The benefits of investing in a great travel backpack are numerous. In most instances, they’re just as roomy as your carry-on, with the added perks of allowing for easy access to essentials (no need to unveil the entire contents of your bag to the airport while digging about for your phone charger when you’ve got plenty of pockets to utilize). With a backpack, you can head off to your airport gate with both hands-free for your coffee and boarding pass. And they’re a much better option for hiking and camping trips; nobody wants to lug a suitcase across soggy grass or bumpy terrain.
But while I’ve loved a few backpacks over the years, none has ever quite become ‘the one’: the Gandys bag that’s a touch narrow for laptops; the Patagonia duffel/backpack hybrid that’s great for the beach, but too big to keep things neat on a weekend trip; the admittedly fake Belstaff rucksack with fraying shoulder straps, you get it.
Luckily, The Adventure Bag from Stubble & Co has none of these drawbacks. It’s big enough (42 liters) to cover a long weekend trip, but not too big for daily use, and packed with smart features: the secret valuables pocket, the padded laptop compartment, the clamshell design that means it can effectively open like a suitcase, and a special pocket for my frequently dirty trainers (big tick).
Using it on a recent trip to Comporta and on my regular overnighters in London, it never felt over-engineered or fussy, and I loved the the backpack’s top compartments for books and gadgets. The real joy is its versatility. It nicely straddles city and outdoor style, and if you use the waist strap and take the extra waterproof cover (it’s already waterproof), it feels like it could handle a proper expedition. Made from recycled plastic with strong YKK zips, it feels robust and well-made, and the trolley sleeve is an added bonus. I think I’ve found the one.
This article was originally published on UK.