REVIEWED: Travelab Freedom Pack
With some useful security features, lots of storage room and some excellent side-pockets, this occasional daysack excels
The Freedom Pack is all about security. Its hidden compartments keeps thieves at bay by putting the main zip against your back, rather than facing out. That’s all great, but what the Freedom Pack does just as well is create the perfectly-sized occasional daysack that’s ideal for long trips.
OK, so you’ve arrived at the destination with a suitcase, and you need to nip down to the swimming pool in the hotel, walk over to a conference centre with your laptop, or go out for the day with an umbrella and coat. An occasional backpack is an essential accessory for any traveller, and the Freedom Pack cracks it.
The design is simple, but ingenious. It has a main compartment that’s accessible through a U-shaped zip at the top of the backpack, which faces your back as you wear it. That makes it very difficult to open unless you take it off. That’s a security feature number one. The second antitheft feature is a grab handle on the top of the bag, which is essentially a buckle that can be attached to anything, anywhere.
However safe it might seem, the real test of this backpack is in use. We took it on a short four-day trip to Spain, where we need to take a camera, coat, umbrella, and a bottle of water out on a few day trips. We discovered that this backpack’s real genius lays in its side pouches; the first one is elasticated, and can take a surprising amount of stuff. We used it to store a bottle of water, an umbrella, a scarf, and a hat, but it’s just as easy to store a pair of sandals. That makes it the ideal beach bag, more so because it’s waterproof.
The second side pocket on this backpack acts as a pouch, with the Freedom Pack literally folding-up into a drawstring bag. It’s really clever, especially since the drawstring stays usable when the bag is in use, essentially adding another compartment. A pocket on the lower part of the daysack, facing the wearer’s body, is a handy place to store valuables (though we’re not entirely convinced it should have a zip on both sides)
We do have one small criticism of the Freedom Pack; inside the main compartment, there is a tablet -sized pouch in the wall of the bag. We can see why it’s been designed this way, but everything we tried to insert into the bag got snagged on this pouch, which was slightly annoying, especially, when the bag was very full.
That aside, the Freedom Pack is by far the most functional occasional a pack that TravGear has so far come across.