Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack Review

The Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack is sleek, versatile, and ideal for weekend getaways or business trips with its blend of style and practicality.

Our Verdict

7.1 /10
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  • Soft nubuck exterior feels fantastic while holding or carrying
  • Maintains its shape and rigidity whether empty or full
  • The aesthetic is simple but professional, so you can carry it anywhere


  • Dubious as to how long the exterior will stay nice
  • The interior lining is not the softest (especially compared to the exterior)
  • Pockets are rigid and do not offer a lot of stretch or flex

Technical Details

87 %

Carry-on Compliance

View 126/145 Airlines

76 %

Like the Look

Polled on Instagram

  • Capacity


  • Weight (lb)

    3.2 lb (1.5 kg)

  • Dimensions

    18.1 in x 11.8 in x 7.1 in (46 x 30 x 18 cm)

  • Notable Materials

    Leather, Nylon Canvas, YKK Zippers

  • Laptop Compartment Size


Full Review

The Carl Friedrik 72-hour backpack is an elegant travel backpack with a unique style, soft texture, and an impressive structure that maintains its rigid shape no matter what’s stowed inside. Known for their beautiful travel bags, luggage, wallets, and other home and office accessories, Carl Friedrik has this backpack available in three classic colors: Black nylon and Chocolate or Charcoal Nubuck, with a plush and sleek exterior that’s a joy to hold.

Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack Back
Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack | The nubuck and leather accented exterior provide a captivating and unique aesthetic.

Aptly named, the 72-hour Backpack offers more than enough room for a weekend getaway, depending on how efficiently you pack it. The materials feel well-built and durable, though the outer material feels nicer than the inner linings. However, you may run into some issues if you have to set it on the floor or a dirty surface. The backpack features a clever pocket hidden in the luggage pass-through, which, although not the most conveniently located, ensures your sensitive gear stays safe. It also features a few quick-access pockets, which work sufficiently, although not the best. More on that later, but for now, let’s get into it!

External Components

The majority of the exterior of this backpack is premium chrome-free nubuck and Vachetta leather detailing, although you can get the solid black nylon variant if you avoid leather products. The inner material and lining are a technical nylon canvas, which, despite not being the softest material, feels like it will certainly stand the test of time. However, we advise caution when packing easily scratched items like screens or glasses since it’s on the rougher side. The zippers are nicely made YKK with metal sliders that feel smooth and easy to use while providing a nice accent to the overall exterior aesthetic. The only external branding is a small imprint on top of the carry handle’s leather accent.

Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack Leather
Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack | Nubuck and leather exterior provide a comfortable and stylish aesthetic.

The three primary ways of carrying this backpack are via the traditional backpack straps, the top grab handle, and the luggage pass-through. The shoulder straps have a nice premium aesthetic and do a sufficient job of ensuring comfort while still maintaining the elevated style. However, there are no attachment points on the shoulder straps, sternum straps, or hip belts. While not a serious issue, it’s something to keep in mind, depending on your frame and how much you pack into it. Finally, there are no strap keepers or managers, which could be another source of frustration for some.

Having tested this out over a weekend getaway, we never experienced any issues in terms of comfort while wearing the backpack. The straps may not look like it, but they are surprisingly comfortable thanks to the inner padding and the nubuck/leather. The top grab handle has the same premium feel and aesthetic, and it’s moderately comfortable thanks to the nubuck exterior.

Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack Handle
Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack | There’s minimal branding on the top-carry handle.

The luggage pass-through works very well, and we are fans of this style in particular, as the bag sits up in an upright orientation when stacked on top of roller luggage. Overall, positioning the backpack on top like this gives a nice, elevated aesthetic, especially when paired with a similar color or textured aesthetic. While we are on the subject, the luggage pass-through padding is nice and plush for comfort while wearing the backpack and protection to the inner contents, as the laptop compartment sits directly behind the back panel. One of the unique features of this backpack is its zippered secret back compartment that sits behind the luggage pass-through. Hidden from plain sight, we only discovered it after a few days of testing the backpack. It’s ideal to keep gear like a wallet and passport secure, although it’s not the most convenient to access due to its position.

Fit Notes

Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack Side-by-Side
Left: Morgan White, Height: 6’0 (182 cm), Torso: 17.75” (45 cm) | Right: Lauren Maternowski, Height: 5’6” (168 cm), Torso: 16.5” (42 cm)

The overall look and aesthetics of the bag are quite appealing, especially with the leather accents, although your mileage may vary with how you feel about it compared with the all-black nylon variation. The backpack is versatile enough for more professional and casual environments, especially business and travel. However, due to its color, texture, and leather detailing, it may not blend as well in more casual environments. The 72-hour Backpack exudes elegance and premium quality. While that is appealing in an airport lounge, it may draw undesired attention in a crowded market.

Inside The Pack

The secondary compartments of this backpack are fairly straightforward and minimalistic. It features a quick-access pocket on the top with a zipper, although it lacks additional weatherproofing. The pocket itself is not the largest, though it fits an iPhone Pro Max, just not much else. Due to the rough inner lining and material, we don’t find it the best choice for sensitive items like glasses or anything with a screen. Instead, it’s better suited for smaller items like chapstick, gum, and, potentially, keys.

Another quick-access pocket is located on the side and spans almost the full width of the bag. It’s easy to access with a simple zip while you have the backpack slung over a shoulder. However, it doesn’t stretch much and feels fairly rigid. While the concept of this pocket is appreciated, it would be nice if it were slightly larger or more expansive. It is also important to note that there is no external water bottle pocket, so if external access to hydration is important to you, keep that in mind.

Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack Sunglasses
Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack | The quick-access pocket makes it easy to access smaller items fast and easy.

The laptop compartment is adjacent to the back panel and can accommodate up to a 16-inch MacBook Pro. We always appreciate a dedicated laptop compartment as it makes getting a device in or out super quick and convenient, especially in settings like an airport or cafe. However, this compartment uses a similar inner lining as the rest of the bag, meaning your device has no added protection. We didn’t run into any serious issues, though we were concerned about getting unintentional scratches on already scratch-prone devices like laptops or tablets.

Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack Top Pocket
Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack | Laptop compartment can fit up to a 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The backpack’s main compartment utilizes a traditional clamshell opening with dual zippers. However, it is front-loading, so we must place the bag face-up to load it. Ultimately, this may boil down to personal preference, but you’ll want to place the bag on a relatively clean surface to avoid transferring dirt or debris to your back when you put the backpack on. This is not a huge deal, but something to keep in mind when setting the bag down or picking it up.

Inside the main compartment, on the anterior wall, two zippered pockets provide some organization. The top pocket is mesh, while the one below is the standard interior lining. These pockets, featuring similar leather accents as the exterior for a pleasant aesthetic contrast, have little to no give and do not stretch. Due to the robust materials and construction, these pockets make it difficult to overload with gear which could be a pro or a con depending on your packing style.

Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack Interior Pockets
Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack | A nice aesthetically pleasing organizational panel for essential items.

Towards the back of the compartment is another zippered pocket suitable for smaller items like toiletries. Like the other pockets, this one also doesn’t stretch. Finally, one last zippered pocket extends the length and width of the side of the bag, though it’s not the most spacious. This pocket, similar to the one on the exterior, seems ideal for smaller and/or flatter items. We found a toothbrush, small toothpaste, a small travel-sized Advil, and a travel razor that fit nicely in here. Specifically, items that are needed once arriving at your dedication since the placement inside the bag is not very convenient to get to mid-travel. Overall, the interior of the main compartment looks beautiful, with pleasing aesthetics, even if some pockets could be more practical or easier to use.

Aside from these pockets, the main compartment functions as a blank slate for you to store whatever you please. This design allows for customizable loading based on personal preference, which we always like to see. Whether you prefer packing the bag freely or using packing cubes and pouches, this bag can accommodate various styles.

Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack Empty
Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack | The main compartment offers flexibility for loading the main compartment.

The Carl Friedrik 72-hour Backpack is a stylish, well-made, versatile travel backpack. Its sleek design, premium materials, and attention to detail, offer a unique blend of elegance and practicality. Although we’d prefer a softer lining in certain pockets and an external water bottle pocket, these are minor issues in an otherwise beautiful backpack. Whether you’re heading out for a weekend getaway or a business trip, this backpack can accommodate various packing styles and needs. It is a fantastic investment for those who value aesthetics and functionality in their travel gear.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Exterior leather feels soft and smooth
  • Frame is quite structured and rigid
  • Zippers feel smooth but are loud
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Fine

  • Exterior showing minor wear and tear
  • Zippers are still easy and smooth to use
  • Interior lining is still somewhat rough
By Morgan White
Created February 28, 2024 • Updated February 28, 2024
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