The Core Pack from Topo is a classic daily carry bag with solid organization and materials at an extremely affordable price.
Material Choice:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
Love this stuff. It's like cordura, feels just like it at least. 1000D nylon with water repellent finish, 210D nylon pack cloth liner.
Build Quality:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
Everything is solid on this bag.
Water Resistance:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
I wouldn't want to be out in the rain long with this thing (or most bags, for that matter). The lip that hangs over the zipper is a classic method to keep the water out of the bag.
External Access:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
Front zip pocket (with inner org), quick access pocket, laptop pocket, two excellent water bottle pockets.
Internal Organization:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
Just a little org on the inside of the front pocket.
Capacity:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
It's such a great size for both daily carry and minimal travel. 25L. Can do so much with this thing. It's like a more usable, more hippy-friendly GoRuck GR1.
Carry Comfort:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
I like the burly padding in the straps. Cinching this thing on feels really good; has everything I need in it.
Doesn't Look Weird:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
It can look a little like a box on your back. But I love the vintage aesthetic. (As I explain in the video. #Trailmix)
Extra Score:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
For creating a ridiculously useful bag for the price, and with such a classic aesthetic, I award Topo a full extra point here.
Front zip pocket has inner organization. Then there’s the quick access, the laptop, and the two killer water bottle pockets that can gobble up Nalgenes whole.
Not pulled off the bottom of the bag. So, if you’re looking for uber laptop protection, you may be able to fit your laptop inside a case in this laptop compartment.
Check out the video to get a visual on capacity.
Other Bags to Check Out:
This is what I call the "badass bargain option." Everything you need in a daily carry, organized innovatively so it stays fun to use, and it's super affordable.
The Transit Sling from Heimplanet is a smaller daily sling bag made with an interesting and nice feeling outer material.
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A gorgeous messenger bag with a kind of modern urban-alpine aesthetic and absolutely lovely, dense, long-haul materials.