Nomatic Travel Pack

NOMATIC is a company that was born on Kickstarter and their goal was to create the most functional Travel Pack ever. Their campaign launched with two product offerings: the Backpack and the Travel Pack. It was a very successful campaign with 10,573 backers raising $2,203,254 and is one of the most popular bags that we backed on Kickstarter.

Travel Pack Features

· Waterproof zippers and water resistant materials: I used the bag in the rain and the snow and it has kept all of my belongings dry. I know it is very important for many people so I want to mention that this bag does not use YKK zippers.

· Briefcase mode: There is a place to tuck the backpack straps in and hold the bag like a briefcase but I don’t particularly like the way the bag looks without the straps. Also, the way the promotional video demonstrates taking the straps out is a bit hard to figure out. Pro tip: slip your fingers underneath the straps and close to the buttons before thrusting your arms forward.

· Full perimeter zipper: While it is great to be able access all of your belongings from most sides of the bag (excluding the bottom), my biggest gripe with that is you can have a total of six zippers on one corner of your bag with no differentiating characteristics. My solution to this would be to make some of the pull tabs a different color or, better yet, make the pull tabs on each pocket a different material so you don’t have to look at the bag to know which pocket you’re opening.

Another downside with this zipper is the unique shape of the backpack. Because it’s not a continuous zip, when this bag is over packed a little, it makes closing the bag more challenging.

· Over 20 pockets: The organizational capabilities of this bag are seemingly endless with how many different pockets it has. It’s wonderful to have a place for pretty much anything you can think of carrying.

There are two issues that I had with the many pockets. The first being that the more options you have with pockets, the longer it takes you to figure out which pocket is optimal for which item. The second, more major issue, is that these pockets are split into three compartments. When I get to the office, I have to open up all three separate compartments to retrieve everything I need. One compartment holds my laptop; another holds my shoes, water bottle, laptop charger, wireless mouse, and snacks; and the final compartment holds my notebook, pens, and cell phone charger.

· Quick-access fleece pocket: All new backpacks really should have a quick-access pocket. I’m a big fan of this feature because I keep my headphones, gum, and eyeglass cleaning cloth in there. One small thing about it is that I wish it were just a little bit deeper. It’s too shallow and I find my fingers hitting the bottom of the pocket a lot quicker than I’m typically used to in these pockets.

· RFID blocking pocket: Understanding that identity theft is a concern for many people, I appreciate having this secure pocket. That being said, I do not use the RFID pocket for that purpose. I just like where it’s positioned and keep small papers and cords that I use in there.

· Removable hard protective case for glasses:Since I wear my glasses every day, I was very excited to have this addition into a bag. It’s wonderful that NOMATIC added this feature so that when I (rarely) play sports, I can throw on a pair of contacts and put my glasses in and not worry about them being damaged.

I don’t use this case too often because it is the size of one of the elastic mesh pockets so it reduces the amount of things you can use that pocket for. When it’s in there, it also gets in the way of other items that you may want quick access to. Another thing to mention is that once you pop off the cover, it takes a little getting used to to get the cover back on.

· Hidden pocket for cash and passport: I see many bags have a hidden pocket these days to keep your valuables and this Travel Pack is no different. I actually didn’t use this pocket because it is so hidden that it’s pretty hard to access. I would only put things in here that I really wouldn’t need access to.

· Cord pass through holes: I’m not actually a big gadget person so these holes weren’t useful for me but I have friends who are constantly charging their phones while I’m with them so I can definitely see the utility in these. What I appreciated was that when you don’t use these pass through holes, they’re not very conspicuous.

· Magnetic water bottle pockets: This is probably Geoff’s favorite part of the bag. It has water bottle pockets on both sides. I did find them very useful to carry a thermos in too.

· Retractable key leash: When I first saw this in the video, I was quite excited to have this key leash. Locking my door and just dropping my keys to have them zip right back into my bag was like a dream! I used the key leash for about a week before putting the keys back in my pocket. Unfortunately, I don’t always have my backpack with me when I go places so having to take the keys off the key ring every time became a hassle. Of course, this could be remedied by just adding an additional hook to your keys!

· Freestanding: This is something that I really do like about the bag. I don’t like it when my bags flop to the ground. Anyone who lives in NYC can tell you that when you are forced to put your bag on the subway, bus, a public bathroom (as HL can attest to), or a crowded restaurant you want as little of the bag touching the ground as possible.

· Full perimeter expansion: This is what really differentiates the Travel Pack from the Backpack. Being able to expand this bag to use it on a short road trip to DC was wonderful.

· Mesh dividing wall: While I understand the need to separate different sections of the bag, I actually found it easier to pack this bag with the mesh pocket open.


So all in all, this is a very functional backpack for those of you who love to have a place for everything. As an EDC, it definitely caters to those who carry more around. As a travel bag, it’s only decent. The materials used seem high quality but the bag as a whole takes a little getting used to before it becomes a part of your daily routine. If you liked this review then you may like some others so please check them out. Out of all the bags I own this is probably the best bag with amazing build quality and value for money, and you can get it for $70 off for Black Friday!

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