A secure travel backpack that actually works
I’ve never really been a backpack kind of person, but in more recent times, I’ve had the opportunity to test some new entrants in the market. I have to say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. The more I travel, the more analytical I get about what works and what doesn’t in terms of my luggage. Our needs have changed over the years too, now carrying more equipment than ever before. Anything that makes our lives easier is always going to be viewed favourably.
Travelling with equipment like cameras, drones and their associated equipment means having the right luggage is really important.
The ClickPack Pro, a secure travel backpack by Korin Design went a long way to making me think about backpacks differently.
The backpack is a compact and sturdy piece of luggage and has several features that I have not seen on other backpacks, or operate as well.
Easy to carry
As a small person, backpacks can sometimes be overwhelming. Whilst I am strong enough, I don’t like carrying huge backpacks around. Can you tell I’m not a backpacker? I carried about eight kilograms in this pack as we were in transit, so that’s enough weight for me to be able to say it was comfortable enough to carry. The shoulder straps are the key here. Made of a sturdy material, but padded and positioned in the right way to be able to carry the weight proportionately on my back. The straps come immediately off the top of the pack so doesn’t drag my shoulders down. Like any good strap, they can also be adjusted to ensure a more comfortable fit.
The back of the backpack sits very flat against your back and because the area immediately inside is where the laptops are kept, it remains this way throughout. There are no lumpy bits digging into your back.
Compartments for laptops and tablets
There are two dedicated compartments for laptops (up to 15.6″) and tablets (up to 10″). I have a 15.6″ Macbook Pro with an external shell case which fit in here very snugly, as well as an iPad. The velcro strap keeps them firmly in place and the soft velvet insert keeps them well protected. This area sits on the rear of the backpack, which lays out flat. It makes going through security at transport hubs very easy. I didn’t have to sort through my cabin bag to get this equipment out.
Tip: To get my devices out at the airports and train stations, I developed what seemed like a counter-intuitive process. Normally, I would place the flat side down on the bench and open up the top. However, all of the loose contents sit in the top side, meaning that if you open it up this way chances are everything will fall out. By simply turning it over and opening it upside down, the inner contents stay in place and I could easily access my devices.
Security and anti-theft
Security is an important part of this backpack. The speckled grey external material is slash proof and the zippers are made from cutting-edge technology that prevents sharp objects and pens from being pushed through them to open them up. There is a TSA approved lock on the top of the bag, allowing it to be locked using a code of your own choice.
A metal coil, hidden in one of the side pockets can also be used to secure the backpack to fixed items such as chairs, bag racks or beds. The coil locks into place in the TSA approved lock mentioned above. This would be perfect for travellers who stay in hostels or have their bag in public areas often. For me, it was perfect to use in airports and whilst on trains and also when we left our luggage behind at a hotel during the day.
Further security is provided via an RFID pouch. It’s great for protecting your passports, and can be transferred to other bags as well, keeping your passports and financial documents protected at all times. If your wallet/purse was small enough, it could also fit inside this soft pouch. Alternatively, you could place just your credit cards in here to prevent those pesky scanners from reading your cards.
It is waterproof
Whilst the backpack can resist light rain and water splashes, it is not truly waterproof until a rain cover is placed over it. Fortunately, this comes with its own raincover which is light enough to carry inside the backpack all the time, just in case you get caught in an unexpected rain shower.
Small accessory pouches
A dedicated toiletries bag was handy for use both on the plane and also during my trip. With velcro on the back, it can be attached to the wall of the backpack keeping it in place internally. I used it to keep my plastic bag with my liquids under 100ml in so that I could find them easily for passing through airport security. If carrying toiletries around with you all the time isn’t something you would normally do, the pouch can simply be removed. Or alternatively, it can be used to carry any other items you wish to keep separate.
For all those important chargers and cables that you need whilst travelling or in transit, a separate digital accessories pouch is also included. It can also be used separately and attached to such things as another bag or even belts via a small metal ring.
Great thought has gone into this design with numerous pockets being built into the walls of the bag, making it easy to carry external hard drives, power packs, phones etc.
A water bottle and an umbrella can be carried externally in dedicated pockets
Good internal capacity
Whilst not an enormous backpack, there was still enough room for me to pack a lot in. Ultimately, it ended up as an equipment bag, carrying onboard all those items that I refuse to check in, including my camera. The pouches below were full and sat over the top of the internal pockets which were also occupied. I was able to fit another pouch inside here as well as some soft clothes for use on the long haul flight.
Secret pockets and compartments
There are small pockets in places I wouldn’t have thought to look. In the strap, there is a small sleeve, allowing for easy access to such things as hotel cards. They can be seen from the outside (no-one would even know the pocket exists) but really easy to access without having to get inside the backpack.
Another small external, zippered pocket with an attached key ring provides a secret hiding spot for keys. I’m notorious for leaving my house keys at home when I travel, so being able to put this in here was an added bonus. If I was staying in accommodation with a key this would be the perfect everyday spot for such items.
Speaking of sneaky pockets, there’s one on the outside of the backpack that sits up against your back when it’s being worn. I found this to be the perfect place to put our passports. The pocket is easy enough to access but no-one would ever know it was there.
The backpack also contains a compartment for keeping powerbanks to charge devices. The great thing is that whilst the powerbank can sit inside the backpack, the connection to my iPhone was external. This meant I could charge when I was on the move.
What I liked
- It’s easy to pack, especially with the inclusion of the dedicated pouches.
- It definitely felt comfortable on my back, both in terms of the design and the weight distribution.
- It is easy to keep clean being made with materials that are rain-resistant and dirt-resistant. Wiping it over with a damp cloth is all it needs.
- I loved that it also had a rain cover included.
- The anti-theft features of being lockable and attachable were an important aspect. I was pleased to see how well the coil/lock mechanism worked.
- The removable pouches mean that the backpack has a flexible configuration and I could also use the pouches in my handbag.
- At a size of 18″ x 13″ x 6″ (45.7cm x 33cm x 15.2cm) and with a 17 litre capacity the bag has the ability to carry quite a lot.
- It meets the cabin bag requirements for airlines.
What could be better
I would have loved just a little more space internally. Whilst I got a lot of my equipment into the backpack, it was fairly tight and didn’t leave me any room to carry other things I would usually travel with. As a general daypack, however, it has ample room. This is obviously a personal opinion as others who travel more lightly than I do would not have this issue.
Will I keep using it?
I sure will. For the first time in a very long time, I left my hard case Samsonsite cabin bag behind. This time, I took only my backpack on board the plane. I’m not saying I won’t use my wheelie case again, but it was certainly easier to manipulate public transport, with a 30kg suitcase and a bag on my back, as opposed to two in my hands. Apart from my desire to have more room, all the other features were useful, especially the anti-theft components. It made going through airport security a breeze, keeping important items separated and easy to identify and retrieve from the bag.
It’s not an inexpensive bag at around US$168 however given all of these features which make it a very secure travel backpack, it’s good value.