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The Backpack, Carry-on and Storage King: The Knack Pack Has Your Back

Spy Finds is a daily series that unveils the coolest, under-the-radar products that you haven’t heard of until now. Each product is curated by our editors who want to help you discover cool finds you didn’t know you needed.

A backpack can be a dicey proposition. They’re incredibly useful for carrying everything you need for a short outing, for work or even an overnight trip. They’re ergonomically pleasing compared to lugging a bag in one hand. And yet, with the wrong backpack, it’s so easy to look like a total tool. Even though there are now a lot of professional, stylish backpacks for sale, you still need a good eye for design to choose the right bag.

That’s why we love these travel bags. Knack Packs give you all of the carrying space and organizing power you need and then some, and no matter if you’re headed to the coffeehouse, the airport or the office, you’ll look decidedly non-toolish.

Knack Packs run in three sizes from small to large, and all three expand beyond mere backpack to carry-on travel bag. When you’re traveling, this backpack opens up like a suitcase. The carry-on section goes from neatly hidden to fully expanded with a quick unzipping, adding anywhere from 13 (small) to 15 (large) liters of packing space. And even expanded, the Knack Packs will fit in the overhead compartment of planes. (The small and medium sizes will fit under the seat even when expanded.)

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Courtesy of Knack Packs
Lazy loaded image
Courtesy of Knack Packs

The separate padded pocket on the back will keep your laptop safe and easily accessible. But even lame backpacks have padded laptop pockets. The Knack Packs have pockets galore: one on the bottom that begs for flat sneakers like Chuck Taylors, two triangular front pockets that will fit anything from your phone to your sunglasses or keys, and a great hidden side pocket for your water bottle that when empty virtually vanishes into the clean lines of the Knack Pack design instead of bulging out like lesser backpacks. One of the front pockets is also RFID-blocking if you want to put your wallet or a little extra plastic in there.

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It’s easy to see how a Knack Pack would be office-friendly, and an ideal companion if you’re headed to the library or coffeehouse for some reading or quiet-time work. But as a carry-on, it really shines. All three sizes have trolley sleeves to fit on your rolling luggage. Made of light yet durable fabric, the Knack Pack won’t add to your carrying burden. And once expanded even the small model will hold a weekend’s worth of clothes, while the large will hold as many as four outfits. And this in addition to your laptop and the rest of your normal backpack gear.

The current line of Knack Packs (version 2.0) range from $165 to $235, about what you would expect for such a great and versatile hauling device. Here’s a little tip of you’re quick enough: the previous version is currently on sale for 25% off. You can score a medium Knack Pack 1.0 for as little as $129.99 if you hurry — supplies are dwindling. They lack some of the features and deeper pocket designs, but they’re still a really solid choice.

As a weekender bag, carry-on or office backpack, this bag is up for the challenge. It boasts airline-friendly dimensions, a hidden carry-on section and a great classic look, which means you won’t look like a little kid on his first day of 4th grade. Bottom line: Knack Packs have got your back as easily as they fit on your back.