lululemon Everyday Backpack 2.0 23L Review
The lululemon Everyday Backpack 2.0 is a carry-all bag good for the workday or running around town, though the lack of padding impacts comfort.
- Water bottle pockets double as stash pockets
- Rain rolls off fabric
- Plenty of built-in organization
- Front pocket sometimes difficult to unzip
- Elastic too loose on interior pouch
- Chunky zippers don’t always slide smoothly
1.4 lb (0.6 kg)
16.5 in x 11.4 in x 5.9 in (41.9 x 29 x 15 cm)
Laptop Compartment Size
As it says in the name, the lululemon Everyday Backpack 2.0 carries everything we need throughout the day, keeping us organized at the same time. The 23L capacity provides plenty of room for books, extra sweatshirts, drinks, snacks, and our tech, with different pockets, pouches, and compartments to make it easy to find just what we need.
Its stylish design makes this a bag we like to tote around every day, and it seems sturdy enough to stand the test of time and travel. Lululemon also includes features like a luggage strap, so we can slip it over the handle of a piece of rolling luggage to save our backs as we trek through the airport. That’s great since the lightly padded back panel isn’t always enough to soften the blow of what we’re hauling, but more on that later. Let’s dive in.
Materials & Aesthetic
The gusseted front pocket and slim side pockets give it a streamlined look not out of place in the airport, an urban cafe, or work. However, that sleek look comes at a price of fabric that doesn’t stretch, so we’re sure to pay attention to what water bottle and books we’re grabbing when we hit the road. The material doesn’t have much give, which isn’t a problem most of the time, though keep in mind that there may not be extra wiggle room to accommodate one last souvenir as you’re heading home.
The exterior fabric is shiny, water-repellent nylon, and inside, the liner and mesh pockets are made from polyester in the same color as the exterior colorway we’ve chosen. We have the black model, though the Everyday Backpack is also available—at the time of writing—in colorways that include Ancient Copper, Seal Gray, and Bronze Green. There’s also one print option, the Heritage Camo Wash Juniper Green Multi: a camouflage print of a muted pink, black, green, and gray, along with the lululemon name printed in black throughout the design, with a black liner and black straps.
No matter the color, there’s a two-inch lululemon patch on the right side of the center of the bag’s front, right above the front zippered pocket. It lets us know that the company began in Vancouver in the 1990s and is a nice-looking piece of branding that meshes well with the style of the bag. The only other branding on the bag is a slender piece of rubber tacked into the top center inside the main compartment. Aside from the multi-color option, both the patch and the interior logo branding are in the same color as the colorway chosen, so they blend in seamlessly with the bag.
There are YKK zippers used throughout the bag, with chunky YKK Vislon zippers for the laptop and main compartments and a more slender YKK zipper for the front compartment. While we like the sturdiness of YKK, these particular zippers take some time to be broken in and don’t always slide as smoothly as we would like. We’ll keep you updated on this in our usage timeline. Each zipper does have a two-inch nylon fabric zipper pull, which makes it easier to grab them.
A fabric welt conceals the zipper on the front compartment, which helps to protect the pocket’s contents from water. That’s nice, though it does make it more difficult to unzip the pocket. It tends to angle the zipper pull toward the bottom of the bag, preventing us from smoothly unzipping the pocket, and is sometimes caught in the zipper when we close it. Because of that, we often toss keys and a phone in the bag’s side pockets instead of struggling with the zipper on the front. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Finally, Duraflex UTX Flex adjusters make it easy to find the perfect fit on the shoulder straps. Now, let’s explore the rest of the bag’s exterior.
Taking a look around the outside of the lululemon Everyday Backpack 2.0, there are a few ways we can tote it around. The first is with a padded carry strap between the laptop and main compartment zippers at the top of the bag, which we also use to hang it on a hook. The nylon webbing strap has enough padding to prevent it from digging into our hands, although we prefer to use the shoulder straps for carrying the bag for more extended periods. However, the carry strap is comfortable enough to use even when the bag is fully packed, and it’s a nice option when we’re hauling multiple shoulder bags and backpacks up to our hotel room.
On the back panel is an inch-and-a-half wide webbing strap that slides over the handle of wheeled luggage for an easier way to get the bag through the airport or along city streets to our Airbnb. The bag slides on a handle even when it’s packed to the brim, but it does become more difficult the more items we store in the bag.
The final option is, of course, the shoulder straps (this is a backpack, after all!). The inch-and-a-half wide straps are lightly padded—very lightly. It isn’t a problem for most daily use, but when we load it up with a large hardcover novel, a laptop, a full water bottle, and other daily-use items, it can dig into our shoulders after a while. For the most part, we use this as a bag to get our belongings from place to place—and it works well for that—but if you’re planning to load it up with drinks, snacks, and sunscreen for a 15-hour day in a theme park or exploring a new city, this may not be the bag for you.
The straps are adjustable with the Duraflex UTX Flex plastic slides at the bottom of each strap and have a foot of excess strap to fit nearly every size torso. Smaller users may find that the extra strap slaps them as they walk with the backpack on their shoulders, though. There are no strap keepers, but we recommend trying some VELCRO Brand Cable Ties or finding another way to secure the straps once you’ve found the right fit. Especially in warmer weather, when coats and pants aren’t there to protect us, the straps can sting as they hit.
There is padding on the back panel of the lululemon Everyday Backpack, but it’s not very breathable, so our back gets sweaty on a summer stroll back from the library. The padding is thick enough to protect our laptop and other gear but not enough to save us from feeling the hard tech inside. However, as you’ll see in the next section, it’s a large laptop compartment, so we can fit a jacket or sweater behind the computer to blunt the feeling of the device against our back when necessary.
Rounding out the exterior are two side water bottle pockets. The nearly 6-inch wide by 7-inch deep pockets can fit up to a bottle with a 3.5-inch diameter, like a Wide Mouth Hydro Flask, depending on how much capacity we’re using inside the bag. As we mentioned above, the more we pack inside the bag, the less room in those side pockets. That plays to our advantage when using a slimmer water bottle. There’s no elastic gusset or other means of keeping a bottle secure, so more items packed inside the backpack hold a thinner bottle more tightly. When we don’t have so many things packed in the bag, we do our best to make sure our bottles, umbrellas, and tripods don’t fall out when we lay down the bag.
These pockets are also handy places to toss keys, our phone, and some hand sanitizer. They’re deep enough that items like those don’t fall out, and they’re easier to access than the front pocket when we’ve got the bag slung over our shoulder or on our back.
Now let’s take a look at the interior features.
Inside The Pack
The 23L capacity provides a lot of room for everyday use in the lululemon Everyday Backpack 2.0. A 9-inch deep front pocket spans the 11.4-inch width of the bag, providing plenty of space for a wallet, cash, phone, keys, and other personal items. The gusset in the front makes it easy to see throughout the compartment, which is good because, depending on the colorway, things don’t stand out against the dark liner. Stash some snacks and tissues in this pocket, as well, for easy access on the go. The pocket is easiest to rummage through when the bag is on a firm surface, as we find it is more difficult—but not impossible—to open and close the zipper when we’re holding the bag.
A U-shaped zipper running between each side pocket provides access to the main compartment, giving us plenty of room to access the bag and see most of the contents we’ve packed inside. Nothing gets lost on the bottom of the backpack, which we appreciate.
On the front side of the main compartment is a large pouch with an elastic top. It’s 11 inches deep and can be a good catch-all for smaller items. It is as wide as the backpack itself, so it benefits from extra organization and pouches. We wish the elastic at the top was tighter, though; there’s nothing to keep items from falling out of this pocket, so it acts more like a division of the main compartment than an actual pouch.
Opposite the pouch, adjacent to the laptop compartment, are two 5-inch wide by 6-inch deep polyester mesh pouches. These have slightly tighter elastic at the top, though items still slide out if the bag upends. However, it’s a good spot for a USB-C Hub or other dongles, a mouse, pens, a charging block, or other tech gear we want at our fingertips, as they are within easy reach of the top of the bag.
Outside of these pockets, there’s plenty of room left in the main compartment for clothing, books, notebooks, and other items. We turn to packing cubes and other organizational tools to make the most use of the space.
Alongside the back panel is a laptop compartment that can fit up to a 16-inch device. It opens with a zipper that extends two inches from the top on either side and offers plenty of room for our computer or tablet. Using a smaller 13-inch laptop leaves room for an iPad or Kindle, or a piece of clothing to soften the feel of tech against our backs. We try to use sleeves or cases when we’re doubling up to prevent scratching, though.
All in all, the lululemon Everyday Backpack 2.0 23L is good for what it’s designed for—to be ready for a full day, getting your gear where you need it to go.
- Shoulder straps are looking a bit thin
- Front pocket’s gusset give it some volume
- Digging the clean design so far
- Fabric is easy to spot clean
- Use the laptop sleeve for more than one device
- Backpack tends to fall on its front from back panel padding