Topo Designs Daypack Review

Topo Designs Daypack Review

Topo Designs Day Pack Review-12

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 12″w x 19″h x 6″d
  • Volume: 1368 cu. in./22.4 L
  • Materials: 1000d CORDURA® fabric outer with coated pack cloth liner.
  • Features: Natural leather lash tab, heavy-duty hardware, comfortable contoured padded shoulder straps, zippered exterior pocket, inner organizer pocket and laptop sleeve.
  • Origin: Made in USA
  • Price: $149

Topo Designs Day Pack Review-5Intro:

The Topo Daypack is a mid-sized bag meant to get you through a full day of activity. Inspired by vintage outdoor goods, this bag blends retro looks with modern construction and functionality. I use a Topo Mountain Briefcase as my EDC bag, and the two can interchange quite well. This backpack features a padded laptop sleeve, a fully lined interior, and super heavy-duty zippers throughout. The folks over at Topo were kind enough to send this pack over for review, so thanks! Note: I’ve added a few patches to the bag, so don’t expect yours to come with these! Read on to see how the pack worked out…

Topo Designs Day Pack Review-11Design, Fit, Finish:

The Topo Daypack is a fairly plain-looking bag. The pack has a minimal aesthetic with only a few things decorating the outside of the bag, which I happen to like. There aren’t too many zippers, pockets, or gimmicky features that may get in the way more than they are used. The bag features a large main compartment with a padded laptop sleeve, a zippered pouch, a few pen slots, and two other sleeves for various items. The main compartment is large enough to accommodate a 15″ laptop with a bit of room to spare. I do have a gripe with the laptop sleeve, and that’s in the padding. There’s padding on the back and front of the pouch, but not on the bottom. It’s happened to me multiple times – I go to put my laptop away a bit too gingerly, slide it into the pouch and SMACK…it hits the surface I have the pack on with no padding. I would really like to see further iterations of this bag with some padding on the bottom. I’m generally careful with my stuff, but I think I expect there to be some sort of padding at the bottom and forget every time. Topo Designs Day Pack Review-7

The bag is made from 1000D Cordura fabric, and I have no reason to believe that the fabric will fail. It’s tough, yet has some give to it. The bag doesn’t feel stiff and it didn’t need any breaking in like my Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon II. I’m sure there’s a bit of built-in water resistance, I wouldn’t be too worried about getting caught in the rain. The stitching on the bag is decent enough, nothing is frayed, all the seams are clean, and it doesn’t look lopsided or off in any way. It’s also made in the USA (Colorado, specifically) which is a nice departure from most outdoor gear.

Wearability:

The Daypack fits my 5’11”, average frame quite well. It’s large enough for ample storage, yet not so big and bulky that it gets in the way. It’s a great sized pack, and a good way to lug around my daily gear. The straps are comfortably padded, and adjustable for a good fit. The straps feature bartacked nylon reinforcement straps that run the length of the strap.

There two d-rings for gear attachment on each shoulder as well. The bag does not include a sternum strap, but Topo does offer one. I’ve found that the bag is comfortable to wear fully loaded, and that the straps do a great job of supporting the weight of the pack. I went away for a long weekend and used this as my only “luggage”. It held all my stuff, was easy to carry, and never got in the way. Topo Designs Day Pack Review-4

Performance:

While I did give the Daypack a go as my everyday bag, I found the Mountain Briefcase to be more suited to my job and daily requirements. Both bags carry a laptop and have similar organization, but the it all came down to the fact that I feel more comfortable carrying a brief into my office rather than a backpack. I do like the Daypack as a fill in for my camera bag. After some looking at measurements, I found THIS PADDED CAMERA CASE on Amazon that perfectly fit inside the Daypack. This allows me to carry a laptop, camera body w/ attached lens, and two extra lenses with ease and security. The camera case only takes up about a third of the bag, so there’s a ton of room for chargers, flashes, or whatever else I want to bring with me. I love using a bag that isn’t meant for cameras, as they don’t scream “HEY THERE’S A TON OF EXPENSIVE GEAR IN HERE, STEAL ME!”. Topo Designs Day Pack Review-8

Also worth noting are the super awesome, heavy-duty, buttery smooth zippers. These things feel like they should be on a bag many times larger than the Daypack. They’re a bit oversized for the bag, but damn they feel great. This is one of those things that may not sound like a big deal, but any time you want to take something out of the bag, you have to go through one of the two zippers. Topo could have went with a smaller zipper, but they just don’t feel the same way that these do. There are also two side pockets, but they’re a bit tight. It’s hard to get things in and out of them when the bag is full. The leather lash tab and red nylon strap have come in handy a few times for a tripod or light stand. I wish there was a bit more organization inside the front pocket, it’s just a large pouch and there isn’t anything to keep small items from banging around inside. I’ve found that the GridIt makes a great organization solution, and is easily swapped from bag to bag.

Topo Designs Day Pack Review-9

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Great styling
  • Slim, yet enough room
  • Solid construction
  • Hi-vis yellow interior makes it easy to find stuff
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons:

  • Bottom of laptop compartment isn’t padded
  • Stitching could be more robust
  • Lacks front pocket organization

Topo Designs Day Pack Review-16Conclusion:

The Topo Designs Daypack definitely gets the job done. I’ve found that it’s ideal for hauling camera gear, especially with the insert I found on Amazon. The vintage-inspired design and simple looks result in a bag that isn’t too loud or tactical for everyday wear. I love the styling, and it’s quite comfortable, even when fully loaded. I absolutely love my Mountain Briefcaseand this bag is a close second. I’d like to see a bit more padding in the bottom of the bag and maybe some beefier stitching. Overall, the bag is stylish, comfortable, and the perfect size for my needs. Thanks again to Topo for sending the bag over for review, it’s been great!

If you’d like to see other colors, more bags, and to pick up a Daypack of your own, head over to Topo Designs. 

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4 thoughts on “Topo Designs Daypack Review

    1. Yes, I’ve read that review before. I think that something like a bag is going to be different for different people. Some may have features that others need, while others don’t. I think that’s the case here. He mentions that the bag is made of quality materials, the zippers are great, construction is solid, it’s just the design that didn’t work for him. Anthony mentions that he wishes he had brought his Maxped PFII with him, which is a bag I also own. They’re both very different from each other in both style and organization. I can’t say I like one over the other due to their many differences. It’s always good to see varying reviews of the same product to see both sides of the story.

    1. Thank you!

      I sewed them on. While it was a little bit more labor intensive, I didn’t want to permanently gunk up the bag with the iron on adhesive should I want to remove the patches.

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