After more than half a year waiting, it's finally here. The EVERGOODS CPL24.
The CPL24 is an urban backpack that is slick, will look at home during the commute or on a meeting room. Its minimalist look is simply awesome.
I've been using it almost exclusively for 2 weeks and here are the first thoughts.
First the info:
- Volume: 24L
- Weight: 2.8lbs (1270g)
- Dimensions: 18 x 8 x 11.5in (46x20x28cm)
- Pocket layout works in vertical and horizontal positions
- Top and side carry handles
- Low profile right and left bladder ports
- Internal stretch pocket for folders or books
- Fully padded laptop compartment fits most 15" devices (double layered foam at bottom)
- Removable, adjustable sternum strap
- Key leash
Overall I like this pack. It's comfortable, it's weatherproof, and it doen't scream "tactical!". It's similar to the Arc'teryx Blade line of packs.
The bag is designed in a way that makes you work from the side of the pack. Both the front pocket and the laptop compartment open from the side. Like a briefcase. This is not a problem, but I'm used to working from the top, so there is a little bit of changing habits. After a week it was natural to flip the pack and open the zippers that way. However, there is a little something I want to point out here, not a problem, but something that can be improved.
Like I mentioned, I'm used to working from the top. I'm also used to setting the pack on its bottom, not its side. So, when I'm on a coffee place, at the office, on the train, the pack is resting on its bottom. When I need to open the front pocket, I do it from a standing position, not the side. Given how huge the pocket is, all the stuff gets crammed at the bottom of the pocket, and more often than not, as you open the pocket all the way in order to get to the stuff, things might fall out of the pocket. Maybe some dividers can work here, or a smaller pocket?
I like how structured the pack is. Even if it's almost empty, the pack retains its shape and doesn't collapse like a death thing. Really good. Though one thing I don't like is the extra fabric on the top corners. Unless the inside pocket is fully loaded, or the pack is full, the fabric tend to bunch-up and create a wrinkled mess.
The shape of the pack is also great. Narrow, so you can navigate a city or airport without issues, but wide enough to fit all your stuff.
Speaking of size. 24L for me is too big. I carry very little usually, and it's modular, given my work. Given how long and big the pack is, all my stuff gets pushed to the bottom, as I carry it. Not a biggie, but if you carry little, it's a big pack.
Having said this, I've travelled with the CPL24, 4 days business trip, and it's a great pack for travelling light. I packed my digital kit, and clothing for 4 days, and off I went. I think it's my new travelling pack. No extra straps hanging out, getting stuck on the metal detector band, easy as a carry on for planes, slick and easy on and off. Perfect.
The zippers are some of the smoothest and easiest to operate I've seen. Which is a big thing if you tend to work them one handed, as I often do.
Speaking of zippers. Having used GORUCK products for almost a decade, I've gotten used to their silent and easy to grab paracord zipper pulls. So, I just had to add them to this pack as well. The pulls that come with the CPL24 are great, but a little to noisy and big for me.
Here are the new pulls and some pictures during the installation.
The color used inside the pack is great! A muted light grey-green, it allows you to find things inside very fast. I've seen other brands put fluorescent colors, or just yellow. This one works and it's awesome.
Like I mentioned, I carry things in a modular way. I used a lot of pouches. The organzational pockets inside the pack are great. One little thing, the top pocket is too big for my liking. Just a personal thing.
Overall this is a great pack. Too big for my everyday needs, but great pack for travelling or for people that carry more.
UPDATE 3/20/18: Here's another review worth noting and reading.