To get the 10% off the BOgear Bullpup, please see the end of the article. The BOgear bullpup backpack comes in at around 900 grams (1.9lbs) meaning this bag is fairly lightweight and made from very durable 1000d cordura fabric. It looks quite similar to the Goruck series of bags with its velcro and molle webbing on the front however it packs a few more features than the gorucks at a much lower price point.
One of the great things about BOgear bags is that you can near completely customise them. From colours to accessories. If you wanted a cleaner bag, you can just customise a version without the molle straps, velcro or reflective strip. The bag I have with me is the stock standard version though. I quite like the velcro and the reflective strip across the bottom. It terms of features this bag has quite a few neat little tricks. The shoulder straps have several loops and areas to attach sternum straps and also an area to attach a hip strap. On the inside of the bag is some more loops where you can attach ‘cell blocks’ for extra storage.
The inside sleeve is pleated which allows for more expansion, or larger items to fit in without any problem. I mostly used this sleeve for a macbook air 11” but it fits a 12” surface pro 3 without any problems too. One thing I’d have liked to have seen is an external laptop pocket for quicker and easier access to a laptop, this is especially useful for passing airport security. This bag also has two compression clips on each side of the bag which may be handy in some situations. I didn’t really find them particularly necessary for my packing style and mostly kept them clipped for a neater appearance rather than any functional compression.
The zips on the Bullpup are very large. Unfortunately this also means they are quite loud and ‘jingly’. The size of the zips also mean that they have big teeth and it’s easy for thin material to get caught in them. I noticed this on the first time zipping up the bag, my ultrasil stuff sacks got caught in the zips teeth. So make sure you push any light fabric deep into the bag before zipping. Another problem I had with the bag was the front pocket is rather small. It’s quite hard to find a use for this front pocket given its size and the large lip it has. It makes it awkward to quickly pull things out or put things into it. I also had some problems with the inner mesh pockets in terms of accessibility. I put my passport wallet in there, but when the bag is fully packed it’s hard to zip the zip down into the bag to access what’s in the pocket. This didn’t happen with the goruck bags as their inside pockets zips were horizontal rather than vertical.
In terms of comfort the big thick shoulder straps are very soft and sat well on my shoulders and back. The shoulder straps have several loops and threaded areas for add-ons such as sternum straps. The back of the bag also has some soft, thin foam padding which meant that it was comfortable against my back even with a laptop inside the back pocket. One small problem I had was that the shoulder straps pulled loose quite easily. After pulling the straps tight and to an optimal position and then taking the bag off. Upon picking the bag up again I noticed the strap that I picked it up with would be slightly looser than the other, meaning I’d have to pull it tight again.
This bag is very tough and I feel like it would stand up to a lot more wear and tear than I’d ever be able to put it through. I think the bag has a great design and is built tough, as tough as a goruck backpack with more features. Overall the bag is well designed, affordable and very customizable. I like this bag as much as my goruck and the 18 litre size didn’t feel much smaller than my 20 litre goruck, in fact I rather preferred the smaller size. However there are still some features missing from both bags that I’d like to see implemented on a lighter bag of a similar size and design. Such as an external laptop sleeve and maybe a few grams lighter. Although If you’re in the market for a smaller and very durable, tough and customizable bag than you really won’t find much better than the Bullpup from BOgear, especially at the very affordable price of AUD$155 (USD $112).
As a special offer from BOgear, you can get 10% off by using the coupon code: PACKINGLITE16