I have a confession to make; I have a bit of a problem when it comes to deciding on, and sticking with, a backpack or a bag for my tech gear. I’ve lost count of the amount of messenger bags, backpacks, cases and the like I’ve purchased in 2019 alone and it has started to become a little bit of an obsession. So far from cure it, NayoSmart reached out to us to review their Almighty backpacks.
- Durable and lightweight materials
- 20+ compartments
- Temperature-controlled drinks holder
- Excellent price
- No padded base
- Might be too big for some use cases
NayoSmart, a Chinese fashion brand, has the Almighty featured in its Business section. They expect these backpacks to be used by commuters and professionals on the go. When you brand a backpack as ‘business’ there are a few elements it simply must have out of the box, in my opinion. Chief amongst these is comfort. Anybody who has ever attempted to traverse a City anywhere in the world, with a bag full of tech, will agree.
Aesthetics, versatility, portability and features all then play into any buying decision.
The Almighty has a textured 600d polyester coating providing waterproofing whilst also checking the aesthetics box I mentioned earlier. Each zipped pocket has an SBS zipper, which to myself, and no doubt many others doesn’t mean all that much, but it’s a premium manufactured zip that is going to stand up to some punishment. I’ve had many a “travel bag” that has had the zippers split, or snap in half after only a small amount of use, so having this component is a good early sign as to the build quality.
There are 9 zipped pockets that I could count, with more than 20 in total, as well as 2 smaller carry cases; one for toiletries and one for cable management. There’s also an integrated USB port pass-through which is nothing new to me, but it’s nice to have included.
Digging a bit deeper, there’s ample padding on the back-side with a breathable mesh which will hopefully help with airflow and avoid those sweaty situations. There’s also a chest strap which helps stabilise those heavier loads, along with a whistle on the buckle itself presumably for use in SOS situations, as well as a specifically-called-out Sunglasses hanger on the left shoulder.
Suffice to say there’s a lot to unpack here (pun absolutely intended!)
- Normal size – Volume: 25L
- Weight: 1.2 kg
- Dimensions: 46 L x 16 W x 32 H cm fit for 15.6” laptop
- 9 x zipped pockets
- 2 x carry cases
Performance & Use
I originally thought I’d been sent the larger backpack (edit: I had, but this wasn’t it) as it looked rather large for its ‘normal’ moniker. At 46cm x 32cm x 16cm it certainly isn’t small.
The normal Almighty manages all of that space well, with space for a 15.6” laptop and a tablet in the called out sections of the main compartment. There is of course much more space available for, what I would conservatively suggest, is at least 2 other laptops. Of similar size should that be required.
The Almighty can open flat which is perfect for getting through security on those International trips, as well as making planning your travel kit very easy. Whether you’re stowing clothes or just tech, there are many configurations you can use to populate the compartments and make use of the volume in this 25-litre backpack.
The metal handle at the top of the backpack is an excellent addition to a more flimsy material. After carrying bags in a queue for hours, I’ve had many other backpacks start to cut into my hand which is far from pleasant. Equally, having some liquid on hand in those same situations is a must, and the Almighty does include a temperature preserving and waterproofed bottle pocket. I’d like it to be a little wider to copy with a larger bottle, however.
There’s a secret compartment on the backside which I personally use for my Passport, but I know others use for their smartphones and/or travel money or wallet. It’s large enough to cope with either option.
The internal compartment is split into two; the first which houses the laptop and tablet sections, whilst the opposite side has a mesh covering which can be unzipped to reveal the 2 carry cases and a few more compartments for clothes storage or more tech. The cable carry case is fairly standard but of a nice size, whilst the toiletry case has a metallic lining to keep the contents cool and presumably offer a little more resistance to water. These 2 cases are kept in place by velcro pads so can be removed if not required for specific trips also.
EDC? – E Stands For Easy
For my use case, I used the Almighty to carry, on any given day;
- Dell XPS 13” laptop with charging cable
- iPad 6th Generation with Apple Pencil
- Two large capacity power banks
- Multiple charging cables
- Baseball cap
- Spare smartphone
- Over-the-ear headphones
- Super Sparrow 1 litre water bottle
- Business cards, dongles, keys, multi-tool
On non-regular days I was also pushing in there a Manfrotto compact tripod, a Canon Powershot G7X Mark II, along with associated batteries and some additional SD cards, as well as a change of trousers and underway for an overnight trip.
It didn’t feel uncomfortable when carrying all of that, whilst it certainly wasn’t light. That can’t be used as a negative towards the NayoSmart Almighty however; the weight is directly attributed to the number of items I choose to stuff in there!
There are some improvements I can see, but they might simply be my own personal preference. I couldn’t fit my Super Sparrow water bottle in the temperature-controlled pocket unfortunately and instead had to settle for the elastic-mesh pocket on the opposite side, so a slightly bigger pocket there might be handy. Equally, the included USB port and cable is nice to have, but I’d quite like perhaps a dual-port (with two cables of course) to allow one USB Type-C port. Finally, as somebody who does travel with quite a bit of tech in their bag, I’d like the option of an insert to make the base of the backpack a little more sturdy. The most weighty items in your bag will, of course, drift towards the base of the backpack, and as such any drops risk causing damage to the items held within, so perhaps an optional padded-metallic plate that can square off the bottom, whilst protecting the internals might be nice. I haven’t seen this on any other backpacks but I have suggested it to a few brands (Speck, Tylt, etc).
The NayoSmart Almighty earns its name. There are over 20 pockets and storage compartments which is perfect for a compact travel experience where you don’t want to compromise.
The top compartment gives easy access to sunglasses and sundries, whilst the main compartments have enough space for pretty much any devices smaller than the largest laptop the normal-sized Almighty can cater for, as well as clothes and other items. The secret compartment, which is seemingly a mainstay of travel backpacks is larger than most I’ve seen too.
Waterproofed, temperature-controlled pockets, durable materials, and a comfortable wear mean we’ve pretty much checked everything we set out to at the start of this review. All that is left is for us to get a second mortgage to pay for it now, right? Not at all.
Whilst competing brands put a premium price tag on such backpacks, NayoSmart has a very reasonable price of $85 (~£70) for the normal size of the Almighty. For me, that’s a bargain and I aside from a few improvements I’d like to see in the market in general, I can’t think of anything that is specifically missing that I’d have expected.
Pick one up!