This week, I'm reviewing the Pakt One travel bag/carry-on. It's a duffel-suitcase hybrid that I've had my eye on for a long time. This bag embodies everything neatntiny.com's about: keeping things organized, compact and stylish! Not surprisingly, it was created in collaboration with 'The Minimalists.'
I reached out to Pakt about trying out and reviewing their travel bag and was thrilled when they agreed to give me one in exchange for an honest review.
I always appreciate when things come in a pretty package and theirs is also environmentally friendly and plastic-free.
Looks even better out of the box!
At the time of this review, I've had the bag for four months and have taken it on two trips. Most recently, I used it as my multi-purpose travel bag on our family trip to Vegas/Death Valley/Joshua Tree/Mojave Desert.
Sporting the Pakt One at McCarran International Airport, waiting for our red eye out of Las Vegas.
The Pakt One doubling as as part of a makeshift munchkin bed at the airport.
Below is my review of the Pakt One and how I pack mine!
The Pakt One combines the on-the-go accessibility and shoulder-wearability of a duffel with the packing ease of a suitcase; the unique 'clamshell' style opening allows for full-access loading/unloading.
The smart design allows you to easily access items from deep within the bag via external zippers, without first having to set it down and open it up completely.
It has a 35 L capacity, weighs 3.25 lb, and measures 20" long x 10" wide x 11" high.
The exterior is made of durable nylon and the zippers are water-resistant.
Up close: the stitching and finer details are pristine. This shot was taken after returning from our most recent trip to Death Valley.
It has a padded, detachable shoulder strap...
... and top-carry handles.
A loop on each side of the bag allows you to add on attachments via carabiner (i.e. water bottle).
It has four external pockets.
Two square, zippered pockets in the front:
and two long pockets on the back:
The pocket on the left contains a key clip and three card holders. This allows you to use this pocket as a wallet, if you don't bring your entire wallet when you travel.
I attach my key pouch/wallet to the key clip, keeping it accessible, yet secure. I also keep our passports in this pocket.
The adjacent front pocket doesn't have any special internal features. I keep my makeup bag in this pocket. I limit myself to one small Ziploc bag of makeup when travelling. The Ziploc prevents crushed makeup powder and un-capped lipstick from damaging the rest of my luggage, and it doesn't add any bulk.
For more on my capsule makeup kit, see this post.
On the other side of the bag, there are two longitudinal pockets.
One of these is an open pocket that runs the full length of the bag and has two magnetic snap closures; it's handy for stashing things on-the-go.
The other pocket is a zippered one on the surface of the open pocket.
It contains a small, zippered, mesh pouch that can be pulled outside the bag.
Pakt has dubbed this the 'TSA pocket,' as it's intended for your cell phone, liquids or anything that needs to be on the outside of your bag when passing through airport security scanners. The red stripe is meant to serve as a reminder to collect and re-pack the stuff you had to remove from your bag when passing through (i.e. laptop).
In this pocket, I keep all of my liquids (hand sanitizer, face wash, shampoo/conditioner, moisturizer, CC cream and toothpaste). It's made passing through airport security a breeze; I can easily pull this pocket out with one hand, while setting the bag down on the conveyor belt with the other.
The main body of the Pakt One is divided into three zippered compartments.
Unzipping the center compartment splits the bag into two halves, similar to the way a suitcase opens.
Each half of the bag can also be accessed when the central compartment is zipped shut, from exterior zippers on either side of the central zipper.
See this video demonstrating how you can access each of the internal compartments of the bag, whether the central compartment is zipped up or wide open.
When the central compartment is fully unzipped, the bag is divided into two main internal compartments. A transparent, mesh partition covers one side and a polyester partition with a large, padded pocket, the other.
I'm a sucker for packing cubes and use these ones from Amazon Basics each time I travel.
The Pakt One's built-in compartments mean packing cubes aren't a necessity. But, I like the added organization afforded by more compartmentalization (shocker, I know). They also make unpacking easy: you can transfer the entire cube, en masse, from your luggage into a drawer at your hotel or Airbnb.
The compartment beneath the mesh divider is outfitted with a long zippered pocket and two mesh compartments with elasticized openings at either side.
I use these for accessories like my hat and sunglasses.
In the internal zippered pocket, I keep my electronic accessories (ear buds, cell phone charger, laptop charger).
On the opposite half of the bag, the polyester-covered compartment contains a long, padded, zippered pocket that's the perfect size for most lap tops (up to 15 inches); my 13 inch MacBook Air fits with room to spare.
This zippered pocket can also be accessed from the top of the bag, on-the-go.
This compartment's probably the most secure spot in the bag, as it's in the centre and two zippers must be opened to access it from the outside.
Beneath the polyester partition/laptop compartment is a space identical to that under the mesh partition on the opposite half of the bag.
Similarly, there's a long, zippered pocket flanked by mesh compartments with elasticized openings on each side.
One of the mesh pockets comes stocked with a folded up tote, perfect for storing dirty laundry or as a reusable shopping bag. I keep my water bottle in the other mesh pocket.
Within the long zippered pocket, I keep my non-liquid toiletries (toothbrush, razor, deodorant, etc.).
You may have noticed, I don't exactly max out this bag's storage capabilities. This is on purpose, to make sure there's room for the odd souvenir, or two, that comes home with us.
- Stylish, minimalist aesthetic.
- Durable, easy to clean materials and water-resistant external zippers. I used a baby wipe to clean off any dirt and debris from our most recent trip to Death Valley, and it looked good as new for the close-up photos above!
- Suitcase-like packability owing to clamshell-style opening.
- Duffel-like easy access to internal contents while on-the-go.
- Can be worn over the shoulder or crossbody.
- Numerous pockets.
- Highly compartmentalized/organizable.
- Animal & environmentally friendly (made without animal products, no plastic packaging).
- The perfect carry-on size: fits easily in the overhead and below-seat compartments on the plane:
Granted, you'd have very little leg room if you were to stow it below the seat in front of you!
- Versatile. It can be used as a carry-on or stand-alone travel bag, depending on duration of trip and how much you pack. (We always travel carry-on only, no matter the trip length. This saves time at the airport, since we skip the checked luggage line and avoid the wait at the luggage carousel. Keep an eye out for my future post on how we travel carry-on only with a kid!)
Between the three of us, we have three carry-ons; my husband and I each sport a 40 L back pack and one of us (usually my husband) also shoulder carries the Pakt One. My husband and son's stuff each go into one of the back packs and I use the Pakt. Truth be told, I sometimes commandeer a bit of space in my son's pack (his clothes are smaller than mine, after all!).
- Fun to use. From packing it, to wearing it and unpacking it, the Pakt One's a pleasure to use. It has a surplus of cleverly placed pockets that make organizing your luggage easy. My son loves it, too. He likes to zip and unzip each of the various zippers and pretend he's packing for a trip, which makes for a very space-efficient 'toy' when we're travelling.
- Though the shoulder strap is nicely padded, it can get uncomfortable when heavily packed and worn on one shoulder. But, this is the case with every duffel when compared to a backpack. Carrying it crossbody helps more evenly distribute the weight.
- Uncomfortable, unpadded top-carry handles. I only use the handles to transport the bag short distances, so this isn't a dealbreaker.
This is a stylish, cleverly-designed bag that's fun and easy to use. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for versatile carry-on or stand-alone travel bag.
Click here if you're interested in ordering your own Pakt One!
There you have it, my review of the Pakt One Travel Bag! Keep an eye out for my future post on how we travel carry-on only with our kid! Also, coming soon: Neatntiny's 30-Day Spring Tidying Challenge and One Room Challenge: Our Family Room Makeover.
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