The Arc’teryx Granville 16 backpack is a winner for those that want to balance style and efficiency when they travel, camp, hike, picnic, or simply spend a day at the park or the beach. What strikes me as most appealing with this bag is its durability and efficiency in design. It works well whether you plan to spend time outside or travel to a business meeting with laptop in tow. Let’s look at both uses of this bag.

Taking it to work

For starters, the Arc’teryx Granville 16 Backpack has a padded laptop sleeve inside to keep your expensive computer safe and sound while on your back. At first glance, I assumed this bag was more of a leisure item, and this was a nice surprise. It fits a computer as large as 15 inches. There is also a zippered pocket with waterproof protection to keep things like keys and cash if you want. Another has a mesh cover so you can see what is inside it, and there is a sleeve for paperwork to keep things from getting bent or damaged.

The shiny fabric, laminated material is waterproof, perfect for heavy travel. Frequent travelers will appreciate that it fits into most airline’s carry-on bag sizers. It also fits conveniently under the seat in front of you on the plane. Be sure to tuck in the straps, however, so you do not trip when getting up.

Arc’teryx Granville 16 BackpackThe Arc’teryx Granville 16 Backpack is incredibly lightweight, under two pounds when empty. This is not a backpack to take for a long weekend trip; instead, use it to carry your daily essentials rather than lots of clothes, shoes, and toiletries, for example.

The bag comes in different sizes; this version is the 16 liter model. It refers to the amount of space in the main pouch where you can stuff work gear including clothes, charging cords, and paperwork (anything really). The main compartment is roomier than you might imagine from the way the bag looks from the outside.

The sleek look is modern and fresh; there is not a lot of exterior accoutrements (no water bottle pouch or obvious exterior pockets). I like the cleaner look of it.

There are some discrete pockets at the top and side for mobile phones and other small items. A fabric cord connects to your keys so they don’t get lost.

Taking it to play

If you wear the Arc’teryx Granville 16 Backpack while biking or walking in the dark, the material is reflective so that a light shining on it would notice you. The shoulder straps are narrow, which is great if exercising with this bag. I find that wider shoulder straps can make your back hot and sweaty, and I really appreciate less material contact with your body.

I also like the fabric-covered zipper lining designed to keep dust and particles from getting caught within the zipper’s teeth. That easily damages the zipper when opening it. The zippers have fabric coverings making them easy to reach if you are biking, walking, or moving (compared to smaller zippers). The zippers open about two thirds of the way down the bag. This allows you to dig deep in the bag for something without worrying about the contents falling out from the sides.

Water-resistant material means you can put this backpack on the ground outside without worrying about its contents becoming damaged. I also like how the logo is subtle without any words. It is annoying to be a walking billboard sometimes.

All in all, this is a great bag thanks to its dual-use design. The Arc’teryx Granville 16 backpack comes in different colors and sizes and retails for $219 on the Arc’teryx website.