Look and Feel
The backpack itself is a neat-and-tight package of 25L, meaning it’s never going to handle more than a couple of nights’ worth of gear on the road (and that’s assuming you’re a lightweight packer). The main storage compartment can comfortable carry a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, four shirts (in a ranger roll), underwear and socks for your trip, and a small toiletry kit. If you have a packable travel towel and a packable ultralight parka, you might squeeze them in but you’re cutting it close.
The shoulder straps are super padded – meaning a load of roughly 9-10lbs isn’t a big deal. Any heavier and you’re either going to feel the straps dig in a bit, or you may need the 25L’s bigger brother/sister. There’s a nice chest compression strap to keep the backpack centered when you’re running to catch a connecting flight (we’ve all been there). The hip strap is NOT designed to carry any weight; its primary use is to stabilize the backpack.
I personally wouldn’t load the side pockets with large bottles, as they’re pretty handsome laying flat. When I travel, I tend to put loose change, tissues, and energy bars in side pockets anyway, eliminating ugly ‘bumps’ on my pack.
The back panel has some cutaways, presumably to help with ventilation. However, my experience wearing this backpack outside under the sun for any stretch longer than 15 minutes tells me heat can and will build up. Wearing a shirt made with technical fabric should help a bit; cotton dries far too long for my liking when I’m jumping from one tourist spot to another.
Its compact build also implies it’s definitely perfect for baggage-less flyers. For short trips outside of the country, this backpack could save you a lot of money in the long run as well as time!
There is a laptop sleeve inside the backpack, in case you travel with yours. I use a MacBook air so it’s really roomy; the sleeve can swallow laptops up to 15” large. There are also key- and wallet clips, for added security.
I do not recommend you take this backpack for hiking (it doesn’t come with a rain cover, and is only mildly rain-resistant) BUT if you absolutely have to, it can work as an emergency hiking backpack. I say this because it’s compatible with a hydration system, and the compression straps all around the bag help stabilize load even when on uneven hiking trails.
If you have weekend travel plans lined up for 2017 and you’re on the hunt for the backpack that can take you to an overnight trip for Sinulog or three nights in Malaysia, the Pacsafe Venturesafe GII, in 25L, is a bag that simply must be in your list.
Check out my travels and adventures on Instagram at @jsncruz
Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII
Transparency: Urbanize and Pacsafe generously provided me with the backpack in this review but this has not influenced the thoughts provided in this article. Opinions are my own and do not represent WhenInManila.com, Pacsafe, and any other organization or entity related to the brand.