With the return to the office and my resolution to minimise driving there, I decided I needed a quality backpack to carry my laptop to work.
I’ve mentioned Osprey backpacks before in several posts. I’ve used and loved the Osprey Talon to run to work, walk and everyday use. The Talon is lightweight and doesn’t have a laptop compartment so is not the ideal bag to protect a laptop.
The Osprey website describes the pack as “Men’s Hiking”. I think the pack is too heavy for hiking. It weighs 1.3kg empty. For my review below, I’m going to review it as a commuter backpack.
The Archeon 25 is priced on the Osprey website at £140. It’s well worth shopping around as I managed to pick mine up for around £50.
Why I chose the backpack?
As I mentioned, I do like Osprey packs, and also the look of roll-top backpacks. It was the roll top that drew me to this pack. It has a nice balance between an urban commuter pack and a cycle commuter bag.
Padded laptop compartment – this is very snug and secure and has stretchy sides to squeeze a few more little bits in, like a notebook. Fits laptops up to 16”.
Internal organisation pocket – there are 2 pockets inside. The organiser ones which are small, attached to the laptop compartment and can store a phone and a few bits, a pen and some bank cards. The bigger one is about the size of a large drinks can, but is positioned a long way down in the bag, so it’s quite inaccessible.
Internal key attachment clip – in the bigger internal pocket.
Stretch mesh side pockets – will take a water bottle or keep a phone secure, but and are on the small side as the tightness of them keeps the aesthetics of the bag nice.
AirScape™ back panel with foam ridges for comfort and fit – useful to keep your back dry, but does add pressure at the shoulders and hips. After continual use, the pack may wear on a jacket, particular at the hips.
Fully waterproof roll-top closure – works nicely. The top clips together with two plastic poppers and a deep front zip which allows you to access the contents. I would say access to the contents at the top of the pack. If you want something at the bottom, you will end up pulling everything out.
Front shove-it pocket – not incredibly secure, but good for an ID badge and maybe some smaller over-the-ear headphones.
Compatible with Hydraulics™ Reservoirs – not needed on a commute.
Grab handle on top – useful for grabbing.
Hipbelt – this is lightweight and the webbing is too short and doesn’t wrap around your hips and therefore doesn’t take the weight off your shoulders. Again, wouldn’t work well when in used for a long period.
Material, Volume and Colour
The fabric is 1880D Recycled Nylon Canvas and is made of recycled fabrics. It looks good and is heavy duty and feels extremely durable. This is partially why the pack weighs so much. The pack is highly water resistant but not waterproof (said that the roll top is) as the zips and seams are not sealed. I’ve not personally tested it out in the rain.
The volume is 25 litres which allows you to stuff a fair bit of gear in. The rigidity of the pack doesn’t allow much flexibility. It would be tough to squeeze a pair of work shoes across the bottom. The roll pack top does allow you to expand the top of the pack and the metal buckle secures it firmly.
I chose the stonewash black that looks great. Also comes in green, teal and beige.
This bag is heavy and rugged. As a commuter pack and only carrying it for a limited time, this is acceptable. The pack is also rigid, which is heightened by a laptop being in it. This makes it slightly uncomfortable to wear, however, I’m sure this will lessen as it gives through use.
There are not many useful pockets. The most useful pocket in a backpack is the one at the top that is highly accessible and you can dip in and out of. The roll top, which I like so much, makes having this not possible.
There’s a balance between the way the bag looks and the features you may want in a backpack. To make this pack look the way it does, neat and tidy, doesn’t allow for lots of pockets and a million things to be hanging off it.
Using it for work/commuting, and wanting a good-looking pack with a sporty angle, this is the pack for you. The more negative points I have made above, should not detract from the fact that I really like this backpack.
The pack looks great and feels extremely durable. It will last for years, if not decades which could make the cost a little easier to swallow. The laptop compartment is excellent and the main compartment, whilst not huge width wise will allow space for lunchboxes, travel cups, chargers, over-the-ear headphones, notebooks a book and allow for a coat and jumper to be thrown in on top.