Whether you’re backpacking the length of the Appalachian Trail or exploring a foreign city, a good backpack is essential for getting the most out of your experience. But, the type of backpack you carry with you on those adventures are very different from one another. The characteristics that you look for in an urban travel pack don’t necessarily overlap with something you’d want to use in the backcountry, which is why it is important that you pick the right tool for the job.
Recently, I’ve been testing a new travel pack called the Huru, which just launched on Kickstarter yesterday. Like the array of backpacks that I use when trekking in far flung parts of the planet, the Huru was custom designed to meet the needs of a different kind of traveler, offering a array of excellent features that will come in handy both on a daily commute back home or when setting out on an urban adventure elsewhere.
Made from extremely durable Cordura fabrics, the Huru feels like it was built to survive just about anything. That fabric also happens to be highly water resistant, protecting the interior of the bag from the elements. It features rugged, easy-pull zippers and heavy-duty buckles on several of its belts and straps. This give the bag the look and feel of a very high quality product and it is safe to say that no one will be disappointed in its build quality. This is a pack that was built to last and it will likely see a lot of use before it ever begins to show any signs of wear and tear.
That said, if I do have one knock agains the Huru it’s that it is surprisingly heavy, even before you start to load it up with travel gear. Those same high quality fabrics, zippers, belts, straps, and buckles make it feel a bit bulky, even when it is completely empty. As durable and well-made as this pack is, it certainly wasn’t built for those who like to travel fast and light. That is less of concern when visiting urban environments, rather than the trail however. Still, it is important to point out that the bag is on the heavier side.
My concerns about the weight of the Huru aside, the bag does provide plenty of great features for the modern traveler. For instance, it is equipped with a dedicated laptop compartment capable of carrying up to a 15″notebook. It also has a document pocket for holding a tablet, e-reader, a book, and other items, as well as several hidden pockets for stashing valuables like a smartphone or passport. The designers of the pack have also integrated an insulated pocket designed to keep a water bottle cold or warm as needed. There is even an integrated rain hood that the wearer can pull up over their head to get some protection from precipitation as well. That last feature is a bit odd, but still effective.
The pack’s shoulder and chest straps, as well as its waist belt, are nicely padded, allowing it to carry a heavy load with ease. Both the chest strap and belt are removable, which does help to reduce the overall weight some. Better yet, the belt can actually serve as a waist bag (don’t call it a fanny pack!) or shoulder sling, that can be used completely independently of the rest of the backpack. This is nice when you want to leave the full bag behind when heading out for the day.
One of my favorite things about the Huru is how adaptable and versatile it is. This is shown in its ability to expand the capacity of its main compartment to meet the users needs at any time. In its standard form, that pocket holds 24 liters of gear. But, with a quick adjustment of a few straps, it can grow to hold up to 40 liters instead. This is why the bag is great for commuters, carrying a laptop. lunch, and workout gear during the week, and then shifting to hold everything a traveler needs for a weekend escape as well.
The Huru’s design is neat and clean, with smooth lines and an almost minimalistic approach. Everything about the pack has been well thought out, with eye on functionality as well as good looks. This gives the bag a classic look that seems like something that could have been designed three decades ago, or just last week. That timeless quality is a part of the pack’s charm as well.
The team behind the Huru are hoping to raise $15,000 on Kickstarter to get the bag into production. As of today, they are well on their way to reaching that goal, with more than a month of crowdfunding yet to go. If they are successful, the pack should go into production later this fall and begin shipping in December for $349. Early-bird supporters can preorder one now for as little as $249 however, making this high quality backpack a steal. Find out more on the Huru Kickstarter page.
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