This bag is made out of weather-resistant Cordura, which we all know and love as a fine material for textile gear, and has stylish accents in a leather-like material (probably vinyl). Ours arrived in the box with what appears to be a teeny-tiny puncture in this accent material, so don’t be surprised if the more superficial appeals of this pack don’t hold up to everyday wear.
The whole pack weighs in at about 4lbs empty, has a stiff exterior and can stand up and hold its shape on its own. That’s a good sign, because the more weight a pack can hold up on its own, the lighter it will feel when it’s full.
Full capacity of this bag is 488 cubic inches. Dimensions are 20″ tall, 5″ deep, and 11.5″ across. The lid opening is 12″ tall and 9″ across.
This backpack won’t protect your body (it doesn’t claim to), but it will keep your stuff fairly intact.
A quick hands-on test from this reviewer found that the bag is crush-resistant from most directions. The panel that sits against the body is soft, but every other outside panel is stiffened and shaped for aerodynamics.
This bag is also lockable if you want to keep your precious cargo extra safe and secure.
- Padded Laptop Compartment: Perfect for commuters and the tech-addicted among us, it fits a 15″ laptop.
- 3 Non-Laptop Inner Compartments: Decent for keeping your stuff organized. They don’t close completely, though, so they’re more like dividers or pockets.
- Rain Cover: This pack actually comes with its own rain cover included, and a pretty nice one at that. Stitched to the approximate shape of the bag, it has elastic drawstrings to secure it in place for wear, and rolls up to about the size of a 12oz beverage can.
- Side Pockets: This pack has a zip pocket on each side panel for easy access to small items. My iPhone XR did not fit, but my Leatherman Sidekick, small wallet, pocket knife, phone charger, Chapstick, and headphones were among the items that did (not all at once).
- Hidden Exterior Pockets: These are not for easy access, since they sit against your back when you’re wearing the pack, but they do fit keys, phone and wallet nicely if you’re worried about people swiping your things out of the other pockets while you walk around town.These pockets are padded with Velcro closures.
- Adjustable Waist and Chest Straps: These are a must for any long-wear backpack, since they help distribute the weight across the torso.
- The widths of the straps are adjustable, but the heights are not, and seem to be set for the dimensions of taller humans. Your mileage may vary in terms of how comfortable you can get them.
- You may want to cut and re-hem the straps to your liking once you find your fit. As I found (and other reviewers have also noted) the extra length of the straps tend to flap around a lot in the wind on the road.
- Helmet-Carrying Sling: A surprise feature that, to our knowledge, is not mentioned on the website page for this bag! Look at the bottom of this bag on the edge that sits against your back, and you’ll find a zipper. Unzip that zipper, and you’ll find a built-in sling that stretches over the outside of the bag and attaches to the 3 D-clips to form a handy helmet hammock! It’s even lined with soft, non-scratching material to prevent visor scratches.
We feel it’s necessary to point out a few discrepancies between what’s listed on Viking Bags’s site and what actually showed up at our office:
- “Reflective piping”: This bag has a small amount on the side zip pockets, but we couldn’t find any anywhere else. Technically present, but not in any helpful quantity.
- “Detailed organizer for your keys, wallet and other small items”: We found no such organizer on our backpack, but maybe we just missed another hidden compartment.
- “Protective eyewear pocket”: We couldn’t find this one, either.
- “Audio Ready”: Honestly, we don’t know what they meant by this, so we weren’t even sure what to look for.
- “Mesh bottle pocket”: This one comes from a diagram in the product photos. It’s not in the photos, and it’s not on our backpack.
It’s entirely possible that these mentions of features were just overlooked and copy/pasted from a different version of the backpack, and Viking Bags meant no harm.
It’s also possible that we made a mistake and didn’t find features that we were literally holding in our hands. But still, we wanted to clear that up for you. Buyer beware.
Since the backpack did include two things, the rain cover and the helmet holder, that were not listed on the site, we’re inclined to believe that the misinformation on the site was an honest mistake.
This is a great backpack, and reviewers on the site seem to agree. One thing that we didn’t mention above is that the storage capacity of this thing, plus the fact that it is molded into a stiff shape, makes it very useful.
Commentor Igor C. even mentioned “A 2015 Apple laptop fits right into the laptop pocket (tight, but does) and I can easily throw in a bottle of champagne and a six pack (cans, on the side) at the same time.”
We want to party with Igor.
Over all, we’ll say that Viking Bags is good at making bags, but could use some help making web pages to sell bags.
Keep an eye on our social media – we may be giving away this bag to one of our loyal followers very soon. Trust us, you really do want it, and it retails between $75-$134 online. Free is better.
To see this bag and others like it, including saddlebags and other bike-adapted luggage, visit Viking Bags online: