Best Travel Backpacks of 2020: Mission Workshop Fitzroy 40 - Gear Hacker

Table Of Contents

  • Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Security 70% 70%
  • Laptop Protection 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Price: $275

Weight: 3.3lbs (1.5kg)

Dimensions: 20x15x8”

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 15” 

What We Like: Looks great, waterproof material.

What We Don’t: Hard to organize, limited pockets.

Mission Workshop’s Fitzroy 40l is easily the most aesthetically pleasing pack on the list. It looks like it belongs on the streets of San Francisco, which is actually where it is designed… interesting. The main pocket is top-loaded which can be a bit cumbersome if you have packed for a few days. The exterior pockets are not the most easily used, so it did lose some points there as well. The harness system is comfortable, and the material is military-grade, which is always a good thing. If you are in the market for more of a commuter bag, this is right up your alley.

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Pros

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Best Travel Backpacks of 2020: Mission Workshop Fitzroy 40 - Gear Hacker
  • Organization 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Security 70% 70%
  • Laptop Protection 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Looks Great

Waterproof Material

Cons

Hard to Organize

Limited Pockets

Weight: 3.3lbs (1.5kg)

Dimensions: 20x15x8”

Capacity: 40l

Laptop Size: 15”

It is becoming more and more difficult to find products that are manufactured in the US, but the Missions Workshop Fitzroy is— and it is made to military specifications at that. Designed and tested in San Francisco, these burly backpacks and messenger bags are built where they are used: in city streets.

The Fitzroy is one of the few top-loading backpacks on the list, as it does not quite have the same accessibility as the clamshell opening systems. That said, there are some features that cannot be missed that Mission Workshop has added to their packs. 

Best Travel Backpacks of 2020: Mission Workshop Fitzroy 40 - Gear Hacker

Storage

Easy. A large bucket-style top-loading pocket is where most of your cargo will go. The laptop sleeve is also located in this pocket. The internal material is white, which does help with seeing and finding gear that may have fallen to the bottom of the pack.

Along the outside of the backpack, there are four different pockets. At the top, there is an open sleeve that will hold a tablet or e-reader. In front of the sleeve, there are two smaller zippered pockets that are perfect for passports, wallets, and other valuables. Finally, near the bottom, there is a 3D pocket that is large enough for a large bike lock or books, and this pocket is closed with tough velcro. While the top-loader is closed, the large bottom pocket is the only accessible pocket on the Fitzroy. The top-loader does a good job of securing everything in place when it is firmly closed. 

Best Travel Backpacks of 2020: Mission Workshop Fitzroy 40 - Gear Hacker

Laptop Sleeve

As mentioned earlier, the laptop sleeve on the Fitzroy is located in the main compartment within its own zippered pocket. The pocket is along the user’s back, so the laptop is in a safe location and close to the body to help distribute weight.

Comfort and Harness System

The Mission Workshop Fitzroy has a very standard backpack strap shoulder strap system. The padding in the shoulder straps is nice and is good enough for a long day of exploring. There are load lifters on the shoulder straps to help manage weight distribution, and there is a sternum strap as well.

The Fitzroy is compatible with a separately sold hipbelt. This hipbelt is massive, and it does an incredible job of distributing weight to the hipsbut, I mean, it’s almost a bit overkill. When they are not in use, the hipbelt does stick out to each side of the pack and can become a nuisance for other pedestrians or airport frequenters.

Best Travel Backpacks of 2020: Mission Workshop Fitzroy 40 - Gear Hacker

Security and Material

Mission Workshop was not messing around when they thought about the materials for this backpack. Using 1000D nylon as the main body material and a PET waterproof membrane, this pack is ready for anything. The US military uses the same set up in some of their gear which shows how good the Fitzroy is. 

With the toploading set up of the Fitzroy, there are not any additional security measures that the backpack utilizes. All of the pockets, except for the bottom velcro pocket, are covered by the top flap, which helps to secure the additional pockets and adds another level of waterproofing. At the end of the day, it is a more traditional backpack set up. 

Best Travel Backpacks of 2020: Mission Workshop Fitzroy 40 - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

Mission Workshop makes gnarly gear. Their products are built to last forever, and they back it with a very good warranty and will also pay for the shipping to send the backpack back to you. That’s pretty good! The pockets on this pack are simple to use and are not overly complicated. The material is waterproof and lightweight but also highly durable.

Due to the top-loading nature of the pack, it is not the most organizationally focused pack, but if you have a couple packing cubes that would make all the difference. The shoulder straps are comfortable, and it is a very good looking packcompletely different from the other “carry-on” backpacks. All of this could be yours for at the moderate price of $250, which is a bit more expensive than I would like to see for a pack of this style, but the craftsmanship does help give that price a bit more justification.

I think that this pack would make for a very good everyday carry for someone that lives in a wet city and bike commutes to work. Though, it would still do an excellent job as a one bag travel backpack for any digital nomads zipping around the world.

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!