Overall Rating: 9
|The design is great. Its eye-catching without being over the top. The bag looks high quality, well put together, and refined, plus it maintains its profile packed or empty.|
|This multifunctional laptop backpack is loaded with clever design features for theft protection, comfort, and organization.|
|The quality is top notch & will last as long as you want to use it. The bag is most at home when you’re in transit. It's less practical as a daypack for exploring the city and not appropriate for hikes.|
Pros & Cons
|This bag looks awesome. It’s beautifully designed & exudes quality. Plus, it's sustainably made from recycled materials.||It's heavy - the premium material, thick padding, and extra features make it heavy for its size, even when empty.|
|The quality materials and construction are impressive. After months of regular use the bag still looks brand new. You feel the quality in the material & hardware the moment you pick it up.||The top loading tech pocket design takes some getting used to. It's great for wallet, phone, power bank and other quick access items but makes the bag front & top heavy so when it's open the front folds down instead of staying upright.|
|It's loaded with features to make days in transit and remote working as smooth as possible.||It's not the most versatile. You wouldn't take it hiking and it's not ideal for long days exploring a city.|
Who is the XACTLY Oxygen 25L Laptop Backpack Ideal For?
The Oxygen 25 is a sustainable travel backpack built for the modern traveler. For business travelers, digital nomads, and travelers who take their laptop & electronics on the road this bag is a rockstar. It shines when you’re in transit; in train stations or airports this bag will be your best friend.
If you value comfort & convenience when you’re en-route to a destination or regularly work while traveling the XACTLY 25 might be ideal for you.
This bag will hold up to anything that gets thrown at it thanks to the top notch quality but it's clearly more at home in an urban environment. The design and features are better suited to city adventures than off-road ones.
If you regularly travel to urban destinations, use a roller bag or suitcase for your clothes, and like to have a reliable backpack for your laptop & personal items in transit then the XACTLY 25 is perfect.
XACTLY is on a mission to provide premium quality gear that allows travelers and adventurers to live courageously while also making the world a better place. Social responsibility is emphasized in everything they do. XACTLY uses premium recycled materials to make all of their bags, maintains an ethical supply chain with workers that are paid fairly in safe working conditions, and commits a percentage of sales revenue to Planet Water Foundation to bring clean, safe water towers to impoverished communities around the world.
All XACTLY products feature intuitive designs aimed to make travel easier and more fun. Combined with a sustainable manufacturing process and positive social impact, travelers can boldly go further while improving communities around the world.
25 Liter XACTLY Backpack External Features
The 25 liter XACTLY backpack is a laptop backpack for the gadget laden traveler. Practically is built into every feature and there’s no skimping on looks. The external design is modern & refined. Everything looks in its place, there’s not a loose stitch to be found and the sleek profile is compact & eye-catching.
Fully packed or empty the bag holds the same shape and maintains a teardrop-esque profile. To accomplish this consistent profile XACTLY has made all of the external pockets take up internal space rather than expand outwards. For example, the side water bottle pocket doesn’t expand out from the bag, instead they cleverly expand into the main compartment so the side is flush whether there’s a bottle in it or not.
The external dimensions are 17.6" tall, 11" wide, and 7" deep - an appropriate size for any sized traveler. The bag sits close to the body and maintains a nice shape while being worn.
Material & Hardware
The material is one of the shining stars of the XACTLY line of bags. You would be hard pressed to find another laptop backpack that looks or feels this well built. Even after months of regular use there isn't a scuff, scratch, or stitch out of place.
When you first hold the bag you immediately notice the quality of the materials. The primary material is a premium 900D recycled polyester. This sustainable polyester is made from recycled plastic water bottles producing an incredibly durable & lightweight material that eliminates plastic waste.
The back panel & shoulder straps feature moisture wicking Lycra for comfort & breathability. Finally, the entire pack features a water resistant carbonate coating to help protect the contents.
We have no doubt this sustainable travel backpack will continue to hold up for extended use, plus it's backed by XACTLY’s lifetime warranty.
The hardware follows this high quality trend. The beautifully designed zipper pulls (yes zipper pulls can be beautiful) are solid and sleek. Straps and buckles all feel sturdy and we love the magnetic clips that cover the laptop pocket.
The bank panel and shoulder straps are the most comfortable we’ve ever tested. The thick Lycra padding feels amazing and looks incredible.
Particularly on the lower section of the back panel, you’ll find the extra thick padding helps immensely when you’ve got a full load on long days.
The luggage handle pass through slot is also concealed in the back panel.
If the material & hardware don't blow you away then the convenience and organization features will.
Unique to the XACTLY line of bags, there aren't any external pockets in the traditional sense. There are 4 pockets that we consider external but they don't protrude out from the bag, instead all of the pockets take up space in the bags main compartment so that even when they are full the profile of the bag remains the exact same.
The only exception is the slim slip pocket on the front. It's covered by the top flap over the tech pocket with a small clip to stay closed. This pocket is very tight so you can't fit much in it, which really limits its application. So far, we’ve just used it to stash used boarding passes or receipts when there isn't a garbage can nearby.
The parallel side pockets are slightly different from each other. One side is designed for a water bottle and has a small slip pocket in it whereas the other side is great for snacks with 2 slip pockets. There is also a key ring anchor in here. The pockets are snug because they go into the bag but we’ve found them practical and easy to use. We’ve been using an 18 oz insulated water bottle and it fits fine, anything larger would likely have to go in the main compartment or maybe fit in the side pocket without zipping it closed.
The top side tech pocket is awesome. It's the perfect home for all your gadgets & small items that you frequently use in transit. Our preferred load-out includes:
- Power bank
- Hand sanitizer
- Sunglasses in case
You can stash a good amount of gear in here and easily access it while you’re on the go. Although it's not technically theft proof we do appreciate the double closure on this pocket. The pocket has a dual zipper so you can open it either way and then there is a flap that completely covers it and clips closed. When closed you can't even see that there are zippers or a pocket here. Our one gripe about this set up is the small clip for the flap. You have to line it up perfectly to get it to snap closed but that’s hard to do when it's closed because you can’t see it. This often means it gets left unsnapped so the end of the flap slightly sits away from the bag.
The inside of the tech pocket has a soft felt liner, 1 large zipped pocket, 2 slip pockets with a velcro cover designed for a power bank, 3 pen holders, and the cable for a power bank to run to the external ports.
The short cable has a USB & USB-C input and runs a few inches into the top of the pocket connecting to the external pop-up USB port. The external port cleverly conceals in the lining of the bag and pops up when you need it. The output side also has a USB & USB-C port.
The Oxygen 25 features one of the best designs for protecting a laptop in a backpack. The laptop pocket sits close to your back. It has the same soft felt liner as the tech pocket and includes a laptop sleeve to keep your device secure plus room for other documents or a book. It features dual zippers as well as a cover with two magnetic clasps that clip onto the top of the shoulder straps. The laptop pocket is floating so if you drop the bag your device should be fine, not to mention there is padding on every side of the bag. We love the security of the dual closure for theft prevention and the knowledge that your laptop is securely stashed away.
Branding & Colorways
There is more branding on the Oxygen 25 bag than most other laptop backpacks but it's subtle and fits in well with the overall design. You’ll notice the X logo on all of the metal zipper pulls as well as the USB port cover and each shoulder strap.
The full brand name is written across the front and back of the bag but it blends into the geometric web pattern.
The XACTLY 25 is available in 2 colorways. We've been testing the blue/ green which, in our opinion, is an awesome combination that’s unique without being obnoxious.
25 Liter XACTLY Backpack Internal Features
Inside the Oxygen 25 laptop backpack there is one main bucket compartment to stash your larger items and that’s just about all you get. The large capacity tech pocket up top helps distribute your gear so it doesn't all pool at the bottom unlike some other backpacks.
At a total volume of 25 liters, there is a decent amount of space in the main compartment but keep in mind all of those “external” pockets take space away when they’re packed. You could get away with it as an overnight bag if you packed light but not likely any longer.
But that’s not why this bag exists. It's meant to be your go-to travel companion when you're in transit or working while traveling. We use the internal pocket for an electronics organizer, hat, passport wallet, keyboard, portable laptop stand, and a sweater when traveling.
A small internal zipped pocket would be nice but thanks to the tech pocket we haven’t missed it.
Testing & Ownership
After months of using the XACTLY Oxygen 25 liter laptop backpack we have nothing but great things to say. It's truly been a joy to use. We consistently rely on it as a personal item for flights and to carry all of our devices when working from the road.
This is where the bag is most at home - in transit or in a coffee shop while working. It's too heavy to be used as an exploring daypack and it's too refined to be used as a hiking backpack. This bag is an incredible option if you’re a business traveler, digital nomad, remote worker, or just like to bring your gadgets & electronics on vacation. Paired with a suitcase or roller bag, this laptop backpack is unmatched.
This bag does take some getting used to, for two primary reasons.
The first is that this bag is much heavier than alternative laptop backpacks. The extra weight is a result of the emphasis on premium material & hardware and at nearly 3 lbs unpacked its noticeable immediately. When it's fully packed you will feel the weight after extended periods of wear. The super padded back panel & shoulder straps help significantly but it's still there.
Second, the large tech pocket creates an odd weight balance because it's much heavier on the front & top than other backpacks. The most noticeable impact this has is that the front flops down when you open the main compartment. This is the one time where the bag doesn't maintain its shape; when it's open.
Even if the tech pocket is empty the weight is enough that it will pull the front down. When the bag is sitting on the ground and open it actually sits upright because the front acts as a sort of kickstand. Nice for digging through the main compartment but takes getting used to when you’re opening it while holding the bag. And everything will fall out if you open the main compartment while the tech pocket is unzipped.
Overall, we adjusted to both of these nuances and have come to love using the XACTLY 25 liter laptop backpack. The quality material & organization features truly feel unmatched and have made travel days and remote works days so much smoother.
The XACTLY Oxygen 25 is one of the best smart backpacks for travel. It's perfect for travelers who love to bring their gadgets or work from the road. It’s a stand out laptop backpack with everything you could want (and more!) to make travel days smooth.
If you love the design & quality of the XACTLY 25 but want a bit more space, consider the 35 liter variation. It features the same overall design but has more room for extra gear, perfect to use as a weekend bag. If low profile is more your thing, consider the Cocoon Innovations Slim Laptop Backpack. At just 3.75” in depth, you won’t find a sleeker way to carry your computer.