Pakt Anywhere 25L Duffel Review
The Anywhere 25L Duffel from Pakt has ample space for your weekend excursion or gym trip, though some features don’t hold up when the bag isn't packed full.
- Tons of internal pockets for gear storage
- Hand and shoulder carry modes for different length trips
- Pivoting divider makes organizing main compartment easier
- Pack lacks structure, so laptop leans inward when less full.
- Magnet closures don’t always stay closed when gear is inside
- Lack of back panel can make shoulder carry uncomfortable
1.8 lb (0.8 kg)
17 in x 8 in x 10 in (43.2 x 20.3 x 25.4 cm)
Duraflex Hardware, YKK Zippers, Polyester, Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), DWR Coating
Laptop Compartment Size
Plus 12” pocket for e-readers or iPad
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The Pakt The Anywhere 25L Duffel has a sleek look that integrates well with the Anywhere family, but we’re curious how well it operates on its own two feet. In testing the Anywhere 5L Sling, we feel that the features connecting it to the 25L Duffel don’t get in the way of function—and we hope to find the same is true the other way around. Let’s find out!
Materials & Aesthetic
The exterior of the duffel is crafted from 900D rPET, which is short for recycled polyethylene terephthalate. Still don’t know what it is? We had to look it up, too. It’s the fancy name for polyester—so, in short, the pack’s exterior is crafted from recycled polyester. The interior is non-recycled, which is a little bit of a bummer when the rest is green. Better some than none, though!
The exterior has a DRW coating which works fairly well in light rain, but anything heavier than a drizzle will start to soak through after about 20 minutes. The two shorter sides of the pack are particularly susceptible because there isn’t as much fabric there. The long sides have extra layers of fabric from pockets, but the short sides don’t.
The bottom of the pack has a thick TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) sheet between the interior and exterior fabrics. This offers water resistance and padding for the gear stowed on the inside of the duffel. This is the only part of the pack with actual structure, as the remaining five sides of the bag’s rectangular prism shape only have the polyester to hold it up (spoiler alert—a lot of the time, it doesn’t).
The triangular Duraflex strap clip works as we expect it to. It’s durable, has a snappy closure, and is large enough for the job it’s tasked with.
The main compartment zipper is from YKK and is smooth to operate. The rest of the zippers appear identical but don’t have YKK branding. However, we haven’t noticed anything different about their appearance or operation, so there are no problems to report here.
The duffel comes in Green, Black, and Adobe. All three colorways feel very natural and earthy. The black accepts contrast nicely with the Adobe model we have on hand.
Moving onto the external components, there are two ways to carry the duffel. Two handles come together and fasten with a button for quick trips and moving the pack around. The straps fold around the center to make them more durable, but there isn’t any padding or aeration, so they start to dig into your hand after a minute or two. The button that secures them is metal and snappy.
The two handles we mentioned are where The Anywhere 5L Sling attaches to the duffel. There are two straps on the side of the sling that the handles can slide through—then, when you button the top, it’s secured into place. This is ideal for when you’re carrying both to the airport or transit center and don’t necessarily need to wear them separately. Once you’re ready to check or stow the duffel, grab the sling and use that for the duration of your transit journey.
The second way to carry the duffel is to wear it as a shoulder bag with the included strap. It’s removable, so it doesn’t get in the way when you aren’t using it. It adjusts to meet your height, but there isn’t any padding or aeration here either, so trips with a full pack longer than 10 minutes can get uncomfortable.
There isn’t a dedicated back panel because either side can be used as the rear, depending on how you wear it in shoulder mode. There’s a little padding within the two materials, but there isn’t a ton of structure to the bag, so you can feel items inside poking out at you while you wear it. If you wear it in a manner that places the laptop on the inside against your body, you can feel that, too. We noticed this more with a larger, 15-inch laptop than with a smaller, 13-inch model. Whenever we plan to bring our computer, we ensure that our laptop is on the opposite side of our body, which makes for a more comfortable carry.
Inside The Duffel
There are two side pockets on the duffel. One is technically a water bottle pocket, though it has more uses. It doesn’t have a zipper or magnets on the top and is capped by an elastic band. When empty, there’s a fair amount of clearance between the outside of the pocket and the pack material, and it holds water bottles securely. We do have issues with larger bottles falling out while cycling with the duffel, but we peg that on the cycling, not the bag. This is also a good spot for a snack bar, Bluetooth speaker, or other quick-use items.
The other side pocket uses magnets instead of an elastic band. They’re on the sides, not in the center, so even when there’s nothing in the pocket, it doesn’t fasten on the top. This is another good spot for smaller quick-use gear, though larger equipment may not fare so well due to lack of elastic to lock it down.
Now that we’ve covered the two short ends of the rectangle, we’ll tackle the two longer sides. The first has two wide pockets, one with a zippered closure and the other using magnets. There isn’t anything inside either of these pockets, just open space. Given their size, they’re better suited for flat items. The magnet slide pocket is where you can stow one of the top handles we mentioned earlier so it’s out of the way when you use the duffel in shoulder mode.
The other side has the same long pocket with a magnet closure (for the other top handle) and two zippered compartments that are identical to the one on the opposite side but split down the middle. There isn’t any additional organization, which isn’t a problem due to their small size. We found this a good place for frequently used items like a phone or wallet because of the security the zippered closure adds and easy access while wearing the duffel in shoulder mode.
The main compartment opens with a U-shaped zipper. Once opened, it flops over like a tongue—leaving an oversized wide opening to access your gear. You can see more this way, making loading and unloading easier. There are two zippers on the track, so you can open just a smaller section if you want to grab something quickly or not show off your delicates to the entire airport.
Most of the main compartment is the untamed middle area. First, we’ll talk about the divider. Its home position is snapped onto the side, but when you undo the buttons, it pivots across the bag to separate the main compartment into two sides. It’s roughly a 65/35 split, and the divider is rigid. It doesn’t secure on the bottom, so smaller items could slide underneath, but it’s an excellent way to divide clean and dirty clothes or clothes and other gear.
One side of the main compartment has a zippered and a slide liner pocket. The former is crafted from mesh so you can see inside and has a metal key clip. It’s not long enough to reach far outside the duffel, so you’ll need to take your keys off to open your hotel or Airbnb door. The slide pocket is roughly the same size and doesn’t have any add-ons. We found this was an excellent spot to stow smaller flat items you might need to access throughout the day, but not all the time, like a transit card or hotel key.
The other side has the laptop compartment and another larger liner pocket. The area for your computer has a fair amount of padding, but not enough to where we’d feel comfortable taking it on a hike or knocking it around inside. There’s a strap with a button to secure it, and it covers the liner pocket below it, too. If you don’t have very much inside the duffel, the weight of the laptop will fold the materials inward and turn the pack into a right triangle shape. This looks pretty awkward, and you can feel the top of your computer poking you if you’re wearing it in sling mode. The liner pocket can fit a tablet or e-reader and has a similar amount of padding.
The main compartment is large enough to call for packing cubes, but you can avoid using them thanks to the divider. Without it in place, it feels a little overwhelming, but not impossible to organize your gear inside the pack using the interior pockets.
Overall, we think the Pakt The Anywhere Duffel is a sleek pack with several nice features, but in a few places, it just didn’t hold up (literally) to the weight of the gear or the trip we tasked it with. The integration with the Pakt sling is smooth, and the carry methods work for most uses. Simply put, it’ll get your gear there, but not always in the most comfortable way possible.
- The exterior fabric feels extraordinarily durable but isn’t very heavy
- Inclusion of a water bottle pocket is appreciated
- Straps are rugged but lack padding for comfort
- In heavy rain, water snuck inside edges, but in light rain, it performs fine
- The exterior is quick and easy to clean
- No issues with zippers or clips throughout usage