Topo Designs Light Pack

Color me surprised when I decided that I would switch to a light day pack when out visiting a city. Typically, I prefer a messenger bag or something I can carry by hand, but this lightweight bag was both surprisingly comfortable and almost featherlike when empty. The Topo Designs Light Pack is a comfortable and handy accompaniment for the frequent traveler with plenty of room to add your own personality with various color combinations.

Favorite features

I appreciated that the bag comes with a dedicated laptop sleeve that fits computers as large as 15 inches so that I could carry my laptop around during the day. One thing that I love to do when I travel is take my laptop to do work in different cafes around a city or in parks or even public libraries (which are becoming quite interesting overseas).

The bag has a padded base, which adds protection to your laptop or anything else that you are carrying inside. One of the zippered pockets is quite unusual in that it opens diagonally instead of the standard wraparound kind. This adds a bit more style to the already fashionable bag. You can decide from a wide variety of color combinations, but I do wish that the brand’s logo were more discreet (although to be fair, it is rather small and placed out of the way).

So much storage

There are plenty of pockets to hold smaller items like keys, coins, passport, or other items so that you can keep everything organized. There are small travel loops designed so that you can use this bag in conjunction with other Topo Designs bags. Inside the bag, I have found the material to be both soft and durable so that it keeps all your items protected from any bumps or wear along the way.

When you add heavy items like a laptop or camera to a backpack, it can be a bit more burdensome on your shoulders. Topo Designs has thought this through with padded support shoulder straps so that it is more comfortable no matter how much you stuff inside. I still should stress that this bag is really lightweight when empty, which is great especially when traveling on foreign airlines that tend to weigh even carry-on baggage.

The bag comes in various color combinations, which gives it a bit of a pop, but also comes with the added benefit that no one will mistake it for their own were it just one standard color. I liked that the top-quality zippers come with fabric “paracord pull” tags that make it easier to grab and pull open or zip closed. Another benefit is that the bag features a handle on the top so that it can be carried as a briefcase if you wish.

There’s a key clip if you want to dangle keys or other small items for easy access from the bag’s exterior. The material used to craft this bag is heavy duty, which keeps the contents from becoming immediately wet if caught in a downpour. That’s something that I consider to be especially important if carrying around important gear like electronics or meeting materials.

Where to get it

It retails on the Topo Designs website for $69, which is a great bargain when looking for something for frequent travel. The brand is known for exceptional protection if there are any defects or issues with products you purchase. You can also find it on various luggage websites or Amazon.

If you are looking for a lightweight and easy to carry backpack to use on a daily basis, the Topo Designs Light Pack seems to do just the trick.

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Ramsey Qubein is a travel journalist who has visited 154 countries covering the hotel and airline industry from every corner of the globe. His work appears in travel publications and outlets including Travel+Leisure, Business Traveller, Airways, Singapore Airlines’ Silver Kris, US Airways magazine, Northstar Travel Media, Yahoo Travel, and BBC. He serves as the National Hotels Travel Examiner and writes for numerous blogs and web sites. He travels more than 350,000 miles a year and is highly recognized as an expert in loyalty programs, business travel and the luxury travel segment. You can follow him on Twitter at DailyTravelTips or at his website

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