Toploader Backpack for One Bagging | Mission Workshop Fitzroy VX Review (Minimalist, Stylish Travel)

Toploader Backpack for One Bagging | Mission Workshop Fitzroy VX Review (Minimalist, Stylish Travel)

Hey it’s Tom from Pack Hacker. In this
video we’re going to be taking a look at the Mission Workshop Fitzroy Backpack
And at Pack Hacker we do travel gear reviews like this all the time. So if you
want to optimize your travel experience consider subscribing. [upbeat music playing] So here is what Mission Workshop has to
say about their Fitzroy. Got the laptop here for definition. “The Fitzroy is an
impenetrable fortress of a pack that holds and protects all of your gear.
Built to last a lifetime with waterproof fabrics and military spec construction. The Fitzroy features multiple weatherproof compartments, urethane
coated zippers, waterproof materials and an internal frame sheet. So does it live
up to all those claims? Let’s check it out. And before we jump in, just wanted to
note that their logo is an anagram, which is pretty awesome. So it’s the same thing
right-side up as it is upside down. First of all, I’m a big fan of the
aesthetic of this pack from the roll-top to the buckles here. It’s got a good
overall vibe going on and a lot of Mission Workshop stuff looks really
great. This pack is shaped nicely; kind of like a giant rectangle, but due to the
flap and the top-loading mechanism it doesn’t look like there’s a giant
rectangular suitcase on your back that you get with some other packs of a
similar size. This pack has a minimalist look. And you can tell there’s some tech
involved when you take a look at the archive system here, and some of these
stretchier elastic that’s going on with these buckles on the straps. Everything
here is made of high quality and it’s all to military spec.
Thousand D Cordura, the special VX version that Mission Workshop has
created exclusively for this pack – which means it’s (bleep) durable. With all this
material the pack comes in at 3.3 pounds when it’s empty, which
is actually pretty light when compared to some other durable packs on the
market. We’ve also got an external dimension of 15 inches by 20 inches by 8
inches, and that’s going to account for 40 liters total volume inside
of the pack. The first thing that catches your eye
when taking a look at this pack is the metal buckles on the outside. And what
these are is that they are part of the Mission Workshop archive system and this
is kind of the light version right? So these are just buckles. But if you do look at some of the other packs that Mission Workshop has to offer, you’re
going to see that archive system used more often. So it’s basically their
proprietary version of MOLLE. It can be used to extend a type of pack any way
that you see fit for your needs; so you can add additional pouches, additional
cases to the archive system itself, and really customize the pack to your needs.
It’s important to note that in other Fitzroy versions you’re just going to have
these standard buckles, but these archive buckles here come with the Fitzroy VX
version. So these buckles were a little bit interesting for us to use at first,
but the more we use them the more we started to like them, and we saw the
benefit of them for this pack specifically. Moving on to the rest of
the components here – there is a strap on the top of the bag and we feel that it’s
a little bit thin. It’s not super padded. We kind of wish there was more padding
there. Now in contrast to that, you move onto the straps of the backpacks
themselves and we think these straps are some of the best on the market for this
size of pack. So although they look a little bit thin, the foam in here is of
high density and the mesh is of high quality, so when you have this thing on
it’s going to be very comfortable to use. And there is an adjuster strap at the
bottom here. We also have load lifters at the top and these do wonders for making
your pack feel more light. With these load lifter straps we do have this
velcro attachment here that’s going to kind of hold the strap into place. We
personally wish these were a little further down on the strap itself, but
they do their job. The sternum strap on this bag is nothing that special. It’s a
standard buckle. It doesn’t use the archive system or anything like that. And
we have found that the strap can loosen up if you have heavier items in here, and
doesn’t grip super well compared to the rest of the straps of the pack.
So we can contrast the looser sternum strap with the amazing hip belt
system that the Fitzroy comes with. Now this is an optional upgrade. I will link
it down in the description below so you can see what we’re talking about. But
this thing is thick, it’s super padded and almost looks like a weight lifter
belt or something like that. And it’s attached by a singular row of velcro, and
it really does wonders for pulling that weight kind of off of your back and
securing the strap to your back. So we’re sort of hit or miss on hip belts here at
Pack Hacker, especially for a bag at about 40 liters. Because for urban travel,
if you’re traveling light enough, you don’t really need one. But it’s nice that
the Fitzroy has that option, has that extendability, if you choose to utilize
it. Now one thing that we have noticed with the
hip belt when it is attached, is it kind of flails all over the place, and maybe
this is because we haven’t broken it in. Like I said earlier we’ve been testing
it for about a month, but we have noticed that thing kind of just flopping
around. And it sort of gets in your way and you can feel it on your arms when
you’re trying to put your arms, you know, down by your side. But what you can do
there is you can easily just detach the hip belt and you know, stuff it away in
your pack when you’re not using it. It’s easy enough to do that. To top it all off
we do have a nicely padded and matched back, and below we have a loop where you
can hang any additional items off of that you need. [upbeat music playing] For the main compartment we’re basically looking at a giant bucket with this nice kind of diamond-patterned
material here. There’s not a lot of room in here or additional organization, so
we’d highly recommend grabbing some packing cubes. Maybe some Eagle Creek
Specter Cubes, because those are super lightweight and they help organize the
gear inside of your pack. What this pocket does have however, is an
additional zippered pocket for your laptop. However that’s not going to be
padded whatsoever so we’d recommend, you know, getting a padded laptop sleeve
if you’re going to go that route. The pack does lay pretty flat so it can kind of
compress down, but it doesn’t stand up alone on its own. If you do have some
heavier items at the bottom here though it can stand up straight without having
to lean it up against something else. As a quick side note here – the
benefit of a top-loader pack is that there is no main clamshell zipper that
has an opportunity to fail as you’re using the pack for a longer period of
time. So if you are looking for a main clamshell backpack, just make sure that
that zipper is high quality. So YKK makes some really high-quality zippers and
you’ll go well there. Because if you think about it when you’re traveling, if
you do have that clamshell backpack and having that zipper break can be a pretty
catastrophic thing. So that’s the benefit of a top loader. Oh and there’s a little
tag of a flag in here that shows that it’s been made in the USA. High quality
stuff. So when you are closing that top flap you want to make sure to fold these
sides in here. You know, not outwards because that would just leave a hole in
this thing. Just want to make sure you kind of fold it in. So below the flap we
do have an additional three pockets. The first one is a free-floating pocket here
that does not enclose at all. This goes all the way down to the bottom of the
pack. And if there’s something that you really need to have some weather
resistance on, you may not want to put it in this pack. It is still covered by the
flap and sort of enclosed, but it is the most kind of open pocket on the pack.
Maybe if you want to like throw some flip-flops in there, that kind of be a
good idea. The second pack here is a water-resistant YKK zipper and it’s
about the height of a credit card. So you can put stuff in there, maybe some quick
grabs, stuff that you maybe want to take out of your pockets and throw in there
like a wallet, other stuff like that. The third pocket that we do have under the
flap is also a water-resistant YKK zipper, same as the above. And this one
actually goes all the way down to the bottom. So there’s going to be plenty of
room in there; a nice seal here for some weather resistance, and again it’s also
underneath the flap so you’re going to have that additional layer of protection. The
last pocket down here is going to be velcroed and we can open that up. It does
stick out a little bit more on the pack so you will have a little bit more room
than what’s kind of inside of this main bucket of the pack, but not a ton. And
keep in mind by now, right here, we’re down to kind of three levels of pockets
so you kind of want to have flatter items in this second YKK zipped pocket; this top one that is not enclosed and this bottom one. Because if you have like, you
know, a basketball in this one or something (it definitely can’t fit a basketball) but
you have something that’s chunkier, you’re not going to be able to utilize
those other two pockets quite as much. So just be sure you’re taking that into
account with your packing strategy and just considering that as you’re using
this pack. One of my favorite things about this pack is it works well for
like, quick grabs. If you’re at the airport going through say, security,
instead of using a bin you can just stuff everything that you have in your
pockets into this pack, slide it through security. There is no risk of it getting
stolen, and it just kind of keeps your stuff together a little bit more as you
pick up your bag and just exit the line a little bit quicker. [upbeat music playing] At the time of this review we have been
testing the Fitzroy for about a month and we wanted to give it a decent amount
of time to see what we liked about it, see what we didn’t like about it. Of
course this isn’t long enough to test the longevity and durability of the pack.
Be sure to head over to; we’ll try to keep that durability
timeline updated as we use this pack for a longer period of time. But we’re pretty
confident in the durability that Mission Workshop does have to offer. So a
personal friend of Pack Hacker has a Rambler. They have been using that pack for years
on end; through rain, through snow, biking through inclement weather, and it’s
really held up well for them and they don’t really have any complaints. So
again we’re confident in the brand and the durability here. So for the pros of
this pack – it’s a really durable pack and a lot of the weather proofing they have
going on here works super well. It has a slick, minimalistic look that you don’t
see in a lot of other travel backpacks out there. This pack also has a great
strap and harness. We’ve found it to be super comfortable if you have a ton of
weight going on in the pack. For some of the cons of this pack – it’s lacking a bunch
of internal organization. So again, we’d highly recommend using packing cubes if
you’re going to be going with this for one bag travel. You know you don’t want to be
getting into a situation where you have individual t-shirts in here and you’re
digging through everything inside of your pack to try to get to it every time
you want to grab something. It’s not a good situation to get into. The optional
detachable hip belt can kind of get in the way of your arms when it is on, but
that’s easy enough to mitigate by simply removing the strap. And lastly, the laptop
compartment doesn’t really offer any additional padding or protection, so
you’re going to want to probably get a separate laptop sleeve if you do go
with this pack. Thanks for taking a look at our review of the Mission Workshop
Fitzroy. If you have made it this far in this video, I’m guessing that you’re into
gear. So be sure to head over to and we’ll keep you updated with the latest travel tips and tricks, and gear reviews. Thanks for
checking this out, and we’ll see you in the next video! [upbeat music playing] When you’re reviewing bags how do you
get them to look so amazing and puffy? Packing peanuts. [laughing] [snap fingers] Yeah! [upbeat music playing]

16 thoughts on “Toploader Backpack for One Bagging | Mission Workshop Fitzroy VX Review (Minimalist, Stylish Travel)

  1. Hey! Tom the founder of Pack Hacker here. We just launched a guide to help choose the best travel backpack for YOU. Take a look and let me know what you think!

  2. Nice review. Would you say that this size of bag (40L), lent itself suitable to be used as a daily carry, or more as a general travel bag?

  3. Great review. Also, I think you meant an ambigram and not anagram. Could you review the Peloton Rolltop by Life Behind Bars?

  4. I have the smaller version of this bag and I absolutely love it. When one-bagging with the Fitzroy, is it frustrating to have to use packing cubes, vs the clamshell opening? Like when you are staying at a hostel, do you have to unpack everything you own every time you need something? Or is there a better method for living out of the bag?

  5. Why are all these bags only made for bigger people? at 5'4" with a torso length of 17in. There are very few backpacks I can actually wear

  6. Great to see a review of their backpacks. I've loved their messenger but the backpacks seemed a little more ambiguous. The Rhake has had a tepid review, so good to see where the Fitzroy sits.

  7. Hey Tom! Another great review. You should get a gig on MTV!! Anyway, I'm all new to this one bag traveling at this point in life. I'm 63 and retired and starting to enjoy life. Just waiting for my wife to retire so we can really hit the road. I really like the aesthetic of this particular bag (no zippers) but I'm concerned about the 15" width disqualifying it as a true carry on piece. It looks wider at the top than the bottom. Perhaps it could be cinched down to meet the 14" requirement? What say you?

  8. Thanks for posting this insightful review!

    Given that this bag is slightly wider than most have you had any experiences from airlines when carrying it on, particularly overseas? Also, how has it been stuffing underneath a seat?

  9. I almost got my laptop out of my (pretty old) backpack in the middle of the traffic I ride a large motorcycle to commute, and a random guy abd his girlfriend passed me by one side and started to warn me that the zippers were opening!!
    I am getting the best toploader backpack I can. No more zippers backpack for me. I am the Nazipper now.

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