Over the last few years on the road I’ve tested and reviewed a wide range of backpacks – from 110 litre surf luggage systems and the security conscious Numinous Backpacks to carry on only backpacks like the Minaal.
Over the last few months though I’ve been testing out a a new backpack that has quickly become part of my day to day travel kit – the Slicks Carry On Backpack.
Organised & Spacious
For anyone travelling on hand luggage only or wanting a solid carry on pack to organise their essentials the Slicks system boast not only heaps of space (30 litres) but also a variety of pockets to keep everything tidy and in check.
The most notable addition on this front is the custom packing cube that’s included with all models of the bag – 2 self contained compartments which include a mini wash bag (although I now use this as a handy spot to store my DSLR and spare lens!) and hangable wash bag.
This easily clips in and out of the main shell of the bag – so you can quickly dump out all the contents for use as a day sack without having to unpack everything.
Combined with the full zip, suitcase style design this means you can easily access all of the contents of the bag without having to rummage through blindly, elbow deep in random items!
For me though the best organisational feature of the Slicks Backpack is the vertical zip pocket on the front of the bag.
This has become my most used section of the bag and it contains things I use frequently or need quick access to without heaps of organisation. Think phone & laptop chargers, a flannel shirt and GoPro.
When I’m using it as a day pack this pocket also houses my camera as it’s the easiest way to quickly grab and pack away my kit.
At the moment I’ve managed to cram the following into my Slicks Backpack as my carry on luggage;
Front Zip Compartment;
- Laptop charger
- Flannel shirt
- iPhone charger
Packing Cube (top compartment)
Packing Cube (bottom compartment)
- 3 x external hard drives
- TomTom Bandit Camera
- GoPro accessories
Despite the unobtrusive design the Slicks Backpack contains heaps of handy features for day to day use on the road, most of which you’d expect from a bag of this calibre.
- Inbuilt raincover
- Laptop compartment (which is padded at the bottom for extra protection)
- Moulded back panel
- Store away straps (for conversion into briefcase style)
- Removable packing cube system
- Document storage section
- Lay flat, suitcase style design
In fact there isn’t much extra you’d actually require from it – apart from maybe a mesh side pocket for the storage of a water bottle or tripod.
Built To Last
From the first time I got my hands on the Slicks Backpack you could tell it was Swiss designed – every aspect feels sturdy and has a high quality finish.
I can also safely say that after nearly 5 months of constant use through South East Asia it has survived numerous airports, flights, day trips, lockers, overnight buses and everything else I could throw at it!
Sure there are a few scuffs and marks (as you would expect!), but other than that all the zips, buckles, straps and stitching are all intact with no signs of serious wear and tear.
The only part that is actively looking worn is the back panel – but given the amount of dust and sweat that it has been subject too I’m not at all surprised this isn’t looking as new anymore!
The Final Verdict
Overall the Slicks Backpack is an awesome piece of travel kit and is now my preferred backpack of choice. In fact if I didn’t have to lug around so much surf and dive stuff I’d happily ditch everything off and use it as my only pack, carry on only!
The solid black colour scheme (you can opt for a splash of colour, currently yellow is the only option though) is stylish and allows it to easily double up as a business pack – something which is supported by the easily packed away straps and buckles – which makes it as stylish as it is robust.
The only real downside is the fact it is slightly on the heavier side for a carry on only pack – but this is more the result of solid materials and will ultimately mean the pack last longer – so it’s a small trade to make in the long run.
Retailing at around £149 it’s not the cheapest carry on only option available however it’s a solid investment either as a day pack or if you intend on travelling super light.
The bottom line is that the Slicks Backpack is solid, reliable, adaptable and most importantly comfortable to wear – even for long periods of time when fully loaded.
If you’re wanting to get your hands on a Slicks Backpack they’ve just launched their Kickstarter campaign so get in first and grab some extra savings (around 30% off!) – with the pack being available in July 2016.
And ladies if you’re hunting for the best backpack for women check out this post
PLEASE NOTE; I received a free Slicks Backpack to test and review, but rest assured all opinions are honest and my own.
- Great build quality
- Inbuilt Packing Cubes
- Super comfortable
- High price tag
- 30 litres might not be enough for everyone
- Slightly on the heavier side