tomtoc Explorer-H01 Tech Pouch Review
The tomtoc Explorer-H01 Tech Pouch has ample space, thoughtfully designed organization, and a wallet-friendly price for travelers on a budget.
- Materials are durable and water-resistant
- Thoughtfully-designed organization
- Budget-friendly cost
- tomtoc logo is relatively large
- Pen slider too big to hold some pens in place
- No handle padding or aeration
8.82 oz (250 g)
10 in x 7.28 in x 2.26 in (25.4 x 18.5 x 5.7 cm)
CORDURA®, Polyester, YKK Zippers
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We’ve been impressed with tomtoc gear in past testing, particularly the Urban Sling Bag. The brand offers a budget-friendly alternative to more expensive luxury brands, sometimes cutting a few corners to do so, but in a way that still makes for a comfortable and intuitive carry. We’re curious whether the Explorer-H01 will stand up to other tech pouches we’ve tested or fall flat on its face. Let’s find out!
The primary pack material used here is 915D CORDURA®, which is durable and highly water-resistant. The front side has a TPU-like coating, which adds extra protection from the elements. Overall, the materials feel sturdy without being too heavy, which is excellent, especially considering it’s CORDURA®, which is on the heftier side.
The pouch utilizes YKK zippers, which we’ve noticed becoming a tomtoc staple, at least at the time of writing. The zipper has basic metal pulls with an extension that feels like Hypalon but might just be rubber-like plastic. Regardless, there’s nothing to report here; the zippers and pulls work well. They’re easy to grasp, open, and close.
We’ve got a durable and strong handle on the top of the pouch. There’s no padding or aeration here, which we don’t mind since you don’t often have to carry your tech pouch for more than a minute or two. Typically, it’ll be at home in your daypack or travel backpack. If you have to hold onto it for longer, it won’t feel like walking on clouds, but it won’t be miserable.
There isn’t much going on with this pouch’s exterior. There aren’t any attachment loops or exciting features, but the look is sleek and polished. The tomtoc logo is relatively large, yet we think it’s subdued and blends in nicely.
Inside The Pouch
Moving inside, there are three pockets. All of the lining material on this pouch is black. At the time of writing, it’s getting rare to see an interior that isn’t high-vis fabric. Think neon orange, cool blue, or other easy-to-see colors. These often make finding your black or white cables easier because they contrast with the liner. However, there’s something about the simplicity of a black interior. In theory, it might be harder to find your cables, but we haven’t had many issues with that.
The rear pocket is flat and doesn’t get in the way of setting the pouch on its back. There’s no zipper pull extension on the closure to ensure it lays flat, which we dig. Who doesn’t love some attention to detail?
Inside, there’s no organization. Flat items do well here because there isn’t much depth to the pocket. CORDURA® doesn’t flex, so you won’t be able to shove extra gear inside. If you can, the pocket will push into the main compartment, not the exterior. A small book, passport, notepad, or other little item is a good fit here.
The front pocket, with the tomtoc logo, opens roughly 45% of the way around the pouch. The lid has a zippered mesh pocket, which we dig. It’s stretchy so that you can stow extra gear inside easily. It’s an excellent spot to lock down the stuff you don’t want bouncing around in either of the larger pockets, as this is the only interior zippered area.
On the backside, there’s one large pocket with an elastic topper. The rest of the compartment is wide open space, and there’s a lot of it. You can stow a small tablet or eReader in the big elastic pocket and larger charging power supply bricks, a mouse, or other tech accessories in the untamed space in the middle.
We’ve been calling the last remaining pocket the main compartment. It’s tough to say whether it or the one we just went over is the primary compartment, but this last one stows the cables, and we think that cables are king, so the main compartment it is.
This pocket opens up like a book. The lid has elastic webbing to hold the aforementioned cables—11, to be exact. There are three rows of elastic. The top and bottom iterations have four loops; the center has three wider spots to stow thicker cables. If you don’t have 11 cords to bring on your next trip, you can stow other things here, too. A wall charger, flash drive, adapter, or other small tech item will likely fit inside one of the loops.
The spine has another, albeit more difficult to use, elastic band. It feels perfect for a pen; however, it’s a bit larger than you’d expect a pen slider to be. Thicker models will work here, and those with the little arm to stabilize it inside your pocket will, too. However, your pen might slide out in transit without one of those two things.
The back side of the main compartment has two pockets with elastic toppers to stow gear. Flat items do well here because there isn’t much depth. This area has more organization than the other large pocket; however, it doesn’t have as much free space to use.
Overall, we’re amped with how much gear we can stow inside the tomtoc Explorer-H01 Tech Pouch. We can fit a tablet, laptop charger, an abundance of cables, and other tech accessories inside without much fuss. However, considering its size, it’s hard to avoid the feeling that we should be able to fit more inside. It’s deceptively thinner than it appears, which might be the issue. In use, the tech pouch feels like a shrunken laptop sleeve.
However, for less than $30 (at the time of writing), it’s hard to go wrong with this tech pouch! If you get it, please let the world know…which compartment is the main compartment?!
- Materials feel durable and water-repellant
- Three compartments for stowing gear
- The hardware feels tough and is easy to use
- Materials and hardware have held up well
- Interior elastic loops haven’t stretched out
- Exterior can look bulky when fully packed