I bought this bag for a discount during one of Black Rock Gear’s promotion sales, feeling kinda sheepish as I really didn’t need another backpack. However, this bag is an excellent travel pack, small enough to easily fit under an airline seat, thin enough so I don’t have to worry about whacking someone in a crowd as I turn around, yet voluminous enough to carry and organize all manner of travel stuff like chargers, cords, cameras, water, clothing….with the internal “molly strapping” system, I am able to stow my Panasonic G9 with any manner of lens up high in the pack, leaving the bottom of the pack free for other items. Instead of copying the info off the Black Rock Gear site, go here for the extensive feature list for the Urban Bug Out Bag.
I’ve had this bag going on two years and use it for any vacation time spent overseas. During a UK/Scotland jaunt last year, the pack was on my back every day for hours on end. As a testament to the water resistant qualities of the PU coated 420D ripstop material and waterproof zippers, I got drenched on the Isle of Iona (Scotland) which made short order of an eVent jacket; however, my camera and other contents in the pack stayed dry. I also find this bag comfortable even when loaded up with heavy electronic gear and a couple bottles of water as the straps are well padded and ergonomically well crafted.
A Peru trip this year saw this pack on my back all day every day, in town or hiking through various Inca sites or trails, taking some abuse in the process. I was able to easily stow it in my baggage for the 4 days we spent on the Inca Trail, then it was back on my back for the remainder of our time and our trip home. With 25L of space and weighing only 1.1 lbs, this pack is my go to for any foray involving airplane travel, city excursions, foreign day hiking etc. I especially like the ability to strap my camera in place higher in the pack along with its myriad pockets, zippers and organizational possibilities. As I approach retirement with extensive plans for future travel with my wife, I’ll most likely take just two bags….the Black Rock Gear Urban Bug Out Bag and a custom Zimmerbuilt Big Step, which I’ll cover in a future post.
Yes, this bag is expensive at $150. However, one should consider the excellent build quality including robust materials, the smart organizational layout with the ability to customize to your preferences with the molly strap system, the fairly light weight of the bag yet able to comfortably carry heavier loads, and the fact that this is a US made product (Seattle). IME it’s worth it.