The Mini Quick Pack by Topo Designs is an excellent choice for your daypack or overnight bag. This pack includes a few organizational features to ensure you stay prepared on the trail without weighing too much! Check out this review of our favorite mini quick bags.
Some waist packs attempt to blend in with their surroundings. The Topo Designs Mini Quick Pack is not one of them. Instead, this item screams its presence with bold, vivid colors and a playful design that we’re guessing originated in the Rocky Mountain West.
This waist pack has high-quality fabrics and a boxy design perfect for storing your necessities.
Is there anything more we can say? Yes, in fact. Yes, we have… That’s why we’ve dedicated a whole review to it. So let’s get started.
Aesthetics & Materials
If you’re acquainted with Pack Hacker, you’ll know that we’re big on dark, muted colors (take a look at our monochromatic Digital Nomad Packing List). On the other hand, the Mini Quick Pack’s colorful, joyful colors, we can’t get enough of them. We’ve been wearing the Clay/Turquoise colorway, but it’s also available in Silver/White, Black/Blue, and Black/Black.
This Mini Quick Pack is entertaining because of the over-the-top zippers, bright pulls, and general boxy form. (It needs an exclamation point since it’s so much fun.) However, even if this isn’t your style, you may appreciate what Topo Designs is attempting here (at least we can). The inside of the pack is likewise a bright neon yellow, which aids visibility and adds to the pack’s vibrant design.
Topo Designs describe it as the “cool little sister” of the standard Quick Pack, and it is small, with a 1L internal capacity. In our opinion, this is a big positive.
Regarding travel, we believe waist packs and sling bags are ideal when they’re tiny; when they’re too large, we find ourselves longing for a daypack. It also packs easily due to its compact size. This is not the kind of waist pack that will fit inside your vacation bag or luggage due to its boxy shape. It won’t, however, take up a lot of room.
It’s also great to have something to do when you’re stuck in traffic. Have quick access to all your travel necessities by slinging it over your waist or wearing it on your chest with a backpack (earplugs, snacks, notebook, etc.) It’ll also fit comfortably under the seat in front of you and, more than likely, in the seatback pocket (though your mileage may vary, some plane seat pockets are tiny).
This bag may be worn as a waist pack (the I’m-too-embarrassed-to-say-fanny-pack euphemism for a fanny pack) or slung over the shoulder (crossbody on your chest or back).
We’ve found that wearing this bag as a waist pack is the most comfortable, although it does seem significant on most bodies, covering almost the entire width of the hips. It has a better balance of style and comfort when worn across the back. However, we don’t believe wearing it this way is appropriate. The clasp may push against your chest, or the strap may scrape into your neck, both of which are uncomfortable.
When worn on the chest, it’s much worse. Its boxy form gives it an odd appearance and wears high, making it difficult to get into.
The Mini Quick Pack’s biggest flaw is that it isn’t very comfortable to wear. However, the more time you spend with it, the better you’ll become at adjusting the strap and bag to make it fit your body.
Aside from its comfort, this bag is very durable.
420D nylon pack cloth is used on the outside. Nylon is a popular synthetic fabric with a high strength-to-weight ratio (meaning it’s both strong and light). A 210D nylon pack cloth lining is also included.
There are certainly more durable fabric options with a denier of 420. But this is a waist pack, not a backpack, so nothing too rugged is required.
We’ve been hoping for some mesh on the back panel to reduce the sweat to a bare minimum. You’ll probably acquire the dreaded swamp if you wear it sling-style in hot and humid areas. However, it is less so than with a backpack.
Let’s have a look at the zippers now. You’ll discover absurdly huge #10 YKK reverses coil zippers on this pack. Zippers are rated from one (small) to ten (big) (large). As a result, these zippers are the most extensive available. Is it essential for this bundle to include that? These zippers, however, are part of the general cartoony design, as we stated before.
We’re not complaining since they’re easy to deal with and don’t jingle (which may be an issue with more oversized zippers).
The strong paracord zipper pulls are also significant. They’re simple to use and will most likely last a long time.
Last but not least, Woojin Plastic has provided us with a buckle. We’ve tried a number of Woojin buckles and have yet to encounter any issues—and we don’t anticipate any here. Although the buckle isn’t as big as the zippers, it’s still tough.
We particularly like the quick-adjust D-ring, which allows you to quickly relax the strap to swing the bag about and/or remove it. The D-ring is big enough that you don’t have to dig around with your hand to locate it—a minor but important element that makes this function easier to utilize.
Now we understand how much consideration has gone into the durability of this product. However, due to this, this pack weighs more than others. It’s still a hip pack, so it won’t be too heavy, but it’ll be noticeable.
Components from Outside
The Mini Quick Pack features a surprising number of exterior components for a 1L backpack.
Let’s start with the strap that looks like a seatbelt. This bag may be worn as a sling bag or a waist pack, as previously stated. While it isn’t the most comfortable crossbody, this is due to the positioning of the straps and the clasp rather than the strap itself.
The strap is quite basic, with no additional cushioning, which we don’t mind since it’s a tiny pack. It’s also broader than other waist pack straps, which contributes to the comfort factor.
You may also carry this bag by the top carry handles (we like to imagine we’re carrying a little, brightly colored briefcase). We like to carry it this way, but the strap dangles since it isn’t removable or stowable, making it seem clumsy. When you don’t want to put your backpack on the ground (*cough* airport restrooms *cough*), you can use the top carry handles to hang it on hooks.
There’s a tiny loop for attaching a bike light, but you could link anything here with a carabiner—a small water bottle, an accessories bag, another waist pack, anything your heart wants.
Finally, on the bottom, there are two compression straps. Although the bag does not flatten down much, they are adequate for compressing. They may also be used to transport other items if necessary (like a rain jacket if the forecast looks iffy). We’ve never used this function (if we needed more room than this pack could provide, we’d carry a backpack). However, if you need it, it is available.
The Waist Pack Inside
This backpack has two pockets. The front one has proven to be the least helpful. It doesn’t have a lot of space, so you’ll have to pack flat things if you don’t want anything to push against the fabric and appear heavy. Even a granola bar would be too deep to fit comfortably. Most smartphones will work as long as you don’t have a bulky case.
You’ll discover a key leash inside this pocket; however, your keys must be streamlined again to fit appropriately. The key clip is also made of plastic, which isn’t the most long-lasting material. We wouldn’t be shocked if it snapped at some point.
The main compartment is spacious and offers plenty of capacity. A hanging pocket against the back stores tiny things you don’t want to rummage for—headphones, pencils, and so on. We’ve used it to store our phone, but it’s not easy to get to if the rest of the compartment is whole, so if you’re often on your phone, this isn’t the best place to keep it.
This compartment also features cushioning and good construction, which is uncommon on waist packs. It will remain upright if you stand it up (as long as the bottom compression straps are out of the way).
This construction is excellent since it enables you to load this item strategically. For example, you may put your sunglasses on one side, your wallet in the middle, and your reusable straw on the other—and everything will remain there! Plus, since it stands upright, you can leave it next to you at a coffee shop and still have easy access to all of your belongings.
It is, however, still a MiniTheack. With the wallet, as mentioned earlier, sunglasses, and reusable straw—plus a pen or two, phois prettytty much it’s much complete.
Testing & Durability
For the last two weeks, we’ve been putting the Topo Designs Mini Quick Pack to the test in and around Detroit, Michigan. As we stated previously in our review, it hasn’t been the comfiest to wear. The ideal compromise between style and comfort is on the back, which puts you in greater danger of pickpocketing in busy places.
However, it receives excellent ratings for both style and durability.
In terms of durability, we haven’t encountered any problems. We typically criticize Topo Designs for its sloppy stitching on its logo tags, but the stitching on this one has been holding up remarkably nicely. We don’t anticipate this to be the case in the future.
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