When we traveled with our awesome carry on size wheelie bags and a small backpack we would often talk about how Pacsafe needed to make a larger backpack. One that was big enough to fit all of our electronics, clothes and other stuff but still small enough to be classed as carry on. Pacsafe read our minds and made a 45L backpack with built in eXomesh and ToughZip. Thank you Pacsafe!
Weighing in at 1.34kg, this backpack is quite lightweight but still has a lot of awesome features. Along with the eXomesh and ToughZip, there is a built in locking cable that is also slash proof that can be locked through a bed base or any other fixed object. Attach your own combination lock and away you go!
As with the large check-in wheeled suitcase we have been using, the backpack also has a flap that disguises the locking system. I have been able to hook my jacket up in there which was quite handy. The flap makes the bag very neat and tidy when closed up. It also serves to hide that you have a secure back and thus might be carrying something of value.
The Pacsafe Venturesafe 45L backpack is 56cm in height, 35.5cm in width and 23cm in depth when fully packed. This means that it qualifies as carry on with most airlines. The bag does have adjustable compression straps that you can use to make the bag smaller if you have really jammed it full of stuff. Thus far we have had no problems taking the bag on as cabin luggage.
One annoyance is the lack of a pocket suitable for holding a water bottle on the outside of the bag. This is a real pity and unfortunately a huge let down for us. In a perfect world we would also use this backpack as our day pack to be carried with us while exploring and that means carrying a bottle of water. Especially now with a breastfeeding child in tow water intake is very important. Adding a side pocket or some way to stick a water bottle to the side would be just perfect. For now we have to resort to digging a bottle out of the main pocket.
Inside the main pocket of the Pacsafe Venturesafe there are two sections. The main pocket opens like a book and includes a mesh pocket on the lid and compression straps. I can fit two very full cubes of clothes, a bit pile of diapers/nappies, a jacket, blanket, wipes… Lots of stuff and there was still some room.
We have also used this bag as an electronics bag. In this main section, we have been able to fit two laptops, a kindle, an iPad mini, our electronics bits bag. Again, we still had some space left for other stuff. There is a surprising amount of room in there.
The outside has a zippered pocket area that could fit a 15” laptop (in a pinch) and another two zippered pockets for other little things. This pocket would only work with a 15” laptop if the rest of the bag was not full to the brim.
The padded adjustable shoulder straps and waist belts are quite comfortable for me, the shorter member of the team. Unfortunately the distance between the waist strap and the shoulder straps cannot be moved so which limits its adjustability somewhat. If you are quite tall like Andrew you may not get a particularly great fit. While it would be handy for the 45L backpack to have an adjustable harness that would of course add more weight to the bag. And being a carry on sized bag it is understandably not designed to have huge amounts of heavy stuff jammed in there. If you are tall be wary of overloading this bag if you will be wearing the bag for longs periods if you want to be comfortable.
Both the shoulder and waist straps can be stowed away during transit which is nice. It all packs up very neat and tidy.
What do I really like about the Pacsafe Venturesafe 45L GII Travel Backpack?
- Looks. This is an attractive Pacsafe backpack but it does not look too flashy so you can blend into the crowd and avoid announcing that you have stuff worth stealing.
- The locking system is awesome. It seems a little fiddly at first but I feel like everything is safe inside. After you have used it a few times it becomes quite intuitive.
- eXomesh protection. Throughout the whole backpack you can feel the eXomesh between the fabric layers. This makes it harder for bad people to slice your bag open and take your stuff.
- ToughZip. Apparently with most bags you can open the zips with a pen. You cannot open this bag in this way. The zippers certainly feel extremely sturdy. Nice!
- Weight. For a secure backpack it only weighs 1.34kgs. That is extremely light for a bag with these sorts of built in security features.
What do I not like about the Pacsafe Venturesafe 45L GII Travel Backpack?
- No drink holder pocket. Please Pacsafe, add one of these in the next version!
- The backpack harness. Full adjustability would be nice but that of course increases weight. Hopefully Pacsafe can work their magic and come up with something clever in future. For now do not overload the bag if you are tall or sore shoulders may result.
- Cable lock length. The length is only about 50cm so it is not quite long enough for us to lock the backpack around the toilet. We have resorted to doing that in hotel rooms where there are no other fixed objects. The short cable removes that option potentially leaving you with nothing to lock the bag to.
All in all, this backpack is fantastic. We have taken it on as carry on luggage many times without issue, it looks good and we can fit heaps in it too. If you are wanting to optimize your carry on and you would very much like to keep your valuables, this is a great bag.
Even now that we have a child and have resorted resorted to checking bags we still use this bag. It lets us carry on all our really important "can't do without it" stuff to make sure nothing really vital gets lost should our checked bag be lost of delayed.
Whether you are traveling carry on only or just wanting a bag that offers a bit of extra security seriously consider the Pacsafe Venturesafe 45 liter.Click here to get the current price of the Pacsafe Venturesafe 45L GII Travel Backpack