The Bontrager Travel Backpack aims to make life on the road easier. Will Shaw dives into whether Bontrager have achieved their goal.
Words and Photos: Will Shaw
Whilst travel isn’t an option for many of us now, when it is on the menu good travel accessories go a long way. The Bontrager Travel Backpack aims to do just that, with a focus on multiple storage spaces, easy access, and durability. As someone who often throws everything into a duffle bag for sub one-week trips, something like the Travel Backpack should make getting that one thing you need much easier.
The Travel Backpack features 25 litres of storage, which is quite roomy if you’re only packing for the day. Bontrager also offer the Commuter Backpack, with 18 litres of storage, that’s a better option as a day pack. That’s not to say you can’t ride in the Travel Backpack though, as with two adjustable straps I found the backpack quite comfortable to cruise around with.
As it’s quite bulky I imagine it wouldn’t breathe amazingly well in the hotter months but compared to a strapless or single strap backpack it stays put nicely. The two-strap arrangement also stabilises heavier loads when walking.
Securing your laptop safely is probably most people’s main priority when travelling. The Travel Backpack uses a fleece lined sleeve at the rear of the backpack for this task, which fits up to 17” laptops. There’s a solid layer of cushioning between the laptop sleeve and your back so it doesn’t impact on comfort while walking or riding, and I imagine it would take dropping it from a fair height to cause any damage, particularly if you also store your laptop in a laptop case.
The easy access top pocket is becoming more popular in backpack design, and whilst I haven’t been in many airports recently, a pocket that fits essentials like your passport and boarding pass is nice.
Another nice touch in this backpack is the multiple zipped storage areas. There are no less than 11 separated places to put your stuff, and the bag can be opened in clam shell fashion so you can nail your packing, rather than getting everything perfect and realising what you need is at the bottom of your bag. Should you need more space, there’s an expansion zip that adds 6cm of depth, which is great for fitting bulkier items like riding shoes and helmets. On the ‘one thing you need’ note again, the separated storage allows you to get those pedals out for airport security much easier!
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Whilst I didn’t travel anywhere with the Travel Backpack, I did run an experiment to see how many days’ worth of packing would fit in the bag. With a set of kit for everyday (only three sets of shorts though, reusing them is fine right?), shoes, helmet, and a couple of sets of casual clothes I think you could do around a week without needing to wash any clothes. If you’re good at packing light and have access to washing your clothes, you could get away with the Travel Backpack and your bike bag for multiple weeks.
Whilst the asking price for the Travel Backpack of $239.99 isn’t cheap, it’s clear Trek have put some thought into the product. Whilst the backpacks’ material doesn’t look overly waterproof, the sealing is quite impressive, and a serious downpour would be required to soak the bags contents.
Overall, the Trek Travel Backpack is a well-designed product which will save you time and energy over a standard backpack. Whilst it’s a bit pricey at $239.99, if you’re headed away on trips regularly it could be a great investment.
- Multiple zipped storage compartments make organising your luggage easy
- Two straps make sense for cycling based travel and heavy loads
- More space than you would think