Gear Closet: Pacsafe Vibe 25L Econyl Backpack Review

Frequent travelers know the value of having a compact, well-built, and spacious backpack to take with them on their adventures. In fact, when we find the right pack, we’re often reluctant to give it up, even as new models with improved designs are released. That is likely to be the case with the new Vibe 25L Econyl bag from Pacsafe, which is not only built with travelers in mind, it also happens to be good for the environment too.

To be clear, the Vibe 25L Econyl is not a completely new backpack, but is instead built on the same design as an existing model. What separates the “Econyl” version from the regular Vibe 25L is the materials that it is made from. Econyl happens to be Pacsafe’s new take on its fabrics that are created from 100% “regenerated” nylon. In other words, the materials have been recycled, eliminating waste and helping to protect the planet at the same time. But, the news gets even better. Econyl also happens to be very durable, easy to keep clean, and perfect for use in creating travel packs. So much so, that Pacsafe has launched an entire line of products that use the material.

In addition to being a very eco-friendly backpack, the Vibe 25L comes equipped with plenty of other nice features that travelers are sure to appreciate. For instance, it is equipped with a host of Pacsafe’s signature design choices, including security clips and lock loops that make it more challenging for would-be thieves to reach the interior of the bag. The pack also includes a stainless steel mesh that is woven into the fabric that prevents it from being slashed open, while “slashguard” straps incorporate Dyneema to achieve a similar effect. There are even elements of the Vibe 25L that block RFID signals to prevent electronic intrusion too.

With its 25-liters of storage capacity, the Vibe 25L finds the sweet spot in terms of size, without getting overly large. It includes a laptop sleeve designed to carry a 13″ laptop or large tablet, but that same pocket can pull double-duty with a hydration reservoir too. Inside, you’ll find several internal pockets that are handy for staying organized, along with a large main pocket for the bulk of your items. There are even attachment points for safely holding your wallet and keys, as well as pen loops for easy storage too. A quick-access pocket along the side of the bag is perfect for holding a water bottle as well.

One of my favorite features of the Vibe 25L Econyl pack is its removable hip belt. That belt is much appreciated when hiking a trail, locking the pack firmly in place. But while traveling I don’t need it as much and it often just gets in the way. By removing it, I’m not just saving a few ounces, I’m also making the bag more efficient too. If I do decide to use it on a light hiking excursion, I can always bring it along just in case.

In terms of comfort and usability, the Vibe 25L is top notch. It carries a reasonable load with ease and feels good on your back, with or without the belt. In fact, it not only makes a great travel bag, it would be perfect for daily commuters as well. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’d even venture to guess it would work well for cycling commuters who are looking for a single bag that they can take with them wherever they go.

Priced at $119.95, the Vibe 25L Econyl isn’t especially expensive for a top-notch, luxury travel pack. The Econyl version is $10 more expensive than the regular Vibe 25L however, so if you’re looking to save a bit of money, you can go that route and still get much the same level of features and performance. But, when you consider how good the bag is for the environment, an extra $10 doesn’t really seem like that much.

If I had a gripe to make about this backpack, it might be that it is a tad on the heavy side. Weighing in at 2.2 pounds (.97 kg), it is heavier than you might expect for a bag of this size. Some of that is due to the built-in security measures, such as the mesh stainless steel chainmail that it hides inside. And as mentioned, you can trim some weight off by removing the hip belt. Either way, once you start using it, the slightly extra weight becomes mostly a non-issue.

Other than that one quibble, this is one of the best travel packs I’ve seen in some time. I think you’re going to really like it too. And besides, by buying this pack, you’re helping to save Mother Earth at the same time.

Find out more on the Pacsafe website.