Traveler daypacks don’t have to be fluorescent colors and don’t have to be fanny packs nor paired-down backpacker packs with hydration tubes sticking out.
They can be classy and yet well-thought-out organizational features.
We’ve spent a few weeks trying out one such option from Grams28: The 154 City Pack. It’s quite a bit different from the Osprey daypacks we usually use for carrying gear on the road; it’s smaller, classier, and worn over one shoulder.
Grams28: 154 City Pack
This pack is very well built and looks great. It’s a possible choice for travelers who don’t want to look like travelers.
- This is built with quality leather, zippers, hooks; it appears to be extremely sturdy and well-crafted.
- There are smart organizational pockets for travelers; this is the first such bag I’ve seen with a protected interior pocket that is just the right size for a passport. There is a great protected pocket for sunglasses and a number of other logical choices.
- The design is stylish and simple, it’s a bit of a flat, rounded box and a bit businessy.
- It’s a bit expensive.
- It looks a bit expensive too; this can attract thieves when traveling in certain locales.
- For some, a number of organizational pockets can be confusing if you forget where you put stuff.
A tour of the 154 City Pack
The 154 City Pack has good options for storing most of the basic things you’d carry while out sightseeing or enjoying restaurants in new lands.
Above is the bag as I’ve sometimes used it in these past weeks; I’ve attached a HeroClip (our favorite travel hook and really one of the simplest, game-changing travel accessories) in order to also be able to carry a collapsible water bottle the Hydaway. The 154 is too small for a water bottle so on days when I’ve preferred to carry water, this is an easy fix, though it detracts a bit from the bag’s elegant look.
Let’s open the bag up and take a peek around.
The space inside is divided into two main compartments by a little sleeve that opens up, apparently by magnet, and is perfect for storing sunglasses or other fragile items—the divider pocket hangs up higher so these items would not get crushed other other things.
In the above you see the pockets that are the right size on the left for a passport. They’re also great for a phone, a wallet, and electronics. This keeps things easy to find but well protected on the inside so less accessible to pickpockets. The pocket on the top right in the photo is good for pens or pencils. In the bottom of the photo is a pocket that has a zipper. The construction on the inside feels and looks quite sturdy but is soft to the touch.
Here’s what’s on the other side of the divider: a simple open space for stuff. Nothing fancy, which is a good thing—too many pockets and you start to lose stuff.
On the flip side of the bag we have another zippered pocket. In a crowded environment, this would be a good place to stash a wallet or phone so that it is accessible to you but facing your body and thus less easy for pickpockets to access.
A minimalist in all things, I don’t take much to the gym (and just wear my gym clothes in the street and shower at home). I’ve thus been using the bag to carry a few essentials when I go to the gym.
It’s a great all around city bag though for daily use of all sorts…going to a café, work, etc.
For traveling, it easily fits under the seat in front of you can can thus help you keep a book or e-reader (especially for those of you who, like me, use the Kindle for getting up to speed on a language while traveling to a place). It’s a bit too small for most laptops and not really designed for that purpose; its dimensions are 27 x 21 x 7 cm (10.5” x 8.25” x2.75″).
Overall I’d recommend this bag for those who are willing to pay a bit more for a very timeless, high quality real-leather piece that keeps essentials with you on the go while not looking like a typical travelers’ daypack. It’s available online only, but absolutely as well built and lovely as the photos suggest.
The leather material and the tanning meet certain environmental certifications and it is made in Italy.