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Matein Travel Review

An affordable laptop backpack with a lot of different pockets for adaptable carrying capacity
matein travel laptop backpack review
Credit: Matein
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $30 List | $29.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, external USB port, several pockets
Cons:  Thin shoulder strap padding, jangly zippers
Manufacturer:   Matein
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 11, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 11
  • Laptop Protection - 25% 6.0
  • Comfort - 20% 7.0
  • Storage - 15% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 7.0
  • Style - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Matein Travel is an amazing steal. It has ample storage capacity for multiple laptops and enough padding to protect them in transit. The auxiliary pockets have interior pockets of their own for pens, tissues, chargers, and other accessories. We found it was really easy to stay organized with this model. All of the pockets are super easy to open and close with buttery smooth zippers. On top of all of that, it looks pretty darn good too. At a super reasonable price, it's a great all-around backpack for work, school, and travel.

Compare to Similar Products

 
matein travel laptop backpack review
This Product
Matein Travel
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $30 List
$29.99 at Amazon
$220 List
$204.16 at Amazon
$98.95 at Evo
Compare at 2 sellers
$64.99 at Backcountry$40 List
$29.95 at Amazon
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Pros Inexpensive, external USB port, several pocketsGreat organizational capacity, effective use of space, comfortable, adjustable, separate laptop side-accessFunctional, plentiful storage, water-resistant fabric, inexpensive, versatileInexpensive, simple, durableInexpensive, great organization, professional profile and style, easy to use
Cons Thin shoulder strap padding, jangly zippersExpensive, lacks cushioning on the bottom of the packNot super stylishDifficult zippers, minimal padding, no water bottle pocketPoor water bottle holder, no battery pack with charging station, questionable quality
Bottom Line An affordable laptop backpack with a lot of different pockets for adaptable carrying capacityOur favorite for our daily needs, from lugging around electronics to going to the gymThis spacious backpack offers functionality and value that is unmatchedThis super simple laptop backpack has the form of a traditional kids' school pack with the modern-looking material of a model for adultsA feature-laden option that does the trick for a super low price
Rating Categories Matein Travel Incase Icon The North Face Bore... Herschel Heritage Tzowla Travel
Laptop Protection (25%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Comfort (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
Storage (15%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
Ease of Use (15%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
Water Resistance (15%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
3.0
Style (10%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Matein Travel Incase Icon The North Face Bore... Herschel Heritage Tzowla Travel
Volume (L) 28L 17 L 28 L 21.5 L Not listed
Weight 1.7 lbs 2.1 lbs 2.7 lbs 1.2 lbs 1.8 lbs
Number of Compartments 3 4 2 3 2
Dimensions 18 x 12 x 7.8 in. 19 x 13 x 9 in. 19.75 x 13.5 x 8.5 in. 18 x 12.25 x 5.5 in. 19.29 x11.8 x 5.43 in.
Number of Large Pockets 3 3 2 2 1
Number of Small Pockets 2 14 9 1 5
Key Clip? Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Reflective Material? No No Yes No No
External Side Pocket(s) Yes Yes Yes No No
External Water Bottle Holder? Yes No Yes No No
Fits Laptop 15.6" 15" 15" 15" 15"
Hip belt No No Yes No No
Sternum Strap No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Matein Travel is different not only because of its price point but also because of how easy it is to use. Easy-pull zippers never get stuck and sneaky features like a detachable key ring and USB port up its game even more.

Performance Comparison


matein travel laptop backpack review - the matein travel is an inexpensive pack that looks good and carries...
The Matein Travel is an inexpensive pack that looks good and carries a lot.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Laptop Protection


This pack is well-padded. There are two padded pockets large enough to hold 15" laptops. Within the larger of the two, there is a dedicated laptop slot with additional padding and a velcro tab to secure the computer in place. It works really well and keeps the laptop stable in transit.


During testing, our electronics stood up to the day-to-day bumps and jostles of daily commutes between work, school, and home. We even inadvertently toppled the pack off a 2-foot ledge without any damage to the contents. There isn't any formal suspension system that buffers the laptop from the bottom of the bag, but we also didn't encounter any serious issues with it. If you are really concerned about carrying super sensitive equipment, you could consider a different option but we found the padding to be totally sufficient for everyday use with regular laptops.

matein travel laptop backpack review - the padded velcro laptop sleeve at the back of the pack keeps...
The padded velcro laptop sleeve at the back of the pack keeps computers protected but easy to access.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Comfort


The Matein pack is also surprisingly comfortable. It has three pads on the back — two on top over each shoulder blade and one on the bottom that runs the width of the lumbar area. The straps are about three inches wide and lightly padded. All these features together make for a comfortable carry.


There is no internal rigid structure, which we appreciate for the most part. Our only issue with it is that folders and larger spiral notebooks don't have any structure to lean against so they sometimes get a little mushed. On the exterior, the shoulder straps are easy to adjust. We didn't find it to be the most breathable pack during commutes on warmer days, but all things considered, it performed well.

matein travel laptop backpack review - decent shoulder straps and padding along the back make this pack...
Decent shoulder straps and padding along the back make this pack comfortable, even when it's loaded up with gear.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Storage


The storage of this pack is excellent. It has one dedicated laptop pocket with a sleeve. In practice, we found that this pocket can safely hold two computers. On top of that, the second larger pocket can hold an additional laptop or tablet (not that people are typically carrying three separate computers, but the capacity is there).


There are also several auxiliary pockets that are very useful. Each of the two main compartments has large subpockets that easily hold chargers, headphones, and notebooks. There are also two smaller front pockets (one larger than the other) that are great for pens, pencils, tissues, earbuds, or other small items. There is even a hidden pocket in the lumbar foam pad that sits directly against the back. If you are traveling, you could stash items in here that you wouldn't want anyone else to be able to get to while you're wearing the pack, like a passport or wallet.

matein travel laptop backpack review - the secondary pocket is large enough to fit an additional laptop...
The secondary pocket is large enough to fit an additional laptop, charger, and other supplies.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

This model also comes equipped with a built-in but detachable key ring so you can easily keep track of your keys — so long as you remember to hook clip them back into place. The two exterior mesh water bottle pockets work for skinny bottles but won't hold wider bottles like a Nalgene.

Ease of Use


We love how easy this pack is to use. The zippers are one of our favorite features. They open and close so easily and never got stuck in our experience. It is very satisfying to zip and unzip the pockets of this pack. We also appreciate the different ways we could carry the pack. There are two handles at the top — a more substantial one if you really overload on weight and a standard piece of webbing to hang the bag on a hook. There is also a strip of webbing on the back that slides easily over a suitcase handle for moving through an airport.


In addition, there is an exterior USB port and interior cable that allows you to connect your own power bank and charge your devices. This ability to give your phone a bit of extra juice on the go could be a nice bonus for some users, but overall we found this feature to be a bit gimmicky.

matein travel laptop backpack review - the external usb port is a unique feature for those who want to...
The external USB port is a unique feature for those who want to charge devices on the go without removing the laptop.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Water Resistance


The exterior fabric is water-resistant. We found that it kept contents dry in moderate rainfall even when the fabric started to soak through. The thickness of the fabric as well as the padded layer underneath create a substantial barrier.


In our experience, as with many packs, the weakest parts of the weather resistance are the zippers. They are not waterproof and there is no additional material once moisture gets through. Having said that, unless you get caught in a serious downpour, your equipment should stay protected, even if the pack needs some time to dry out.

matein travel laptop backpack review - the exterior fabric absorbs water pretty quickly but there are...
The exterior fabric absorbs water pretty quickly but there are enough layers of material that the pack keeps the equipment dry inside.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Style


We really came to enjoy the functional but modern style of the Matein Travel. It comes in a variety of solid colors as well as a few more playful prints, so there is an option for most people in terms of the exterior fabric. It fits in both in a high school or college campus as well as at the office.


It looks a little techy, especially with the external USB port, but we were happy to carry it around to many different places throughout the day. It's not especially flashy, so if you are looking to really stand out, there are more exciting options out there but our testers rated it favorably in terms of its aesthetics and versatility.

matein travel laptop backpack review - practical features like a removable key chain add functionality to...
Practical features like a removable key chain add functionality to this stylish and affordable pack.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Should You Buy the Matein Travel?


We would recommend the Matein Travel to pretty much anyone. It's designed as a laptop bag but could really be used as a school backpack as well. It looks good for adults and adolescents and will keep electronics protected. Auxiliary pockets and easy access to contents make it a breeze to use on the move. It could even be used as a gym bag if you wanted to use one of the large compartments for clean clothes and the other for post-workout wear. For its price point, it's really hard to beat this bag.

What Other Models Should You Consider?


This pack has a lot to offer at a low price, but if you are willing to spend more, you might consider the Peak Design Everyday. It has a larger capacity and great functionality with a refined aesthetic. Another great pack at a reasonable price is the The North Face Borealis, which has a distinctly outdoorsy look. If the Travel is a little too adult-looking, the Jansport Right Pack is a nice back-to-school option as well.

matein travel laptop backpack review - we love this inexpensive pack for its carrying capacity and style.
We love this inexpensive pack for its carrying capacity and style.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Ben Applebaum-Bauch
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