Review: Patagonia Lightweight Travel Tote Pack 22L Bag / Backpack

ptote1

Patagucci, Patagonia…boy, people have mixed feelings about this brand. I’d say that if the product is made well, and bonus points if it’s made ethically and sustainably, kudos to the brand. This post is a review of the Patagonia Lightweight Travel Tote Pack 22L which I’ve owned and used regularly for about a year. I’ve traveled to multiple cities and countries and have been wearing it daily on my commute to work, so I’ve put it through some bad weather as well. This bag has held up well enough that I’m willing to review it in depth. I bought this bag myself and no one is asking me to review it on their behalf, so all of my opinions below are my own with no commercial biases whatsoever.

I love ultralight gear and I am afflicted by a bad case of upgrade-ism, so naturally, I have a bad habit of always searching for the Perfect Version of everything I own. This is hardly ever a good thing for my wallet, but it is a great thing for my readers, because I’ve already done the field testing for you! For intercity travel, a 20-25 liter pack is sufficient for my needs (though if you can go lighter, have at it!). I’ve taken it to a 4-city adventure in Europe (during the winter), a couple trips to Seattle, a 9 day trip to Iceland, and I use it as my workhorse commuter bag when I bike to work. It weighs a mere 14 oz and for a sub-one pound bag, it is still full of pockets and features. There are two tote handles for shoulder or handheld carrying and lightly padded backpack straps coupled with chest/waist straps for backpack carrying with some extra loops for hanging other things or adjusting the heights of the straps.

ptote7

The 2.1 oz 7 denier ripstop nylon makes it easy to clean with a wet cloth and is lightweight yet durable. The fabric is coated with polyurethane and silicone for weather resistance. I have worn this bag through rain and snow with no damage to the contents inside, though some moisture will seep through in a downpour, so it’s not waterproof (nor is it marketed as such). The bag has a simple zip top closure for easy opening and closing – no curvy zipper paths here.

ptote3

There are two water bottle pockets on the sides and side compression straps above them which can also help secure anything you’re stuffing into the water bottle pockets that are too tall (I like putting my flip flops in there). You can clip an S-biner to the compression strap and hang a Platypus water bottle, which is what I did on my recent trip to Seattle. No worries about spilling your water all over the inside of your bag!

ptote2

I love the zippered pocket on the front which is very handy for maps/guidebooks or anything you need easy to reach. My iPad mini does fit into the front pocket, though you’ll want to be careful not to put weight on it.

ptote6

Clearly, the bag has taken a beating. Despite that, there is not a single rip or loose thread to be found.

There is also an an open pocket on the back you can tuck the backpack straps into or even to insert a tablet/small laptop.

ptote4

The interior of the bag has a pocket that I personally use for my wallet and phone, and you can also stuff the entire bag into that pocket.

Paired with Eagle Creek stuff sacks and cubes, you can stuff a great deal of things into the bag. I can definitely get an entire week’s worth of clothing in there (especially if I limit the number of bulky clothing items I have). For my Europe trip, I packed a toiletry bag, two pairs of long pants, a pair of Tieks, a DSLR camera, 2 sweatshirts, 2 sets of workout clothes, and underwear/socks to go along with everything, still with room to spare for small souvenirs. I stuffed all of the items in the photo below into the bag and there is still plenty of room to spare. That Eagle Creek bag has 2 dresses and 3 sets of workout wear.

ptote8

It’s lightweight and packable, which are two of my favorite features for any bag that I own. Is it stylish? Well, that’s kind of a subjective question. It’s most certainly a practical item, and I do consider it unisex – doesn’t really look out of place on males or females. It does come in several different colors though, so it’s got that going for it..

Buy it on the Patagonia website, or other retailers where you might be able to snag a discount.