User Review HP Travel 25 Liter 15.6 Iron Grey Laptop Backpack - Initial Review

Hello TE!
I am not sure if this type of a review or post is allowed - but I have been looking for a compact backpack which would also double up as a carry all for shortish trip. I have been fascinated with one bag travel and am in awe of people who travel for entire years on a single 40L backpack. One look at the prices they pay for their gear and I am back to reality though! So I was looking for something a bit less ambitious - a bag which will be comfortable to use, hold about 3-4 days of clothes, my laptop, tech bundle of chargers/battery backup/cables, toiletry bag and a notebook.
I picked this bag yesterday from amazon for INR 2,699 - my initial thoughts are that this is perfect for me in terms of what it offers in features and value. One of the things I could not find ahead of this purchase was a decent review of this bag. So I thought, maybe I can do it.
Let me list down my initial requirements and see where this bag aligns with that
  • 30-40L capacity and airline carry-on sized :)
  • Load lifter straps, Hip belt, vented straps and back support, since I sweat like a champion! :confused:
  • Lockable zippers :)
  • Bag needs to have complete clamshell or panel loading type of opening for ease of packing. This is also a must have feature for me :D

At its price point and size, the load lifter straps & hip belt are not as essential as a larger bag, so I can compromise on that front. So I did a quick packing test to see how much I can stuff into this bag
This is the bag at its empty state - has two straps on the side which can be used to hold a jacket in place or pull tight to make the backpack more compact if running empty. The construction is pretty sturdy and the colors are muted enough to not look out of place in an office.


My next step was to layout everything I might need on a random 4-5 day trip. And this is what I came up with - 2x Shirts, 2x Pants, 2x Collared Ts, 3x round neck Ts, 1x Shorts, 1x Swimming shorts,
4x underwear 4x socks, 1 toiletry bag, 1 tech bag (not pictured here! but it is a compact DailyObjects tech pouch), 1 laptop (14" Dell Latitude) + charger, 1 notebook+pen

Packing List.png

It was just whatever I could grab off of my shelves and clotheslines for this exercise, there is certainly room for optimizing, but the whole thing laid out like this looked overwhelming. So I used a large and medium sized packing cube to keep the clothes rolled in (except the formal shirts and trousers, which I stacked at the bottom of the bag (the fully opened up panel is a game changer in this regard). The toiletry bag went to the side. The laptop to the compartment in the back, the charger and cable to the pouch on the inside of the bag, the tech pouch at the very top of the bag. With a bit of maneuvering, I got it shut - and it was awesome and I did not even use the expansion zipper on the back!


I have a trip coming up in a week or so - looking forward to using this one! Based on the initial impressions, this bag fully justifies its price. Summing up into a Pros & Cons List
  • Compact, Full panel opening
  • Excellent build and finish quality
  • Ability to expand a bit, but I would not count on it to be honest (less is always more!)
  • A hidden RFID protected pocket on the back for holding cards or maybe a passport - I like this as it is well protected, since things you keep in this pouch stay sandwiched between the bag and your body
  • Lockable zippers on the main pouch
  • HP claims that this bag is made from recycled plastic, preventing the equivalent of 13 water bottles ending in a landfill - love that!
  • Great value for the price paid
  • Fully packed bag could make getting the laptop in/out a bit of a wiggle/struggle
  • Outside pockets are extremely low capacity and best used for holding small notebooks or a compact powerbank at best
  • No lockable zipper on the laptop compartment - but as it lies next to your back, its probably safe in that sense
  • The zippers are small, so HP has added zipper pull loops, which keep getting in the way for me - I might unloop it and see if it makes more sense to me personally
Thanks for reading! A word to the mods - I am new, I hope this type of post does not run afoul of the forum rules. If it does, happy to remove/see it get removed - Cheers!
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