I’ve been satisfied with my main travel bag which I have had for three years now, but I have gone through a few day bags recently that haven’t been to my liking.
I have owned Eagle Creek products before and I like their branding so I was happy to try out one of their day bags as it would be a product I normally use.
I picked out the Afar Backpack, which looked like the most suitable style for my travel needs. I selected it online without having seeing it in a travel shop or from another traveller, so I was hoping the style and dimensions matched what I thought. The website had enough photos with close up imaging, so I was able to get a good idea of what I was ordering.
The bag is 34 litres, which is an ideal size for a day bag. Most of the time I just have my laptop and power cord, camera, a folder, and a water bottle (the above picture is what it looks like packed with those items). I like having that amount of capacity incase I want to use the bag for a long weekend trip, or for extra carryon space when I am flying (I usually check a bag).
There are three zipping compartments. The main compartment has most of the space and it includes an inner pocket for a laptop.
The front zip space has little pockets inside for pens and loose items, and another pocket on the inside lid.
The third zippable space is on the back of the backpack, accessible behind the shoulder straps. The product spec says it’s a section for a 17″ laptop, plus an electronics pocket. I guess if you are crazy enough to go travelling with a 17″ laptop then this is a useful sleeve, but for me I have found it more convenient to use the laptop section in the main compartment. This is the only part I don’t use.
The front of the backpack has a mesh pocket that covers most of the bag. I’ve found it useful for stuffing loose ends in, and looks like it would be a handy place to store an umbrella. The side mesh pockets are useful for water bottles as well.
As for the shoulder straps and back padding, it is easily the most comfortable day bag I have used. The straps never make my shoulders sore and the back padding is comfortable.
The bag has hip straps and another cross-strap halfway up the main straps. I don’t think these are necessary for a day bag and the straps just create clutter for me, so I will probably cut them off.
Apart from the compartment sizes and shoulder straps, the feature I look for with a bag is the zipper quality. I’ve had too many bags with cheap zippers that split. The zippers on this bag are sturdy and never get caught on fabric on the way round.
Overall this is a great day bag which I am satisfied to add to my recommended travel gear.