This is a travel bag that can be used for both your daily commute and weekend adventures. The Pakt One 35L Duffel Bag has plenty of space to hold all your gear, but it’s also designed with style in mind. It comes in multiple colors, including black, blue, green, orange, purple, red, and yellow. Pakt One is a 35L duffel bag that is made for travel. It has many features, and the design is sleek and modern. Bento bags are also great for travel but tend to be more expensive than part one.
We notice when a business crowdfunds almost $2 million for a bag they say is “the only travel bag you’ll ever desire.” We were lucky enough to get our hands on it, so we can tell you whether it is as impressive as they claim. In the past two months, we’ve already put it to the test in the United States, Spain, and England, as well as many visits to the neighborhood coffee shop.
The Pakt One is a 35-liter clamshell duffel designed by Malcolm Frontier in cooperation with “The Minimalists” (Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus), lecturers, writers, and specialists. In… Minimalism. They set out to create the ideal travel bag, building on Malcolm Fontier’s Getaway pack, featured in the Netflix video “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things” in 2022.
Is this, however, the only travel bag you’ll ever need? Of course, we’re dubious, as we usually are, but let’s investigate.
Aesthetics & Materials
The Pakt One’s design shows that a lot of care and attention went into it, and the result is a great-looking bag, in our view. No one will mistake you for a tourist because of the professional design and duffel style, which we appreciate.
The Pakt One has no external branding, which is somewhat unsurprising given that “The Minimalists” had a hand in its design. So nothing. There isn’t even a teeny-tiny branding at the bottom. We like a business that doesn’t feel compelled to plaster its logo all over the place. The only branding on the bag is a beautiful and straightforward Pakt logo in the center.
When it comes to color, you have three choices: black, gray, and navy, all of which go well with the professional appearance. However, not all three hues are produced from the same materials. In our view, this was an unusual decision. In the case of the Pakt, you’ll need to do a little more than choose your favorite hue—and if you’re set on specific materials, you may have to settle for a color you don’t like!
The black pack is the toughest, with 420D nylon dobby and YKK RCPU water-resistant zippers, while the navy and gray boxes have coated polyester canvas and unbranded zips that aren’t water-resistant. So why not use the more durable materials for all three versions? During a Facebook live broadcast, Malcolm Frontier did offer some insight on the zipper choice, saying that they are hard to get YKK zips (which aren’t that much better anyhow!) In our durability and testing part, we’ll look at how the coated polyester canvas and unbranded zips performed.
The inner lining is another noticeable variation between the color choices. The blue pack has a cotton lining, while the gray and black groups have a nylon lining. Fortunately, in the same Facebook video we referenced earlier, Malcolm Frontier explained why they made this choice at Pakt, and it’s straightforward—they loved how the cotton felt and looked within the blue bag. That’s all right.
Components from Outside
On the exterior, the Pakt One features a surprising number of cool things. There are many exterior compartments and clever design elements, but let’s start with the shoulder strap, which is the essential part of any duffel bag. After all, you do bear the whole weight on one shoulder.
When not in use, the removable shoulder strap blends in with the Pakt One’s general design and folds into a tiny package. The strap’s metallic carabiner and the bag’s loop connection are both solid and durable components that allow for fast and simple attachment, even when you’re in a hurry. But how does it feel to wear the shoulder strap? It’s surprisingly comfy because of the ample cushioning, and it provides an excellent overall carry.
Unfortunately, if you overload this pack in terms of weight, the pressure on your shoulder will become too much to bear. Of course, no matter what bag you’re carrying, if you have a significant weight on your shoulders, you’ll notice it after a time. The problem is that you’re taking the whole weight of your backpack on one shoulder rather than distributing it over both, which means you’ll tire out considerably faster. Some individuals like the duffel style of transport, but keep this in mind if you intend on packing it with heavy things and carrying it for extended distances.
However, another method to carry this duffel is via its top handles. They’re sturdy, well-made, and shaped so that you can get a good hold on them. The lack of cushioning, though, is a minor gripe since they carry isn’t very comfy after a long.
On this bag, there are four tiny accessory loop attachments. “Clip water bottles or other travel goods to the outside of the backpack,” according to Pakt. We don’t think anything banging about on the exterior of a duffel bag is a good idea. If you have a water bottle that can be clipped to loops, or a carabiner connected to other travel goods that you wish to keep on the exterior of your bag, they will do. Otherwise, these items are likely to be discarded. We’ve never used them before, which is great since you don’t notice them anyhow.
On the bottom of the Pakt One, you’ll discover a leather-like material on each corner, which adds to the pack’s overall durability. Although this material resembles leather, it is really Polyurethane and performs just as well. Pakt chose this over leather because they are dedicated to creating animal-friendly goods, which we applaud. By the way, if you’re looking for additional information about animal-friendly travel, make sure to check out our vegan travel guide. Four studs are located on each corner to safeguard your luggage while it is lying on the floor. Because this is a duffel, you’ll most likely be lying it down a lot, thus the studs are a must-have.
We love a nice external pocket here at Pack Hacker. We were glad to see four exterior pockets on the Pakt One since it’s critical to have fast access to essential things like your passport while you’re on the road.
Two square pockets are situated next to each other on one side. We enjoy these pockets, and they’re the ones we use the most on our pack. The wonderful thing about these pockets—and why we use them so much—is that they will always have space for you, even if you load this bag to the max since they sit outside and are liter independent from the main compartment. A shiny key clip and some cardholder sleeves are also included on the left-hand side pocket—not items we use very frequently, but they’re nice to have.
Two additional pockets can be found on the other side of the pack, the first of which is a long sleeve-like compartment with a magnetic clasp. If you’re in a hurry, this sleeve is great for stuffing things in, but it’s not a place you want to store valuables or anything that may easily slip out in. We say this since, regardless of whether the bag was full or empty, the magnetic closure didn’t function very effectively, and we’ve discovered that it opens more frequently than not.
A large zippered pocket sits in front of the magnetic closing pocket—just a regular pocket, right? Not at all! This pocket contains one of Pakt’s party tricks: a patent-pending “TSA Pocket” for phones, passports, and wallets when passing through airport security. This is a fantastic pocket, and we like the fact that Pakt considered how people use travel bags and what additions could enhance the user’s experience. A red label may be seen at the bottom of the TSA pocket. This sticker “serves as a reminder to collect your laptop or anything else you need to send through the X-Ray separately,” according to Pakt.
Perhaps we’re missing something—does a red label represent this for you? Or is it just a marketing ploy? We’re on the side of the latter.
Inside the Bundle
Three holes can be found on top of the Pakt One. The left zip will open up to reveal the left compartment, the right zip will reveal the right compartment, and the center zip will drumroll please open up completely like a clamshell! The clamshell opening has long been a feature of many travel backpacks, but it’s still relatively new terrain for duffel bags. Pakt’s addition of this additional element to the duffel bag game is fantastic.
The fact that this pack can be opened like a suitcase is, in our view, its biggest selling point—and we’re pleased to inform you that it works flawlessly. Because of the clamshell shape, arranging your pack—and being able to fit as much as possible into it—is a simple and stress-free procedure.
But wouldn’t it become a little tiring after a time to have to open the clamshell all the way to get inside your pack? You can still put your hand in and take anything out thanks to the two extra zips on top—these separate compartment zips mean you can still stick your hand in and grab something out. We like how the Pakt One keeps its primary duffel function as a travel bag while still being able to be utilized as a daypack if necessary.
The bag’s two sides are almost similar. They’re both the same size, with two tiny mesh pockets on each side and a long zipped pocket for smaller things that might otherwise get lost within the larger container. The only difference between the two compartments is that one is covered by a mesh panel, while a nylon fabric panel covers the other.
“However, why?” We can hear you yell because the laptop compartment is likewise housed in this nylon panel!
Every decent travel bag, particularly the “perfect travel bag,” as Pakt claims, requires a laptop section, and they’ve given us a fantastic one here. The laptop compartment is conveniently located in the center of the bag, ensuring that the weight is spread evenly throughout the pack, greatly enhancing carry. The primary clamshell zip also provides fast access to the laptop, making it simple to pull it out at the airport. A 15-inch laptop will fit in the container, but it will be a tight fit. If you have a thick case or an extra sleeve on your computer, it will most likely not fit.
Testing and Durability
For the last two months, we’ve been using the Pakt One on travels to the United States, Spain, and the United Kingdom and regular visits to coffee shops and gyms. The Pakt One’s thoughtful design and practicality make it a delight to use, and we’ve enjoyed putting it through its paces. However, we have some serious reservations about the product’s longevity and build quality.
First and foremost, the stitching is poor in spots. Loose stitching and threads may be seen throughout the pack, which is unacceptable for a luxury product priced at the upper end of the market. We’re not sure what more to say about this except—please, Pakt, straighten this out!
The zips and coated polyester material our gray bag is composed of are our subsequent two durability and quality concerns. After just two months of usage, we’ve already seen abrasion marks on the coated polyester material, which isn’t a promising indication of things to come. Keep an eye on the use timeline below to see how things develop over time.
Moving on to the zips, they still function well for us, but since they are unbranded, we are unsure how long they will survive. We’re also always looking for any possible rain since these zips aren’t waterproof. Water will readily leak through the top zippers. It’s worth noting that the black version, which comes with 420D nylon dobby and water-resistant YKK zippers, will likely solve these two problems, but we’re looking at the gray version—and keep in mind that all three colors are priced the same.
This isn’t to say that the bag isn’t good. The truth is that everyone is unique, and use cases change from one individual to the next. Although it’s absurd to say that the Pakt One is “the only travel bag you’ll ever desire,” some people—perhaps you reading this right now—might find it the ideal bag for them.
We found the Pakt One a great-looking duffel-style choice for short city trips throughout our testing. Traveling through any airport will be a breeze thanks to unique features like the “TSA Pocket” and convenient exterior pockets. Surprisingly, we also found the Pakt One to be a decent daypack. This duffel is a reliable friend for every trip to the coffee shop, gym, or simply out and about in town, thanks to its carefully placed compartments and clever organization.
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