EVERGOODS Mountain Panel Loader 30L (MPL30 V2) Review
While we think it could benefit from more organization, we’re fans of how seamlessly the EVERGOODS MPL30 (V2) transitions from urban to adventure carry.
- Ample space for your everyday gear, plus a little extra
- Comfortable, structured harness system
- Works well in both urban and outdoor settings
- Little organization in main compartment
- No mesh back lining for added breathability
- Bag is strap-heavy, can get dangly
3 lb (1.4 kg)
21 in x 12 in x 9 in (53.3 x 30.5 x 22.9 cm)
Nylon, Polyurethane, Aluminum, DWR Coating, YKK Zippers, Duraflex Hardware
Laptop Compartment Size
We’ve had our hands on the EVERGOODS Mountain Panel Loader 30L (V2) for the last two weeks. Not only have we been assessing this daypack’s functionality individually, but also in comparison to its first iteration, the original Mountain Panel Loader 30L (MPL30 for short).
We’ll primarily be focusing on the second version in this review, including how comfortable it’s been to carry, its versatility, and much more. Spoiler alert: we’ve really enjoyed these last couple of weeks of testing, and while we have some features we’ve been raving about, there are others that were disappointing.
Interested? Great—you can jump into the review below to read more!
Materials & Aesthetic
Like we said in the MPL30 (V1) review, this bag has a unique shape with a tactical vibe, all wrapped up in a streamlined, minimal design. Around 63% of our Instagram followers claimed to like its look according to our aesthetic poll, which we feel is a pretty fair verdict. It has an interesting, almost aggressive look to it visually speaking, but that’s one thing that the majority seems to appreciate about it.
If you’re partial to more subdued colorways, you may be delighted to know that you can pick up this pack in classic Black at the time of this review. However, if you were hoping to add a splash of color to your carry, you may be disappointed that this is the only colorway available at this time. That’s not to say there absolutely won’t be more options in the future, so stay posted! EVERGOODS has had different colorway runs of red, grey, and khaki colorways in the past with some of their bags.
You’ll find a small patch of velcro on the front of the pack in the shape of the brand’s logo (a square with a diagonal slash). What’s neat about it, though, is that you can slap on a patch of your own to add some personal style or functionality, as we have with EVERGOODS’ reflective squares for added visibility. We also like to throw a Pack Hacker patch on now and then (which you can get as a bonus for joining our Pro Community.)
As for its material, the MPL30 (V2) is constructed with a 420d HT nylon 6,6 that feels sturdy in hand and has held up well so far during testing. We also can’t forget its PU coating that adds some much-appreciated water-resistance, whether you’re exploring an especially rainy city or encounter some sprinkling weather out on the trail.
For a hardwearing pack like this one, YKK zippers are a natural pick to secure its pockets and compartments. They’re even treated with a DWR coating to further deter any moisture from getting to your gear. We will say that this added water-resistance can make the zippers a little stickier than we’d like, but for us (and possibly for you), it’s worth the bonus protection.
Plus, there are two loops at the bottom of the pack that acts as built-in zipper locks. You can slip the pulls through them while you’re on the go, making it much harder for the wrong hands to get inside your bag when you’re not looking.
You do have to slip them back out of the loops when you’re ready to get inside the pack again, which can be a nuisance, but as we said, it’s a trade-off for a more secure carry. You can clip carabiners here or other accessories as well to keep them close by if that functionality is better suited to your needs!
To wrap up this section, we also want to note this bag’s hardware, courtesy of Duraflex. Everything in this department has been operating as expected and has held up nicely throughout our testing—no complaints here.
The bag’s shoulder straps are densely padded with Zote EV50 foam that not only offers structure but comfortable support, too. However, they’re not the most breathable straps we’ve ever tested, as they don’t feature any mesh lining to better combat sweat on longer wears and when you’re out in the heat. They do have ports to slip a water bladder hose through if you’ve got one in the main compartment and are looking to get that hands-free hydration in a clean, streamlined fashion.
Then we have the sternum strap, which clips to one of four attachment points along each shoulder strap. Once you have it adjusted to where it’s the most supportive, you can feel confident that this strap isn’t going anywhere. That also means it can be a hassle to reposition, though we’ve found one method that’s been working really well: if you turn the strap over before pulling it through the attachment point, you won’t have to worry about the clip getting caught.
You also have a hip belt (or a waist strap, more like it) to help keep the bag as close to the body as possible. We say waist strap as it doesn’t have any padding to it, so it’s not offering an abundance of support, but it still adds some extra stability for heavier and lengthier hauls. If you don’t feel you need it, keep in mind that it’s also entirely removable, so you can detach it and store somewhere that it won’t be in your way.
This strap is a little less intense than what we saw on the MPL30 (V1). The previous pack’s strap features a pocket at each end that conveniently stores quick-grab items but adds a fair amount of bulk to the waist overall. Their absence on the MPL30 (V2) helps make the bag more suitable for urban carry, in addition to its already adventure-ready capabilities.
Moving on to the back panel, you’ll notice a similar padding level as the shoulder straps. This, along with the panel’s natural curvature, offers comfortable, structured support for your back. Alas, there’s no mesh lining here either, so again: some sweat is going to be inevitable on longer and warmer wears.
Before we go over what’s next, we have to ask: do you think you can handle it?
The answer is yes, and from two different spots. This bag’s first handle is on the side, and unlike the MPL30 (V1), it’s positioned much closer to the back panel. The new positioning creates a more structured, balanced carry when you want to tote this thing briefcase-style.
The other handle sits at the top and is also well-structured, so it’s easy to grab and comfortable in hand. This one works best for shorter modes of carry, like when you’re sliding the bag around from spot to spot or need to pull it close to grab something out. There’s also an attachment point on each side you can use to clip carabiners to (if not on the zipper locks) as well as other accessories, so they’re handy when you need them.
There are even compression straps—two on each side—that you can tighten to slim down this bag’s profile even further when you’re carrying a smaller amount of gear. We appreciate that these straps don’t stretch across any compartments, so they don’t inhibit or slow down our access inside. We’re also fans of its elastic keeper system that allows us to fold any excess strap into a compact size and then secure, so it’s not dangling all over the place.
To round it all off, you also have two elastic water bottle pockets on the outside of this pack. They’re stretchy enough to fit larger sizes like a Nalgene Wide-Mouth Water Bottle 32 oz, though we’ve done most of our testing with the Hydro Flask 18 oz Standard Mouth Water Bottle in tow. We like that we don’t have to make room inside the bag when we’re carrying one, as we’re always a little cautious keeping water near our tech and other gear.
Inside The Pack
Let’s kick this section off by talking about this bag’s front pocket. You can access it by its side-zipper opening, making it super easy to sling this thing to your front and reach in for whatever you need. As for what you should pack inside, we’ve been using it as a spot to stash a light jacket in case it gets chilly out or on the off chance we encounter a light drizzle.
This pocket is especially well-suited for it as it has two air ports at the bottom to help with airflow and ventilation. So, if you do get caught in the rain, you can throw your coat in here and at least it’ll have a bit of ventilation. The only downside here is these ports can be a problem if you’re carrying smaller items, as they can fall out without you knowing. We recommend using pouches for your smaller accessories if you do plan on keeping them in this pocket.
Of course, you can also keep your other smaller and more frequently-used gear, like your wallet, personal care items, headphones, etc. inside the top quick-grab pocket. It’s home to the bag’s dedicated key clip, too, which is bright red, easy to find, and has been working well during testing.
This clip is yet another difference between the two versions of the bag, as on the V1, the key clip is located all the way on the inside of the main compartment. Having it in this quick-grab pocket makes for much quicker access to our keys when we’re trying to quickly unlock the house, car, mailbox, among other things.
That completes the pockets section of the review. Now, it’s time for the main compartment! It opens up fully-clamshell, offering great visibility and easy maneuvering of the gear you’re keeping inside. You’ve probably already guessed, but the bag holds 30L of gear in total, so you have a ton of room for all your everyday essentials.
Organization-wise, you have two zippered pockets at your disposal, and you’ll find the first one at the top of the front flap. It’s medium-sized and secures with a zipper, making it ideal for smaller items that you don’t want to get shuffled around in the compartment’s free space. We’ve been keeping snacks inside ourselves, as we don’t constantly need to grab them, so we’d rather they not take up space in the external quick-grab pockets.
Below it is a much larger mesh pocket that can conveniently segment your tech gear, should you opt-out of using a separate tech pouch. We’ve been able to fit quite a bit inside, like a mouse, cables, cords, and other accessories. There’s even a dedicated sleeve where you can slip in your phone when you’re not using it that, once the pocket is zippered, won’t fall out into the remaining space.
Speaking of, you have a ton of room to store your other bulkier gear in the leftover space. We’ve integrated packing cubes to add more segmentation for our purposes, but if you’re comfortable letting your gear free-float, don’t let us stop you. Throw in a lunchbox, extra pair of shoes, clothing for an overnight trip—anything your heart desires. Feel free to check out some of our several packings lists as well for ideas on what to bring for which occasion and why.
Keep in mind that there’s also a sleeve against the back wall that can fit up to a 16″ MacBook Pro, though it’s a tight fit. It’s suspended but not very densely padded, so you’re getting some degree of protection from drops but not the same level of cushy support as we’ve seen with other bags.
We do like the loop on the front that we can grab with one hand to help us easily slide the laptop out of the sleeve with the other. This is also where you would secure a water bladder if you were out hiking, for example, and weren’t using this spot for your laptop.
- Great for travel, urban, and outdoor exploring
- Contoured shoulder straps and curved aluminum stay back panel make for a comfortable carry
- Laptop compartment can also be used to hold a hydration bladder
This bag is a subtle but noticeable upgrade from the Mountain Panel Loader 30L (MPL30). The removable hip belt makes it much better for everyday carry and makes it a more versatile backpack overall. We also really like the new lighter grey interior, it makes it much easier to locate our gear quickly. But the biggest addition has to be the water bottle pockets! There’s now one on each side so we can carry enough water and coffee for a day whether we’re at the office or out on the trail.