Need a new brief case? - Hackpack Review

The Wheelie case
Hackpack V1.0

Bobby Bizz
Tortuga Set Out Divide
Things to Pack
Packed Up and Ready To Go
Slings - carrying light

Hackpack and organisation

The Hackpack leaves internal organisation to the user. Add packing cubes and organisers as required.

The laptop compartment is large enough for a 15" laptop but has wasted space if a small ultra book is used. The compartment also has little protection along the bottom edge. I inserted a 2cm square full length hard packing foam to raise the laptop from the bottom edge.

A grey hard cases to protect hard drive, battery back up and micro sd card holder.

A set of packing cubes for clothes and shoes.

I added loops for pens and other items to go on the inside of the outer cover, where the straps can be hidden away.

Velcro strips, 19mm elastic. Hand sown. The loops are 25mm (1 inch to take pens, pencils) apart. The gap between then is 18mm, wider if you want to make sure the adjacent items do not touch.


Besides pens, rulers and tablet stylus straps can also be used for calculators (Casio fx-991EX shown) or more than one (fx-83GTPlus,  fx-991GT Plus, fx-9860GII) or a mobile phone (Sony XA1).

The Velcro's hooks strip is attached to the back of the elastic.

The soft strip from the Velcro pair is stuck on the Hackpack.

There is enough room to have two row of pens & pencils.  An alternative to have the rails run along the shorter side (the height when stood up). The sticky back of the strip is not firm and may need a different glue applied or stitched.

Why this layout and spacing for the rails? It could be better positioned for the pens. The spacing is so that a pair of NXT speakers can be placed on them.

The bottom of the compartment accommodates the amplifier and battery compartment for the speakers. They can be plugged into the mobile phone or the laptop. The speakers are Kodal Corporation FlatOut Traveler. Only 4 watts and a frequency range of 200Hz to 17kHz. They lack bass but are louder than the speakers built into the laptop. They can also be powered by a 12 volt power supply (top right in photograph). These turn the Hackpack into a mobile "hi-fi" music system. The big weight increase is the 8 AA batteries needed to power them; the speakers weigh very little.


Changes in design are always possible but will not be an improvement for everyone.

The Hackpack is heavy with a lot of padding. Whilst this protects the contents from outside and items inside from each other it adds a lot of weight.

Moving the Napolean external zipped compartment to the inside and have a less padded divider. Make it two compartments. This also reduces the chances of having content removed by a pick pocket. A quick access pocket is not normally the whole depth of the backpack and without dividers everything gravitates to one corner.

The backpack straps are clipped onto D rings hidden under an extra piece of material. Remove this material cover  and adopt a similar idea to how the carry handles slide away. The D rings fold back under cover through a small slot in the corner.

Fix the top of the backpack straps with clips to a ring or a ring that clips into a loop to which both straps are attached.  This allows them to be removed completely if not required. It does add cost and weight, but using lighter metal clips throughout gets much of that back.

Having removable backpack straps allows them to be clipped together to form a shoulder strap so a separate shoulder strap isn't required, but a strip of padding included to cover the clips in the middle of the now single strap.

Have optional padded waist straps.

The D rings can easily accommodate the extra clip. With the padded cover these could also double up as a lighter shoulder strap.

Strum straps do not really work with these should straps.

Change zips to ones that can be locked with a separate padlock. I leave my brief case at work when at lunch or in the gym. I lock it and chain it to the desk if I can't lock in a large draw. Most offices I work in have an open layout and a large number of visitors passing through. It is not just thieves but colleagues who think it is okay to go into your stuff for a pen, snack or play tricks on your phone! I have had a bag stolen from an overhead bunk not even aware of what happened when the carriage all of a sudden filled with people - all looking for bags to walk off with.

If the cover for the backstrap was made to be rolled up and held in place by Velcro's then a vented padded backing could be available as an option. This could be Velcroed to Hackpack and in turn have the cover Vecroed to it. Although this adds weight a firm backing adds comfort particularly when carrying a heavy laptop and books. Further gains are made by not needing a zip. Because of the carry handles the space in this compartment has limited uses as the hole is relatively large.

Original videos suggested that the backpack straps are ergonomically curved. They are not. It would be nice if they were.

The material used to expand the depth could be 3 inches (75mm) with little extra cost or weight but a real gain in capacity.

I would like a grab handle on the top when used as a backpack. This helps with stowing away and in taking off your back.

Last updated 2nd August 2018