As the crisp paper package was handed over to me I took it with mixed feelings. Wrapped carefully inside, free of plastic and handmade in Scotland was one of the most beautiful and yet practical bags I had seen.
I’d been hankering after it for several months and upon returning from Australia (blogs coming soon!) and knowing I could have travelled the whole time on half the clothing I took over there I impulsively pressed the ‘buy’ button on the Trakke store for the Storr backpack. At the time I did have a trip abroad planned so knew I’d be able to use it the. Sadly this was cancelled…
As I ummed and ahhed over whether to keep it, the deadline for returning it passed and I was unable to send it back. As much as my sensible self was cursing at this because it was very expensive, another inner voice was cackling with glee that I’d get to keep this bag and challenge myself to travel with less.
So let’s get into looking at the bag itself…
This backpack is designed for traveling light. Made out of waxed canvas it can stand up to the elements to a certain degree (not thoroughly tested on this but my older Krukke has done a pretty good job). It can be used as a backpack or the straps can be stowed away and the pack used as a briefcase style bag.
As you can see in the photo below, you can see a handy laptop pocket – there’s another on the front. Open it up and there’s a small pocket built into the side of the bag and two more on the flap for organising your stuff.
Read my review of the Trakke packing cubes here.
(as much as I wish I was sponsored by these guys, I’m not. I just really love their stuff)
Opening like a typical suitcase you can access all your items very easily and for 30l, it feels like you can pack a lot in. Coupled with Trakke’s packing cubes, you can fit a surprising amount of clothing in – at least a whole weekends worth and if you have a savvy wardrobe then much more. If I hadn’t have had my camera equipment and a few other bits and bobs with me, I’d have happily travelled with this bag around Australia for a month I think, as washing facilities were frequent.
In the photos above you can see a large and a medium packing cube, which still allows space for shoes and more. All in all, an ideal bag for traveling fast and light. I’m going to put it out there that this isn’t going to be the most comfortable rucksack compared to actual hiking rucksacks for long hikes, as (if you’re like me) you like a hip strap and this pack doesn’t have one. I still think it’s still a much more practical choice for traveling than lugging a hold-all round.
My motivation for buying it
For about a year now I’ve been on a mission to cut down on the ‘stuff’ in my life. This includes everything and, most specifically here, the amount I have in my wardrobe and that I cart around with me when I go away. Australia taught me that I didn’t need to travel with as much as I thought I’d need and I’ve generally found that having less choice and clutter makes me considerably less stressed.And that’s a really nice feeling!
I realise the hypocrisy here of buying something new when talking about getting rid of stuff but this is also about finding items that work the best for me for the longest possible time. The bags that I’ve used in the past but don’t suit my needs as much are going to charity shops for a second life. Plus, this bag looks awesome and, in short, makes traveling easy.
Justifying the cost
It’s a hard one and it was a hard lesson learnt when I missed the deadline for return at a cost of £320… However, part of my gradual de-cluttering means that I am working on replacing things as they wear out with high quality items that will last a long time. So at least in the long run I’ll get my monies worth.
It seems like they’re popular bags though (and rightly so as the quality is up there) as they’re often sold out on the website.
One more point –
Trakke and the environment…
I’m conscious of the impact of clothing etc on our environment and if I can do a small part by reducing the amount I buy because I’ve invested in well-made items then that’s a plus for me. Having said this, I appreciate that cotton is a highly water intensive and damaging process too…
Here’s what they have to say on the matter:
“We know that most of the negative environmental stuff happens when our materials are made and when we manufacture our bags. We do our best to minimise this impact, but a lot of it is unavoidable.
As a result, we build our bags to last. We choose materials that are durable, versatile and timeless. We select hardware that won’t break. We pick fabrics that wear in, not out. We create designs that are simple and timeless so that you’ll still want to use them in 20 years time.
And, where possible, we try and choose materials that are as kind as possible. Our stainless steel hardware, for example, is made from 70% recycled steel. Our webbing is made from polyester, which is pretty easy to recycle too.
Sometimes, we make hard decisions. We know that cotton isn’t great for the environment. It uses a lot of land and water to grow, and requires a lot of chemicals to turn it into a fabric – but we know it lasts. For us, the longevity of the fabric outweighs its initial impact.” Visit trakke.co.uk for more information.