$119.00 • Ethnotek
The Bottom Line: A fantastic daypack for travel, commuting, and outdoor adventures, the Ethnotek Premji is stylish, water resistant, and comfortable, and the different handmade Thread™ fabrics allow you to personalize in your favorite colors.
The Premji Travel Daypack is made by the folks at Ethnotek, a small, family-owned business that works with artisans throughout the world to feature ethically sourced handmade textiles on all Ethnotek bags. The Premji 20-Liter Travel Daypack is water-resistant, vegan, and handmade. I’ve been using the Premji Daypack just about every day for about nine months.
This is a 20-liter pack with a large main compartment that is roomy enough for all your day-hiking essentials, including your extra layers, snacks, a water bottle, and your 10 essentials. It also makes a fabulous commuter pack, college backpack, or carryall for a digital nomad.
When I ordered my Premji Daypack , I was able to choose the outer fabric from a collection of 14 different fabrics from around the world. The ethically sourced fabrics are handmade in villages across several countries (Ghana, Guatemala, India, Vietnam, and Indonesia). Honestly, I loved almost all of the designs but settled on a blue and white pattern created using a batik dyeing method in Indonesia.
The Premji Daypack features a very roomy main compartment, is lightly padded, and opens from the top or the side for easy access. There is a separate partition for a small laptop in the main compartment, but if you’re looking for a designated laptop bag, I would definitely go with the Setia Laptop Backpack, which is a bit slimmer and more padded.
Let’s start with the awesome: In addition to the main compartment, there are two strategically placed pockets. First: a large, flat pocket on the front of the bag. This is where I keep my trail maps and my journal. There is room for pens, pencils, and chargers. There is also a smaller compartment on top, which is perfect for a phone, sunglasses, and wallet. Both pockets are easy to get to quickly. Actually, I love that this bag isn’t full of pockets and partitions that I’ll never use.
There are side straps on both sides of this bag so you can carry trekking poles, a yoga mat, etc. I often use these to carry my tripod, which was awesome! Where the side straps cross the front of the bag, they form two loops, where you can attach a carabiner. This is how I carry my sandals when hiking.
The molded high-density foam back panel and the contoured shoulder strap make this pack extremely comfortable. I maxed out at 7 miles while wearing it, but I’m sure I could wear it all day without a problem.
The main fabric of the bag is 100% recycled PET plastic bottles. The interior fabric is ripstop nylon and very easy to clean. Both fabrics are water resistant, and you can buy an optional rain cover if you want it to be totally waterproof.
There is a looped strap on top of the bag for carrying and/or hanging. While I love this idea in theory, you can’t actually hang the bag from a hook and keep it open for easy access. I would love to see a handle on the back of the bag above the straps so there isn’t so much pressure on the main zipper. This would allow you to hang the bag open or closed.
The side zipper to the main compartment is supposed to make it easy to access things at the bottom of the bag without pulling everything out, but the zipper opens from top to bottom, and a few times while hiking it worked its way open a bit. This wasn’t actually a big deal because I had my rain jacket in the bottom, but if I had smaller items, I would worry that they would fall out while hiking.
All in all, I’m thrilled to have discovered Ethnotek bags. They are beautifully and sustainably made, the price is quite reasonable, and there are so many cool designs to choose from. I definitely recommend the Ethnotek Premji Daypack. It’s a great bag from a great company!