Topo Designs Global Travel Bag Review
Cons: Not great for bulky items, cumbersome security loops
Manufacturer: Topo Designs
Compare to Similar Products
Topo Designs Global Travel Bag
|Price||$229 List||Check Price at Amazon||$149 List|
$149.00 at REI
Check Price at Backcountry
|Pros||Distributes weight nicely, good structure, attachment clips, daisy chain, sturdy handles, comfortable harness system, plentiful organization||Comfortable, innovative, feature rich, sturdy, great for camera gear||Tapered for easy loading, comfortable harness system, adventure friendly, very light||Versatile, sleek, camera box, vented wet shoe compartment||Versatile, duffel-like ease of use, simplistic features, max volume carry|
|Cons||Not great for bulky items, cumbersome security loops||Heavy, expensive, finite amount of space||Does not sit upright, laptop sleeve unpadded||No waist belt or sternum strap, no water bottle holder, back panel not very breathable, tall||Soft body sags when not stuffed, harness system not fit for long adventures|
|Bottom Line||A stylish and slim 40-liter three-way travel backpack with stellar organization and a comfortable harness system, perfect for a weekend getaway||This beautiful and comfortable pack will have the weekend getaway enthusiast, business traveler, or avid photographer swooning||With its tapered shape and backpacking pack structure, this is the perfect bag for the outdoor adventurist that doesn't want to spend an arm and leg||With its convertible camera cube, ventilated shoe compartment, and padded device sleeve, this pack was made for the outdoor photographer on the go||A well thought out, user-friendly, and versatile pack fortified by an Ironclad guarantee and cutting edge company ethics|
|Rating Categories||Topo Designs Global...||Peak Design Travel 45||REI Co-op Ruckpack 40||Mammut Seon Cargo 35L||Patagonia Black Hol...|
|Packing and Accessibility (25%)|
|Volume to Weight Ratio (15%)|
|Specs||Topo Designs Global...||Peak Design Travel 45||REI Co-op Ruckpack 40||Mammut Seon Cargo 35L||Patagonia Black Hol...|
|Volume of Main Compartment||40L||45L||40L||35L||45L|
|Measured Weight||3.65 lbs||4.51 lbs||2.10 lbs||2.10 lbs||3.35 lbs|
|Volume to Weight Ratio (bigger is better)||10.96||9.98||19.05||16.67||13.43|
|Dimensions||22.5" x 14" x 7.5"||21" x 13" x 6.5"||24" x 13" x 10"||24" x 14" x 9"||22.8" x 8.6" x 14.5"|
|Carry-on Size Compatible? (22" x 14" x 9")||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes, if squished|
|Stuffed Dimensions||22.5" x 14" x 7.9"||21" x 10" x 14"||22" x 9" x 14"||24" x 14" x 9"||22" x 14" x 10"|
|Fabrics||1000D recycled nylon, 400D recycled nylon, 210D recycled nylon, 1680D recycled ballistic nylon||400D nyon and polyester||Recycled nylon ripstop and recycled polyester lining (bluesign approved)||600D waterproof polyester, 840D ballistic nylon||Polyester ripstop with TPU laminate|
|Frame Type||Foam with nylon padded backpanel||Foam padding||Ventilated mesh||Foam padding||Foam backpanel|
|Access Type||U-Zip||Top and panel loading, zips all the way open||Top loading||Panel loading||Clamshell design|
|Number of Pockets||External: 2 large zippered security, 2 water bottle
Internal: 1 laptop, mesh organization
|6 zip, 2 watter bottle||6 zip, 7 no zip, 2 water bottle||3 small zippered, 1 ventilated, 1 camera comparment, 1 main||9 zip, 8 no zip|
|Waist Belt Type||Removable||N/A||Padded||None||None|
|Different Sizes Available?||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Volume Options||30L, 40L||45L||18L, 28L, 40L, 65L||35L||26L, 45L|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The comfortable Global Travel Bag can easily accompany you on a multi-day road trip, through the hustle and bustle of a busy subway, or be slipped under the seat in front of you on an airplane. The thin but tall shape makes it easy to glide through crowds, and the retro design fits in with most any aesthetic. This pack allows for seamless integration with Topo's other travel gear, comes with built-in security measures, offers a spot for most belongings, and can be carried in multiple fashions.
The Global Travel Bag offers an extremely comfortable harness system, and the tall slim build distributes the weight nicely across the entire upper body.
The harness system comes with padded shoulder straps and load lifters that sit comfortably out of the armpits. The adjustable sternum strap distributes weight evenly across the shoulders, and the removable waist belt is nicely padded.
While the harness system is both comfortable and convertible, the overall shape of the Global Travel Bag is what sets it apart from the rest. It is tall and wide but shallow, which keeps the weight very close to your body. This makes carrying heavier items like a laptop or books effortless. The light foam in the main compartment and back panel also offers both structure and cushion.
The briefcase strap has a small amount of padding, which is comfortable for short carries, but this bag is a little large to carry over one shoulder. This style of carrying is great for quick transitions but is rather useless for extended wear.
The Global Travel Bag has everything from a laptop sleeve to external daisy chains to designated key clips. The additional features offer stellar organization and don't take up much space or add too much weight.
The two sturdy daisy chains, found on the front of the pack, are great for clipping items like hand sanitizer, a hat, or some climbing shoes. The security loops on the two main zipper compartments help prevent theft, although they are rather cumbersome to use. The convertible shoulder straps can be tucked away neatly, and the large, sturdy grab handles on the top and sides make stowing the bag easy.
The Global comes with a series of PackFast Clips for attaching a daypack. These daypacks are sold separately, and all the little straps and clips take a moment to navigate, but they are covert, and most of them tuck away neatly. Our biggest issue in this metric is that there is no clothing compression strap in the main compartment. This issue is easily solved with a couple of packing cubes, but a strap would be appreciated for those that don't have cubes.
Packing and Accessibility
The Global Travel Bag has a main compartment, two smaller compartments, a laptop sleeve, and two water bottle pockets. The quick-grab pocket has two smaller zippered pockets and a clip for your keys. We love an easy access pocket, but as far as security goes, this one is lacking, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings if you keep your valuables here.
The second-largest compartment comes equipped with a security loop to help mitigate theft. There are a few pockets in this compartment, one with a zipper that is perfect for your daily planner or spiral notebook. The main compartment is large and minimal. There is a divider with two zippered pockets on one side and two zippered mesh pockets on the other, offering a little extra organization that won't get in the way if left unused.
The minimalist vibe paired with the option to open the bag up clamshell-style makes packing a breeze, but it's much easier when paired with packing cubes. The foam gives the bag a little structure, but clothing straps in the main compartment would go a long way. The elastic water bottle pockets, found on both sides of the pack, are surprisingly accommodating for larger bottles.
Because this pack is so slim, it is not great for irregularly shaped items, so wear your chunky boots and pack your sandals. Even though taking your boots off for TSA might be a bit more of a hassle, it will save you space in the long run. The Global is best for the minimalist weekend warrior rather than the gear head or avid backpacker.
Volume to Weight Ratio
This 40-liter pack weighs 3.65 pounds when empty, making it relatively lightweight for its carrying capacity.
The Global, despite the name, will not take you across Europe for a month, but it will take you through the busy New York City subways for an extended weekend in style. The outermost fabric consists of 1000D nylon and large YKK zippers, both of which are very durable. Heavy-duty fabric can result in a heavy product, but Topo does a great job of pairing the heavier-weight outer layers with a lightweight 400D nylon packcloth and 210D nylon pack cloth liner inside the bag.
During our time with the Global Travel Bag we didn't experience one zipper jam, external blemish, or popped stitch. Even the mesh on the inside held up well. After researching the material used to make this backpack, it's no wonder why it still looks brand new after the abuse we put it through.
The stitching on the daisy chain and carry handles is heavy-duty. This is made clear by simply looking at it, but we also loaded the bag up with heavy items and swung it around by its carry handles to make certain — it passed the test with flying colors. The extra-large YKK zippers live up to their reputation and are easy to clean if they get gunked up. The outer shell is made of 1000D nylon, which is exceptionally strong. The rest of the pack, including the liner, is made up of 400D and 210D nylon, which both hold up nicely. This pack is clearly built to last, but if something does happen, Topo has a warranty and repair program to help you out.
Topo Designs is not known for making inexpensive clothing and gear. That being said, the Global Travel Bag is very fairly priced. Between its durable materials, minimalist design, and cabin-chic aesthetic, we feel this pack is worth every penny. It's a great option for those looking to get away for a long weekend by car or plane and fits in just as nicely on the subway in a big city as it does at your remote cabin.
The overall design of the 40-liter Global Travel Bag makes it the perfect option for the minimalist weekend warrior or a great carry-on option. It offers just the right amount of organization to ensure that you won't be rummaging around your pack searching for your headphones, but also manages not to overdo it with excessive pockets. While a few luxury features like clothing straps in the main compartment are missing, these flaws can be remedied with simple packing cubes. This durable pack will carry you seamlessly from destination to destination without popping a stitch.
— Hayley Thomas
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