Best Waterproof Backpack for Daily Carry? Showers Pass Utility Backpack Review

Best Waterproof Backpack for Daily Carry? Showers Pass Utility Backpack Review


Hey it’s Jen with Backpackies dot com and in this video we are going to take a closer look at the Showers Pass Utility
backpack. For those unfamiliar with Showers Pass they are a brand based out
of Portland Oregon that makes technical apparel and
accessories for cyclists and people who love the outdoors. Their utility backpack
is a fully waterproof backpack that was made with cyclists in mind. But I wanted
to explore if this backpack makes a good daily carry backpack and see how
functional it is for people who aren’t cycling enthusiasts but still want a
100% waterproof backpack for college work or city commuting. What really sets
the showers past utility backpack apart from other waterproof bags are all of the
different pockets and compartments. I’ve noticed that other waterproof bags are
usually roll-top backpacks or bucket style dry bags with very few storage
options. What I like right away is that the Utility backpack isn’t a roll-top
bag. Instead there is a zipper for quick access to the main compartment and there
are tons of pockets for organization of everyday items like a laptop, keys and a
phone. So right away this backpack feels like it was actually designed for daily
use and not just for a niche hobby or activity. I’m going to break up this
review up into a few different parts with time stamps in the video description.
First I’m going to cover the bag specs. Then do a pocket deep dive. Next is a
waterproof test where we explore how waterproof this bag actually is.
And then lastly are the comfort features. Also in the video description are links
to where to purchase the Showers Pass Utility backpack if you like what you
see in this review. Now let’s start with the backpack specs. The Showers Pass
Utility backpack is a medium capacity backpack at 26.8
liters. It weighs 3.4 pounds. And the bag itself is made out of 840 denier Ballistic Nylon and it features a completely
waterproof welded construction. The bag also features waterproof zippers that
are sealed to keep the inside nice and dry. A neat feature of the Utility
backpack is the option to attach LED lights. Showers Pass includes a pack of
their LED Beacon Lights with every backpack purchase
which you can attach to the front and side of the bag. This is a great feature
not only for cyclists but for anyone who commutes at night and just wants the
added safety feature. Along with the lights the Utility backpack includes
plenty of 3M reflective trim for additional visibility at night. So now
that we have gone over some general specs let’s dive deep and explore what
the Utility backpack has to offer in terms of carry. Starting with the front
of the backpack you have two pockets. The first is a small side zipper that gives
you access to a fleece lined pocket that is perfect to small items like a phone
or a wallet. The second pocket is a larger front compartment for quick stash
items. There are two things to note about this pocket; first it’s expandable using
these side zippers. It can open large enough to fit a bike helmet. The second
thing to note is that this pocket isn’t fully sealed and waterproof. There are
points of contact where the water could sneak in. But Showers Pass does address
this by providing mesh drainage on the bottom of the pocket so that water
doesn’t get trapped inside and create a messy puddle. You’ll see the same mesh on
the side pockets as well. These pockets are great for water bottles and can even
fit a bike u-lock. Moving on to the back of the bag you have
a hip belt with additional pockets for easy access to small items. It’s worth
noting that the zippers on the hip belt pockets are not waterproof and water can
get inside these pockets quite easily. One cool feature that I really like is
that the hip belt is removable. This allows you to use it as a standalone hip
pack for carry of small essentials. The last pocket on the outside of the
backpack is a flat waterproof pocket found on the top of the bag. The pocket
was designed for holding a hydration bladder and includes an aluminum clip
for hanging. Now let’s dive into the carry features inside the main
compartment. As mentioned before the main compartment can be accessed through a
fully waterproof zipper and inside is where you’ll find your laptop and tablet
pockets. These pockets are fully padded and fleece lined on one side. The laptop
pocket can hold a laptop up to 15 inches while the second pocket can support a
tablet up to 10 inches. What I like about this laptop compartment is that it has a
false bottom. What that means is that the bottom of the laptop pocket doesn’t
touch the bottom of the bag. It’s additional protection that really helps
if you drop your backpack on the ground. Showers Pass also does a good job at
giving additional space between the sides of the laptop pocket and the walls
of the backpack. Again it’s the same premise extra protection against bumps
and drops. The only con for some people will be the size of the laptop
compartment. 15 inches is perfect for MacBooks and slimmer laptops but anyone
with a bigger laptop might not have enough room. If you do have a bigger
laptop then showers pass does offer a similar waterproof bag called the
transit. It has a laptop sleeve big enough for 17 inch laptops.
Moving on to the other side of the main compartment you have an aluminum clip
for keys and a zippered media pocket that is fleece-lined on one side. This is
great for any small valuables that you don’t want getting lost inside the main
compartment. Below the media pocket are two elastic slip pockets that are large
enough to fit water bottles but could also be used for just about anything
like external hard drives or a laptop charger. Like I mentioned before the
carrying capacity is 26.8 liters and I found that the main compartment can fit
a couple of one-inch binders and a few notebooks and still have plenty of room
vertically to add something like a hoodie or a pair of shoes on top. In my
opinion 26 liters is just the right size for a daily carry backpack.
If Showers Pass went any larger they would run the risk of the bag becoming
too bulky and heavy. So this capacity should work for most people who just
need a midsize commuter backpack for their books, clothes and tech. Now that we
have explored the carry features of the Showers Pass Utility backpack let’s move
on to what I’m excited about and that is the waterproof test. So showers pass
claims that the backpack is fully waterproof and I want to see for myself
if that’s actually true. As you can see the backpack already got a little wet
from the grass but I plan on really putting it to the test.
I’m going to store a pair of bluetooth headphones inside the front media pocket.
I’m also going to place a laptop inside the main compartment. And now I’m going to drench the
backpacks with a garden hose. Inside the front media pocket the
Bluetooth headphones are completely dry. The laptop inside the main compartment
is also completely dry thankfully and the main compartment doesn’t have any
moisture inside whatsoever. The backpack straps and back panel are still wet but
they are made out of a quick-drying 3D mesh so they should dry quicker than
your average backpack. So let’s wait to see how long that takes.
So the back panel and shoulder straps did take longer to dry than expected. It
took about three hours to dry completely. Keep in mind that I completely drenched
the back panel and let it sit at room temperature to dry. So is the Showers
Pass Utility backpack really waterproof? The answer is yes and if it can survive
a downpour with a garden hose that I’m confident that it should have no problem
during a rainy day commute. Now let’s move on to the final topic of discussion
which is backpack comfort. Let’s start with the back panel. It’s made out of 3D
mesh and it’s really padded especially around the mesh panel for lumbar support.
Showers Pass also adds 3D mesh on the shoulder straps. They measure in at 3.25 inches and do a good job at distributing weight evenly. Comfort
wise this backpack is customizable enough where it can fit a variety of
body types. The shoulder straps are adjustable and the bag also includes
load adjusters on the top. The only concern is for people with smaller
frames and shoulders. The shoulder straps are a little under 4 inches apart and
just to compare it to a bag like the women’s North Face Recon; those shoulder
straps are under 2.5 inches apart. I only bring this up for anyone
considering this backpack who has narrow shoulders
or a small frame. Like I said this backpack is adjustable enough where most
people are going to find it very comfortable but the shoulder strap width
is locked in and it’s not something you can adjust. So keep that in mind. The
sternum strap has an elastic band that makes conforming to your body pretty
easy. It’s also fully adjustable and removable. The mechanism is really easy
you just pull the tab to release and when you want to put it back on you
just click it in place. The hip belt is also fully adjustable to fit your hips.
Like I mentioned before the hip belt is removable. So you can really choose how
you want to wear this backpack without having all of these dangling straps
everywhere. This is an awesome design feature that Showers Pass does really
well. Once you have adjusted the backpack to
fit your body the Utility backpack is actually really comfortable when fully
loaded. The padded back feels comfortable and the wide shoulder straps, sternum
strap and hip belt help distribute the weight evenly. So that concludes our
Showers Pass Utility backpack review. Hopefully this review answers some questions you
might have had about the bag. Personally I think it’s one of the better fully
waterproof daily carry backpacks out there and definitely worth checking out
if you are curious about a waterproof backpack for college, work or commuting.
And don’t forget links to where to purchase this backpack are in the video
description. For more backpack reviews and buying guides make sure to check us
out at backpack.com. Thanks for watching!

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