I love backpacks. I still have – and use – some from my college days (circa late ‘90s). My favorite part about a backpack is all the pockets – more the merrier, I say. This was the main reason I was excited by the Wayfarer Go Pack by Outdoor Products.
At first glance, the Wayfarer Go Pack looks like a tactical bag one would find in an Army/Navy store, or used by actual members of the Army and Navy. There are plenty of straps to hook carabiners and other gear should you want to use this bag in the actual outdoors.
This backpack’s intended use is, as the name implies, for the outdoors and on foot. I wound up using it as my “luggage” for a three-night, two-day trip to Tampa, Florida. There was plenty of space in the main compartment to comfortably pack three pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks, two pants, two button-down shirts, two undershirts, a T-shirt and shorts to sleep in, and a dopp kit. This part of the pack had a sleeve, which is meant to house a bladder; my laptop, notepad and papers resided there instead. They all fit, but awkwardly, as the top inch or two stuck out of the sleeve.
One of the cooler aspects to the main compartment, which I overlooked when first packing – and may get overlooked by other users – is that the flap is gusseted, allowing you to fill it with more things with ease.
There are two side pockets. One is insulated, but it can only hold a 16-ounce bottle. Anything larger or taller and the pocket does not close, making the insulation useless. The other side pocket is meant for a media player, as there’s a hole to weave headphones through, but it’s sorely misshapen. I used it for my eyeglass case. There’s also a pocket within this pocket as well as another one behind it. [Cue Homer Simpson salivating over all the pockets.]
Most of the shell of the pack is your typical polyester, and water resistant, but the bottom of the bag appears and feels to be leather/pleather. It looks and feels nice and adds a level of luxury to it. It gives the bag extra padding and it’s easy to clean. I’ve never come across a backpack meant for the outdoors that uses this material. Only time will tell just how durable it is. It’s either brilliant or Johnson in R&D is going to get canned real soon.
There’s one feature that is imperative to not just a backpack, but to any type of bag that holds your stuff: the key hook. I initially thought this bag didn’t have one, but there was one inside a second section of the bag (a secret pocket?), which also had dedicated space for writing instruments.
One part of the bag that I did not use was the shoe tunnel, a section on the bottom that separates your dirty shoes from your clean clothes. This has become a standard compartment on most packs and other types of luggage, but it just expands your bag and, when wearing, makes it feel uncomfortable. Just put your shoes in a plastic bag and put them in the main compartment.
$49; available at Walmart