As a high-end backpack, the Tropicfeel was built to last and support business and leisure travelers. It’s waterproof, has plenty of pockets for keeping tech safe, and is designed with an ergonomic spine that makes carrying as easy as possible.

Some of the most well-prepared folks you’ll encounter are long-distance travelers. If you politely ask them to unzip their bag, you can guarantee they’ve prepared a 10-page dissertation on what’s going on inside, memorized and ready to give.

Tropicfeel’s Shell Backpack aims to spare folks who are just growing out of their essential backpack the effort of doing extensive research and customization. Plus, nothing is more off-putting than investing in items that don’t function well together.

Tropicfeel introduced the Shell Bag, which boasts many functions and promises to be the last backpack you’ll ever need. Let’s get started. There are many things to cover here, so let’s get started.

Aesthetics & Materials

The Shell Backpack, according to Tropicfeel, is the only backpack you’ll ever need. With that in mind, if you’re staring at it for the rest of your life, you’ll want it to be pleasing to the sight. Therefore, you’ll need to consider two circumstances where you may see yourself utilizing this purse.

Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | Three capacity modes for the proper occasionThe Shell Backpack appears very similar to a traditional school knapsack in compressed form due to the twin front clips used to lock the top flap. In addition, there are three colors to pick from when writing: red, olive green, and black.

Whatever color you choose, the water-resistant polyester’s slight shine may hint at the bag’s outside heritage. Otherwise, there’s no way to tell whether this isn’t simply another urban-focused bag with a retro vibe.

By the way, the polyester is 60 percent recycled, and 100 percent recycled nylon. We give Tropicfeel a thumbs up for their efforts to utilize recycled materials, as we usually do when businesses do their lot to help the environment.

The following situation is in the wardrobe system’s last two forms—normal and enlarged. Then, the Shell Backpack begins flexing its muscles and demonstrating its capabilities. The bag transforms from a simple backpack to a full-fledged, squared-off, neatly packed travel bag. The Shell Backpack takes on a more utilitarian appearance in this configuration. It’s like putting armored plating on a tank ready to embark on an adventure when you put one of those magnetic Fidlock pouches on.

The Woojin buckles and YKK zippers on the Shell backpack are well-known and should withstand wear and tear. During the two-week test, we had no problems with clipping and unclipping, and we had no issues with any of the zippers.

Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | The grey-on-black logo is hardly noticeableTropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | The logo is hardly visible because of the grey-on-black color scheme. However, Tropicfeel has a new logo that it wishes to display via the removable front pouch accessories. The former Tropicfeel text-based logo is still there on the front flap if you don’t or won’t utilize one of them.

Components from Outside

Left: Lauren Hom, Height, 5’3” (160 cm), Torso: 17” (43 cm) | Right: Mark Hurrish, Height, 5’10” (178 cm), Torso: 19” (48 cm)When looking at the Shell Backpack from the outside, your attention will be attracted to the four odd spots on the front. These are magnetic attachment hooks for the two optional tech and Dopp kit pouches from Fidlock. Because they are Fidlock devices, they’re a little more sophisticated than primary magnets.

When the four mounting points are aligned, both pouches magnetically connect. So they’re pretty secure once they’re in place. We put this to the test by filling a Shell Backpack with items and carrying it by the front pouch. It didn’t detach, and none of the four points broke either.

Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | The magnetic Fidlock looks complicated, but it's super easy to do and undoTropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | The magnetic Fidlock seems sophisticated, yet it’s pretty simple to put together and take apart. Don’t worry; you’re not supposed to use the Shell Backpack like this. Three handles are supplied for convenience: one on top and two on each side. These are pretty unremarkable handles since they are just polyester straps folded in to provide thickness. Nevertheless, they accomplish the job well, allowing you to move the pack about in your trunk without gripping the cloth.

Big pockets on the sides are large enough to store 20-ounce water bottles or extremely thick folding umbrellas. They’re sealed and stitched with high flexibility around the bottom, so you may use them to keep wasted food wrappers when there’s no trash bin in sight. We like to live by the mantra “Leave nothing but footprints.”

A kangaroo pocket is concealed under the bag by a zipped compartment. Unfortunately, there are no joeys inside, but you may use them as a separate container for whatever you want to keep separate. Muddy shoes, soiled shirts, and stinky socks may all be stuffed into the kangaroo pocket, leaving your neat things intact. Straps keep it in place, and g-hooks keep it in place.

The elastic area of the straps underneath the kangaroo pouch may be used to attach a small tripod or anything else that is relatively light and thin. We don’t advocate using it for anything particularly precious since it will be held by elastic.

Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | The kangaroo pouch can keep dirty shoes away—though no joeys are involved Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | Though no joeys are involved, the kangaroo pouch can keep dirty shoes away. We wouldn’t advocate utilizing this while checking in at the airport since the g-hooks might be shaken away at any moment throughout transportation. Furthermore, the bag does not shut around the sides, relying instead on the straps to keep it flat against the bottom.

Because you can stuff the Shell Backpack to the brim with clothes and supplies, you’d expect an excellent system of harnesses, straps, and padding to handle the weight. There are both great hits and lost chances in our testing.

Our first impressions were positive, as we discovered enough foam cushioning on the back panel, as well as a complementary air channel that kept our backs calm. On the other hand, the shoulder straps might need a little extra foam cushioning, particularly if you expect to utilize the whole 40-liter capacity. There’s a sternum strap that can be adjusted up and down along five mounting places with chest strap attachments. A hip belt is concealed inside a secret pocket and ingeniously cushioned at the bases to avoid chafing your hips farther down. There’s also an elastic hold-down strap to keep the shoulder straps in place when you don’t need most of them floating about. The Shell Backpack has enough straps to earn it a membership card in the travel bag club.

Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | It's a capable harness system to cope with the pack's versatilityTropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | The pack’s adaptability requires an intelligent harness system. Even with a completely loaded wardrobe, the Shell Backpack seemed manageable because of its sturdy design of straps and harnesses. Because practically all of the straps can be adjusted to a large degree, neither the big-torsoed nor the small-torsoed among us had any trouble carrying the pack on our backs comfortably.

When we removed the wardrobe module and switched the Shell Backpack to daypack mode, however, we couldn’t say the same. The weight of the stuff within the pack rattles about loosely inside what is essentially a rucksack after it is empty. Using side compression straps to hold things tight in travel backpacks frequently alleviates this difficulty. Side compression straps would be an excellent addition for comfort, given the flexibility Tropicfeel is attempting to accomplish here.

The Inside of the Pack

The Shell Backpack seems to have just one pocket, the one on the flap, at first look. One, however, is hidden at the front, just below the magnetic Fidlock mounting points. It’s also simply a basic pocket, similar to the flap pocket. Because it is sandwiched between the main pack and one of the accessory pockets, things with a flat form, such as a field notepad or journal, are best. Since the zipper is fully concealed, you may be sure that no pickpocket will ever get their hands on your top-secret, hush-hush notes.

Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | The shrouded front pocket is a nice security featureTropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | A wonderful security feature is the veiled front pocket. Another concealed pocket is located just beneath the lower left hip region, where you may store your identity documents, plane tickets, wallet, or embarrassing vacation photographs for increased privacy.

Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | A security pocket to protect your important travel documentsA secure pocket protects your vital travel papers in the Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack. Returning to those magnetic Fidlocks, there are two pouches available for them right now: a Dopp kit and a tech bag. The tech pouch is thinner than the other, but they both have the same rectangular form. The bad news is that there are no inside dividers or compartments, which is owing to a shortage of them. There are elastic hooks for cords within the tech pouch, but that’s all. Of course, you are free to fill the remaining space with anything you choose. A separator or two interior pockets, on the other hand, may have made this much better.

In an amusing twist, we discovered that the Dopp kit, with its greater number of compartments and internal structure, maybe a better tech pouch than the real tech pouch. This clamshell-style purse has a complete zipper compartment on one side for shampoo, liquid soap, and other possibly spillable items, thus the water-resistant fabric. Two liner pockets on the opposite side may be filled with goods you need to grab quickly during a shower. In case you need it, there’s an additional zipper pocket underneath those two. Using the built-in hook, the whole bag may be hung behind doors or shower curtain bars.

Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | The roster of accessories: a camera cube, a dopp kit, and a tech pouchTropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | A camera cube, a Dopp kit, and a tech pouch are among the included extras. For photographers polishing their travel camera equipment, there’s also an intriguing camera cube attachment available. Four velcro-padded separators are included, which you may modify or remove as required. Our mirrorless camera body and lens, as well as a few other accessories, fit well here. Under the lid, there are elastic loops and a velcro-ed pocket. However, there is a zipper pouch on the exterior for fast and simple storage of lens covers, batteries, and hot-swap memory cards. Aside from the top handle, a sling strap is included as an added bonus. Even while inside the pack, the cube is nicely cushioned and simple to open. If you reach the top lid via the top flap, it opens with zippers.

It’s time to move on to the main pack. Inside, you’ll discover a floating laptop sleeve with a velcro-ed flap that can accommodate everything from ultrabooks to medium 17-inch gaming laptops. Two mesh pockets for cable accessories, mice, a portable small keyboard, and other computer devices are located on top of this. However, you’ll want to keep heavy stuff out of those pockets since the next component we’ll look at is where the real meat of the Shell Backpack resides.

Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | Your tech is well-cared for with ample organizationThe Shell Wardrobe System is the show’s main attraction. We’re willing to guess that here is where half of the Shell Backpack’s R&D was spent. Simply said, this wardrobe system is meant to be your whole on-the-go closet divided into three sections.

The bottom portion, for example, is partitioned into 10 friction-free sections. Two huge slots in the center are bordered on each side by three smaller slots, with two additional vertical slots on the extreme extremities. You may experiment with which pieces of clothes go in various slots, but the recommended way is to wrap t-shirts into short rolls and place them in the appropriate-sized hole.

The central area has been entirely hollowed out, and it’s up to you to figure out how to make the most of it. Because of their heavier fabric, pants are the most practical choice for this region.

Finally, delicates and socks are stored on the top shelf. The portion is split into two primary sections, but only until the mesh front cover is reached.

Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | The wardrobe can hang out wherever you doTropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | Your closet can accompany you wherever you go. It’s time to compress your mini-tower of garments once you’ve completely filled it with days’ worth of clothing so that it fits inside the pack without a hitch. This is done with the use of adjustable straps that run down the side of the closet. It’s advisable to tighten each side one at a time since we discovered that if the contents are squeezed carelessly on one side, the contents would bulge and/or flow out. It’s worth the work, however, since if done right, this may save you a lot of space.

It’s worth noting at this point that, although you can theoretically fit a fully loaded wardrobe and the camera cube in the maximum capacity form, we don’t encourage it. It’s not ideal to have the camera cube on top with no support on the sides, nor is it optimal to have it squeezed below the closet.

Like the Dopp kit, the wardrobe may be conveniently hung on any horizontal bar in a hotel room or at your campsite. Every item of clothes you’ve packed is ready to travel after it’s been turned and uncompressed. This almost removes the burden of unpacking, allowing you to spend more time doing things instead of assessing whether or not the hotel closet is trustworthy.

Tropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | The wardrobe system keeps things organized in and out of the packTropicfeel Shell Travel Backpack | The wardrobe system keeps everything organized in and out of the bag. That was a lot to take in, demonstrating what Tropicfeel was aiming for. In a word, the Shell Backpack is an all-in-one solution for people who are just getting their feet wet in travel.

There’s still space for improvement, particularly in preparation for the inevitable version 2, and we’ve got some suggestions. The first are side compression straps, which might make a significant difference in the daypack mode in weight management and maintaining a low profile. The next step could be a better tech pouch with more than just elastic loops. Finally, the same magnetic Fidlock layout is retained. Cross-compatibility between the present Shell Backpack’s bags and the next would be a massive help in terms of sustainability, which is something Tropicfeel is passionate about.

This is unlikely to appeal to folks with more outstanding experts who have built their packing techniques and habits. Moreover, it’s a fully integrated solution that might obstruct or conflict with what you already use. If you bring your packing cubes, for example, you’ll probably only be able to utilize one and will have to forego the provided camera cube.

However, if you’re just getting started, you’ll find a lot to appreciate here. The wardrobe system makes the process of packing and unpacking a lot less stressful. In addition, since the pack has such an extensive range of customizable capacity, the 22L model allows it to be used as a daypack. As a result, it’s a fantastic one-stop shop for individuals looking to get their feet wet in the world of travel goods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are shell backpacks suitable?

A: Shell backpacks are not popular because they can’t hold as much as other types of gear. They’re also known to be less durable than different backpack styles, which is why it’s advised that you avoid them if possible.

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