KEEN Ellwood Backpack | Review

keen backpack

KEEN Ellwood Daypack Review

In life, there are “briefcase people” and “backpack people”. Which are you? I tried to be of the briefcase breed for years-it just never really felt right (too stodgy). I long ago made the decision to carry a backpack, slingbag, or just about anything other than a briefcase. Maybe you can relate. It’s from that standpoint that I’m looking at the KEEN Ellwood Daypack.

NOTE: I’ve had this backpack for quite awhile and color options may have changed. The overall style and features remain constant.

keen ellwood

I’ve used the KEEN Ellwood on several jobsites. It’s rugged enough for power tools, but safe enough for electronics.

Ellwood Features

Here are the highlights that I found useful. There are several more on KEEN’s website that you can peruse.

  • Holds up to a 15 inch laptop
  • Weatherproof zippers
  • Side compression straps
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Grab handle

For starters, this backpack will hold a bunch of stuff, so whether you’re a student or construction worker, this bag will likely carry just about everything you need during the course of your day.

keen ellwood

The Ellwood isn’t just roomy – it’s bright inside! The lighter color made it easy for me to find whatever I was looking for. Photo credit: KEEN

I always felt like my 15″ MacBook was well-protected in its separate (and well-padded) pocket. I’m really good at dropping things (and did in fact drop backpack and laptop on several occasions) and the fact that the computer is no worse for the wear speaks volumes.

keen ellwood

The dedicated laptop pocket has held and protected by 15″ MacBook for several months. This 13″ Dell has plenty of room to spare.

Of course, if you’re carrying your most valuable possessions, you want to make sure everything is safe from the elements. KEEN has done a great job at making the zippers (and the materials used in Ellwood’s construction overall) strong enough to withstand some pretty harsh environments. In other words, short of throwing the backpack in a pool, your electronics will stay nice and dry.

keen ellwood

Zippers are nicely shielded from the elements. The pull-tabs are rugged and make closing the pockets easier.

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Seams and stitching on the Ellwood are impressive. There were no loose threads or weak spots in the overall construction. Materials are rugged and have lasted!

Ellwood Versatility

I’ve traveled around the country and stuffed everything from hard drives to power tools into the Ellwood. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make the backpack lighter when you carry all that stuff around, so the fact that the support system is fully adjustable is paramount.

keen ellwood

The Ellwood has been around the country with me and endured many an airplane ride. It’s survived overhead bin storage and even spent a flight or two in the hold, as I remember.

I rarely use the waist belt, but it certainly aids in taking the weight of your belongings off your tired shoulders.

Finally, the grab handle is sturdy and has withstood the test of time. Kudos to those who sewed the seams. There were times I was deeply concerned that I’d overloaded the pack and that the handle could break. My worries were unfounded-it’s still as sturdy as ever.

keen ellwood

This grab handle has taken some serious abuse from me and others. It’s incredibly sturdy.

Ellwood Overall Recommendation

The KEEN Ellwood Daypack is not the least expensive backpack out there, but you definitely get what you pay for. If you want rugged construction, plenty of safe storage, and an overall stylish look, I’d recommend shelling out the cash. A cheap backpack will be of little consolation the day you drop it and your laptop pays the price.

*I’m also a believer in recycling (if you can use something over and over and in a cost-effective way, why not do it!). The lining and shell are both

For more information from KEEN: CLICK HERE

To view/purchase on Amazon: CLICK HERE