I was sent the ATD1 backpack a few weeks ago (PREVIOUS POST) and have now have had a chance to test it out.
In the great race of life, we generally don’t ask that much of our bags: just get our stuff to where we need when we need. But within this task, there’s a million miles of varying success —- organization, looks, comfort, etc… which simply makes BACKPACKS the king of bags. Messenger/purse/shoulder bags might be better for access but they’ll lopside you like a George Costanza wallet. Rolling bags are obviously great for your back but they don’t have a right to be outside the airport.
I’m continued to be impressed. It’s a well thought out, finely crafted bag that’s not too flashy. Design-wise, it’s closer to a Gregory or Mountainsmith than say a North Face or Mountain Hardware. It’s further away from the simpler work backpacks by InCase or Timbuk2.
One benefit of working from home is I’ve been trying to get away from my computer monitor more and walk to errands instead of jumping in the car. This has been my go to run around town bag and I can safely claim I’ve carried the ATD1 on my back for over 50 miles. It’s a big bag that doesn’t feel big.
Functionally, it’s like a rucksack — the bag makes a great dumpsack where I can just toss in anything from cartons of almond milk to reams of paper. The expandability adds a flexibility that lets me not have to walk around a store with a giant (suspicious) looking bag but load it out to the max before leaving.
Travel-wise is where I was really impressed. I went to my cousin’s wedding in Seattle and had to pack for a week including some formal wear. I was also shooting a photobooth for her. The cameras and lenses went into a Domke J2. The ATD1 took the computer, hard drives, flash triggers, and toiletries as well as some personal items like water bottle, snacks etc. Clothes and shoes went into the roll-y.
When I arrived at our vacation rental is when I realized the ATD1’s unexpected potential. After I unloaded all the equipment, I re-cinched down the bag and it was a great, not-too-big every day daypack. Now that’s flexibility. I can definitely see this in the future as a backpack for camera/computer gear and a roll-y for clothes and that being enough luggage for world-wide travel. Granted, I travel with more equipment than most. If you’re light, this can easily be your one bag travel goto.
After several weeks of use, the bag has held up great and I can’t seen any wear or lack of craftsmanship. The one drawback I’ve noticed is that the bag has little structure without the framesheet. I took it out for my trip to Seattle and the bag without my laptop in it didn’t hold shape under heavy load as well as I’d like. But the framesheet solves this issue.
The bag is being offered currently through a Kickstarter campaign. More information here: http://kck.st/2OYIZEn.