Caribee X-Trek Daypack Backpack Review
Overall Rating: 9.1
|This backpack has classic style and looks great. The bag fits 28 liters of packable space into a surprisingly compact profile. Tasteful branding and strategic contrast coloring make the bag look great in both the Black and Forest Olive colorways.|
|The usability and functional design of this backpack are excellent. All of your gear is consistently organized and available right at your fingertips. The bag does a great job perfecting all the classic features of a great daypack backpack but don't expect any category defining innovations.|
|This backpack is incredibly versatile and can be an excellent option for many day trips and adventures. The materials and construction are solid and durable. The weatherproof exterior is tough and does not easily show wear and tear. This pack will last for years of adventures and has a very reasonable price tag.|
Pros & Cons
|The backpack is incredibly versatile and will be your go to pack for all kinds of adventures.||This backpack has wide ranging appeal, but is not a great digital nomad or professional solution. It lacks key features for working on the go like a padded laptop sleeve and has a more rugged outdoorsy look.|
|All of your gear is consistently right at your fingertips thanks to great organization and space management.||The bag is missing some bottom and internal padding that would improve carrying valuable items like a laptop or camera. It does not have a luggage trolley sleeve which would make carrying it with a suitcase easier.|
|The carrying features of this backpack are top of the line and make it a joy to use this bag on any and all trips, no matter the duration.||The X-Trek isn’t redefining daypacks with innovative additions but instead offers all the best features expected in a solid all around daypack backpack.|
Who is the Caribee X-Trek Backpack Ideal For?
For travelers who like to adventure, the Caribee X-Trek 28 liter daypack can be a perfect sidekick. If you’re planning to find a few hikes, go on a rugged excursion or do some exploring once you’ve reached your destination this backpack is for you. A rugged exterior, plenty of packing space, smart and simple organization, and loads of carrying features make the X-Trek an excellent daypack backpack or hiking backpack.
Comfortable in the city or in nature, this backpack boasts a broad portfolio of applications. But, if you’re into bells and whistles this isn't necessarily the pack for you. The X-Trek is made for the traveler who values simple organization and all the features expected of a daypack in a compact design.
This backpack is not intended to be the primary travel backpack for multi-day trips. The 28 liters of packable space is just not enough room for more than a weekend trip, even when loaded with compression packing cubes. If you love the style but need more space for longer trips check out the X-Trek 40 liter hiking backpack. In addition to the extra packing space it has more pockets and support features like a padded hip belt to carry the extra weight.
Additionally, digital nomads and professional travelers will find the X-Trek lacking some features that make work and travel easier like a padded laptop sleeve, a luggage trolley sleeve and a refined, professional look.
Full Review of the Caribee X-Trek 28 Liter Daypack Backpack
Started in Australia and now a staple in the travel and outdoor market, Caribee backpacks are made with practicality and user friendly features at their core. Caribee prides itself on innovation, quality and value for money with a focus on creating durable and versatile backpacks that exceed customer expectations. Caribee has grown into Australia's largest and most trusted travel and outdoor brand and their backpacks can be found everywhere including the farthest corners of the globe.
The X-Trek 28 liter backpack is a rugged and structured daypack backpack weighing in at 1lb and 9oz unpacked and boasting 28 liters of packing capacity. The X-Trek is a very comfortable 19” H x 12” W x 8.5” D making it a manageable size for almost all travelers.
This backpack is jam packed with features to make carrying the bag a pleasure. A lot of these features are designed with hiking in mind, where the bag certainly shines, but these same features make it great to carry when exploring a city or walking to the beach.
The Caribee Bio-form padded back panel is a structured, heavily padded and breathable mesh. A rigid panel sewn into the back allows the bag to hold its shape extremely well. Raised padding cushions the load from the pack while the mesh material makes it breathable and keeps heat from being trapped on your back.
The harness system on the backpack is exceptional. The adjustable shoulder straps are heavily padded and feature the same breathable mesh construction.
A sternum strap and waist strap keep the backpack locked in place even through rigorous activity. The sternum strap even features a sewn in elastic portion that allows the strap to stretch and compress slightly to move and adjust with the wearer’s movement.
Adjustable compression straps on each side of the bag keep the weight and profile of the bag as close to the wearer as possible.
The profile of the bag is not extremely long and does not expand away from the carrier excessively thanks to the compression straps. On a larger person this backpack is very reasonably sized and even feels and looks a bit smaller than backpacks with similar capacity. The total height of the bag is not too long, keeping the backpack off your hips and even when fully expanded the center of gravity and profile are reasonable. Even people with slighter builds will find this pack is a joy to carry.
The thoughtful design dedicated to making the backpack comfortable to carry and use is even extended down to the zippers. On each zipper you’ll find a molded, plastic zipper pull that is incredibly easy to grab and use with just one finger.
Otherwise, the hardware on the bag is modest with slightly undersized buckles. The hard plastic seems to be durable, but might be difficult to navigate if wearing gloves or with only one hand available. The shoulder straps are nice and wide and offer plenty of padding, but the rest of the straps are thin. For the most part, there is very little strap management available on the backpack, so there can occasionally be excess dangling straps.
Besides making it comfortable to carry, Caribee has loaded this bag with tons of functional features. On the exterior of the bag you’ll find plenty of added storage and clip on areas. There is a clip on loop on each shoulder strap, 2 more loops to the side of the primary zippers, 4 vertical loops on the front of the pack, an additional loop on the bottom of the front of the pack and a top grab handle/clip on loop. These loops are excellent places to clip on a carabiner for items that you need quick access to, for hanging items to dry, for extra storage when the pack is full, or to loop in a bike lock.
In addition to this added storage there are two large water bottle pockets, one on each side of the backpack.
There is a single quick access zippered pocket on the front of the bag that boasts a surprisingly large capacity easily fitting wallets, keys, phones, a power bank and more. There is unfortunately no divider or additional organization in this pocket causing items to become cluttered if the pocket is over packed.
The entire exterior of the backpack is wrapped in a textured and treated weatherproof polyester. This material is rugged and durable showing excellent puncture and abrasion resistance as well as useful weather protection. The pack is not waterproof, but does seem to offer protection from rain, snow, dust and grime. The textured pattern of the material performs well and looks great, especially in the Forest Olive colorway.
Inside the X-Trek
A twin compartment design provides two primary packing spaces for storage.
In the largest and primary compartment you’ll find an open bucket style packing area. A large hydration sleeve, that could double for a tablet sleeve, is the only thing dividing the packing space here. A pass through slot in the top of the bag allows your hydration bladder tube to exit the zipped shut bag and loops on the shoulder straps anchor the tube in place.
Several large packing cubes and a laptop could all fit in this area if you’re looking for overnight or carry on packing space. When you’re taking the X-Trek out on the hiking trail this section is best used for extra layers, snacks, and additional gear.
Inside the smaller compartment you’ll find another generous packing area and a sewn in organization panel. The panel boasts a large zippered pocket, great for a power bank or other electronics, a couple pen slots and a velcro closing pocket for a notepad, map or small guidebook. There is also a sewn in plastic clip to snap on keychains. No more hunting for your keys in your bag! Besides the organization panel there is plenty of room for another small packing cube or a microfiber towel for your adventures.
The full interior of the bag is lined with a durable nonporous nylon fabric. Even the zippered pockets use this material. We expect that means any spills within one pocket will not soak your entire pack. However, this material is not a high contrast color and can make finding items in low light or in the dark more difficult.
There is not a lot of padding inside or on the bottom of the bag. If protecting your gear from other items in your bag, or from bumps along the way is a priority then you’ll need to pack appropriately. The lack of a padded laptop sleeve or other drop protection can cause some concern if you are hauling important and fragile items.
The total packable space is ideal for a single day hiking adventure or an overnight or weekend stay in a hotel or Airbnb. If you’re heading out on an overnight or longer camping adventure this bag may not have enough space for all the necessities.
The inside of this bag provides plenty of open packable spaces and organization. The interior material is light, but durable and likely waterproof, offering an extra layer of protection for your gear.
Testing & Ownership
The X-Trek is very versatile and has a handful of suggested uses. As a daypack backpack, the X-Trek has plenty of space and organization. The harness system and back panel make it comfortable to carry around all day. The X-Trek is one of the best hiking backpacks we’ve ever reviewed with its durable exterior, hydration sleeve and pass-through slot, and loads of exterior anchor points for extra gear.
Additionally, this backpack does a great job keeping all of your gear at your fingertips and it’s a surprisingly good carry on option. There is space for a couple extra packing cubes and a laptop, plus organization for items you might need during transit. Because the pack is such a great daypack backpack and hiking backpack, it can be worth it to use this as your carry on bag in place of a more protective laptop backpack for certain trips.
The materials used and the construction of this backpack provide a lot of confidence for its durability. The exterior fabric is nonabrasive and tightly sewn. In months of testing and use the backpack shows no signs of wear. Caribee backs up this rugged pack with a 3 year manufacturer's warranty.
The X-Trek is certainly purpose built and checks almost all of the requirements for a highly functional pack in many circumstances. In addition to being incredibly versatile and functional, the backpack looks great. It is compact, but fully sized, the branding is tasteful, it has a great shape and looks awesome in Forest Olive.
The Caribee X-Trek 28 Liter Daypack Backpack isn’t redefining daypacks. Instead, Caribee has created a combination of all the best features expected in a classic daypack backpack in a great looking and durable design.
If you’re looking for a more compact hiking backpack consider the RMU 15 liter Core Pack Performance Hiking Backpack. If you love the style of the X-Trek daypack but want more space for multi day hikes & treks check out the X-Trek 40 liter hiking backpack version.
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