Bago Packable Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bago is a lightweight, niche bag and is best used as a sort of secondary bag on your travels. It sits small and lightweight and can be stored empty into its own pouch, in your luggage, or vehicle until you need it. When you need it, it opens up to a large volume, with excellent organizational and usability attributes. It is nearly the best secondary luggage we tested, surpassing some but not quite matching others.
Ease of Transport
Ease of transport is a function of carry options and comfort. Bags can be wheeled, dragged, briefcase-carried backpacked, or carried over one shoulder. Of these, the Bago Travel can be briefcase carried and carried over one shoulder. None of the other methods are possible or reasonable. Bags with more options and exceptional comfort and mobility in each of the options score better; if you load this thing up, it maxes out reasonable briefcase carry or one-shoulder carry. With more normal loads (say, under 30 pounds), either option is serviceable for short distances.
Ease of Packing
The Bago gets high marks for organizational options and for the wide-opening main compartment. The straight "I-shaped" zipper is less than ideal, but the soft, flexible fabric still allows a wide opening. The four different accessory pockets are great, and we especially liked the segregated, variable-volume "shoe section" of the bag. One end of the Bago is a wide-opening, zippered, externally accessed pocket. This pocket shares volume with the main compartment and can hold wet gear, dirty clothes, or stinky shoes separate from the remaining contents. When there is nothing in this pocket, the main pouch benefits from greater volume. No other bag we reviewed has more accessory pockets, and none have the clever shoe/wet storage.
Compact and lightweight construction comes at the expense of durability. The "normal" pack cloth of the Bago will contain your items for gentle and short use, but for life-long and rough treatment, you may experience issues with zippers and wear holes. This bag is for occasional, "supervised" use. We would think twice and hard before handing it off to the airlines or donkey drivers.
You do not choose this product for durability. You pick it for what proves to be the exact opposite. Durability and compact, lightweight portability are almost always at odds. This product is no exception.
The Bago is a big winner in this category. At just over a pound for the 60-liter version we tested, its weight per volume is light years ahead of most. Note that Bago claims its weight to be .9 pounds, while our scale found it to weigh 1.38 pounds. We expect differences in what we observe and what is claimed, but this difference is significant.
The fabric of the Bago is waterproof. We tested it under pressure and had no water seep in. The seams and zippers, though, are not sealed at all. In minor splashes, your stuff will stay dry.
Moisture will sneak in during any robust, long-term weather exposure. For occasional and short-term use, especially as long as you keep the Bago "supervised", the sacrifice in weather resistance shouldn't be a big deal.
For intended, occasional use, you don't want to spend a ton on your luggage, and this is a great deal.
For use as a secondary bag, the value, size, weight, and organizational options of the Bago Travel Bag edges it ahead of most. We don't expect a specialized, lightweight, compact product like this to compete favorably with the beefier and larger bags we assessed. And it meets these low expectations. Overall, this bag is nothing special. It shouldn't be the first thing you look for; but if you need what it can do, none will do better.
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