We’ve tried our fair share of bags and rucksacks over the past few years over at The Allrounder, but it’s Pacsafe that’s really been winning us over of late. The latest offering we’ve tried from their frankly massive collection of products is the Venturesafe X30, a backpack designed specifically with us outdoor types in mind.
Let’s start with the aesthetics. At first glance the X30 has a sort of bold simplicity, as if a cartoon character had asked for nothing more than a nice looking backpack for camping. The Hawaiian blue version that we’ve been testing is the sort of old school colour you’d expect to see hikers wearing in An American Werewolf in London. Upon closer inspection however you notice a careful attention to detail that really makes the X30 stand out.
Considering it looks like such a simple design. it’s pretty impressive how much functionality the guys at Pacsafe have managed to fit in. And functionality is something we desperately need when it comes to backpacks. On any given day we can be carrying around anything from laptops, gym kit, power packs, food and various work paraphernalia, to hiking gear for a trip across the Lake District. We’d much prefer to have one bag that does the lot instead of various ones for different days.
As you may already know (or gleaned from the name), Pacsafe design storage with safety in mind, which is something you’d barely notice unless you knew about it beforehand. The main compartment zip has an additional clip which can be applied once the bag is closed, meaning anyone trying to open it would have to put noticeable effort into the task. One of the straps has a locking mechanism on the base which mean you can quickly hook it round a table or something to deter anyone hoping to snatch it and run off. Theirs also a special slashguard material across the bag, including the straps. All that as well as a rather clever RFIDsafe blocking technology that stops people accessing your electronic equipment, makes for a formidable piece of kit when it comes to security.
Aside from all that stuff, the thing that makes us really fall in love with a bag is storage. We’ve given perfectly good backpacks to charity because they just weren’t covering our storage needs. Basically, when you have a load of hobbies, you go to the gym a lot and spend a lot of time out of the house, you want a bag where you can store things systematically across the various pockets. The Venturesafe has loads. There’s one for our toiletries, one for used gym kit, a laptop sleeve, one on top for miscellaneous stuff, one under the cover for snacks, side pockets for walking sticks and water bottles; it’s got the lot. There’s also various clips dotted about the bag for when you need to hang things (we use one the strap to carry a third camera lens).
As a hiking rucksack its spot on. A hidden waist strap can be pulled out for support along with the centre chest strap, a rain cover is held in a compartment underneath and the back panel has aluminium support for balancing load. The laptop sleeve even doubles as a hydration pack chamber, which is pretty cool.
We’ve been using the X30 for a few weeks now and performed admirably. As a day bag it’s light enough to carry around without being an issue, but still big enough to hold the ridiculous amount of stuff we need to carry around with us. The security features are a welcome piece of mind (especially considering our last laptop was stolen) and the design is pretty sweet. We also took the backpack over to the Lake District for a hiking holiday and it worked perfectly as an outdoor pack. Thanks heaven for the rain cover.
To find out more about the Venturesafe X30, or to see the rest of the Pacsafe range, head over to the website here.
Note: We received tests product for this review.