When it comes to luggage, we always like to consider it as an investment on the same level as buying a car. Do you want to break the bank? Not really. Do you want it to last forever? Yes, always. Do you want to fit all of your most important items securely, with plenty of room to spare in case you want to bring home that sombrero you’ve always had your eye on? Absolutely. And let’s not discount additional bells and whistles that make the whole travel experience that much more convenient and enjoyable.
It wasn’t too long ago that I took the leap and “invested” in some bags from a relatively unknown Indiegogo-fueled luggage company named Pakt. The sleek, stylish-yet-minimalistic Pakt One ended up being the best weekender duffel I’ve ever encountered, and the Pakt Travel Backpack is basically like carrying a locker on your shoulders, but with comfort and ease. Even the coffee kit turned out to be one of my favorite accessories of that year.
So, when this small, ambitious company announced the debut of the Anywhere Collection, and it just so happened to come at a time when I was on the hunt for a larger bag, I couldn’t help myself. If these new bags are anything like the durable duo I already own (and still take on trips regularly) then I certainly wouldn’t expect anything less. The only question is: which bags do I choose?
The Goldilocks Dilemma
The Pakt Anywhere Collection is highlighted by four bags: the Anywhere 5L Sling, 25L and 50L Duffels, and the Gear Hauler. Depending on the trip, one of these bags will do the trick. The sling will do well on an overnight trip, while the 25L provides a little extra space for a weekend jaunt. Couples can cut down on clutter by sharing the spacious and very well organized 50L duffel, which, if not filled to the zippers, can also save some cash on baggage check fees.
For me, it was a four-day family road trip to Reynolds Lake Oconee, followed by another long weekend at Atlantis Paradise Island, so the 50L and sling were my choices. That meant my necessities were covered, as well as all of my son’s gear, and anything leftover fit nicely into my wife’s roller suitcase.
Of course, a bag with no wheels means a large burden to carry—literally. A 50L bag is no joke when it’s full packed, but one of the things I really loved about this bag is how comfortable the strap was, even as I stood in ridiculously long U.S. Customs lines. Another thing I loved was how this duffel seamlessly switches from an over-the-shoulder bag to a backpack. And the third thing I loved is how easily the handles, when snapped together, fit right onto the suitcase’s extended handle. A match made in heaven.
What Do We Love the Most?
With Pakt, it’s always about the durability. My Pakt One and Travel Backpack already have considerable mileage, and you wouldn’t know they’ve been in a single overhead compartment by looking at them. The Anywhere 50L Duffel is cut from the same plastic-free cloth as the earlier styles, and it even appeared from the baggage carousel unscathed after we voluntarily checked it thanks to some wonderful families who filled up all the overhead space above our seats before we even boarded. (Enjoy your souvenirs, folks.)
I’ve owned duffels that haven’t made it past the two-year mark without seams ripping and straps fraying, so the value of strong craftsmanship in this style is immeasurable. Believe me when I say that you never want to be on vacation and experience the sensation of a clip snapping and strap slipping down your back. Your arms will end up getting a heck of a workout from that moment on.
What about the Little Guy?
Never underestimate the convenience of a sling bag. Some travelers balk at the “hey, look at me, I’m a tourist!” look, but that’s just silly. Think about everything you need to carry with you on vacation—phone, passport, wallet, action camera, snacks for the kids, etc. This 5L bag is a godsend, especially if you’re theme park people as well.
Good luggage includes everything from the biggest suitcase to packing cubes (Pakt makes those, too), so the most important question you ever need to ask yourself is: Will this bag go everywhere with me for a long time? With the Pakt Anywhere Collection, the answer will always be yes.