The Incase EO is a new travel backpack with some exciting features. It has an ergonomic design, a good size for carry-on luggage, and more storage than other backpacks. The company’s proprietary fabric resists odor-causing bacteria, and the water resistance rating keeps your belongings safe from rain or snow while you’re on the go.
Incase’s designs are based on “protection and mobility to satisfy the increasing expectations of today’s creatives,” according to the company. Essentially, they want to ensure that your laptop is secure. They target creatives who use Apple devices in particular—but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
For the last month, we’ve been testing the Incase EO Travel Backpack in Detroit, Michigan, Atlanta, Georgia, and San Pedro, Belize. So, let’s get down to business.
Aesthetics & Materials
The Incase EO Travel Backpack is made chiefly of 900D polyester. A triple-coated TPU is used on the front. Because this material isn’t utilized around the bag, it may be more for aesthetics than extra weather protection.
We’ve noticed quite a few marks appear on the TPU, unsurprising. We’ve seen scuff marks like this on other bags made of the same material. So, if you acquire this bag, you’ll most likely have the same experience.
Suppose the material of your EO Travel Backpack becomes scuffed. A black-on-black Incase logo can be seen on the front of the bag and near the strap from a branding standpoint. On the edges of the zipper pulls, as well as where the belt joins to the bag, you’ll find small Incase leaves. We enjoy how this logo looks; thus, we don’t mind seeing it in other locations.
At the time of writing, the Incase EO Travel Backpack is available in a few different colors, each with somewhat other materials. We’ve been putting the Black (obviously) through its paces, including the materials we described before. The Heather Gray is constructed of eco-friendly 300D polyester, while the Navy is made entirely of polyester.
Suppose an EO Travel Backpack is required in Detroit. When this bag is compacted, it has a smooth appearance. However, the EO Travel Backpack has a boxy appearance when fully inflated. It may look large and sagging at first (later on), but it stands up very well on its own in terms of functionality. Especially if you properly pack it.
We like the Incase Eo Travel Backpack’s design—especially when compressed—but our Instagram followers are mixed. In terms of aesthetics, 51% of respondents awarded this bag a thumbs up. (If you want to participate in future polls, follow us on Instagram.)
We have sturdy YKK zippers with easy-to-grasp zipper pulls to round off the remainder of the remarkable materials on this bag. The compression straps, strap adjusters, and sternum straps include Duraflex plastic hardware.
Components on the Outside
The Incase EO Travel Backpack’s strap mechanism is straightforward. The shoulder straps are serviceable but nothing to write home about.
Shoulder Strap Padding for Incase EO Travel Backpack. The quantity of cushioning and density is relatively minimal compared to comparable travel bags. The strap also has a distinct edge that may cut into your chest and shoulders when fully laden with heavy gear. The pack might also be slack due to the lack of load lifters. The mesh behind the shoulder straps, on the other hand, offers a lot of ventilation.
With Duraflex hardware, the straps are simple to modify. Because the harness system is permanently linked to the backpack, you can’t hide the straps as quickly as possible with other packs. While we don’t have a problem with it, it may be a deal-breaker for you.
The sternum strap on this backpack is one of our favorites. It won’t go misplaced since it’s pretty much permanently connected. There’s also some elastic in the sternum strap to let it move with you when walking. We’ve discovered that straps with flexible are much more pleasant to wear than those without. There’s also a strap keeper to aid in the #DangleFreeExperience.
Suppose the EO Travel Backpack Buckle fails. Before we go any further, we have a strange nitpick about the buckles on the Incase EO Travel Backpack. The female side of the buckles functions as a sheath, concealing the strap on the other side. This provides the hooks a neat appearance, but if the belt is slightly slack, it prevents the clip from buckling. It’s hardly a deal-breaker, but these little design touches might significantly impact when you’re racing to catch a train or flight and need to get things done fast.
Another feature of the Incase EO Travel Backpack is that the whole harness system is secured with a #5 YKK zipper. We love YKK zippers; however, a No. 5 is a smidgeon in comparison to the #10 on the main container. The bag would be almost worthless if this #5 zipper broke—except for gripping it by the handles. We’re shocked Incase didn’t go with a #10 in this case.
On the subject of handles, this bag has two really great grab handles. One on the wearer’s right side and one at the top. They’re well-padded, have some mesh for ventilation, and are comfortable to hold. They are, however, a touch crinkly.
With these side handles, you’ll want to keep placement in mind. They’re fairly grabbable when the bag is crushed. However, when the bag is fully inflated, the handle moves to the front, resulting in a floppy, tilted carry. Especially if you’re carrying a lot of weight. Some bag producers get around this by angling the handles or putting it directly in the middle, but that’s not feasible with the compression zipper design In case selected for this bag. In the end, this will only result in a somewhat imbalanced carrying experience, which will be more noticeable when the bag is completely laden with heavy equipment.
Simply remove the compression zipper and relax all four compression straps to fully expand the EO Travel Backpack. The bag is very large and bulky by the time it reaches that stage. If the bag isn’t completely filled, you may use the compression straps to make it seem thinner. This provides you with a lot of customization options between 24L and 33L, which we love. No issue if 24L is too little but 33L is too large. Simply tighten the side compression straps and you’re ready to go.
To get access to the main clamshell, the compression straps must be unbuckled on the wearer’s right side. There are no buckles on the opposite side, strap adjusters. These compression straps may rapidly become dangly when the bag is ultimately squeezed. We wished they’d included elastic keepers like on the sternum strap, but alas.
Another small note: the EO Travel Backpack does not have an external water bottle section because it compresses.
Inside the Bundle
The Incase EO Travel Backpack provides a lot of organization on the interior. So let’s start with the feature you’re most likely looking forward to the laptop compartment (In case it does talk it up after all).
Laptop Compartment & Sleeve in the Incase EO Travel Backpack. Clamshell-style opening for the laptop compartment. TSA may allow you to lay it open flat and leave your computer in your luggage at a security screening. However, we’ve had mixed results getting past security-like, so your results may vary.
We like how well-padded the laptop sleeve is. It’s also lined with a plush, fur-like material that you could find yourself caressing for hours. (No? (Is it just us?) But really, it’s fantastic. The main flaw with this laptop sleeve is that it has a fake bottom, which means your laptop will not be suspended inside the compartment. So if you drop your luggage, there’s not much you can do to keep your computer from crashing to the ground, perhaps causing harm. The bottom of the bag has some cushioning, which might assist.
A liner sleeve is located opposite the laptop sleeve and may be used to store papers, a thin keyboard, or other flat objects.
Top Quick-Grab Pocket on the Incase EO Travel Backpack. A quick-grab pocket around the width of the handle is located at the top of the bag. The same wonderfully soft faux fur that lines the laptop sleeve is used to line this bag. Because this pocket is a touch on the narrow side—we had difficulties fitting a plus-sized iPhone in it—best it’s suited for sunglasses.
Front Quick-Grab Pocket on the Incase EO Travel Backpack. The front pocket of the EO is a better match if you want a more oversized quick-access pocket to dump the contents of your bags into while passing through airport security. Inside, there’s plenty of space, and we enjoy the yellow-green inside since it flicks on the lights and makes it simple to locate your belongings. We particularly like how the zipper is covered under a fabric welt, resulting in a sleek design that complements the backpack well.
Front Pocket Organization in the Incase EO Travel Backpack. The Incase EO Travel Backpack’s electronics section is fantastic. About halfway down the bag, the front zipper opens horseshoe-style. Two nylon divider pockets are located towards the bottom of the front flap. We believe the nylon pockets could be eliminated if you keep this bag relatively completely loaded—with the outer pocket, main pocket, and two levels of the organization, it simply becomes a little too much. We discovered that we didn’t use these lining pockets very much.
Two stretchable mesh pockets are located on the rear panel and are pretty helpful. In one, we stored an Apple Magic Keyboard in a neoprene sleeve, and in the other, a tech bag.
A battery bank, food, pens, pencils, styluses (styli? ), or a small notepad may all be stored in the liner divider pockets on this organizing panel. You should be able to keep taller objects, like a notebook, above these inner pockets since there is enough space above them. Depending on how you utilize these pockets, you may have room in this top section for another pouch (such as a toiletry bag).
Main Compartment of EO Travel Backpack Opening Clamshell. The main compartment of the EO Travel Backpack opens up like a suitcase. On the left side, a smaller mesh pocket is ideal for storing socks, underwear, a small Dopp kit, or anything else you don’t require rapid access to. A little sticker above it says, “Travel well.” And it’s a friendly little reminder for us.
If your EO Travel Backpack has a “Travel Well” tag, it’s a good idea to wear it. There’s a mesh pocket on the right side with a fluorescent yellow-green zipper that’s simple to locate and open. It resembles a clamshell suitcase in appearance. Inside, the vast area that opens up is excellent for packing cubes. If that’s your style, you could also fit many flowy items in here.
Inside the main compartment, there’s a distinctive gray and black design on the lining. Since the bag opens completely clamshell, this isn’t as much of a problem for visibility, but we’re interested in how it would have looked with the yellow-green lining in the front pocket.
We were lining for the main compartment of the Incase EO Travel Backpack. We packed one small and one medium Peak Design Packing Cube and a shoe case with some sandals inside and a Blunt Metro Umbrella for a vacation to Belize.
Remember that the primary compartment is the one that extends and contracts. As a result, when the expansion is entirely compressed and zipped, it shrinks dramatically.
If the main compartment of your EO travel backpack is packed, overall, it’s a great, straightforward main compartment. We enjoyed the flexibility of compressing this bag depending on what was inside.
Testing & Durability
We tested the Incase EO Travel Backpack in Michigan, Georgia, and Belize at the time of this review. We’ve been using it as a daily driver in Michigan to get our basics to and from work. We found it a little big for daily usage but not too huge to be inconvenient (if you keep it compressed to 24L).
Suppose Your EO Travel Backpack Ends Up In An Airplane’s Overhead Bin. The EO is also perfect as a one-bag travel pack. The intelligent pocket arrangements make it easy to keep track of everything. However, we found that several design features, such as the handle placement and the shoddy harness system, were inconvenient to use in transportation.
We’ve had a lot of fun testing this backpack for EDC and travel. So if you’re searching for a bag that can handle everything, this is a good option.
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