So Able Carry reached out to me recently and asked if I wanted to check out their new Max backpack that they’ll be putting on kickstarter. Of course I agreed, and so for the past week Ive been testing out the bag. Now this is a pre-production sample so some of the small details or colours are subject to change but overall the look and size will remain the same. I’d like to thank Able Carry for the opportunity to get an early hands on and they didn’t pay me for the review so my thoughts and opinions are my own.
So let’s start off with the sizing. This is an overall 30L backpack but its main compartment is 22L. I’ll get more into that in a bit. Its price on kickstarter will be $226USD with a full price later at $256USD. It will come in 3 nice colours. The Ocean Blue which I have here. The Forest Green and the Tarmac Black, which personally I think looks great. I’ll quickly mention here that I did a full ‘hands on’ look at the bag in another video too if you want a more detailed walkthrough of the features.
Now one negative thing about the bag which I don’t like personally but some people might not mind is that it weighs a hefty 1.7kg (3.7lbs) while empty. Of course for the features and every thing this bag offers its understandable but I personally prefer a lighter bag. And Able Carry do have a really great lighter weight bag the DayBreaker which I reviewed earlier too. That bag is only 580g (1.28lbs). Anyway, lets get on to some of the nice features of this bag.
It has a wonderful assortment of hidden pockets all over which will make it not only an excellent travel bag but also a great daily carry bag. All over the bag are several molle straps for various attachment options. I usually used them for hanging my HeroClip. On the front of the bag is a slanted zip pocket with two soft felt pockets inside. Theres a nice grab handle on the side and another zippered stash pocket with two zipper pulls making it more versatile. Up the top is yet another stash pocket which is a bit slimmer but quite deep. Great for passport or money, or even keys or sunglasses.
Around the other side is one of the best drink bottle pockets I’ve come across. Usually I’m not a fan of drink bottle pockets, and prefer to carry my bottle inside the bag. Well this pocket does both! You can store unto a 1L bottle and zip it up so its secure and doesn’t dangle on the outside of the bag.
Taking a look inside the main front compartment (which has lockable zipper pulls) you’ll see 2 pockets on the front panel and some more mollee webbing inside the bag. An additional stash pocket inside also gives you more storage options. The front compartment opens in a clamshell way but not all the way to the bottom of the bag. This is to keep contents a little more securely and so they won’t fall out while packing and unpacking.
In my testing I found I was able to fully pack the bag with my usual clothing packing cube, camera cube, tech pouch and laptop. As well as a few other things in the pockets around the bag. I also found that I could replace my tech pouch with the bags organisation itself. So putting my power banks and cables in the rear organisational pockets. This would be a great bag for taking to work or university for that rear pocket alone.
The rear of the bag has a waterproof zipper and is your main technology carry area. These zippers are also lockable and you’ll notice the zip here doesn’t go all the way around the bag. This is so the laptop compartment won’t fall open and drop the contents. In this compartment you get a laptop sleeve (which holds unto a 16″ laptop) and has a padded false bottom so the laptop won’t hit the ground when you place it down. Theres 2 extra felt pockets on the front and a zippered document sleeve at the back that also holds the removable frame-sheet. At the top is also a nice organiser pocket with some felt pockets inside. Great for batteries or power banks or cables.
The straps are very thickly padded and comfortable and there’s an included magnetic sternum strap that is removable too if you don’t need it. Its not super easy to remove though so I just kept it attached. Theres a luggage hold strap that you can use to secure the bag to a rolling suitcase if you need. In my testing I found it very comfortable to wear even for longer periods of time.
Finally the bag is lightly coated for water resistance but not fully water proof. So I wouldn’t suggest using this bag in heavy rain but it will survive a light shower. Overall its been a great backpack and very well thought out and functional. I like all the organisational pockets and the technology rear compartment. However I feel that at least for me personally its a little too heavy as a ‘one bag’ but I think it’ll be a great one bag for those who don’t mind as much about the weight.