Not so with the Rail Riders Journey Pack. As soon as you get it out of the box you’ll know this is something different. And for the first time, a company sent me two to review–one in each color.
Measuring 22 x 14 x 7 and weighing in at just under 2.5 lbs, the Journey Pack is made of 400d pack cloth (a type of nylon) and has non-locking, rain-resistant YKK zippers throughout,
At first glance, I thought this bag had more molly straps and tie downs than an entire Mt. Everest climbing party.
On the front of the bag are two vertical pockets with zippers on the sides and sit front to back. (They are two separate pockets.) On the top is a smaller, zippered pocket. There is a grab handle on top but none on the sides.
So far, so good……and then I opened the bag. At first I thought it was a manufacturing mistake. And then I thought some of the pharmaceuticals I took in college over 30 years ago were coming back to haunt me.
The bag opens wardrobe style. In the lid of the bag, which has a mesh, zippered cover, sits three tie down straps. (That’s right, three.) This is where you are to put your clothes. It is not very thick.
Behind that is another compartment meant to hold a laptop–a really big laptop. This seems to be the biggest compartment of them all and could definitely be used for clothes if you don’t have a godzilla sized computer. (This compartment has an L-shaped zipper so packing will not be as easy but is definitely doable especially if you use a packing cube or a folder.)
On the rear are hideaway, padded, backpack straps with a sternum strap, padded hip belt and a waist belt. The padded hip belt is connected to the backpack straps and not the waist belt. The backpack straps can also be used to make this a sling pack. There are no connections for a separate shoulder strap.
All of these straps hideaway into their own separate sleeves. The rear of the bag also has an additional zippered pocket. It’s back is mesh lined with extra raised support for your shoulder blades and lumbar area.
So what’s the verdict? The more I played with the bag, the more I liked it. It’s the attention to detail that impressed me. If you’re an adventure type traveler looking for a lightweight, well made, quirky bag that won’t break the bank, this is one bag to consider. If you’re Brooks Brothers meeting on Wall Street, keep searching.
The Rail Riders Journey Pack retails for $125 but is on sale until the end of this month for $81.25. Available in black and black/red. Made in China.
If you want to see better photos of this bag, go to its website.