Bags

Macpac UTSIFOY Backpack Review

Today we’re taking a look at the UTSIFOY backpack from Macpac. This stands for Under The Seat In Front Of You because its designed to be the perfect carry on size that can slide under the seat. Its also available in the European Macpac store under the name ‘Black Iris’ which sounds a bit better than UTISFOY in my opinion. The bag is made from a 600D Cordura nylon that feels very strong and durable. Theres a separate laptop compartment with both a false bottom (so the laptop won’t hit the ground through the bag) and a felt lining so it won’t scratch.

In the laptop compartment there’s also a few pen slots and a sleeve where you can put a tablet or the laptops charging cable. The front has a pocket which is as large and deep as the whole front panel. Inside that is also a phone sized pouch and a few more pen slots. The bag has a nice clamshell opening and a very spacious 25L main compartment. Although if you put the dimensions of the bag into a cubic weight calculator it says this bag is more like a 40L. However Macpac confirmed that they measured the capacity using an inflatable insert that is more accurate and it is in fact only 25L. Still it feel very spacious and it fits a lot in.

The inner side of the flap also has a mesh pocket where you can store additional things. Theres also a packable shoe pouch built into the side of the inner compartment so you can store shoes without dirtying the rest of the inside of the bag. Theres 2 small daisy chain web straps on the bottom of the bag too which I found handy to clip my Heroclip onto. Finally there’s also a drink bottle holder on the side that has elastic to hold it flat while not in use.

The best thing of all about this bag is that it weighs 870grams (1.9lbs) while empty which is about 330grams (11.6oz) lighter than most of the competition. It might not sound like much but it could be the difference between packing or not backing that extra item. Also the less the bag weighs the less overall weight you have to carry. So I’ve done a little test pack here you can see it easily fits my laptop, tablet, GoPro and accessories and my camera cube and toiletry kit. And there’s room to spare.

The straps of the bag are quite comfortable however they don’t have a sternum strap built in. I bought this cheap universal sternum strap from eBay though and it works well if you do need a sternum strap. The straps also tuck away into the back of the bag. However the clip is not as easy to unclip as I’d like but its nice and secure. The adjustment straps for the straps do hang loose which can be annoying, but you can either tuck them through the clips or clip the end through the clips to make them less dangly.

The price is quite reasonable too especially if you can get it on sale. I got it for AU$115 (US$79) on sale but its currently 89 Euro on the European site which is about AU$145 or US$100. Still pretty good for that price. It feels durable and long lasting. The only things that are missing are that there’s no passthrough on the back to slide it against a suitcase handle. Theres no sternum strap and the zips don’t feel super smooth but I think they will get smoother after more use.

Overall a really great bag especially if you can pick it up on sale. It feels durable and well made. The design is well thought out and has a lot of useful features that will make is a great travel companion. Id definitely recommend checking it out if you’re in the market for a new backpack.

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