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The North Face Kaban Backpack Review | 26L Daypack For Laptop & Tech EDC

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– The North Face Kaban is a 26 liter day pack with a slick and minimal look, with some nice features going on as well I'm Tom, the founder of Pack Hacker, your guide to smarter travel

If you're new to the channel, consider subscribing and hitting that bell icon to receive notifications whenever we post a new video We've been testing the North Face Kaban for just over two weeks in Detroit, Michigan Make sure to head over to packhackercom to see the full written review, as well as the best buying options that you can use to support the channel at no additional cost to you We'll leave a link for that in the description below

Let's jump in (upbeat music) First of all, it's important to note that this is the regular Kaban, and not the charged version The charged version comes with a couple of extra accessories for electronics, and in this review, we'll just be focusing on the regular version that we have here The main fabric on this bag is a 900D polyester with TPE PVC coating This is the same material that's used on the North Face Base Camp Duffel Bags, which we've reviewed over on the website as well

We appreciate the weather resistance on this thing, and mud and dirt easily wipe off the front of the bag where this coated material is We think this bag looks great, and out of 856 votes over on our Instagram, 85% of those votes agree with us in liking the look of this bag It's rare to results this polarizing, so it's a great indicator that people love the look overall At the time of this review, the only colorway available on thenorthfacecom is this black version, however, we have seen this bag in a bunch of different colorways over the years as well

As far as branding goes, there's a nice black-on-black logo on the front of this bag, and then there's a similar North Face logo on the front shoulder strap as well Wrapping up the rest of the materials on this bag, we have durable YKK zippers that area little bit jingly Also, we have Nifco hardware, which we've had solid experiences with in the past (upbeat music) Kicking it off with the harness system, let's see what's going on for this 26 liter day pack The straps themselves have a nice density to them

They're not necessarily soft, there's not a lot of padding, but I think for a day pack of this size, it's certainly enough, it's comfortable, and the density is very high on this foam, which we always look out for when it comes to comfort on shoulder straps There's no mesh in the back of the straps for airflow, so just note that Moving on down, we have an adjustable sternum strap on a rail that's really easy to get it into a position where it's comfortable for you We like that the sternum strap is covered with that 900D polyester, and it has kind of a stay on the front of it, which makes the fabric get out of the way easily when you're adjusting that strap We dig that the webbing is a little bit skinnier too, which matches a bag of this size

You really don't need a ton to keep that sternum strap on and intact on your chest Moving down, we have some nice Nifco strap adjusters, however there are not any elastic loops here to manage excess straps The back panel is pretty stiff, and there are some channels here for airflow, but again, just like the straps, there is no mesh on the backside either We've been doing our testing here in Detroit, Michigan in the winter, however, in other bags we've tested, even with the mesh, it is hard to avoid a sweaty back in warmer climates We also like that the framesheet is pretty structured here as well

Moving to the top, we have a nice grab-handle with some nylon webbing We like that it's folded over to add a little bit of cushion, and we like that you can see this orange-yellow liner on the inside, which is a bit of a preview for later, when we get into the main compartments of the bag Moving on to the water bottle pockets, they are nice and look great, however there is no stretch to them, which means the utility just isn't really there Water bottles that fit inside decently, however, they do cut into the main capacity of the bag, so keep that in mind if you're planning to fill this bag up completely At the bottom of the bag, there is a small lash-loop for a bike light or a carabiner

It's not super-noticeable if you're not using it, but it is there if you choose to utilize it The last external feature on this bag are two nylon loops at the top here, kind of hiding behind this excess fabric You pull those out, they're yellow in color If you wanna hang a carabiner clip or other accessories there, they're totally great for that And we love that they are hidden behind this flap, it keeps a nice streamlined look, while still giving the bag some functionality

Moving on to the interior of the bag, starting with the front vertical pocket This opens up with a number eight YKK zipper to reveal a nice amount of space with a colorful interior pocket This pocket is great for a small notebook, a sweater, or a thin, rain shell jacket One thing to note here is that if the bag is full on the inside, you'll see whatever is in this pocket sticking out pretty far Flipping the bag all the way to the other side, let's take a look at the laptop compartment

Again, you're greeted with that nice, bright yellow interior that we like so much, it really makes it easier to see your gear inside of this bag The pocket opens up horseshoe style, and it goes down about one third of the bag This pocket gives a little suspension to your laptop, but not quite enough to be considered a false bottom, which means if you drop your bag, that laptop is hitting the ground too The one concept that we see here that we find interesting is a handle you can use to pull the laptop up and make it more easy to grab it out We did not find this feature to be super useful with 16, 15, and 13-inch MacBook Pros

A lot of the time, it's just easy to grab the laptop right out of this pocket It opens right up You don't need to use that little handle to grab it We do think this is a nice idea, however in practice, we just weren't using it too often in our testing Moving to the very top front pocket, there are two zipper pulls to open it up, you can unzip it on both sides of the bag

The left zipper zips down about a quarter of the bag, and the right zipper about three quarters You can get access to everything on the inside quite easily The front zipper pocket offers a mesh pocket with a key clip inside This is a great place for keys because it's pretty easy to access This pocket can kinda be called the quick access pocket of the bag, however it's not quite as fast as other bags, considering there are two layers of zippers to get to it

Towards the wearer's back, there is a bunch more organization too We have four other pockets for pens, pencils and styluses, so if you have four different writing utensils, they'll go here On the other side of those four pockets, there is a bit of a larger pocket with soft interior liner that's good for a phone or other electronics You can pull the tab on top to get your item out, similar to what we've seen with the laptop compartment We like this idea, but again, haven't found it too useful in testing

A plus-size iPhone with a case can get stuck in here, but the function works well for smaller phones or smaller electronic accessories, like a battery pack Behind all these pockets is a slightly larger pocket to pop in an iPad or an e-reader, something of that nature, and it has that nice soft interior lining too Moving up, there is a two-thirds and one-third mesh pocket with some elasticity at the top too, and some fabric that folds over the top This is a great alternative to a zipper, as it's fast-access, but it still keeps items secure while on the inside of the bag This is a great note that other bag companies can take, as we haven't seen this in many other bags

It has the same soft fabric that we've seen in the previous pockets too On to the main compartment of this pack, the top folds over, and offers access to a giant bucket There's just a couple of nitpicks I have with this zipper First of all, it's hard to tell the zipper apart compared to the other two zippers in the top flap Second, it's hard to get behind the fabric of the front pocket in order to get access to this zipper, it kind of just disappears behind that fabric well, and there's not a big zipper pull to grab

These zippers also jingle around a lot, making them a bit noisy, and it's especially noticeable if you have a tall metal water bottle in the water bottle pocket that that metal zipper is just clanking against One thing to note on the large bucket opening style here is that it's going to do really well with organizers and pouches and larger items Smaller items will easily fall to the bottom and get lost And with a compartment like this, it's pretty much a what you see is what you get situation At the time of this review, I'd personally been testing The North Face Kaban for two weeks in Detroit, Michigan

Overall, it's been a pleasure to use, and I've really enjoyed the simple form and function The front organization pocket is just enough for my daily tech gear, and the ample space in the main compartment is good for stuffing in a jacket and larger items I'd personally have no problem traveling with this bag for a couple weeks as well, there's plenty of room in the main pockets to slide a couple packing cubes inside, and just be ready to go Now, I will say that this 26 liters feels a little bit smaller than what we've seen in other packs, most of which are clamshell, so that top bucket may have something to do with it You know, it doesn't fully open up like we've seen in other bags, but it does feel a little smaller than other 26 liter packs

In the two weeks of testing, there's not a ton to cover on durability either I have ridden with this thing through the snow on my bike, and just have all that dirt, sand and grime get kicked up on it from the Michigan winter, and everything has wiped off quite well Other than that, no really durability complaints whatsoever So to wrap this thing up with some pros and cons, starting with the pros, the fabric on the exterior is durable and weather resistant The North Face did a great job of streamlining the aesthetic, and a couple useful external features as well

The harness system is comfortable without going overkill On to some of the cons The main compartment zipper pull can get lost It's hard to tell apart from the other zippers The laptop compartment does not have a false bottom

And lastly, the water bottle pockets don't really stretch at all With a streamlined look and simple, smart features, The North Face Kaban not only looks nice, but functions well too We have found the laptop and phone ejector handles to be a bit more campy than useful, but they don't get in the way when not in use In general, the pros outweigh the cons in this bag, and although the capacity feels tighter than other bags we've tested of a similar liter size, we think the Kaban could be a solid choice for everyday carry, and minimal travel too So, there you have it, our full review of The North Face Kaban

We would love to hear what you think in the comments below Thanks for keeping it here at Pack Hacker, your guide to smarter travel We'll see you in the next video

Source: Youtube

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