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Luggage Archives - foXnoMad

Category: Luggage

Nayo Smart’s Almighty Is A Serious Backpack For Less Than $100

Until fairly recently the gap between premium backpacks and budget options was a big one. Cheaper backpacks often being made with poor quality or simply too small to be practical for a serious traveler. Over the past two years the budget backpack market has been spitting out a lot of knockoffs with few being serious competition against high-end hipster delights.

Nayo Smart’s Almighty backpack is not only a very good option for a large carry-on backpack under $100, it might be a sign of an important shift in travel luggage. You can watch my full review in the video above or read on.

nayo smart almighty review

Well Designed And Executed

Two sides of failure for most ultra-budget backpacks – they’re either poorly designed, made poorly, and sadly, usually both. Nayo Smart, a Chinese company, has in the Almighty been able to cut costs effectively as well as incorporate some of the smartest features typically found on more expensive bags.

nayo smart backpack

Starting with the material, the Almighty uses treated polyester instead of the more common nylon of over-$200 bags. That’s not to say polyester is a poor choice of material which comes with its own advantages. Almighty’s polyester is solidly waterproof, much more so than standard nylon. Not quite as scratch or tear resistant, if you’re going to go with a second choice in backpack material over strong nylon, polyester is the way to go.

Pleasing Pockets

What’s really appealing of the Nayo Smart Almighty is it’s not a copy of other backpacks but rather, one that brings in a variety of familiar features and makes the bag their own. At initial glance the Almighty looks like a lot of other backpacks you may be shopping around for. When you take a closer look though you notice the Almighty has its own take on carry-on luggage, particularly on the inside.

nayo smart almighty

There are two versions of the Almighty – a normal (25 liter) and a large (32L) Based on the meshing on the interior, the Almighty seems designed for two types of traveler as well. The first being someone who’s got a regular amount of gadgets with them; laptop, tablet, the usual. The small Almighty then adds a decent amount of space in the front pocket for other stuff like a sweater, large headphones, charging bricks, and other items you tend not to think about until you need the space.

Almighty’s large accommodates travelers with a lot of bulky electronics like a drone, cameras, or simply want to be able to pack a few days clothing to go carry-on only.

Blending Worlds

There aren’t enough luggage makers that consider useful organizational pockets with open space compartments for bulkier items. For a long time the backpack industry treated electronics bags separately from day or hiking bags, but the demand for versatile luggage is finally getting a response in the form of choices.

Much like the newest gadgets, after a few iterations the competition becomes more varied and less expensive over time. The Nayo Smart is one of what might be a new trend for travel bags, which is good news for travelers. In the meantime if you’re looking for a large-capacity carry-on bag selling for under-$100, the Almighty may be the bag for you.

Gear Travel Bloggers Carry Episode 2: Derek Baron’s Minimalist Tech Setup

It’s fair to say I travel with a fairly large tech setup with things like a drone and multiple hard drives which is even more evident when comparing it to the minimalist setup Derek Baron has. Derek, who writes Wandering Earl, has been traveling for 19 years and manages his tour company Wandering Earl Tours from a mobile office that fits entirely into his Timbuk2 Command Messenger Bag.

You can see all the gear Derek travels with in the video above: Episode 2 of Gear Travel Bloggers Carry. His setup is much less photography oriented than Jessie Festa’s gear bag and includes some unorthodox items that may give you a few packing ideas, particularly useful if you’re a messy eater.

Targus’ CityLite Pro Backpack Is A Great Bag With One Big Flaw

The first time you see the Targus CityLite Pro it is sleek, spacious, and thoughtfully pocketed in a way frequent travelers can admire. Clearly durable with thick nylon, sturdy zippers, the CityLite Pro is an enticing backpack but there’s one side of it that might put many people off – the side without a zipper. For all of wise design choices made with the CityLite Pro, I had trouble getting over the front zipper. You can see the complaint I had in my video above and let me know if that would annoy you too.

The Inateck Backpack Is An Aer Knockoff $200 Cheaper And Pretty Good Too

Typically when you’ve got a knockoff – ok, it’s technically not one – but if you look at the Inateck 30L Backpack and compare it to the Aer Travel Pack 2, you get the idea. As I was saying, knockoffs in electronics can often be close to the quality for the price of the brand version. When it comes to physical products like bags however, the drop-off is generally more pronounced. Yes, there are big savings but you sacrifice so much in quality over time, it ends up being more practical to go brand in the long run.

The Inateck 30L bag however, although it’s not as good as the Aer Travel Pack 2, might still have enough to consider, particularly if you want to save $200. You can watch my full review in the video above or read on.

Gentle Enough

For travelers who don’t demand a lot from their baggage, Inateck’s good but otherwise not outstanding nylon stitching should provide a decent lifetime of use. A little less nylon means the Inateck is lighter too, around 1.5 kilos (3.3 pounds) compared to the 1.7kg (3.7lbs) of the Aer Travel Pack 2. Though the Inateck tends to flop over when it’s not full mainly due to the internal padding being ever so slightly thinner.

inateck 30l backpack

Good Design Cues

Ripping off the design of the Travel Pack 2 (here’s my full review of that bag) and improving on it somewhat is something Inateck has pulled off well. The annoying shoe compartment of the Aer is collapsible in the Inateck, compression straps a bit more manageable, though it’s missing the very handy quick grab pocket that works great for passports.

Unpolished But $200?

Inateck’s 30L backpack is not one I’d trust for a frequent traveler, particularly if you’re going to be throwing this bag around a lot in less than ideal trains, taxis, or dinghy boats. Inteck has cut costs, a lot of them, meaning the zippers are hardly weather resistant, fabric you don’t want to snag, and straps that aren’t as comfortable as they could be. Still, for the different of $200, unless you’re looking for a premium backpack in the Aer Travel Pack 2, the Inateck may do just fine.

The Osprey Kyte 46 Is Just Big Enough For A Week Hike And That’s A Good Thing

The Osprey Kyte 46 liter hiking backpack is in all sorts of sweet spots lately, both in terms of size, quality, and price as one model overlaps the other, often at nearly 50% less cost. You take a look at the Kyte 46 and think it’s not big enough for a hike of several days to a week but when you get a bigger bag, your back will remind you daily that was a bad choice.

You can watch my full review in the video above or read on.

Who This Bag Is For

Since the Kyte 46 collapses so efficiently (seriously, almost all the pockets can be shrunk down with straps or zippers when empty), it doesn’t look as large as it is. Yet for short hikes of 3-4 days or so, it is the right amount of space. All of us tend to pack our bags to capacity, a psychological factor that’s best mitigated by controlling the size of the bags we choose. With a touch of minimalism, the Kyte’s capacity can easily be stretched out to a week.

osprey kyte 46

There are two sizes of the Kyte 46, a bag primarily developed for female travelers. A XS/S and an S/M – both of which have roughly the same capacity of 46 liters but the Small/Medium is about 5 centimeters (2 inches) taller. The real distinction however, is between Osprey’s newer version of the Kyte, which price competes with itself.

Speaking Of Versions

As of this post, there are two versions of the Kyte 46. A newer model with the same name that’s essentially the same bag with some slight modifications to the coloring and exterior design. The former version of the Kyte 46 is still on sale, although quietly, and you can find it on Amazon for roughly half the cost. Prices for the both Kyte 46 have been changing frequently but if you keep an eye on them (latest sales listed right below) you can likely get this bag for less than $100.

So long as Osprey can’t decide on how to handle this overlapping rollout of gear, it’s in your benefit if you’re bag shopping.

Strong Design Quality

Osprey bags are durable. I’ve used this bag for 8 years, this one for 4, and have reviewed a lot of their gear and it simply holds up. A good bag will last you years – obviously cheaper fall apart frequently enough they end up costing more in the long run. Travelers looking for a solid outdoor bag for relatively short journeys in summer mountains or in cooler climates will save both money and space with the Kyte’s 46 liters.

The Aer Travel Pack 2 Is Nearly Tech Backpack Perfection

Backpacks, especially the larger kind, tend to be made either for cloths or computers but rarely both. There are plenty of smaller backpacks like the Swissgear Scansmart 1900 (my full review) that have plenty of pockets but good luck trying to fit an extra sweater in there. (Planes are COLD and airplane blankets never washed.)

Aer’s Travel Pack 2 though is very close to perfection for digital nomads who carry an office on their back and has become the main carry-on bag I use. You can watch my full review in the video above or read on for some brief highlights.

Right Size

Versatile backpacks have a large, empty front pocket. Electronics bags similar to Dell’s Premier (full review here) try to guess the most common slots and pockets you’ll use. For travelers with a lot of electronics though, cameras, drones, and other bulky items are inefficiently stored unless you can do the organizing.

aer travel pack 2

The Travel Pack 2 has a good combination of large pocket with organization… almost. First, the main compartment is spacious at 34L but front-loading unlike the Thule Subterra’s open-top design. It’s nearly an ideal big compartment, except Aer has put in a shoe compartment common to other bags this size.

  • Dear Aer, look, this is clearly a tech bag, the shoe compartment isn’t needed and the pocket eats into space many need for camera lenses, microphones, that sort of thing. We can still put shoes in a bag and jam them into the Travel Pack 2 if needed.
  • And as Mr. Robot as those compression straps look (I’ll admit they come in handy on occasion) they make opening the main compartment cumbersome. Maybe placing them at an angle would solve this problem.

Otherwise, the build quality, intuitive front organizational pocket, and slim design make this a very enticing bag for travelers with a DSLR or drone, or some combination or large electronics. Plus those who want to be able to pack an extra shirt or two as well. Brrr.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More


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