3 months on the road: TravelMore backpack review
As travelers, we’re always on the lookout for the perfect bag. It might not be perfect for everyone, but to find the “perfect for me” bag is like hitting the jackpot. Is the TravelMore Jetpack perfect for me? Find out in this review!
About the TravelMore Jetpack backpack
I backed the TravelMore Jetpack 20L on Kickstarter last year and took it on my 3 month trip through Australia and Asia. I was super excited to get this bag out there and try it out! I used this bag every day on that trip as my day bag, and it mostly held up pretty well.
This backpack by TravelMore is meant to be the perfect bag to carry everything you need for day-to-day activities. It’s capacity is 20 liters, which is enough for a small laptop, a water bottle, other electronics and charging cables, a book or two, etc.
It’s small enough to wear comfortably in most situations. I’ve used it in cities, on hikes, at the beach, and everywhere in between.
Where I’ve taken my TravelMore Jetpack in my travels
Going to a conference in autumnal Vienna, Austria
Backpacking around Asia
Most recently, took a hike up in the Hudson Valley to Kaaterskill Falls with this backpack. (That’s my sister in the photo.)
TravelMore Jetpack review
There are some things about it that I love, and some things that annoy me a little.
Things I like about the TravelMore backpack
Coming in at 12 ounces (340 grams), this is the lightest bag I’ve traveled with by far. The material is thin but not flimsy. This means there isn’t much structure or support to the bag, but if you pack your bag well enough it shouldn’t be a problem.
Although you can pack it into itself, I haven’t used it that way much. If you want to have this on hand as a spare bag, it’s nice that it can pack down to a super small and light bundle.
I think my favorite pocket is the zippered side pocket. I can get easy access to my keys and other random things I keep in there like pens, pencils, and a sunblock stick. I also love the huge kangaroo pocket in the front of the bag, which leads me to…
This bag was designed to also be comfortable to wear on your front. You can have easy access to whatever is in the kangaroo pouch. (I usually put snacks and sunglasses. It can also fit a disc if I squeeze it in.)
My main gripes
These are listed in the order of most to least annoying.
Uncomfortable when heavy
The bag doesn’t sit as well and isn’t as comfortable when it is super heavy. It might be my smaller frame, but still, I found it to be uncomfortable and hard on my back when the bag was heavy. This was especially true if I had to wear it heavy for longer periods of time, like when I was in transit during my trip.
Zipper can come undone on its own if both are left at the top with a slight gap and if the bag is heavy enough to pull on it. This is just a virtue of the zippers that they used. They are super easy to pull, and it’s great when I want to get into my bag quickly. If it is slightly open, you can just pull on either side of the bag and the zippers will give way. The downside is that this can happen when you don’t want it to. It’s something to be aware of when you are zipping up your bag. You’ll have to make sure the zips are flush next to each other and off to one side (not centered at the top of the bag).
Inner pocket sags
The inner pocket (which is where it packs itself into) gets saggy when it is heavy. Because the bag doesn’t have structure, this can make it annoying when you open the bag and the front flap immediately drops down from the weight. I do like that this pocket is zippered, so things won’t fall out. It’s not a deal breaker, but it does annoy me a little bit sometimes.
Inner coating deteriorates over time
The waterproof coating wears away after repeated heavy use. This started happening towards the end of the first month of my trip and continued through to the end. By the end of the 3rd month, it was nearly all gone in some parts. This doesn’t make the bag unusable, but you can’t depend on it in rainstorms to keep your things dry.
This bag is not absolutely perfect for me, but it is good enough for me to continue using it. I like that it is light and has useful compartments. It’s small and fits decently well on my short torso (I’m just under 5’3” or about 159 cm). I’m not sure I will use it as my main day bag on my next trip. I may go back to my Timbuk2 bag that I’ve had now for 4 years and love to pieces, but I might bring this as a spare bag just in case I need something extra.
If you like a bag with more structure, then this bag won’t be for you. The packability of this bag is one of the main benefits, and that can only be achieved without structure and padding.
Customer service and warranty was pretty good. I wrote to them to ask about the coating on the inside that was wearing away and they immediately shipped me a new bag. I didn’t necessarily need or want a whole new bag, but now my younger sister has a bag for her daily use.
Best travel daypack?
Overall, it’s a good bag. The compartments are well thought out and nothing seems superfluous. It comes down to what you are looking for in a day bag and how you plan to use it during your travels.
For this size and weight, this is a good option for a travel daypack. With the lifetime warranty it’s also pretty good value for money!
Thinking about getting a small backpack to travel with? What do you think of my review of the TravelMore bag?