I’ve used a lot of great backpacks and the Udee backpack ranks right up at the top with some of the best I’ve ever used. The Udee backpack is being crowdfunded on Indiegogo right now and I was sent a pre-production model of the backpack for review here on Techaeris. It’s important to note that there may be some changes to the final product that is shipped out to consumers and some of what I cover here may or may not be applicable to the final production models. So read on full the full review of the Udee backpack and find out how I liked this gadget lover’s ideal backpack.
- Neoprene carrying handle
- Safety LED lights
- Luggage belt
- Headphone port
- Power bank pocket with external charging port
- Hidden security pockets
- Pen pocket
- Laptop pocket
- Passport/card holder
- 25L capacity
- Saftey reflective stripe by 3M
- DSLR/Mirrorless camera bag or cooler
- Waterproof level IPX3-4
What’s In The Box
- Udee backpack
- Safety LED lights
- Built-in USB cable
When I first opened the box the Udee came in I was pretty shocked. I honestly wasn’t expecting much, given that I’ve never heard of the company before and was prepared for the worst. The first thing you notice about the Udee backpack is the solid look and feel of this product. Unlike many other backpacks, this one is pretty rigid and stands up nicely when placed on the floor. I love that it doesn’t slump over in a lumpy pile when it’s empty. The walls of this backpack are built solid and they’re just really nice.
All of the materials used here are top notch. Everything looks, feels, and even smells amazing. The one thing I had an issue with was the top zipper to the main compartment, I found the zippers would stick every so often but this is a pre-production unit so that can be forgiven. The backpack is also very attractive, I mean I really love the look of this thing. It’s got nice style and harkens towards a commuter look and feel more than anything.
There are literally well over a dozen things on this bag that make it a real solid choice in terms of versatility and use cases. Starting at the bottom compartment, which is what got me excited for this bag in the first place. The bottom portion of the bag can be used to house your DSLR or mirrorless camera along with a few lenses, all dependent on how big your rig is. It’s certainly not going to replace a dedicated camera bag if you need more than a camera and couple of lenses but this is great to see in this level of a bag.
The padding on this bottom portion is great for protecting your camera from shocks, bumps, and jostles. Udee says this space could be used as a cooler too, not something I’d choose to use it for but the option is there. I do wish it were a bit easier to access this bottom portion than it is, but it works fairly well and I love that there is dedicated space for a camera.
On the outside front is a pocket you can store your quick need items such as your phone, documents, business cards, passport, and those types of things. Along the right side is a USB port you can use to plug and charge your phone. The USB port is wired into the bag and on the inside is a pocket you can store your favorite battery bank in. Simply plugging your battery bank into the USB cable will allow use of that USB port. So to be perfectly clear, the included USB port is non-powered until you add your own power bank to it.
On the outside left is a headphone port which is nothing more than a grommet filled hole that leads to the inside of the bag where there is a place for your phone or iPod. Just tuck your device into the pouch and slip the headphones through the hole and it helps keep the cable from disturbing you while you walk. It’s a feature that is helpful but with the increasing adoption of Bluetooth, many people will likely not use it.
Around back you have two hidden security pockets that are a nice addition to secure valuables like cash and credit cards. The design of the ventilation system is one of the best I’ve seen on any backpack. The padding that rests on your back is nice and thick and gives a lot of separation between the back and the backpack allowing airflow to actually get through. I tend to sweat a lot when walking long distances with a backpack, I am excited to put this to the ventilation test at some point at the next trade show. Right now it just looks like it should provide way more ventilation than most backpacks I’ve used.
Of course, there is also the luggage strap that allows you to mount this on a rollie suitcase for easier movement in airports. The backpack straps are super comfortable with a huge amount of cushion on them. I do wish there were a chest strap incorporated and maybe in the final production there will be. In the straps, you’ll find LED light strips that light up for safety making you more visible at night when walking. Speaking of safety, back around the front there are 3M reflective safety strips that are also useful for being seen when walking at night.
Moving inside the top portion of the bag, There is ample storage space for things like headphones and other personal belongings including clothing. The inside front has a variety of small pockets and zips that can hold cables and other odds and ends. Like the bottom portion of the bag, there are padded partitions that will help keep things snugly in place which is especially important for cameras and lenses. It is important to note that the top and bottom portion can be made into one giant bag by unzipping the inner separator and folding it down.
Finally, the back pocket will fit your laptops and any other longer and slimmer items that you might want to bring along, including larger tablets. I will say that this is really a gadget backpack and there will be very little room for clothes and such unless that’s all you use it for. Overall the design is really nice, I love the materials used and the quality is top notch. I love the addition of the camera section and that you can opt to merge the two compartments into one. This is most certainly not designed with hauling clothes around, this is a tech gadget lover’s backpack through and through.
I feel the protection level is well above acceptable standards here. There’s a ton of padding protecting all of your gadgets and electronics, it is IPX3-4 waterproof and all of the materials are gadget friendly. Udee says the backpack comes with an included lock, our prototype bag did not come with this lock so we were unable to test that aspect.
Starting at $109USD and going up from there on Indiegogo, I think this is a fabulous buy for the money but I’m sure there will be some who might not like the price.
Gadget lovers will love this, especially photographers who want a backpack to take along a camera and a few lenses. At the very least, this is a bag worth looking at on Indiegogo.
*We were sent a pre-production model of the Udee backpack for the purposes of this review.
Last Updated on March 18, 2017.