My TOPO Designs Daypack – REVIEW
Oops I did it again! I bought a new backpack. During some recent less than enjoyable dental work I decided the time had finally come to TREAT MASELF to my absolute dreamboat of backpacks that's been on my wishlist for 2 years. Ladies and gentlemen buckle your seatbelts... *drumrull* it's the Topo Designs Daypack!
You had me at Topo
I've had a brand-crush on Topo Designs for a few years now, and even though this is my first purchase from them it's matched all my hopes and dreams in terms of style and quality. To be honest this bag wouldn't even have to be the best backpack ever for me to love it: THAT'S how much I've oggled it up. No joke, I have this thing on 4 friggin Pintrest boards. The reason I waited so long before buying it was the pricetag... which gave me pretty high expectations from the quality this bag would have to deliver to be good value for money. Let's have a look and find out if this bag has a lot of bang for your buck!
The first thing to mention is this backpack fits like a glove, no matter how much you pack in it. I was a bit worried it might be too long when I first unpacked it but it sits really well on my back with the straps pulled in fairly snug. The straps are padded, wide and distribute weight very well, and (yum) even absorb sweat! So far I've mostly worn the pack about half full for everyday life, which fits a surprising amount of stuff. We're talking a big book, lunch box, a change of yoga clothes and a makeup bag, and there's still room for a rolled up coat or sweater in there for cooler hours. It also has a laptop sleeve and organisational compartments in the back of the main compartment which I haven't used yet – but I'm glad are there for travel.
The front section of the bag is a deep zipper compartment with no extra organisational sections – which I LOVE. Why, you ask, my keen and well-organised friends? Because I can't loose anything! There's nothing worse than breaking into a cold sweat looking for your phone through 18 mini compartments in a backpack. This is also helped by the fact that this bag's lining is bright yellow which means you can actually SEE STUFF. I mean, like, makes sense or what?
The side pockets were another thing I was a tad worried about when I ordered the Daypack online as they look a little on the tight side. But I'm chuffed to pieces to tell you that my 27oz Kleen Kanteen bottle (which you can read more about here) slides in here like a dream. And, amazingly, I can actually pull the bottle out of the side pocket and put it back in while walking, which I find tricky with other bags.
But Daypack = Hiking pack?
I've had endless debates with myself about technical vs casual bags, and why I need to have ALL OF THEM. I love a technical hiking backpack with all the hipbelts, lightness and waterproofness, I really do. But I have to say... this bag is surprising me in its hikability! It sits well enough to be worn for day hikes, and I'm finding (at least in summer) I don't need to pack any more than would fit its really spacious 20L, even with the most extensive of picknicks and swimming stuff. I've also discovered that I can slide my phone in the side pocket without taking the bag off, and keep my water bottle in the other side pocket, which basically totally covers my hands-free hiking requirements while easy grabbing the things I use most often (shoutout to @hikersontheirphones at this point, busted). I took this bad boy for a few 3 hour tours in the last weeks and it was perfect. Plus, the unspoken but essential note: this bag just looks so so good and (yes I'm vain like that) I want it on every picture of the back of my head from this day forth.
Amigos, I'm chuffed to bits with this amazing backpack and would seriously recommend it to anyone looking for a everyday-to-day-hikes pack. It's light, comfortable, sturdy and sexy as heck. And I'll definitely be looking at adding more Topo Designs pieces to my hiking wardrobe for both style and functionality. Fan tip: my birthday's in March.