Topo Designs Daypack – Carry Some Adventure

Topo 6

Here at MVM, we love a good bag.  As we become a more and more mobile oriented society, the need for a quality bag to carry your stuff gets greater as time goes on.  People are carrying more things with them today than ever before.  Laptops, cellphones, tablets, planners, notebooks, pens, pencils, books, magazines, newspapers, the list could really go on and on.  Topo Designs saw this need and set out to create quality bags to meet the needs of even the most adventurous.

The guys at Topo Design were gracious enough to send Matt and I a couple of their Daypacks for review.  Upon first inspection, there doesn’t really seem to be anything that great about the Daypack.  There are no secret abilities, no gizmos or gadgets, no technological advantages this bag gives you on a daily basis. Simply put, this bag holds your stuff.

But where the Topo Daypack shines is it’s versatility.  Upon first receiving my Daypack, I began using it simply as my every day bag.  I used it to carry my laptop, iPad, sunglasses, and everything else I needed on a daily basis.  Although it keeps a slim profile, it holds a lot of stuff.

Daily Carry Items

Large main pocket with laptop pocket and room for plenty of stuff

Smaller front pocket that still holds lots of stuff

The Daypack quickly proved itself as a wonderful EDC (Every Day Carry) bag and handled the typical load beautifully.  But one look at Topo’s website and you see that these bags are meant for more than just the 9-5 work day.  These bags are made to used and abused.  So I decided I wanted to give this bag a try on a nice day hike.

If you know anything about your US geography, you probably don’t associate Indiana with hiking.  Everyone seems to believe Indiana is flat fields filled with soybeans and corn.  And while that is mostly correct, we also have some beautiful hiking and mountain biking trails in the southern portion of the state.

That's right, Indiana has it all.

For this trip I decided to bring along my trusty companion Jethro to get his opinion of the Daypack and how it does.

He's a really tough critic

As Jethro and I began to set out for our day in the woods, I knew I was going to have to pack quite a bit to make sure we both stayed hydrated and energized.  I loaded down the Daypack with:

  • 3 large bottles of water
  • water bowl for Jethro
  • first aid kit
  • duct tape (you never know when you need duct tape)
  • extra socks
  • clif bars, peanut butter cookies (and other snacks)
  • 2 notebooks and pens
  • knife
  • flashlight
  • map of Brown County State Park

As we started out, I was very appreciative of the no-nonsense design of the Daypack.  This makes it very light and doesn’t add any bulk to your trip.  As we continued I was pleased to find that I did not experience any discomfort in my back or shoulders as a result of carrying the Daypack.  During my time using the Daypack as my EDC, it had already won my heart in that respect, and it appeared it would be winning me over as a great hiking bag as well.

Jethro striking his best "Brave Adventurer" pose

On top of being highly functional, the Daypack looks good as well.  The black on black with just a little touch of red really makes for an understated look that doesn’t steal the show.  Prior to receiving this bag, I used a Swiss Army backpack that weighed approximately 1,000,000 pounds and had 30,000,000 pockets, so having a bag that cut out all the extra junk and just focused on the necessities was great.

The leather lash tabs add the possibility of strapping extra gear directly to the bag

The Daypack by Topo Designs is a great bag.  Here’s why:


  1. Very durable and well made.  The shoulder straps are even reinforced with seatbelt webbing so you can load this sucker up without concern.
  2. The 1000d Cordura Nylon is extremely strong and will help keep the elements off you valuables
  3. Works great both as an EDC or Bug-Out/Hiking bag
  4. Lash tabs are strong and meant to be used
  5. Heavy duty zipper never gave me a lick of trouble
  6. Lightweight
  7. LOTS of room while maintaining a slim profile.
  8. Reasonably priced
  9. In my humble opinion, the Backpack all other Backpacks hope to be when they grow up.


  1. The ONLY thing I would add to this bag is an exterior water bottle holder.  There are rings on the straps that you could attach a bottle to, but a pocket for a water bottle would be nice.

I love my Topo Daypack.  So much so that it has made me re-evaluate my preference of messenger bags over backpacks.  I am not saying I have changed my mind on that, but it has definitely made me re-evaluate. So head on over to Topo Designs and check out their stuff.  They are great guys and will definitely help you find exactly what you are looking for.  They offer several different bags and color choices so you can get exactly what you are looking for.

Modern Vintage Man Score: 5/5

  • Jess

    What a cute dog!!

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