In Review: The Knack Bags Series 2 Convertible Bag

I’ve been hunting for a new laptop bag and I found a list on Reddit’s r/travel and /r/onebag. The consensus, or at least the general opinion, was that Knackbags were impressive, roomy, and unique.

The reality? All that is true, and more.

Knackbags are known for their dual natures. Zipped up, the bag is a standard laptop backpack with room for accessories in the front, a secret pocket near the back pad, and lots of room for a 14-inch laptop and charger. When you’re traveling, however, the back of the backpack zips out to expose a carry-on area with room for a few shirts, some underwear, and an overnight kit. The back holds 24 liters unexpanded and 35 liters expanded. Your typical Jansport school backpack – you know the type – holds about 26 liters but it definitely doesn’t hold it with as much style.

The bag is a perfect travel companion. It’s definitely small enough to fit under a plane seat, even when the overnight section is expanded via a side zipper. The bag has a front section for pens, books, even a side area for a water bottle. There is one internal zipper pocket and plenty of room for smaller items. A second “layer” has space for your laptop, including a nicely padded area that could feasibly hold a tablet or e-reader. The straps can be hidden away and there is even a side handle which turns this backpack into more of a carry-on suitcase.

The overnight section.

I’ve long carried a Lander Commuter and if this back is half as rugged as that one then I’m sold on Knack from now on. The ability to hold a laptop and gear safely along with overnight stuff is a godsend. I historically used to carry two backpacks – a small one with pajamas and underwear and a the bigger Commuter. To reduce that to one would be amazing.

I have no initial complaints regarding this bag. I haven’t tested it on the road yet but it loaded up quite nicely and held most of the things my previous bag held without becoming bottom heavy or unbalanced. Further, the design and color are more than acceptable and I’m not worried about this model’s light blue material getting dirty as it seems to be made of a rugged, stain proof nylon.

At $260 this bag it definitely in the mid- to high-end for laptop carriers. That said, $260 isn’t bad for a bag that replaces two bags with absolute aplomb. This is a highly structured backpack – it’s not a rucksack as much as a suitcase – and it definitely has some nice touches like the patterned inner material and the strong straps. It also has an interesting floating back pad that reduces heat and friction and should be nicer on the shoulders.

Knackbag did a good job here. I’m impressed and excited to load this thing up for some post-holiday travel. That the company has even more to choose from – including duffels – might turn me into a Knack carrier for the rest of the decade. We shall see.

You can check the bag out here. Most colors are currently available and this is the Steel Blue model.

John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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