this thing's incredible

The Best Travel Backpack, According to an International Reporter

Photo: Courtesy the retailer

This first appeared on the Strategist U.K., our recently launched, Brit-specific shopping recommendation site. Since this backpack is also available to buy here, we are publishing it for our readers on this side of the pond.

As a reporter, it’s not very often I get a chance to write about things I enjoy. Usually, I’m writing about social or political issues, interviewing people across the U.K. and the world about their experiences and lives. But here I am, to gush to you about the love of my life: my Knomo backpack. I found my Knomo the way anyone does: through creepily targeted ads on Instagram. I was clicking around backpacks on other sites, and suddenly Knomo began to appear in my feed. I remember thinking the bags were expensive at first. And it’s true, they are, with backpacks costing at least $130, compared to $50 for a Herschel. But when I saw how the Knomo Beauchamp backpacks are designed to fit a laptop, sneakers, notepad, and more, it looked like a winner.

Let me explain. I don’t carry a lot with me when I report, so you’d think any old backpack would do the job — but I’ve been through quite a few. I love Herschel backpacks, but the ones with a laptop-holder area are too bulky, and the ones without have no compartments at all — meaning it can cause a total fluster trying to dig to the bottom of the bag, desperately trying to claw around to find my pen.

The Knomo Beauchamp has multiple compartment areas — zips at the front, a laptop area, zips inside for more valuable items, side holders, everything. It’s light, durable, and has never let me down. When I was on a bus in Guatemala on a story, I could pull my portable charger out of the front pocket to charge my phone up to rearrange an interview when the bus broke down. And when I sat on a train traveling across Vietnam, I could stash two bánh mìs in my bag along with a ton of other snacks, with room to spare. Best yet, all of those items have been well-protected from the rain, thanks to the bag’s water-resistant fabric.

This year, now that I’m based back in (and reporting from) London, I am still hopelessly attached to my bag. And when I’m on the tube, I see a lot of other women with a Knomo, which suggests it’s far from being for travelers exclusively — it’s clearly a commuter bag too. Best of all, it doesn’t look like it’s traveled the world with me, though it very much has (it’s accompanied me to Hong Kong, to the Great Wall of China, on a bus ride through El Salvador to Mexico) — it shows no marks, or scratches, and has no missing bits. Even if I decided to leave journalism tomorrow, I’d still cling to my Knomo, as it’s the only bag I’ve ever found that fits the items I need on the go in the city (charger, water bottle, book) without the need to cram them in. Plus, you know, it looks cute.

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The Best Backpack, According to an International Reporter