You might remember Able Carry, as we reviewed their Max backpack (right here) and also told you about their more-compact Daily backpack (seen here). Well, if that Daily felt made a touch too small at 20L, but the Max at 30L was just too big, perhaps the recent Able Carry Daily Plus – at 21L – will be your perfect option.
The Able Carry Daily Plus is a familiar style that directly competes with similar products from Bellroy and Thule but we were definitely impressed by this bag. Let’s dig into the why and what Able Carry did to win our hearts.
Able Carry Daily Plus: Size
What’s the size difference? You can see that just above, with the Able Carry Daily Plus on the left, and the Max on the right. For me, the Max is a good commuter bag, but it really shined when it came time to pack things in it for 2-3 days away from home, and it swallowed all of that without any issue. Was it overkill for going to the office? Sure, but it’s what I had at hand. With the more compact Daily Plus, though, that really opened my thinking to what I was carrying.
By necessity, with a smaller bag, you simply can’t carry everything you want, or toss stuff in “just in case”. You need to put some thought into what your day actually needs. Fortunately, with the internal organization, it’s a cinch to pop in a laptop, tablet, and power for those items. In my trips to the office, I was carrying those, a backup battery, and also a pair of over-ear ANC headphones in their case. This, along with a compact keyboard, consumed most of my space in the large internal section.
If you need to make some more room, however, there are a number of external loops that are great places to clip on carabiners and other hooks, that allow you to hang, say, your headphones or a lunch bag off of the backpack in order to free up your hands. For my train ride, though, I was able to keep it all in the bag, even using the hidden pocket to keep my coffee at the ready (as well as a water bottle in the main compartment).
Frankly, whatever size of Able Carry bag you get, the interior organization is top-notch. Not only that, you’ve got other hidden pockets to be able to stash things away in, exterior latch points to hook things onto, and even niceties like a sternum strap that help you keep the shoulder straps from digging in quite so much, particularly when the bag is loaded down.
I also really appreciate the design approach that Able Carry has taken with their branding. If you look close, you can find the branding, but realistically, it’s a very non-descript bag. They keep to a clean, single colorway with black accents, and there’s nothing there to draw attention to it. It’s there to get the job done of hauling your stuff, keeping it dry and organized, and keeping you comfortable while it’s doing it.
Able Carry Daily Plus: Price
Of the various bags that I’ve carried over the years for school and work, and even of those that I’ve had come in for reviews, the Able Carry is among the best I’ve seen in terms of style, utility, and overall construction. If you’re needing a bag that can double as an overnighter as well as a commuter, the Max is the route to go. However, if you’re just going back and forth to school or the office, the Able Carry Daily Plus (or it’s slightly smaller brother, the Daily) is a bag you have to check out. They’re available now in three colors for $198 direct from ablecarry.com
Tech Specs from Able Carry
- Capacity: 21L
- Weight: 1.2kg / 2.6 lbs
- Height: 49cm / 19.3″
- Width: 29m / 11.4″
- Depth: 19cm / 7.5″
- Laptop Compartment
- Most 16″ laptops or laptop sizes up to: H39 x W28 x D4 cm / 15.3”x 11” x 1.5”
- Tablet sleeve fits up to 11″ iPads or tablets up to: 19cm x 25cm x 1.5cm / 7.5. x 9.8″ x 0.6″
- Face Fabric
- Black: X-Pac VX21
- Olive Green: X-Pac X42