I’ve learned over the past few years that I don’t exactly travel light. I like having a big ol’ bunch of gadgets with me, including a mirrorless camera kit, and I don’t like to do laundry every second day. I salute those of you who can, but I’m not joining your fold (no pun intended) anytime soon.
Kiev, Ukraine-based Huru’s third backpack — known as the A model — is roughly the same size as the first one (25L vs. 24L), but adds more pockets for organization, and strangely feels more compact, if that makes any sense. It’s also a lot cheaper at a starting price of $164, and you get a lot for your money. Here’s what you can look forward to in this cleverly designed backpack that’s currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter.
As with Huru‘s other backpacks, the A model has a stealthy utilitarian vibe, and it doesn’t call attention to itself, unless you look at its carefully executed details. It has a spacious main compartment, a front flap that doubles as a zippered pocket, and several more pockets on the front and sides. A second top-loading compartment accommodate a 15-inch laptop and a tablet, and a grab handle completes the package.
It’s constructed from durable Cordura fabric, the same as on the H1, which I’ve used for a couple of years now and hasn’t picked up a scratch or given up a loose thread. The YKK weather-sealed zippers and pulls work great, and the distinctive custom machined buckle feels solid. I also like how you can ditch the buckle and strap if you’d rather access your stuff more quickly.
Now, the A model doesn’t have the sleekest silhouette, but the design is practical, the details look great, and it’s a joy to use. It’s also available in a couple of nice colorways, so you’re not restricted solely to black.
The A model is intended to be used as an everyday carry bag, as well as a backpack for travelers. The abundance of pockets allows for commuting across town with a wide range of gadgets in their own separate pockets. Meanwhile, thoughtful inclusions like an expandable 5L section at the bottom and a rear strap for securing the backpack to your rolling suitcase make this a great option for road warriors.
The front compartment opens all the way, suitcase-style. This makes it easy to retrieve items without having to empty the bag entirely or fish for them without a clear view inside.
There are also three interior organizer pockets for smaller items like glasses, wallets, and change. On the outside, you can securely clasp the grab handle that’s on top of the laptop compartment shut, so thieves can’t quietly slip your laptop out.
There are a couple of hidden sections to stash cash and passports completely out of strangers’ view, handy zippered pockets on the shoulder straps for your keys, two tall external side pockets for shoes or water bottles, and a total of four surprisingly roomy zippered pockets on the front. It’s like the cargo pants of backpacks, in a good way.
What else? There are toothed clips that let you adjust the length of the shoulder straps. An external zipper opens up the bottom of the front compartment, so you get an additional 5l of storage space. I managed to fit my camera bag in there, which made it a whole lot easier to keep my hands free while passing through airport security.
Using the Huru A
The A likely won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s well thought out and successfully designed to be used in various circumstances — so it’s going to get more time in the sun than my other bags when I travel.
The big difference with this backpack over others in my closet is its ability to fit my beloved but way too large Dell G7 gaming laptop. It doesn’t fit most bags that claim to accommodate 15-inchers, but this one does, and it even has room to stash its larger power brick in a separate pocket.
The front pockets seem slim, but thanks to their depth, they can actually hold quite a few large accessories, like power banks and sunglasses cases. And because there are so many pockets, you don’t have to worry about all these items scratching each other’s surfaces while stashed all together.
Weight distribution is good: Even though I’d filled it to a total weight of 10kg while traveling to Europe, it didn’t feel overly burdensome. I also appreciated how well the nylon held up against a rainy London afternoon, during which it didn’t allow a single drop of water to permeate through into the interior.
The bag isn’t exactly light on its own, but it’s hardly a bother when you’re just carrying a couple of items on your way to a meeting.
Overall, the A model is a excellent choice for frequent commuters and travelers alike. You’ll come to appreciate its organizational features more as you continue to use the bag for different kinds of outings, especially if you like having your things in their right places.
Who’s this for?
I’m finicky about having things out of sight until I need them, so this is just the sort of bag I like to use when I’m on the road and find myself heading out to meet a partner one day, and taking a city walking tour the next day. If that sounds like you, or if you want to invest in a single multi-purpose bag, you should definitely consider Huru’s A model.
It’s not for folks looking for the lightest or most compact backpack on the market, and it’s not for people who want an accessory that makes a fashion statement. This bag is for people who want to go about their business quietly.
I should remind you that this is a crowdfunded product, which means you’re pre-ordering your purchase before it’s gone into manufacturing. That said, Huru has delivered on its previous campaigns, and its quality is truly top-notch, so I wouldn’t worry more than usual about backing this one.
It’s also pretty reasonably priced at $164, which is not too bad when you consider the fact that alternatives from Timbuk2 with fewer features are only about $30 cheaper. However, the recommended retail price of $249 (which is what it will cost after the campaign ends) is awfully steep. At that point, it’s harder to recommend to all and sundry — but it’s still a heck of a backpack.
Find Huru’s A model on this page.
Published November 12, 2019 — 16:27 UTC