I am a man who loves a backpack, if I had a quid for every time my mother said “not another backpack!” when I lived at home I would have been into the tens of pounds 15 years ago.
So when Jordan at BIGxTOP showed me some teaser photos of his Daysack prototype waaaaaaay before he released it he lit a fuse in me that teetered on the edge of ignition every day for months.
BIGxTOP started life as a fixed gear foot strap company, soon after came the hip pouch and phone pouch as expected. With the release of the Mini Messenger Jordan established himself as someone that the more discerning ‘urban cyclist’ should take very seriously. With his next project he could have tried to follow in the footsteps of Mission Workshop or YNOT and made a cycling backpack but instead he decided to produce something that wasn’t aimed directly at cyclists, and so the Daysack was born.
Like I mentioned in my Mission Workshop Rambler review, I like simplicity from a backpack, some people like a million pockets, a pen organiser, mesh pockets and God knows what else but I like something that is rock solid and you don’t get that from a ‘full featured’ bag, there’s too much to go wrong.
Jordan’s attention to detail and his uncompromising use of the finest materials for the job is admirable, the 1000 Denier Nylon outer shell, all webbing and the tarp lining on the Daysack is British made, the buckles and cord are made in the USA.
The Daysack has one large main compartment lined with white tarp, as well as providing an extra barrier against the elements the light colour will make your day so much better. You know when you can’t find something at the bottom of your black backpack? Say goodbye to those days! The liner is only fixed at the top so you can pull it out for cleaning if you need to.
A drawcord pulls the top shut and feels really nice to pull, it kinda makes the bag feel special for me, but then I’m a very special kinda guy. I’ve found myself pulling it tight, putting my litter on top before clipping the flap down, then when I get to a bin it’s easy to dispose of. I’m sure you can think of many other things to store in this area, a jacket for example.
A zippered deep pocket on the front of the bag is great to keep smaller items separate from your main load, I like to keep my Swiss Army Knife, suncream, batteries and shit like that in there. It’ll take an iPad though probably not one with a big rugged case on.
The top flap is what keeps the rain out, there are no exposed zips creating an entry point for water to seep in, the fit is snug and two buckles keep it locked down and in place.
On the rear is another zippered pocket, it’s great for stuff you need to access regularly, I keep some money, my keys, a pen and pencil etc in mine. The tarp lining keeps everything safe and again makes it easier to find what you’re looking for.
There is an open topped pocket on each side, they are wide and deep enough to hold a u-lock, I generally use mine to keep a bottle of water in though. The compression straps above them allow you to carry items longer than the bag such as a tripod or cardboard tube if you like sending doodles in the post.
The one thing that really struck me when the Daysack arrived in the post was the back weirdly. There’s something about the blocks of padding that really did it for me for some reason, the bag is extremely well constructed but for me this rear bit just made me thing “wow!“.
The sternum strap is super cool, instead of having the clasp in the middle it is at the left strap which is great. You can pull it tight and it’s really comfortable, no big chunk of plastic sticking right into your chest, it’s these little details which are the icing on the cake.
I had no doubts that the BIGxTOP Daysack would be a solid piece of kit and I was right to expect nothing but the best. Although a bit stiff at first it soon softened up and has become my day to day bag, I even went as far as to give my Mission Workshop Sanction away.
The Daysack isn’t the biggest backpack in the world, if you’re one of those people that like to carry everything they own every day of the week then this isn’t the backpack for you. It measures 55 x 28 x 17cm, it’ll hold a 15″ laptop comfortably but due to the rounded design it is more suited to smaller, less square objects I find.
The beauty of a truly well designed product is that it fits into your life seamlessly. This bag is designed to be used daily (hence the name) so whether you are riding to work, skating around town, going out with the wife and kids or spending a day in the pissing down rain traipsing through the woods you know that all your gear is going to be safe and that you don’t need to swap bags.
The BIGxTOP Daysack is made by Jordan down in Bournemouth, he’s a one man operation and a stickler for perfection. All bags are made to order, custom colours are available and it costs just £100, which for a backpack of this quality using these materials is an absolute steal. BUY ONE NOW!
Larger images can be found in the Facebook album, feel free to post any questions there and share with your friends.
Disclosure: I was sent this bag for review after nagging him every single day for about 3 months.