Nearly a year and a half ago a friend sent me a link to a Kickstarter campaign for a product called the Nomatic Travel Bag. A bag that promised to be the ultimate travel bag, with pockets perfectly placed for easy access to everything you could possibly need. I was a bit skeptical at first due to my extreme loyalty to my expensive TUMI bags, but I wanted to try something different. I wanted a bag that could work as a duffel bag, yet have the ability to be carried as a backpack with ease, a bag that I haven’t seen up until this time. I quickly backed the campaign and the wait was on.
Once the bag arrived I was eager to test it out. I took it on a couple short trips and the bag worked great, but I needed to test it’s true ability. A test that would push it to it’s limits. I needed to give it the ultimate test.
The Ultimate Test
To do this I booked a 13 day trip to Southeast Asia. A trip that would take me to 4 different countries over the course of the trip. The catch was the only bag I could take was going to be this Nomatic Travel Bag. If it didn’t fit in the bag, it wasn’t going on the trip. Normally, I’d say this is the perfect bag for a weekend or a 3-5 day leisure trip, but a nearly 2 week long trip would really allow me to test the quality, feel, and ultimately my love or hate for the bag.
Packing the bag was quite simple, with numerous pockets throughout the bag it seemed quite easy to pack all the items I may need to get at a moments notice. There’s and lockable RFID Blocking pocket which I was able to store my passport in along with extra cash, small pockets for all my cords and cables, room for my external hard drive as well as multiple power banks that I was traveling with. It even has a pocket large enough for a set of shoes on one of the ends and a pocket on the other end large enough to store any additional small items that you may need quick access to throughout the trip. The interior of the bag is quite large and has a built in sleeve for up to a 15in MacBook Pro and a smaller sleeve that I use to store a journal.
The Vacuum Bag came in quite handy and seemed to be built specifically for this bag. With the ability to stuff all my boxer briefs, socks, multiple pairs of shorts, shirts, swim suits and work out clothes there was still plenty of room left over for the items I didn’t want to possibly wrinkle, like my button down shirts as well as a few other items. With packing complete and a little extra room to spare, it was time to get this trip started.
The Perfect Size
One of the benefits of the Nomatic Travel Bag is it’s size. According to the website it fits the international carry on size dimensions for most international carriers so there was no need to check a bag. Even with the bag being completely packed full, it still fit in all the carry on baggage bins without a problem and seemed to be the perfect fit for the overhead bins. Personally, I really enjoyed having the extra pocket on one of the ends so I could access all the small little items I may need without having to pull the bag out of the overhead storage in flight. With a total of 15 flights on 5 different airlines and planes of all different sizes from large to extremely small there was never a time that I needed to gate check the bag on any of the flights. To my surprise, I was even on a small prop jet for one flight and the bag fit perfectly overhead.
With there being so many different stops throughout my trip, many of my stays were only for a night so there was a lot of traveling from place to place. When the bag was fully loaded it was quite heavy, sitting at nearly 35 pounds so I could definitely feel the pressure it was putting on my shoulders even though the straps were nice and padded. Lucky for me, I decided to buy the waist strap that is sold as an accessory to the bag and is easy attachable and detachable. This was quite the life saver and took a large portion of the weight off my shoulders when traveling location to location. I did attempt to carry the bag as a duffel a couple times, but found the leather strap to be a bit weak and it was quite uncomfortable to carry in my hand. However, I’m guessing that if I was only packed for a weekend instead of a two week trip this would not be much of an issue.
Zippers of Perfection
Another feature that I loved about the bag was the lockable and waterproof zippers. The zipper to the main compartment of the bag has the ability to be locked as well as a couple of the other pockets including the RFID pocket. Especially when staying in hostels where I found myself leaving the bag sitting out in a shared area after check out, it was nice to have the security knowing my bag was locked and unable to be messed with.
Can I give an A+++?
Overall I was blown away by the quality of the product. As I said before, I was a bit skeptical in the beginning, but after this trip I am proud to stand behind the product and know that it will be the only bag I use on my international adventures going forward. Everything has a purpose and a reason for being included in the bag. The material is strong, durable and waterproof and the bag received quite a bit of attention from other travelers on the road!
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Do you have the bag already? Tell me what you think!