Way back in 2015 I took part in The Mongol Rally and Douchebags were kind enough to support each person of our trio in the form of a branded cap, organic cotton t-shirt and of course the backpack itself. Lets take a look at how it’s survived the aforementioned trip as well as being my daily go-to bag.
- Capacity: 15 liters
- Zippered laptop compartment (fits up to 15″ laptops)
- 3 internal pouches
- Weight: 1.1kg
- Price: €109
Since receiving it in March of 2015, I’ve used this backpack five days a week for nearly two years as my commuter bag and it’s a regular feature on any trips away too. Inside the bag you’ll generally find the usual daily necessities; a phone charger, wallet, keys, food, and a bit of stationary alongside my work issued 13″ MacBook Pro. The laptop is obviously carried in the dedicated laptop compartment which is easily accessed by a full length side zip which makes sliding a laptop in and out a breeze. There would definitely be room for the larger 15″ laptops as well as the odd bit of paperwork.
The main compartment of the bag is what makes this backpack rather unique, I’ve certainly not come across any other backpacks with a full length side zip like this one. It really allows for easy access to rummage around for any odds and ends as well as making it simple to organise things if you’re cramming a load of stuff in there.
Inside the main compartment there are three storage pouches, two of which split the internal back panel and snap closed with magnetic tabs. The larger of the two pouches is described as ‘iPad size’ and I’d say the smaller one is around half the size but is still very useful for something like a notebook. The third and final compartment is a zippered mesh pocket on the inside of the side opening flap. I’ve honestly rarely used this particular pocket as it’s not actually all that big as well as being a weird long and narrow shape. Plus I actually often forget its even there. You could fit keys and something like one of the original Buff neckwear things and that would be about it.
There’s also a really handy outside pocket that I use all the time for my wallet and keys or anything else I need to grab regularly.
As mentioned above there are few things that I’ll regularly carry with me however, if I am going on a trip either for a day or using the pack as a day bag on longer travels – I’ll often pack a lot more in here. Being a passionate photographer as well as actually shooting video for a living, I nearly always take my DSLR and a lens or two out with me. (If I am actually heading out on an actual photoshoot/trip I’ll take a more dedicated bag such as my Evoc Photo Scout). Obviously weather dependent I’ll usually also have a softshell, beanie/cap and some other bits and bobs. What I’m saying is that it’s really rather easy to pack at least a days worth of ‘stuff’ in here no matter what you’re going out to do. I’ve even used it as an overnight bag on short trips.
Construction and Materials
The bag is made from a couple different types of Polyester, I wont go into the actual details of the different types used as I’m no fabric expert, however the outer shell is designed to be water resistant to protect valuables. It looks like a faux leather although Douchebags appear to have released a ltd edition of the bag in a full leather guise. The back panel, as in the bit that actually touches your back, is designed to allow some airflow however this definitely isn’t an ‘active’ pack. The shoulder straps are very comfortable and have a thin but hard wearing padding, I’ve regularly worn this with a heavy load for most of a day and no issues to speak of in terms of comfort.
All of the zips and hardware are metal which means that they will last drastically longer than most other bags. Specifically on the shoulder strap buckles which are often made of plastic.
There are very few issues to speak of, there have been no manufacturing problems such as failed stitching and there’s almost no obvious wear and tear. The base of the pack is perhaps a little discoloured but it’s only noticeable on closer inspection this is rather impressive considering that I haven’t exactly been careful with where I set the bag down whilst out and about. My only real complaint is actually the shape of the bag itself, there is a gentle curve of the bag can make it difficult to get blockier square items such as tupperware, small Peli Cases or large hard drives. This likely wouldn’t be a problem for most people unless you happen to work in the film industry or take big lunches!
I’ll be honest the price could be off-putting for some people although if I’m normally in the market for a bag, I get one that’s practical and will stand the test of time. This certainly ticks that box, two years, several countries, hundreds of commutes and still going strong. So if you’re after a hard wearing practical and comfortable bag that you can rely on every day… This is the bag for you.