The Topo Travel bag has a playful style, which I like a lot, but it is very serious about being a great travel bag. This is a classic.
- Aesthetically interesting — I love the modern-vintage vibe of Topo gear… feels like something a drop out rock climber from the 70s would have in his toyota camry hatchback.
- Solid capacity in 30L, massive in 40L:
- the 30L is actually the one I’d encourage people to travel with more because it looks better, is nicer to carry and will fit in more airplane carry-on rules.
- But if you’re worried about everything fitting, 40L is maximum carry on size.
- The whole thing opens clamshell, so it’s easy to pack/unpack
- Built really great —
- 1000D nylon, 400D nylon pack cloth, 210D nylon pack cloth liner, 1680D ballistic nylon on select colors
- Heavy-duty YKK zippers
- Better than average organization:
- Quick access with internal org
- Org panel
- Interior organization on main compartment
- 40L has an extra layer of organization inside the main compartment.
- Some nice bonus travel features:
- Luggage passthrough
- Small bag clips
- Zipper security for main compartment and org panel
- Handles on all three sides
- Solid and a little sweaty to carry:
- Comfy straps with load lifters.
- Removable hip belt… just nylon webbing on the 30L but the 40L has some fatty padding.
- No ventilation on the back… just some 1000D ballistic nylon. So it’s likely to get sweaty, but I personally can’t avoid that.
- Straps can stow away and you can use a shoulder strap to carry as a duffel.
Material Choice:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
Build Quality:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
Water Resistance:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
External Access:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
Internal Organization:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
Carry Comfort:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
Doesn't Look Weird:Sub-Par Satisfactory Excellent
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 Homebase series from Tortuga features this incredibly lightweight sailcloth material that's water resistant and super strong. (It feels light and scary! But it's damn strong stuff.) This makes for an incredibly light and resilient travel bag.
The Venturesafe X40 from Pacsafe is a multi-purpose 40L backpack with a ton anti-theft features.
A really solid feeling bag with lots of pockets both inside and outside the bag and enough capacity for the minimal traveler.
The ATD1 is an expandable backpack you can use for both travel and daily carry. Looks pretty damn good too. One of the best in this category for sure.