REI Ruckpack 40 Review | One Bag Travel Backpack (Men’s & Women’s Version)

If you’re looking for a highly functional travel pack that carries well and looks great, you can’t go wrong with the REI Ruckpack 40. We particularly like all the hidden features, but wish the laptop compartment had a bit more structure. View Details & Buy:

View Our Full Review:

In this review, we’re going to be checking out the Ruckpack 40 from REI—a one bag travel pack that offers a minimalistic form with some big functionality. And unlike most of the packs we test, we’re actually going to be discussing two versions of this one—because it comes in a men’s and women’s version.

If you’ve never heard of REI—maybe you’ve been living under a rock or deep in the jungle for the past couple decades—you should know that they’re a pretty freakin’ cool company. They’re an outdoor co-op that sells just about everything you could ever need for outdoor activities plus a whole lot more, including urban travel gear. They also donate a boatload of money to conservation and work pretty hard to achieve ethical and environmental excellence in their business.

And while they sell gear from a variety of companies, they also make their own stuff. Their own gear is mainly known for being budget-friendly and functional—and no surprise, the Ruckpack 40 fits that description perfectly. It stays true to REI’s technical focus, but a lot of things have been optimized specifically for urban travel. (Which is right up our alley…)

The REI Ruckpack 40 offers a solid carry with some great organization. The aesthetic is minimal and there are a bunch of hidden features on the outside that tuck away when not in use, providing a great blend of form and function. And although we do have a few nitpicks—mainly, the laptop compartment and non-hideable hip belt—there aren’t many glaring cons with this bag. We also like that REI has gone ahead and made a men’s and women’s version of this pack—it really helps optimize the carrying experience for any body type.

0:40 – Material & Aesthetic
2:20 – External Components
8:24 – Inside the Pack
12:43 – Durability & Testing
13:19 – Pros & Cons
13:59 – The Verdict

Mission Workshop Radian Review:
Aer Travel Pack 2 Review:
Heimplanet Monolith Weekender Review:
Peak Design Travel Backpack Review:
Tortuga Setout 45L Review:
View more backpack reviews on our website:

In this video, Tom Wahlin of Pack Hacker reviews the men’s and women’s version of the REI Ruckpack 40, a great one bag travel backpack.

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scootermcgoot says:

When I looked at this bag in person, I thought it was quite strange that the main compartment completely opens up and stuff can fall out of the top side. Seems like a dumb choice in my mind and i would guess I would lose stuff that comes falling out of the top side of the pack. especially when its really full

Nicolás Serrano says:

you still recomend the peak desing travel over this one? i need one carry on bag to travel and i still confused

Matt Cobra says:

Hip Belt Hack – when all the straps are stowed away, you have to fold the hip belt down & buckle the flaps together to lay it down. when the shoulder straps back come out, you can leave the hip belt folded like this. It becomes out of the way & adds more cushion to lower back.

You’re right about the load lifters too. I thought they’d ruin my shoulder straps they’re designed so bad.

You all are so detailed. Love your reviews!

Igor Fleury says:

Will you ever review Tom BIhn?

shugoreirocks says:

Great detailed review as always, and awesome, no frills shots of the actual bag. The overall shape and opening reminds me a lot of the Arcteryx Khard / Vanquest IBEX, and the side pockets of the Camelbak Trizip (this is a good thing IMO). Also, thank you for including the women’s version, and women reviewers across all your reviews! From a short girl with excessive bag/gear acquisition syndrom, it is much appreciated!

ada PixeI says:

How do you feel the “5 liters” difference between this and the AER travel 2 ? I torn between thoses 2 and the setout but I can’t tell if the higher capacity has a big impact on the overall experience. Maybe I’m better off going for the AER (my favorite) and an extra packable duffel bag for when I bring back gifts or go heavy like for a cold climate.

Thanks for the review anyway !

Dufffaaa93 says:

It’s too big for European airlines. I just checked and its too tall for carry on.

No carry on, no buy 🙁

Daniel Rocha says:

This is a dope alternative to the GR3 which I will now never be able to afford.

edwxrds says:

finally a review! love this pack. picked it up at REI for under $100 during a sale. best value in this product category PERIOD!!! just as feature rich and almost as quality (not over the top) as anything $200+ on the market.

ryan webb says:

Is this carry on size? Arc’teryx Brize 25/32 review please?

TheToeKnee216 says:

Another great review, Tom! I like that you guys have been adding bloopers to the end of each review, nobody is perfect and that adds a little something funny to each review.

I like most of the features of this bag. The pockets, all of the little hook places on the outside, rain cover, and compression straps. However, the hip belt is a deal breaker for me personally. I believe that should be a hide-able/removable feature.

jalabi99 says:

I’m glad I came across your channel for the first time today. Such a thorough review. Great work, have a like and a new subscriber!

Andal Alvar says:

The side system looks great, but I don’t understand why it the zip faces outwards, that just makes it less secure if you want to put phone/keys/wallet. The zip should face the wearers back.

Pack Hacker says:

Would you use the internal sleeve compartment for a hydration bladder or a laptop?

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