Still the best travel backpack? – REI Ruckpack 40 Update

After a few trips with the Ruckpacks we have a list of pros and cons about the bags.

REI Ruckpack 40:

Broke for Free – Juparo

Our camera gear:

Canon Powershot G7X Mark II:
SD Card:
Battery Charger:

GoPro Hero5 Black:
microSD Card:
Batteries + Charger:
Selfie Stick:
Floaty Stick:

Canon EOS T4i:
SD Card:
Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 Lens:
AC Adapter:

Google Pixel 2 XL:

Other Gear:
Grid-It Electronics Organizer:
Gorilla Pod:
Mic Preamp:


Macario DeLaCruz says:

I bought two of the same bags, one for me and the other for my wife. We’re finally going to use them on a quick trip to San Francisco. I’m so looking forward to using mine!

Random Adventurers says:

Did you ever have issues with fitting it as a carry on?

Renaud Steve says:

Thanks for the review and follow up, there isn’t a lot about this bag … question : what about the build quality, zippers fabrics etc.

Perry Ferrell says:

GREAT FOLLOW UP! Thanks for posting. I agree on all of your points, positive and negative. the lack of standing was the only negative that I would add to the REI wishlist. I would venture to say that even having to prop it was manageable – until the inside top pocket was weighted down. it’s where i stowed my back up batteries, converters, cables..etc. and weight seemed to always pull it over to the front.
i weighed in at 23-25lbs preflight, including a spare pare of shoes. since most of my clothes were drifit/technical/polymade , they were easy to rangeroll and stash. i had enough room to bring back 3 bottles of wine from Italy.
it’s a bag that i definitely plan to keep and would recommend.

Kim Doan says:

Did you had problems with the this as a carry-on?

Janell Kristina says:

I bought this bag a week ago for a upcoming trip to Costa Rica after watching your last video. Glad to see the follow up, I can’t wait to use it!

Ingrid Cook says:

Really helpful and well done video. Clear audio, Great shots of backpack, and insightful after action review of bag. Nice to have review and meaningful feedback on a travel bag that I couldn’t find much about any where else. Also sweet that your video wasn’t 1/2 hour long. I would like to see a little video of what you guys packed on your trip, how you packed it in, and what kind of packing cubes you used. Thanks!

firesome11 says:

can you do comparative review vs osprey ozone 22/55?

Suzu Hsu says:

I love your videos – was about to jump on the bag but perchance there’s a video on how you both pack for different climates/countries? You mentioned packing cubes and stuffing in each other’s personal storage…thanks!!

Annmiie says:

Hope you had a great trip! I bought the bag after watching your review, and am taking it on a trip to Sri Lanka in a couple of days! I watched a lot of other reviews on other bags too, but decided on this one bc of the sleek look/no compartments/good back padding. I think that’s a unique combo versus other bags. I live in Europe and was even obsessed enough to pay the important duties to send it over bc I couldn’t get it out of my head. No regrets, really love it so far! Happy holidays!

Brett Friedman says:

I’m an REI employee, I train staff in how to fit backpacks. Thanks for a fair and honest review! If you have pack specific questions feel free to ask. For those asking if this bag is suitable for a carry on, the answer is yes with an asterisk. We use the measurement of 9 x 12 x 22. 40 liters is around the max you can carry on, but check with your airline for specifics.

thirtyeyes says:

Looked at this bag pretty hard.   My deal breakers were the lock issue with the side pocket that you mentioned, as well as the top carry strap seems hidden (in a bad location) when you zip up and cover the shoulder straps.  I would have liked to see them duplicate the side handle somehow on the top and maybe bottom.  Lastly, the front of the back seems like it’s begging for a mesh pocket or bungee grid.  I also think the front has a double fabric space that could easily be turned into a compartment with a zipper, maybe a vertical or diagonal zipper.  And perhaps make the water bottle pockets a bit deeper.  I might still get it but leaning towards one of the Ospreys.

Coquise Taylor says:

Thanks for the video. It’s one of the only in depth videos for this bag. My husband and I are going to Thailand for a month and I am agonizing between this bag and the typical Osprey Fairview 40. The Porter was out immediately because of the bulky side padding. I just cant decide between the Ruckpack and the Fairview. I think the Fairview is slightly more comfortable for my body type as far as the back frame but I really love the look and organization of the ruckpack…..oh decisions, decisions!

Eric V says:

Awesome video guys! I’m in search for a bag that can be used for international travel and backpacking. Thanks for he advice. Check out some of my travel videos!

Pablo Andres Torres says:

Great feedback! Just got the bag for Christmas and will be taking it for a 2 week trip to Japan. I’ll report back on how it went for me, but so far, absolutely love the bag.

Julio Nagashima says:

Thanks again for sharing your experience!

Doug Ford says:

Looks like you guys are avid REI customers. Did you ever look at the Osprey Porter 46? Im taking a trip to Thailand in a couple of months and have been looking for bags exactly like these. I have not gone to look at them yet but would be interested in getting your opinion as well.

Oscar Rios says:

Do you guys carry a laptop?

Jet Lag 916 says:

Smaller, but the Gregory Zulu 30 is another option.

Kill Frogge says:

I was struggling to find a bag that fit what I wanted as far as size and comfort level.. And I saw your first video and went to REI this kast weekend and tried it on along with the osprey bags and I loved this one more! This video was perfect timing as I plan on buying it after the holidays. I’ll be backpacking through Thailand for a month in February and finding this bag has been a dream!

Kenny Steven Fernández Torres says:

Hi! I bought this back after watch your first video on the topic. I like it, it looks kind of big. I’ll go on my first 2018 trip on January 7th so I’m excited. I hope it work for me.

Dave Currie says:

UATW,You are great! Big fan, literally! I am a heavier person and definitely not built like the typical backpacker, but I am taking up a more active lifestyle and this was a way that excited, inspired and motivated me to do more. I will admit that I was originally focused on the Osprey brand of bags. When I went to fit them at my local REI, I realized the hip belt did not fit around my waist. The REI associate helped me and showed me alternative ways to carry the Osprey bags. Honestly, what is the point of spending $150 for a bag that you can’t fully utilize. I was frustrated. I was about to leave when he showed me the REI Co-op Ruckpack 40. I tried it on and it fit like a glove. The waist straps extend to 46 inches. I loaded the pack with 30 pounds and walked around the store. It felt great. I wanted to check it out online and found your videos. I bought the bag and am so happy. Thank you. Update: I have lost over 45 pounds and can now fit into an Osprey, but no one is taking away my REI Ruckpack 40. Cheers!

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