protection in mind, check out my comprehensive review on the best laptop backpacks.  



            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.  

            10 thoughts on “Pakt Travel Backpack Review | Every Detail You Should Know About”

            1. There are so many things I like about the Pakt travel backpack. Firstly, I love the fact it’s made from recycled plastic bottles, and secondly, the company care about their staff’s working conditions. I like the idea you can open the backpack like a suitcase. It makes a change to find one that’s easy to pack while flat. In addition, the waterproof compartment is a great feature, as you can store soaps and other liquids safely. Being able to turn this amazing backpack into a fanny pack is a wonderful and very useful feature. Also, I’d feel happy at storing both my laptop and Ipad inside it without fear of damage. Thanks for sharing:)

              Reply
            2. Great review as always.
              I like to see bags that I can use for my travels and work as I am a digital Nomad.
              The bag looks good however there I do not really like the fact that I can not use it for long distances which is what I would normally need it for.
              The Price is also very high so I will pass on this one.

              Reply
            3. The Pakt Travel Backpack seems like the ultimate travel bag! I love the design and quality of the material. The way you describe the fit sounds like it must be quite comfortable. Although I am a bit apprehensive about how bulky it might look on myself (me being petite). I almost feel like if I fill it up too much, I might just tip over haha!

              Anyways, it is a bit on the pricey end but then again isn’t everything that is good quality expensive as well?

              As usual, your reviews are so thorough and on point that I find myself coming back to check your new articles. I don’t really like the other alternative you mentioned here so I will definitely look more into the Pakt travel backpack.

              Reply
              • Hey Sasha,

                I can understand your apprehension about how bulky the Pakt bag might be on a petite frame. And I quite agree with you, one-bag travel pack tend to be huge, especially when loaded out. However, I very much doubt about your tipping over, but let’s not put that into test. LOL!

                Anyhow, I’m glad this review has been helpful to you. Watch out for the one I’m soon to publish on small backpacks.

                Cheers,
                Femi.

                Reply
            4. Your reviews are always detailed and honest, really appreciate that.

              The laptop placement will take a while to get used to, for sure. All in all, this bag is a smart combination of luggage and a backpack.

              From the moment I read eco-friendly materials, I knew this bag would cost a bit more. However the specs described perhaps justifies its price point. Not just about compartments but also having plenty of detachable things.

              The biggest win (for me): the lockable zippers. Really necessary. I would always have a carry on with me when I fly, and often I have an extra bag to store my personal belongings to keep with me on my seat. I would have a greater piece of mind to keep the entire bag in the overhead compartment with this bag.

              At 30L, this bag is worth to consider. Thank you for this review! I might consider buying it in the near future. Highlighting this page.

              Cheers.
              SAM

              Reply
              • Hey Sam,

                The Pakt travel Pack is expensive. I very much agree with you about the price point – it’s expensive but justifiable when the features are considered.

                And let’s not forget that it’s also good for the environment being an eco-friendly bag.

                Thanks for your comment.
                Femi.

                Reply
            5. This really is a perfect backpack! I love how the waist belt can be converted into a fanny pack, that is so useful! The fact that part of this backpack is also made with single-use plastic bottles is also great. You can store a lot in this bag and it still looks minimal.
              The price makes me hesitate, though. It is a lot, and I do realize that it’s a one-time investment that will last you a lifetime and end up saving you money by not having to buy new backpacks, it’s not something everyone can afford. It looks like it’s worth the investment, though.

              Reply
            6. I love designs that have the environment in mind! Usually, those products are from people that think things through, which shows here as well. The backpack described here not only is made of ‘waste’, but has well-thought-through extras.

              It would be a bit too big for me though. If it is packed full, it would be way too heavy for me.

              But I am sure Pakt has other models to my liking, and I will check out your review about laptop backpacks. 🙂

              Thanks, Femi.

              Reply

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