At last years’ event, it being our first, all the team brought their own small mountain of tech with backpacks, bags and suitcases full of stuff for IFA 2016. At IFA 2017 we decided to do things more conservatively, only bringing the essentials. When Speck approached us to look at their Ruck backpacks we jumped at the idea of taking a backpack that had multiple pocket and was rugged, to the show floor instead of hand carrying a lot of kit or using an overbearing bag. Here’s what I thought of the Ruck backpack by Speck and how it held up to the rigours of the IFA regime.
I took the Tylt Energi+ backpack last year and I was probably carrying more than this year but the lack of compartments bothered me a little then. Yes it was big enough to carry everything but not in a fashion conducive to finding the item you needed quickly. It was normally buried at the bottom of three or four other products after the jiggling around in the Uber on the way to the event.
This year, the Ruck by Speck actually helped to compartmentalise the tech I was carrying.
There are four main external zip points to open pockets of various sizes. The main zipper opens up a laptop compartment which Speck say can handle up to a 15″ laptop. My 13.3″ ultrabook was nice and protected in there, closest to my back when walking but protected by the ample Air Mesh padding on the rear. There’s still more than enough room to add notebooks, another laptop, tablets, or even clothes in that section.
Moving forward from that is the central compartment which opens up to provide yet more room for a tablet, smaller laptop, as well as smaller pockets for pens and other little items such as wires and charges. This space also provides the perfect area for storing bulkier charging cables. I used this area to fit my Manfrotto compact tripod in there even!
Then there’s the front flap which has a small quick access zipper for items – I used this for my passport and business cards throughout the trip. That flap hides another zipper underneath it that is again very large and can be used for tablets, notebooks, and pretty much anything else you have lying around. to the sides there are also water bottle pockets which I found acceptably big as they kept the bottles snug, but they could also be used for cans, or even more tech. I’d worry about them falling out if it was an item of expensive though.
Here’s a quick snap of most of the items I carried, but there were more cables to be fair and my camera (that I shot this on) was also in there in one of the smaller pockets. The list consists of:
- Acer Aspire S7 plus charging cable
- RavPower 27000 mAh battery with hard carry case and charging cables
- Honor 9 smartphone
- Aukey 20000 mAh power bank
- Meze 99 Neo headphones
- LED hot shoe light
- Manfrotto tripod
- Water bottle in the side pockets.
The straps are padded well, but perhaps could do with a little more around the shoulders, and I’d like to see some rubber feet on the bottom of the Ruck by Speck to allow it to stand upright rather than drooping in some scenarios. furthermore I’d also like to have seen a waist clasp to allow for more support of heavier loads. However the padding was ample for me during my trip, and the sizes of the compartments were more than adequate for all my items. Overall it served me perfectly for my trip to IFA 2017 this year and I can see myself using it for upcoming MWC and other trips. Additionally, if there are any issues with it, it comes with a 3 year warranty.
The Ruck by Speck is available from the Speck website for $49.95 and is available in Khaki (reviewed) and Charcoal Grey.