LBT Daypack 14L v2

This backpack is amazing and odd, and not at all expensive (well compared to most I talk about). LBT primarily makes military gear, and because of that they have a vast array of backpacks. But the 14L Daypack has long been something people had a love-hate relationship with. Recently, LBT updated it to a ‘v2’ design, which is what I am talking about today. The main changes seem to be the back panel (semi-rigid foam) and the interior back wall being full loop (instead of a pouch).

I bought this bag to test out before heading to a theme park this summer, as I wanted something light, simple, durable — and still good. But something that didn’t scream tactical, and which also had some better access from the outside of the bag.

This is the bag I snagged, and it’s so good I use it a bunch day to day.

Material, Size, and Specs

I have no idea what this material is from any definitive source. If I was put to the test, it’s 500d-ish. LBT simply says that it is Nylon, so not helpful there. It is a nice feeling material with a good matte finish to it — nothing about it feels cheap and it seems as durable as any other cordura I have. A lot of people focus on how it’s not stated, and I think it is all for nothing — it seems fine to me.

The size of the bag is one of the key attributes: it comes in at 14L, but it’s a big 14L in my use. It is stated to be: 18.5 x 10 x 4.75 and comes in at 1.25lbs. It’s a tall and thin bag that weighs very little for how durable it feels. All and all, good stuff.

I’ll note just a few other things about the bag:
– Two mesh/stretch water bottle pockets on each side.
– Molded foam back panel, not rigid, only somewhat rigid.
– Interior back wall is full loop, for attaching hook backed pouches.
– Bag opens about half way, maybe a touch more.
– There’s two pockets, both on the exterior face of the bag. They are bigger than expected.
– Drainhole grommet at the bottom

All in all, what you see is what you get — but it is all done much better than the price would indicate.

In Use / What Use

As I mentioned, I bought this to take to theme parks, but I have been testing it going in and out of the office. Had it not been for another bag I picked up, I would have stuck with this bag in and out of the office. The color you see in these pics is ‘MAS Gray’ which is an LBT-only color as far as I can tell.

Carrying this bag is quite good, but not all the way to great. The straps are nicely padded and curved, but sit a little closer together at the top then I would like. I loaded the bag up to 12lbs and it was completely fine, but not amazing feeling. When I loaded the bag to 27lbs and took it rucking, the straps started to dig at times, but overall it was less terrible than I thought, but certainly not something I want to do regularly.

The straps adjust at the bottom with a standard plastic buckle, and then a long attachment of webbing to adjust. And this particular setup slips around a lot. I had to use the included webbing velcro stuff to roll the extra webbing up right against the buckle on each side so the bag didn’t constantly slip loose when taking it on and off. Once on, the straps hold just fine, it’s only when there is not tension on the straps. I’ve seen this in other bags, and it always drives me nuts.

So, solid straps, could be better adjusters — all around ok.

The carry capacity on the bag is something else. It carries closer to 16/17L than the stated 14.4L. This is because of the external water bottle pockets give you back a lot of space inside the bag, but it feels deeper than the specs say, while looking shallower than the specs say.

Both front pockets are excellent. The top on holds way more gear than you would believe, and doesn’t telegraph what is in there as much as I feared it would as the bag fills up. The bottom pocket is equally good. These are essentially setup the same as you would see on a GORUCK bag, but flipped to the outside instead of the inside. This makes them, approximately, 58% more useful in practice. I am a huge fan.

But what about those water bottle pockets? I hate water bottle pockets. But I love these ones. They sit pretty flat when not in use, and keep the bag looking clean. But since the bag is rather narrow across your back, when you do use these pockets the bottles don’t immediately get in your way. This is ideal for me at theme parks to allow my kids to easily grab water from me, without me needing to open/close bags a ton. So yes, I love these water bottle pockets. They hold my Fellow mug well, as they do anything else I would want to carry.

The back panel has historically been something people didn’t love about this bag, but I think it’s really nice as it has been done here in the v2 bag. I wouldn’t want something with a frame sheet, but this bag is stiff enough to keep it from being uncomfortable. It’s the right balance. And all of that means that you could use it as a packing cube inside of a larger bag if you can fit it, but it won’t easily fold up into a bag, perhaps it would bend alright? I am not sure. It isn’t very bulky, so it would make for a solid option nesting inside another bag when packing.

The top grab handle is not good. It’s too small, too thin, and uncomfortable to use. It’s a miss.

The inside is a big wall of loop. And because of that I’ve bought a ton of different stuff to stick on it to organize the bag. It all works well. From laptop sleeves, to admin pouches, to other general pouches. It’s a nice system to keep your gear from bunching up at the bottom of the bag. This bag was a bit of a gateway drug for me on loop panel bags — count me as a fan.

Overall

This is a great city, travel, and exploration bag. I wouldn’t choose it for the office without a nice laptop sleeve and lots of extra org — nor would I want to use it a ton outdoors hiking. But as a dad bag, as something not overtly tactical, but still well made and comfortable — it’s aces.

To me this is a better executed GORUCK Bullet Ruck 15L. Yes, you lose clamshell, but functionally for what you use a Bullet Ruck for, this works better in every case except rucking weight. Water bottle pockets mean my kids can grab and replace their own bottles while I carry them. The external pockets mean my wife can easily dig into the bag while I wear it to grab something. It makes things easier.

Highly recommend this bag. Buy here, $159.


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