The RiutBag X35 backpack can be unfolded from a handy 10 litre everyday capacity to a spacious 35 litres that’s suitable for use as your carry-on bag. For extra security it also has a special backwards design that hides all openings when worn.
RuitBag get points for presentation (not to mention helping the environment) as the X35 comes inside it’s own reusable black fabric drawstring bag. Overall quality of this backpack seems top-notch and we’d expect great durability from the sturdy waterproof woven nylon, anti-abrasion TPU, EVA foam straps, strong Lycra lining and smooth YKK zips.
Viewed from the front, the X35 has an understated look that won’t draw unwanted attention – mostly plain black fabric, apart from a diagonal crease with RiutBag tag at its centre.
There’s a carrying handle at the top, while near the TPU base there’s also a loop allowing you to clip a bike light to the outside of the bag for extra visibility. There are also two long elasticated pockets at the sides of the backpack capable of holding bottles up to 1.5L.
At the back the generous padding, breathable mesh fabric and fully adjustable straps ensure a comfortable fit. Clipping the two straps together at the chest takes a lot of the strain away from the shoulders, and for really heavy loads a special waist strap accessory can be purchased separately that transfers a lot of the weight onto the hips.
For security, all the zips are also located at the back – a small pocket that runs inside the top of the bag, another D-pocket inside the lumbar cushion and the long zip around the main compartment. Resting against your back when worn, these are totally inaccessible to any would-be thieves. However with a little practice the wearer can get into the D-pocket by slipping their hand behind their back.
The main compartment opens clam-shell style to lie flat when fully opened, convenient for full access to the two main sections. The front section has two large net zip pockets along with zipped access to the laptop compartment at the top.
This laptop compartment actually has two padded sections which can safely carry both a 15.6″ laptop and a smaller ultrabook or tablet-like device.
The bottom section is covered with a zipped privacy mesh that keeps clothing in place so that your underwear won’t fall everywhere during a security check. Opening this gets you into the main suitcase-like compartment of the bag.
As a backpack the 10 litre capacity is ideal for carrying a laptop along with another few items. If you need a bit more space, simply open the buckles at the side to increase this size to 20+ litres. Finally to get the full maximum 35 litres (more than double the original capacity), also open the buckles at the top and push out the corners from the inside. This size gives an ideal capacity for a short trip and the X35’s dimensions make it acceptable cabin luggage for most airlines.
The RiutBag X35 currently retails at £169 which is a lot of money for a backpack. However we found the clever design made it convenient for the vast majority of backpack applications. Factor in the excellent comfort, security and build quality you get and we’d expect the X35 to be the only backpack you’ll need for many years to come.