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United By Blue 30L Base Backpack and 55L Carry-On Duffle Review

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Hey guys, this is Adam from Stuff Adam Likes. First of all, hope everyone out there is staying safe and staying home if you can. If you’re on the front lines, I just want to say thank you so much. Really appreciate everything that you’re doing. On today’s episode we’re going to take a look at some new bags I’m obsessed with by a company called United By Blue. Now if you haven’t heard of United by Blue before, they’re a very cool company because for every product that you buy, one pound of trash is removed from the ocean. They’re a B Corp with a strong mission, they host cleanups of waterways all around the country. So they’re a very cool brand and unfortunately like many other smaller brands out there in the world today, they are struggling due to the coronavirus. And so just want to give a shout out to them and basically share with the world why I love their bags so much. I’ve got a couple in recently that I want to show you all and these are actually both birthday presents. So I’m super excited and let’s take a look.

First let’s take a look at the 30L Base backpack. So the reason why I picked up this guy is because I wanted a little bit of extra room for travel and I know no one is traveling right now, but I really liked the design of this pack for several reasons. So I think the main one is it has a different kind of enclosure at the top, which I think is pretty cool. So I unhook this. What we’ve got is not your standard zip top, but it’s actually a cinch-tied opening here. And the cool thing about that is basically you can really stuff this full, you can pack it really high with stuff and then cinch it and then obviously you close it down like that and everything’s protected, right? Everything is inside, but it just gives you a little bit more real estate.

I compare it to my eBags backpack where that thing seems to kind of run out of space pretty quickly. So I do like that feature as well. You can just stuff the cord back inside and then this flap comes down here and then hooks back up just like that. So again, I like that feature. I think that’s super nice and just something a little bit different from the other backpacks I have. And also adds this layer of rain protection from getting into the inside because this is DWR material on top here. So I just thought that that was something cool and something different that I didn’t have. And then of course you can cinch this down so that it’s a little bit tighter. Depending on the amount of stuff you have in your pack, you’re able to kind of compress that down.

So also on the top here, what you’ve got is this really nice zippered accessories pocket pretty much for electronics is what it’s designed for. So, you know, you can put your phone in here, put your phone in here, and then it has the pass through here where you’re able to run cords. If you have corded devices, those can come back through the top here, but really nice felted so it’s going to keep any screens protected and nice. I could see stashing stuff in here as I’m going through security and I just liked that part of it. So let’s take a look at the sides. So I like how this guy has two, count ’em, two big old stretch pockets here and I really like that because you know obviously one could definitely be, you know, your standard water bottle, but then you could use this for something else and you take two water bottles.

If this is like your only pack on a hike, you’re hiking with a friend, you can basically carry both in the one backpack. So I just love this feature on backpacks. I think it’s super important. I’m always carrying some sort of water with me, so I use these a ton and so I’m really glad that there’s two of them and that they’re massive. Obviously one of the main features that you’re gonna notice on the outside is these two huge pockets here on the front. I really like these pockets. I think that I like how sort of, again, the waterproofing on the top and then the zipper enclosure is protected. So if I zip this back around again, right, there’s this lip here, so if it does rain on there, I know that things aren’t going to go. Things inside the pocket aren’t going to get soaked immediately.

By having that there. And I do like how there’s two of them. I think it just adds to the extra amount of organization that you can get out of this bag. So, Oh no, I just think that that’s a really nice feature. And then in the front here you’ve got the loops for carabiners. So this is a pretty standard feature of a lot of more outdoors-y oriented backpacks. So it’s nice that they included that as well. So flipping it around, let’s look at the actual back of the bag and you’re going to see, you know, a decent amount of padding on the straps. So not the most padded, but very comfy. I don’t see any issues. You’ve got some breathable mesh there so that you know, you’re not going to sweat too badly or if you are, it’s going to be wicked away.

Pretty minimal handle here, but I think it’s going to be pretty sturdy and hold up. And then what a lot of people commented on is that they really liked these thumb loops here. So as you can see here, when you’re hiking and you’ve got kind of a big load, this is nice to kind of take a little bit of pressure off of things. So people really enjoyed this feature. Of course it’s got the standard sternum strap and I’ll try not to make a huge sound in the mic. Ah, ah, there we go. So it just again helps distribute the weight a little bit. So overall I think it looks pretty good. It doesn’t look so massive. I mean it’s definitely a big backpack at 30 liters of capacity, but it doesn’t look so enormous on you that it’s kind of overwhelming.

So I think this is a good backpack. I’m super excited to use it again once we can actually travel again. But before we continue, let’s make sure that we also cover what’s on the inside here. So there is also some interior pockets here, but not much. It’s not really designed to be a massive organizer here, but you do have kind of pen or, or you know, pen-like slots here. If you do have some mesh in the top, and then you do have the one zipper here where you can place some things inside of here that then you can zip up. It also has a laptop pocket. So this is my 2017 MacBook pro 15 inch. So let’s see how she fits. So it’s definitely snug, definitely not going anywhere. And it does protrude a little bit at the top. So you can see that it’s nicely padded, both in the back, the front and at the bottom. So I’m not really worried about my laptop. I don’t know if it would fit with a sleeve here. It’s a pretty snug fit for a 15 inch laptop, but that does mean that it’s not going anywhere. So I feel pretty confident about that.

So the next thing I want to show you is the 55L Carry-On Duffel. And this is in olive. So matches my other one. I know it’s a little matchy matchy but. So this is a carry on size duffle and I think it’s a great size for that purpose. So let’s take a look at this bag. So again, I’m wearing it right now using the shoulder strap. It does have a nice handle here so you can easily unclasp here and you’re good to go to then access other parts of the bag. So let’s take a look at these. So first of all, I really like the way that the top has been designed. So you know, you’re able to basically kind of unzip here and it’s got this really nice lip here so you can see how this basically folds down here. We’ve got a very nice mesh here, so I’m going to open that up.

And as you can see here, we do have some organization as well. So we’ve got kind of, this main interior pocket here, zips very nicely. And it does have a little bit of space in here. We’ve got these interior mesh pockets here to stash a little bit of stuff. And then otherwise, the interior, the bag is pretty open, so there’s not a whole lot of other organization inside the bag. But I think that’s okay because it definitely makes up for it. Oh, and I don’t want to forget in the actual lid here, we’ve got another big mesh pocket for things here. So zip that back up. So first of all, the snaps are really good. They’re very powerful snaps. And so this is a whole pocket inside of here that you can stash things at the top here. So maybe this is just like a jacket or just like a light windbreaker or something that you want to access pretty easily with if you’re on a flight.

Again, someday we will all be flying again. Hopefully. Now, then let’s look at each side. So what I like about this side here is again, we’ve got another snap. They’re very sturdy snaps. And in here we’ve got, you know, a decent amount of space for stashing so you know, just another easy exterior pocket that you can leverage there, which is great. Then each side – and they’re symmetrical – so each side is the same in terms of these features. So this completely unzips and you have another giant storage space here. So here I would probably do shoes. I would probably put them inside of another bag just to kind of keep this area nice. But I could definitely see shoes kind of going in both of the side pockets, right? So again, this side is symmetrical. It has the same features, which is fantastic. On the back you’ve got kind of one little sash pocket here, nothing really to write home about. There’s not too much you can put in there, but just a little, just a nice little detail and then switch it back around to the front of the bag. You do have one more zipper pocket here.

And I always do like zipper pockets cause I feel more secure about the stuff that’s gonna go inside of it. And that is that. So another reason I really like these bags is they each have a lifetime guarantee. So if anything happens to the bag United By Blue will fix the bag for free, which is super cool. You have to register the bag online, but it’s a very easy process. So of course unfortunately it’s only as good as as long as the company is around, but we’re going to do whatever we can to try to keep going. Cause again, I think that they’re a very cool company doing very cool things. So they also have a lot of other bags out there that you should know about. So let’s take a look at those briefly. So as you can see you know, they’ve got a lot of variety. So this is really nice.

This is a 16 liter rolltop backpack. So rolltop backpacks and become a lot more popular these days. Really nice to keep out inclement weather. So but a little bit small for my tastes, but that is an option here. They do have fanny packs, which are very cool for that audience. The Transit backpack is really cool. I just got my dad this – it’s got space for a nice big laptop pocket, which is very cool. So definitely check that out if that is something that you’re interested in. A convertible carry-all. So this is kind of cool, just to basically both have like a normal tote but then go into actual kind of backpack mode. So I like how you can do both. So here’s an example of what that looks like. So that’s a pretty cool feature of that particular bag. Moving on.

So they have individual cases, you know, travel cases like you’d expect. They have a 9 liter, it’s called a Sidekick, so super small festival style gear you might consider. I really like this Trek pack, 22 liters. This is, you know, just a little bit smaller, mainly kind of four day pack sorts of uses. So that’s another one to consider. But the duffle and then the Arid backpack. I really liked the design of this. I like the exterior pockets. I decided not to pull the trigger on this one because it only holds up to a 13 inch laptop, but I really did like the design of it. 24 liter volume, so little bit smaller, but super cool. I love the pocket configuration. Really nice weekender bag. So if that is something that you need in your arsenal you don’t have currently.

Lastly, yeah, you can see again, the, the Base backpack also comes in black and in a really cool, actually rust and a rust tan color it’s called which is really cool and I should mention that the Carry-On Duffel that I’ve purchased also comes in a rust tan and I really liked this colorway. I think that’s super cool. Kinda retro, which is pretty fun. So anyways that’s United By Blue. I’m not an affiliate. I just am a fan. And so just want to make that clear. Like this is all just me being obsessed. So anyways, that is today’s edition of Stuff Adam Likes. I hope you really enjoyed it. Check out United By Blue. Again, I think that they’re a cool company doing cool things and we want to support small businesses right now. It’s super important. So thanks for watching and we’ll catch you next time.

Tl;dr: This backpack and duffle from United By Blue are made from recycled materials, look great, and have a lifetime guarantee. What more could you ask for? 

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