This is a review of the YETI Crossroads 22L backpack. This is one of my favorite backpacks and is perfect for those who are going on long hikes, camping, or kayaking with friends.

This 22L backpack is the smallest of the three packs in YETI’s Crossroads series and is intended to be worn daily. You’ve got enough internal storage to carry you through a day or two of activities, whether you’re commuting across town or going to the park for an afternoon picnic with lots of wine and cheese (which we strongly suggest). However, if you’re carrying too much stuff for too long, the straps may get uncomfortable, and the Flip-Top Vault compartment takes some getting used to.

If you have a location to unload goods as required (a friend’s home, a hotel room, etc. ), this backpack is excellent, but some of its characteristics may make it difficult to get through the day with more stuff.

YETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | Walking In DetroitYETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | Taking a stroll around Detroit with the backpack. You may be thinking about the YETI Crossroads Backpack 23 if you remember the Crossroads name—other than the 2002 blockbuster movie starring Britney Spears and Zoe Saldana, of course. Though it’s the same size as the most recent version, it features a few significant changes, including more comfortable straps, lots of internal organization, and a complete clamshell opening. Because of these differences, it isn’t easy to compare the two, but they both work well as a daypack, depending on your requirements.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Crossroads 22L Backpack’s performance throughout our two weeks of testing.

Aesthetics & Materials

The backpack’s durability was the first thing that caught our notice, and it ended up being the pack’s central selling point. YETI is renowned for producing very durable coolers, so it’s only logical that they would incorporate this technology into a backpack intended to accompany you wherever you go.

The Crossroads collection was created for people who were “seeking sturdy goods that suited their requirements both in active activities and in their everyday lives,” according to YETI president and CEO Matt Reintjes. This is the sort of backpack you grab when you want to spend the day exploring without worrying about whether the bag can withstand bad weather or difficult terrain, as 74 percent of our Instagram followers agreed.

Water easily beads off the material on contact, and any grossness comes off with a rag or paper towel. It’s made of weather and stain-resistant TuffskinTM Nylon—a durable material you might recognize from some of their coolers—so water easily beads off the material on contact and any grossness comes off with a rag or paper towel. With a few swipes of the finger, we could even remove some more puzzling stains without using any water. Furthermore, the GroundControl PU foundation is strong and durable, giving us confidence that the backpack will emerge unscathed from almost any scenario.

The YKK zippers and Duraflex buckles are as durable as they come, giving you peace of mind on your journey.

YETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | Backpack ZippersThe Tuffskin NylonTM, YKK zippers, and Duraflex buckles on the YETI Crossroads 22L Backpack are ready for anything. The number of colorways available didn’t blow us away, but the discreet branding was a pleasant touch that contributed to the sleek, modern appearance. The front panel has a patch, while the rear panel (which also serves as a baggage pass-through) has modest indenting. Both are visible without being garish.

The bag maintains its rounded, structured form regardless of the size or shape of the things within, whether it’s filled to the brim or still has space for more cheese (really, take this thing on a picnic). But watch out: if it’s not bottom-heavy enough, it’ll topple the moment you put it down.

Components from Outside

YETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | Male & Female Fit PhotosThe straps are gently foamed, but after we had the pack on for a prolonged length of time, we were dissatisfied with the comfort levels. The cloth is firm at the strap seams, which was a bit too harsh for some of the Pack Hacker staff with narrow shoulders. You can always use the sternum strap to relieve part of the weight, and there are lots of connection points to adapt it to any height, but it simply moved the discomfort from the shoulders to the neck for people with narrow shoulders.

It also lacks breathability, so if it’s filled to the full, this isn’t the sort of backpack you want to be trapped with for kilometers of walking. It might need some load lifters or a hip belt, but a daypack this tiny shouldn’t require that much additional support simply to be comfortable.

YETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | Backpack Shoulder StrapsBackpack | YETI Crossroads 22L | These shoulder straps are attractive, but they are uncomfortable. On the exterior of the bag, there are four handles: one at the top for fast grabs, one slightly above the base for additional support with heavier loads, and one on each side to keep the bag stable when accessing the zipped “SideHustle” side pockets.

Despite the fact that all four handles were helpful, we discovered that they readily retained water. The water-resistant shell and YKK zippers will keep the interior of the pack dry if you get caught in the rain, but you’ll be stuck grasping at wet handles for a few hours until they dry out. So, if you’re going to use those handles to gain a better grip on the bag, expect your hands to feel a bit damp.

YETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | Side PocketYETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | The compression straps are about to start a battle. The compression straps assist keep everything in place if you wind up using all 22 liters, but we felt that they were more of a hindrance than anything else. They hide a part of the top and bottom side zippers, making reaching either pocket more difficult than it has to be. They’re also difficult to adjust once they’re on, so we didn’t bother with them at all.

The horseshoe clasp distinguishes this pack from the others in the Crossroads series, which brings us to our love-hate connection with how you access the main compartment.

The Inside of the Pack

A pretty big zipped compartment on the exterior of the pack contains things you want fast access to, such as your wallet, keys, identification, chapstick you get the idea. The zipper is concealed but not difficult to find; nevertheless, it may be difficult to see what’s inside if you unzip it from the outside in low light.

If you become irritated after digging around in there for too long (as we did more than once), open the horseshoe top, turn that whole flap over on itself, and bam! There’s also the Flip-Top Vault pocket, which has still another zipper for access. This zip is considerably longer and opens much wider, providing you a greater view of what’s within. YETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | Getting accustomed to opening the Flip-Top Vault compartment takes some practice.

The major drawback is that you must open the Flip-Top every time you want a closer look inside the pocket, which negates the point of having a quick-grab pocket in the first place. The second major drawback is that if you fail to zip up one side before switching to the other, all of your tiny things will fall out into the ground or into the main pocket. That is, without a doubt, a significant problem.

We also discovered that the pocket became very heavy after a while, so if you prefer to have a lot of things on hand, the bag will lose a lot of stability and it will be more challenging to locate what you’re searching for on the move. On the positive side, we were able to pack the main compartment fairly full and still shut the top, so you’ll have some breathing space.

There’s another inside zipped pocket, but it isn’t easy to get to unless you fully unzip the top or wriggle your hands beneath the bag of the Flip-Top Vault. We utilized this for things we didn’t need very frequently, like dental floss, eye drops, or a pen, since it’s approximately 6 inches deep. We were pleased to have it, but we wished it could be accessed without having to deal with the Flip-Top.

YETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | Inside Top PocketYETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | This pocket is a little tricky to get to at times, but it’s a great feature. Last but not least, we’d like to discuss the zippered side pockets we discussed before. On each side, there’s one that serves a distinct function. If you have trouble keeping them straight, like we did throughout our testing, you may use a keychain or a piece of paracord to serve as a simple reminder.

When the pack is on your back, the right side zipper provides fast access to the water bottle pocket, while the left side zipper provides access to the whole central area. We found that having access to the main compartment was helpful for quickly stashing or retrieving things, and it also came in handy if we wanted to decrease the weight in the Flip-Top Vault pocket without losing those items in the bag’s deep, dark recesses.

YETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | Main CompartmentYETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | Take five sips of water if you’re reading this. We were able to put a 40oz bottle in the water bottle pocket with ease, however it’s difficult to pull any bottle out of the side zippers with the compression straps on. The purse is made of a flexible, waterproof material that expands into the rest of the pack for easy top-loading. Because there’s no enclosure to keep spilled drink out of the main compartment, be cautious if you turn the bag sideways to retrieve your bottle from the quick-grab pocket without realizing there’s a leak.

The laptop sleeve runs down the rear of the backpack and features a suspended design that protects your electronics if you drop the bag or put it down too forcefully. The main sleeve holds up to 15″ computers comfortably, while the smaller sleeve is ideal for a tablet, notebook, or wireless keyboard. Both pockets are stretchy, allowing you to accommodate awkward or bulky things if needed quickly.

YETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | Laptop CompartmentYETI Crossroads 22L Backpack | Store your laptop and a hidden notepad in this backpack. Internal storage comes to a close at this point. The primary compartment is open to anything you choose to put in it, which worked out better for us than against us. Sure, an additional pocket or two would be great, but we’d like to see them on the exterior rather than the inside.

The YETI Crossroads Packing Cubes are intended to fit inside the Crossroads series if you’re seeking for additional organization. They suggest the medium and small for this 22L backpack. However, if it wasn’t too packed, we could fit the big in there as well.

YETI worked hard to develop a flexible design that is nevertheless practical since this is a daypack intended for a range of applications rather than a handful of particular hobbies. Unfortunately, most of the features appeared to conflict with one another, resulting in a clumsy and unpleasant bag that didn’t match the dependability of its tough shell. WNevertheless, welike the Crossroads Backpack 23 in terms of overall usefulness and construction. This updated model, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts who need greater carrying capacity and stability than a lightweight backpack can offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Yeti backpacks worth it?

A: They are not worth it because they have no unique features that make them a good purchase.

Is a 22L backpack big?

A: Yes. The 22L backpack is one of the most oversized backpacks on the market, and it contains a lot of space for your possessions. It can fit both laptops as well as skateboards or other instruments you are carrying with ease.

Related Tags

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