North St. Bags Belmont – For Your Journey’s Essentials [Review]

I have a things for backpacks. I don’t know why. I just really like them. I have a ton of backpacks at home for all sorts of different situations and my wife finds it strange that I have so many. The thing is, there really isn’t a perfect backpack, otherwise I’d be using that one right now and nothing else. There isn’t really a backpack that works for every situation which is probably why I own several for different ones. I have a backpack I carry for work, one I use on trips, and ones I use when I’m just out and about. I just really love backpacks. That’s probably why I’m writing about the North St Belmont backpack right now.

But before I get to that, let’s talk about North St Bags a little. North St Bags is a small business that manufactures their own bags in house at the facility in Portland, OR. Their bags are all made in the USA with materials and hardware sourced from local vendors in the Pacific Northwest. Many of their bags can be customized, this includes both color and features which is why sometimes it takes a few days for your bag to get shipped because it’s being custom made. That means that the bag you get is unique in subtle ways that only a handmade bag can be.

Design

Now I can talk about the North St Belmont bag. The bag I received features a red body with a customized midnight blue flap. I decided to go with red because it’s a color bag I don’t have and topped it with blue just to get a bit of color contrast on there. It’s a rather striking combo and I think it looks really great. The flap also features a strip of reflective material for better visibility at night.

The entire bag is made of military-grade 1000 denier CORDURA nylon with an X-Pac waterproof liner. All that really means is that whatever you put in it will be protected from harsh elements like a sudden downpour.

What’s different about this bag from my usual ones is that the main compartment features a drawstring closure instead of a zipper. This actually makes things much more accessible and quieter than a zipper. To further keep things in check, the flap secures with two adjustable buckles.

The main compartment is huge in this back with plenty of space to fit lots of stuff. There’s even a built in laptop sleeve, though I never make use of these because I don’t carry around a laptop. Instead I call these, “important paper” sleeves. Also inside the main compartment are internal Velcro rows that allow you to attach additional pockets, pouches, or organizers that can be purchased separately.

Aside from the main compartment are two large side pockets that can engulf bottles of water along with a large zippered pocket up front. There are no pocket organizer here though so it’s just another large pocket to throw random stuff into. That’s fine as it’s a good spot to throw your keys, charging accessories, cables, and whatever into if need be.

belmont_03

Usage

The North St Belmont is a joy to use. It’s a light duty bag so it’s really not something you’re going to use if you need a lot of organization. I used it on a very short overnight trip recently where I didn’t need to carry much. I threw my jacket in there, my PS Vita, my headphones, and all my charging junk and keys into the front pocket. Basically I used it to carry my essentials and nothing more.

It’s very comfortable to use thanks to the padded shoulder straps and the padded mesh backing. The way the straps are countered also keeps things comfortable as they flow around my neck instead of cutting into it. The pack also feels really lightweight, but that could be because I wasn’t stuffing it with a ton of unneeded junk.

For those who need a waist belt, you can easily add one to the Belmont but I didn’t have need for one with what I was carrying.

belmont_01

Final Thoughts

I really like the North St Belmont backpack. I mean it doesn’t have a lot of pockets or any form of organization slots inside, but what it does have is an ample amount of space to carry your essentials. This makes for a great day pack or something you carry with you when you’re exploring the town.

For me personally, I’ve even slimmed down what I carry daily now so I can use the Belmont at work. Only the essentials is my new mantra and the Belmont surely helps with that. I’ve learned that sometimes carrying less is more so I’m grateful for this fact.

If you want to pick up your own North St Belmont backpack, you can check out their website here. Again, it’s available in a wide range of colors including some limited edition ones and can be customized to suit your needs.