attitude ATD1 backpack.

You know those rolling luggage suitcases that unzip and expand to twice their size? The Attitude ATD1 is the more attractive, backpack version of that. A perfect travel pack, the bag is well-conceived, well-designed, and well-built.

With minimal aesthetics and 500D Cordura, the bag is deceivingly light when empty. The soft material used for the laptop/tablet dividers in the main compartment and dividers upfront are a nice touch. No hesitation putting a phone or sunglasses inside that plush velvety smoothness (I have no idea what that material really is). There are carry handles on all 4 sides — love it. I’ve never been a fan of external bottle pockets but the ones on this bag look like they’re only there, functionally, for the roll-top straps to clip into but, BOOM, a bonus that they can hold a water bottle or little tripod. The bag’s got a clamshell opening that unzips from the back, great for security but not necessarily easily accessible. You end up having to set the bag on it’s front and placing items in backwards.

But what’s most impressive about the bag, is that it’s rated to go from 20L to 55L — that’s INSANITY! And I don’t believe they are exaggerating. This is where the design factor kicks in. There’s a lot of straps that help cinch the bag together and make it smaller. But no more than necessary. I also like these little ingenious velcro keeps that attach loose strap ends so they don’t dangle around. Nifty.

Here’s who this bag is for: people traveling around the world, outdoor hikers and campers, backpackers making their way across Europe (or any other continent). Having grown up with Marmot, Gregory, and Arc-Teryx backpacks, I’d stack this one up with any of those with the added flexibility of a smaller footprint when needed — and you get the bonus of innovative and personal design with smaller batch production quality.

Two case points where this would be invaluable is as an out-of-town bag that can expand as you buy souvenirs and gifts. Or as a hiking bag that you can collapse as consumables get used.

However, I’d be more reluctant to use this bag is an every day work carry bag. Although my MacBook 15” slides nicely into the sleeve and the front vertical pocket is great with its pen inserts, it still remains a bit bulky, even with the strap keeps, to take to the office. But, if I could only have one backpack in my closet, the ATD1 would be an absolute contender. It’s actually probably going to be the nail in the coffin that prompts me to sell my GoRuck GR1. The extreme versatility of this bag without over-complications is truly where the ATD1 shines.

The second impressive achievement (and where I was pleasantly surprised) is just how comfortable this backpack is to carry. I took it for a 7 mi walk around town. The straps are thinner than the GR1’s but it sat nicely on my back (I removed the frame sheet). I would absolutely say it’s one of the most comfortable backpacks I’ve ever carried.

The cons? The Molle strap upfront is really only for a clip-on reflector or maybe bike lock —- I don’t think you’d be able to really attach molle pouches which is ultimately fine since this bag has so much space. The top handle is actually located on the back because of the roll-top design. It makes it a little awkward to hold. I’m not sure what the alternative would be but the side handles are much more comfortable to use.

All in all, a superb backpack with unparalleled flexibility built with the utmost attention to detail and quality. I look forward to traveling with the ATD1 —- if Laura doesn’t steal it from me first.

Note: I was sent this bag as a review unit. The Kickstarter Campaign will begin in late-August. Check out their website for more info.

Official Specs:

  • Fabric: 500d, PU coated Cordura® Fabric with DWR.
  • Lining: 390d, PU coated Nylon with DWR
  • Webbing: Mil-spec 1’ nylon webbing.
  • Zippers: YKK 10mm zipper.
  • Padding: 10mm, closed cell Evazote 50 foam.
  • Hardware: Made in Italy nylon hardware + ITW Nexus steel hooks
  • Measurements: 50-70cm x 30cm x 26cm – 19,7-27,5in x 12in x 10,2in
  • Volume: 20-55 L / 1220,5 – 3356,3 Cubic Inches
  • Weight: 1,5 kg – 3,3 lbs
  • Designed, developed and made in Italy

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