A good backpack makes a world of a difference and that`s why I have been scouting for the best backpacks that offer comfort, are big enough to carry all my gear, can take a beating for years and looks good. Enter RADPAK.
RADPAK by MountnGo is a spacious book-style backpack that was successfully backed in Kickstarter with 247 backers pledging $40,457 to bring this bad boy to life. Aimed for the adventurer and the outdoorsman but also suits well for the city folk and or the family traveler.
RADPAK Key Features
- Empty it weighs 2.89lbs (1.310882kg)
- 8.5″ x 14″ x 21″ (21.59mm x 35.56mm x 53.34mm)
- Volume: 39 liters
- Ballistic 900D nylon exterior with rip-stop stress points
- An integrated external USB connection
- Rainfly with a reversible design
- Honeycomb neoprene custom-molded backing
- Snowboard/skateboard carrying straps
- TSA carry-on compliant
- Fully customizable layout
- Handles on each side
- Water-resistant Zipper
The main thing that differentiates RADPAK from many others is its book-style opening. The main zipper runs in the middle of the bag so the backpack opens like a regular suitcase. Actually, since its TSA compliant and fits into most airline cabin baggage restrictions the RADPAK can be used as a regular suitcase. Since you can customize all the inserts in both the bottom half and in the top half you can also throw them all out and fill the bag with all your clothes and other everyday travel accessories instead of your photo or video gear.
It’s very apparent that the designers of the RADPAK have thought about every aspect of the bag and made it extremely versatile. It is VERY travel-friendly. It has handles on all sides: on the top like on most backpacks but also on both sides and, what`s most interesting on the bottom also. So you can grab your bag whichever way you need. The shoulder straps can also be tucked away in the back keeping the backpack snag-free when you need to put it on the luggage belt. You can pull on and secure the rain-cover- it has a three-point attachment to make sure the cover stays on. Great to protect your valuable gear from people with greedy intentions.
The Front has straps for the board freaks – attach your skateboard or snowboard to the backpack or your mom’s yoga mat if that’s your thing.
You have two mesh pockets on the side for water, granted, they only fit small bottles. To attach a tripod on the sides you can use the two straps.
RADPAK is definitely designed as a slightly larger backpack that is extremely universal and takes a step further from the basic gear bags that are mostly one large compartment with velcro walls like the Incase Action Camera Pro Pack (which is a fantastic backpack!) or the Tenba Solstice 20L Backpack. It`s somewhat in the same category as the Wandrd PRVKE that also works as a gear bag with the dedicated Camera Cube and as your everyday travel backpack. The RADPAK has more volume (39 liters) and with the unique book style opening, like a suitcase, offers a lot more.
There are three main sections to the bag: The biggest on the backside and two smaller ones in the front half of the bag. The main zipper, that’s rainproof, runs around the bag halving it in the middle. The zipper has a special cover keeping the zipper teeth protected from water. You can also put a lock on the main zipper if you hand over your bag to an airline.
Once you open the bag the two sides are closed by a transparent, blue mesh. This keeps everything in its place but allows you to see where everything is without needing to open the mesh cover.
The big back half can be fully customized with velcro walls. You can design the spacing to match your needs exactly and move the velcro walls around any time you need. The backside of the main compartment also has a large pouch (almost the size of the bag itself to fit your travel documents or a tablet. The back half fits shitloads of stuff and fits a DSLR with a semi-long lens (28-70mm with a big-ass lens hood) two more lenses, Gnarbox, LaCie hard drive, four LED lights, a pocket knife, an external flash, filters, batteries, a GoPro, GoPro accessory pouch, and a bunch of other items. If you clear out the separator walls you can fit clothes for a week at least.
The front half is divided into two compartments with a removable wall and both are covered with a separate mesh cover on the inside. You can add velcro dividers to organize your camera and lenses n there or use the top half for everyday clothes.
The lower compartment can also be accessed from the front without opening the RADPAK fully. Great for photographers who always need either side-access panels or front-access panels to get the gear. The lower compartment also features two pouches (one closed with a zipper) perfect for your wallet or your passport or smaller items like memory card holders, filters, or batteries. The pockets are inside the front-facing latch so they can be accessed easily from the front. No worries – the board straps, if clipped in, protect the front zipper from thieves accessing your stuff without you noticing it.
The top section is accessible if you fully open the backpack up and it gives you access to the integrated USB port. There is a small pocket for the power bank and a long-enough USB cable you can plug into the power bank. And as with the two other sections, you can customize the compartment with the velcro walls to fit your needs.
The RADPAK also fits your big or small laptops and tablets. The side zipper opens up the large laptop compartment that even fits a 15,6″ heavy Lenovo laptop + 13″ MacBook Pro + 10″ tablet. A soft divider keeps the devices from touching each other eliminating any danger of scraping your laptops. A velcro strap on the divider keeps your smaller laptop or a tablet from falling out accidentally.
Wait, there’s more…
RADPAK has more in its sleeve. There are two smaller pockets at the top – Perfect for sunglasses, wallets, phones, etc. All your smaller nicknacks can fit into the two pockets that are easily accessible.
The waist straps also have zipper pockets for keys, cash, or other small items you might want to keep handy. The waist straps themselves have medium padding and are fully adjustable. The excess strap can be folded between a bungee loop to keep them from fluttering around.
The shoulder straps are nice and soft and sit well in the middle and don’t slide off to your shoulders. You can clip the chest strap on to keep the load centered. Metal D-rings on both straps can be used to clip keys or other smaller items on you or even your dog leash. There is also access for a hydration pack hose on the shoulder strap for the hardcore adventurer who needs constant hydration or for those who are busy and need hands-free hydration 😉
Wait, there’s more… Something I have never seen on a backpack before – a hook, hidden inside the bag that can be flipped to the outside. Usually, if you need to hang your bag to something you use the top carry handle but the RADPAK has a better solution. There`s a metal hook inside the bag you can flip out. This can be super handy on outside shoots when you have no place to rest your backpack without getting it dirty and need to hang it on a branch or anywhere else. The carry handle might not be suitable so the small metal hook is a clever little addition that can save your day.
Ballistic 900D nylon
One key feature that separates the RADPAK from others is the materials used. The bag is made from a ballistic 900D nylon that was developed for military use.
Nylon 900D is already replacing the commonly used Nylon 600D for the military. Its impenetrable design stops moisture to keep gear protected at all times. And, 900D has been pressure tested to prevent tearing at 291 Newtons of force per square inch! That’s a lot of Newtons!https://www.mountngo.com/radpak
The material really feels great and on the paper will take any beating you can give it. Although not waterproof, the 900D nylon is definitely water-resistant and splashproof, so if you forget to pull on the rain cover your gear will still be dry as a bone in the rain.
All the details on the bag look top-quality. The stitchings, the zippers and the strap clips that look more premium than you usually see. The sides have very nice inside paddings to protect your stuff. Especially important considering this backpack can be used as your regular travel luggage. The bag-throwing groundcrew is still very existent in every airport, unfortunately.
RADPAK – CONCLUSION
There is a lot to love about the RADPAK. The military-grade materials, the generous size that fits shitloads of stuff, the suitcaselike design, etc.
It ticks all boxes for me and the cherry on top is the fact that its TSA compliant and fits the strict cabin baggage limitations.
Wirth the Price of $144 its also relatively cheap considering the quality and the value you get from it. Tho thumbs up and maximum scores for the RADPAK!
If you want a bag that you can use for daily errands, for your photo or video shoots or just for traveling as a replacement for your regular drag-behind suitcase this is a no-brainer. RADPAK is amazing!