The CTB40 from Evergoods is a mean, sleek and minimal bag for professional travelers and unique gear hauling jobs. Limited external access, but excellent to use with a second smaller bag.
Material Choice:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
This is a rustic m-f-er. 500d High Tenacity Nylon 6,6 with Air Textured Yarn and Water Repellent Finish. Picks up dirt and lint pretty good, tho. The liner is amazing (Lining: 420d HT nylon with PU coating). Zote EV50 in the shoulders.
Build Quality:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
As far as bag making goes, this bag is so much more advanced than any bag my dad's ever seen... and my dad made bags for a living. The zips are really tight to pull, though.
Water Resistance:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
All the coating, no water's getting through the shell for a long time. Zips are tight but there is a little exposure there. Some exposure on the top quick-access pocket zipper.
External Access:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
There is one *excellent* quick access pocket. If that's all you need, you are stoked. But if you need more external access, I advise against this one. Love this bag for traveling with another smaller hand or shoulder bag. You basically have to put this thing down to get in and out of it.
Internal Organization:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
The panel on the inside front of the bag is designed real well to be utilitarian, useful for a wide array of uses. And the materials, again, are delightful every time you interact with them.
Carry Comfort:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
This is the whole thing about this bag. A completely new harness system. Very comfortable for the average athletic person. No hip straps possible on this thing, just excellent ergonomics. It's noticeable.
Doesn't Look Weird:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
I think this thing looks so sleek and interesting. Elon Musk and co. mission material in the best possible way. Sleek, minimal, utilitarian, utterly useful, except when you need to get a sip from your water bottle.
Extra Score:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
Extra score here just because there's clearly something very tactful and elegant in the way the designers at Evergoods are tackling questions in product design. The Matterful.co award for "please keep making products for us humans" goes to...
Padded all the way around, no edges or straps to get caught on doorknobs and airline chairs. Stark. Minimal. But there’s only one small-ish external access pocket and it’s a pain to open this thing up.
This harness system is like nothing I’ve seen before. It’s an unbelievably capable setup, and it will stand up to any job you throw at it.
Laptop pocket actually contains a spacious storage compartment. Remember when packing that whatever is in there will get smushed against your back.
It’s an excellent pocket, wider at the top than the bottom, about the size of a really big phone. Whatever you need to get on the go needs to fit in this pocket.
You’ll need to find a way to keep the main compartment zippers so they’re available to where this pocket is if you’re getting in and out of this pocket.
Same massive 40L capacity as other bags on our list. May be too big for some smaller carry-on restrictions. Inner lip allows for compression, can also hinder your access to bag contents. I often had to put the bag down to open it completely to grab something inside.
The panel on the top of the bag is designed real well to be useful across a wide array of uses. And this liner material (420d HT nylon with PU coating) is excellent. A delightful every time you interact with it.
Other Bags to Check Out:
DSPTCH hand-makes bags here in the USA and the Travel Pack is a great example of the kind of extremely durable designs they put together.
The Akra backpack from Arcido is designed to be a minimal travel bag with clean looks and plenty of organization and pockets.
The Travel Bag from Nomatic is a solid offering in one bag travel.
The Aeronaut from Tom Bihn is an excellent duffel/backpack conversion bag with minimal organization and insanely durable materials and construction.
Smith the Roll Pack from Millican is a perfect eco-friendly rambler for daily adventures that's built excellently, has plenty of room for your stuff, but still looks good when it's not totally full.