The Bellroy Venture Ready Pack 26L is as the name suggests a 26L backpack with everyday carry in mind. I have the midnight colour version here which is a dark navy blue in some light and almost black in other light. Ive been testing this bag as my everyday carry for the past few weeks and I have been enjoying it. I also think that its size and lightweight (at only 955 g/2.11 lbs) make it a great candidate for a one bag for travelling too.
But fist lets take a quick walkthrough of the bag. It has aquaguard water resistant zips on all the main zips which I actually found a little firm to zip and unzip at first but it does feel like they're getting smoother with use. There are nice little finger loops at the end of each zip to give you a place to hold while zipping and unzipping. There's a generously sized water bottle pocket with a cord to loop around larger items like tripods and on the other size is a hidden stash pocket. Up top there's another stash pocket which is actually divided in half down the middle. Initially I thought I wouldn't like this but it actually works quite well and is surprisingly spacious inside. There's some nice padding on the back and a sternum strap.
The straps are one of the points that I feel could be improved upon. They have a nice design and are reasonably comfortable but when taking the bag off and putting it on the straps occasionally slipped and needed readjustment. And at one point the buckle twisted itself in an unusual way. I took a picture of it here and I have seen other people experience the same issue with this bag. But aside from that, it is actually comfortable to wear and I had no problems walking around with a packed bag for hours at a time.
I like the top grab handle of the bag and it makes it easy to hold while opening the top stash compartment while walking. I do wish there was another grab handle on either side of the bag though. That would make it easier to grab when travelling with it.
Inside the main compartment there's some more nice organisational pockets. The one on the side here very nicely fits my mini umbrella but could fit any number of small items. Inside the front flap are a small top pocket with nice contrasting lining and a larger zippered pocket. I found this good for storing cables or my cap. Unfortunately there is no separate laptop compartment but there is one here at the back of the main compartment (that fits up to a 16" laptop). It's very well padded and also has a pouch on the front for a tablet. I also found this useful for carrying documents without creasing them.
In terms of water resistance, although this bag has water resistant zippers, the seams are not tape sealed and so water will soak into the bag if exposed to anything more than a quick splash. So that's something to keep a note of. This bag is also quite similar in design to the Able Carry Day Breaker 2 which I previously reviewed. Both have a similar design and around the same capacity but this Bellroy bag definitely has more organisational pockets built in.
Overall I think it's a great bag and is priced similarly to other similar bags of high quality. I am looking forward to testing it more as my one bag for longer international travel but as an EDC bag I have found it very enjoyable to use and the unique pocket layouts make it very versatile. If you're in the market for a great EDC or potential one bag Id recommend checking it out.