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Leader of The Pack

News & reviews covering the world of backpacks, everyday carry, on–the–go tech, and travel written and curated by Keir Whitaker, a UK based carry–on obsessed frequent flyer.







Carryology's 2018 Carry–On Awards

Earlier this month Carryology announced their sixth annual awards contenders. There are categories covering messengers, camera bags, everyday carry, and luggage to name a few but the one that caught my eye was the “Carry-On” cateogry.

Sadly, I don’t own any of the contenders but here are the three I would certainly consider from the top ten!

Macheto Travel Pack by Chrome Industries

I’ve always been a fan of the ubiquitous bike couriers favourite Chrome Messenger bags, complete with their famous quick release strap buckle, but didn’t realise that they had ventured into other styles. The Macheto is actually part of the Treadwell Collection which features a briefcase, tote bag, Dopp kit, and duffle.

I’m a big fan of the clamshell style opening and the addition of pockets within the clam covering is a neat feature. As is the norm these days it also features a dedicated laptop pocket as well as multiple strap configurations and handles. This looks like a big pack suitable for a lengthy trip or equally suited to day use if needed. I really like the shape and look of the Macheto and the understated branding is a bonus.

Setout Backpack by Tortuga

The Tortuga Setout is a serious piece of kit and very appealing for those of us who like the one-bag approach to travel. Billed as “The maximum-sized carry on for city travellers” this is another clamshell opening backpack, a theme is emerging, and features a refreshingly bright white interior. There’s plenty of room for your clothes (specially shaped packing cubes are available) and it features a wealth of pockets, a dedicated laptop opening, and a side sleeve for your water bottle. As with many other backpacks, the straps can be hidden at will depending on your needs.

I’m a big fan of Tortuga and find their approach to business really interesting. They don’t appear to have returned “behind the mics” for a while but their podcast “Power Trip” is well worth a listen and strongly recommend subscribing to their blog which is full of travel hints and tips.

Allpa 35L Travel Pack by Cotopaxi

A while ago I ended up on the Cotopaxi site and bought a great little packable tote and have been returning to check out new offerings. Cotopaxi is a Certified B-Corp and gives 2% of our revenue to alleviate poverty — you can read more about this on their site. Like the other two packs mentioned here the Allpa opens in the suitcase style and features one large and three smaller compartments for clothes and other items. There’s also padded easy access laptop sleeves and other nice touches like anti-theft zipper locks and a range of accessories that you can embellish the pack with (the water bottle holder, shoe and laundry bag are an additional $10 at the time of ordering).

As well as coming in black, always my preference, Cotopaxi offer the Allpa in a predominantly blue design — if you are a fan of colour you’ll love many of their other packs.

If you are after a smaller travel pack this could be perfect for you. Throw in the packable Batac Del Día and you’ve got a multi-purpose travel system ready for the road.

Update — 8th June 2018

The Tortuga Setout Backpack

The Tortuga Setout Backpack

The winner has been announced and it happened to be one I featured here. Congratulations to everyone at Tortuga!

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