Great Travel Pack
I bought this pack primarily to lug through airports as my carry-on bag. I typically check my luggage and just need something to hold travel essentials. I chose the Refugio because of the lack of a waistband, which is just clutter when trying to stuff a pack into an overhead bin. The straps and mesh back are very comfortable. The compartments are well organized to carry enough, but not too much, even if your luggage gets delayed. Construction is clean and detail-oriented. My only negative comment is that I would have gladly paid the extra money for burlier, tighter zippers. They seem good, but not quite enough to withstand a soaking (although the main pocket's zipper has a protective flap). Please see my picture of what I was able to get into this backpack with a little room to spare. The stuff on the left fit in the pocket closest to one's back, the dedicated computer pocket, and a couple of magazines could fit, too. The stuff in the middle fits as it is arranged, with the flip-flops (men's size 11, for scale) in the bottom, the Minimalist boardshorts, silkweight capilene longsleeve T-shirt and cotton sweatpants by a different manufacturer all ready for comfort adjustment. The two tan bags hold electronic accessories like chargers and adapters and a cheap phone to use when you're "there." The black case above holds toiletries in carry-on sizes ready to be pulled out to deal with the TSA, and the other thing is my razor. Just above that are a couple of "sundries." Above that, the two items that fit in the small pocket at the top of the pack, sunglasses (in their bag) and a small headlamp. Finally, to your right is what I got into the outer pocket, namely, a bunch of smaller stuff (I only show a little journal book and a couple of pens, plus my small camera case, but more would fit), and then about three books (Here: One big novel, one big guide book and a pocket dictionary of the local language).
I've had lots of great experience with Patagonia products (jackets and shoes mostly) and have never been disappointed. This backpack is my first Patagonia pack and it totally rules! I bought it specifically for a 2 week business trip to Shanghai. I needed something that would fit my laptop (17" Dell M6500) plus everything else I'd need for day trips and it exceeded my expectations in every way. Not only was I able to get my enormous 17" laptop inside the laptop sleeve (absolute maximum size it'll fit, by the way), I also got an iPad, chargers, some hefty business doc folders, snacks, sunglasses, pens, headphones, and an umbrella. And there was still room! The side pockets are perfectly sized and can hold at least 2 bottles of water each -- for those trips where you need lots of hydration. Perhaps the best quality of the backpack is that if you take all of this stuff out and only have a few items in there. The side straps are designed to "suck-in" the excess bag so it still looks great when it's nearly empty. All packs should aspire to be this functional and well constructed!
Really great pack!
Have been using this pack for several weeks now, I find it incredibly well-designed. I use it mainly for back and forth to work stuff. Back sleeve holds my 15" laptop securely, have not tried it with the hydration bladder but I'm sure it will be fine. The smaller, more easily accessible pockets are very handy (sunglass, cell phone) and the main compartments are extremely roomy. Appears to be rugged construction (no surprise there w/ Patagonia) the small hanging loop has been handy for coathooks, nails, etc for keeping the pack off the ground. The looped straps, (which some use for ice-axe storage?) I believe are designed to allow for expansion and compression of the pack - I actually have not yet needed to expand the thing, it's got room to spare for a day's worth of food/clothing change/water. The side pockets hold most standard beverage containers - standard quart sized bottle sits in comfortably. My only advice for the next gen of this pack would be a mesh section or 'weep' holes to allow for condensation of beverage containers to escape out of the side pockets. Still give it a 5-star overall.
Another Terrific Knapsack
This is the third different Patagonia knapsack Iâve purchased in the last three years. I use a Patagonia knapsack everyday for business to carry my notebook computer, documents and other items. I used this everyday knapsack a month ago when I took my daughter and two friends to an arts festival. It was too small for everything I needed to carry. I decided I needed a larger knapsack, but I wanted one with lots of pockets and interior compartments. So I bought this one. I field tested it this past weekend at Disney World in Orlando. It performed above my expectations! It was comfortable to wear in the hot Florida sun. I particularly liked the mess back and straps. The pack had enough room to carry everything I wanted to carry, including raincoats, drinks and snacks. And lots of pockets and compartments to keep things organized. (I didn't have to search for my raincoats when the rain came suddenly. They were stored in the nice sleeve in the back compartment for easy access.) It is just the right size for a theme park visit, festival, day hike or other one-day trip.
Pack and Laptop Bag
I got the Refugio Pack for my 17"laptop, because sometimes I walk to work and bring my laptop. It's comfortable, even with a relatively heavy load and the laptop against my back. I picked a bright color, to match my vibrant personality -- and avoid being run down by drivers ;) Luckily for me the bright colors were still in the store -- on sale! Once packed the bag is good, but an extra opening above the laptop inner padded sleeve would be nice -- instead of having to peel back the main compartment to get the laptop in/out. Also, it's best if the bag is empty while putting the laptop in/out. (This is why only 4 stars) It's not the biggest capacity bag, but that was what I wanted. So many backpack-laptop bags for 17" computers are like carrying a suitcase on your back! Also, this one is a good day pack when not carrying a computer. I'm about 5'7" and the pack is long against my back -- from shoulders to lower hip -- but if it wasn't, the bigger laptop wouldn't fit.
Nice color scheme
I bought the color : Prickly Pear and it is awesome looking. It's like a Ninja Turtle shell on your back, the looks anyway. I also have a kawasaki motorcycle and it matches the lime green official kawi color. A lot of small touches here and there that sets this backpack apart from the rest. Very spacey yet doesn't look overly huge. I am using it for school(college) and it is enough to fit school supplies + books + laptop + other electronics. You can tell it is very high quality from the construction (from looking and feeling) and seems like it will last a very long time. The zippers, straps, etc. operate smoothly.. little things that usually fall apart on other backpacks. Someone mentioned that the fabric makes a lot of noise but i don't even notice it. It is made out of nylon after all. I think they discontinued this color; such a shame. Oh well, I got it when patagonia was having clearance for half the price. Awesome steal-- I mean deal!
comfy under load
I bought this pack through the web specials kind of on a whim. I didn't really need ANOTHER pack but the price was too good to pass up. I'm glad I did! The laptop sleeve is well padded and allows the computer to lay flat across your back without it feeling akward or top/bottom heavy. The interior is just big enough to carry an extra set of clothes to the gym or on a day trip/hike. Both front compartments are well placed and there are enough pockets to store essentials. The top "sunglasses" zippered pocket is perfect for carrying an ipod/phone, etc. I like this pack because it is lightweight and just big enough to carry what you need plus a tiny bit more. It is not overburdened with unnecessary compartments. I've found that the more pockets a pack has the more likely a person is to fill them, even when the need isn't there. I can't do the Refugio justice with words. It's great!
Great laptop bag
I needed a bag that could carry my laptop and peripherals, as well as some books, notepads, and assorted items. This bag is perfect. The laptop pouch has a webbing strap that tightens down to snuggly hold my 15.6" laptop. Front pouch has plenty of little pockets of all sizes to hold all the laptop peripherals, and there's still plenty of space for books and such. The front vertical zippered pockets has a nice mesh pouch that runs perpendicular to the zipper, and is only about half as tall as the pocket to help keep items in. I have not found the lack of a waist belt to be an issue. I regularly commute on a motorcycle to work, and with the shoulder and chest straps tightened, this bag stays snuggly on my back without moving around or causing any discomfort. My roommate liked the bag so much he bought one too. I would highly recommend it.
Love my new pack!
I had been looking for a backpack that I could use to hold all my books, plus a mac, scrubs, and shoes. I am always on the go between work and school, so I needed something sturdy and big, but not TOO big. Luckily, I happened on Patagonia when this pack was on sale, so I purchased it. WOW! It holds EVERYTHING I stated above, plus more! It has a great no scratch sunglass/ipod pocket, as well as room for a cell phone, recorder, keys, etc. It snuggles my mac, which is one of the main reasons I bought this pack. The only downside to this pack is that it is not built exactly for a woman. The straps sit a bit high on my shoulders, which causes them to pinch occasionally, so have to to carry it on just one shoulder. Overall, I love my bag and will continue to use it until its cashed!
The Refugio 28 L is a good pack for commuting and short hikes. Use it for walking to work or finding out what happened at Tunguska. There's plenty of space for a change or two of clothes, and the middle section is broken up well to handle your gadgetry. One of the pockets is the perfect size to fit a 6" paperback or your e-reader. On the outside the Refugio has the same DWR water repellent finish as the Rain Shadow Jacket, and the sternum strap provides decent support for heavier loads. In general it wears like a tough pack. Another reviewer mentioned that the addition of a waist belt might improve this product. I always appreciate the extra support of a waist belt, so I concur with this idea. This is a good all around bag. The Refugio 28 L is worth its silver (or your green paper).