On my list of most anticipated travel bags are the WANDRD HEXAD Duffel bags. For those of you who may not know, WANDRD successfully launched another Kickstarter campaign early summer of 2017. This time, they’ve come out with two dedicated modular travel backpacks that you can use as a carry-on bag. Given their success with the PRVKE series, I wanted to take a closer look at the WANDRD HEXAD Duffel bags and the features that make them functional, versatile, and long-lasting.
How Do the HEXAD Duffel Bags Compare to Other Carry-On Travel Backpacks?
It’s important to first understand how these bags should be used, who should use them, and if they will work for you. The best way to go about learning this information is to do simple comparisons between these bags with other travel backpacks out there in the market now.
I’m only going to focus on the Carryall 40L and Access 45L bags for now, as most other carry-on travel backpacks are similar in size.
How Big is the Carryall 40L and Access 45L, Really?
For reference, both bags have the same dimensions as the TLS Motherlode Weekender Convertible Travel Backpack. And that backpack is huge. It’s one of those bags that can carry everything you want, however, that isn’t always a good thing. My biggest apprehension with backpacks this big is that after a while of wear, they can be unbearable to travel with if they’re too heavy.
Therefore, if the HEXAD Duffels are similar in dimensions, you should know that it’s not just some two-day packing bag. You will have more than enough space to pack everything you need for a 3 to 4-day trip. If you wanted a backpack that could double for daily use as well, it may be too big for you.
Are These HEXAD Duffel Bags Considered Personal Items?
While the Carryall 40L and Access 45L are within carry-on dimensions, they are definitely too big to be used as a personal item. This goes back to that point that they aren’t necessarily suited for everyday use, like a regular laptop backpack would be.
Why HEXAD Duffel Bags Work Best For Solo Backpack Travelers
Given the size and packing capacity of these backpacks, they can be used for an all-in-one, solo backpack trip. That means you don’t have to worry about bringing additional travel bags with you, besides perhaps a small collapsable daypack. The perk of traveling with only a backpack is that it forces you to cut back on what you bring so that you only pack essentials.
Shared Features Of All the HEXAD Duffels: Compartments, Comfort, and Materials
Laptop Pocket – On the back of the backpack is a padded laptop pocket that fits up to 15” laptop and is secured with a strap.
Exterior Compression Straps – All bags come with exterior compression straps, with easy access to your laptop without having to unclip the straps.
Backpack Straps Double as Tote-Like Handles – To carry the HEXAD Duffel tote style, you can simply use your backpack straps. The comfortable slim design of the straps fit perfectly in your hand, for easy travel.
Padded Back Panel and Shoulder Straps – The molded back panel should provide comfort throughout an entire day’s wear. Similarly, the shoulder straps, padded to comfort, along with an adjustable sternum strap, can help make it easier to carry the backpack around.
Grab Handles All Around and Hideaway Shoulder Straps – Four grab handles on the HEXAD duffel makes it easier to grab the bag in a hurry. For instance, if you’re waiting to board your plane, or waiting to leave your seat, you want to quickly get in and out.
Another way to carry the bag in a more sleek fashion is to hide away the shoulder straps inside the back panel. You simply unclip the straps at the bottom, and unzip the back, and slide them in. That way you can use the grab handles without the straps catching on other objects.
Durable Materials and Hardware – The materials used for the HEXAD duffel bags are of the best quality. On the exterior is Tarpaulin and Ballistic Nylon, both great materials for water-resistance as well as tear-resistance. The zippers are also weatherproof, giving you ease of mind when it comes to protecting your gadgets.
How The HEXAD Access 45L Duffel Caters to Photographers and Travelers Alike
The compartmentalization of the HEXAD Access 45L Duffel is the strongest advantage of the bag. Designed for carrying both clothes and camera gear, or any other technology, the Access 45L keeps everything organized and separate, minimizing any damage to important gear. You should also know that this duffel is compatible with the WANDRD photography kit.
Size: 22” X 14” X 9”
Weight: 3.9 lbs
Price: $260 (after crowdfunding)
Special Features of the HEXAD Access 45L Duffel
U-Zip Access Top Pocket – Just above the main compartment is a U-Zip pocket, for which you don’t have to unbuckle the compression straps. This convenient space can carry your laptop, but also some clothing, like a sweater or jacket, whatever you need quick access to.
Side Access Pockets – These U-Zip side pockets give you quick access to your camera if you’re traveling with one, or other small essentials, like your 3-1-1 liquids bag, headphones, and snacks.
Extra Compartmentalization In Clamshell Opening– The main packing compartment has a clamshell opening, allowing you to see all your belongings in front of you all at once. On one side is a big mesh-zip compartment for packing your bigger items or packing cubes. On the other side, you’ll see two separate mesh-zip compartments. You can fill these space directly or use packing cubes for even more organization.
Two Exterior Pocket for Smaller Items – The Access 45L comes with two zip pockets, one at the top and one at the bottom, to help keep you organized.
The Travel-Friendly Features of the HEXAD Carryall 40L Duffel
Almost same size as the Access 45L, except with a bigger panel opening, rather than separate compartments. You will also find an expandable side pocket for putting in shoes, wet or dirty clothes, or other items that you want to keep separate. With an additional purchase, you can use WANDRD’s accessory straps to compress the clothing from the inside of the Carryall Duffel.
Size: 22” X 14” X 9”
Price: $225 (after crowdfunding)
Special Features of the HEXAD Carryall 40L
RFID Security Pocket – Lockable zipper pocket is great for protecting your valuable information, such as your passport, from potential thieves or scanners.
Spill Proof Pocket – You can put your toiletries bag in here without having to worry about your contents spilling everywhere on the off chance your bottles spontaneously open.
Fleece Lined Side Pocket – To store your phone, wallet, and other small, flat surface valuables.
Mesh Pockets Throughout Bag – Two zippered mesh pockets inside, one zip mesh pocket on the side exterior.
Miscellaneous Top Pocket – You can organize your smaller items in here, such as your headphones, cables, chargers, money, ticket, sunglasses and more. While it’s not specifically designed for technology gear, you can still pack all your travel basics.
The HEXAD Carryall 60L Duffel: Largest Version for Maximum Carrying Capacity
The Carryall 60L Duffel has all the same features of the 40L duffel, it’s just a lot bigger. While this isn’t a carry-on friendly bag, you can stil use it for road trips or camping. If you wanted to take it hiking, that’s also an option. Just make sure you purchase the waist belt by WANDRD.
Size: 28” X 18” X 12”
Price: $250 (after crowdfunding)
What Is Missing In the WANDRD HEXAD Duffel
There are two things missing in the HEXAD Access and Carryall. The first, there’s no dedicated space to put a small tablet. Usually, travel backpacks have a small exterior pocket, big enough and lightly padded to fit a mini iPad or Android tablet. Also missing is a water bottle pocket. Although this bag is meant to be minimal on the outside, a water bottle elastic pocket would’ve made this the perfect backpack for travel. Aside from that, you can’t deny that this travel bag can handle all your travel needs.