EVERGOODS CLP24 First Impressions
EVERGOODS successfully funded their Kickstarter campaign last year and have been hard at work to perfect the manufacturing on their Civil Panel Loader 24 (CPL24) and Mountain Panel Loader 30 (MPL30) backpacks. After months of hard work, they are finally out on the street. You can order yours on their site now.
EVERGOODS had me intrigued as soon as I learned about their Kickstarter campaign. First was Jack and Kevin’s prior experience in the industry, coming from GORUCK and Patagonia respectively. Second was their concept of crossover equipment — the idea of making gear that can successfully ride the fine line between urban life and the outdoors. While not necessarily a new idea, EVERGOODS put the concept front and center and brought a novel approach to the table.
The GORUCK GR1 and Arc’teryx Arro 22 have both been my go to bags for everyday use and travel for a while now. Both bags also embrace the crossover concept with the GR1 being designed to be at home with operators kicking down doors in the less-than-savory parts of the world as well as riding the subway in NYC. The Arro 22 is an urban commuter pack with Arc’teryx’s outdoor DNA. Size wise, the GR1 comes in at 26L, the Arro 22 at 22L and the CLP24 right in the middle with 24L. While bag sizes in terms of liters can vary wildly among manufacturers, the CLP24 does seem to fit right between the other two bags in size. The CLP24 also strikes a good balance in terms of asthetics: its dosen’t scream tactical and doesn’t look like you are getting ready to pull out your ice axes and tackle the next wall.
In terms of overall design, the CLP24 and GR1 have similar layouts; they are both panel loaders and unfold all the way open. They also both have dedicated, padded, laptop sleeves — a key feature for an urban/travel bag. The Arro 22, while designed as an urban commuter bag is really better suited towards activities that lean more towards the outdoor realm. Both the main compartment and the kangaroo pouch are irregularly shaped and are better suited for stuffing items such as jackets and other gear. The Arro 22 does not do as well with laptops, books, documents or packing cubes — square shaped things.
Attention to detail. This is where EVERGOODS shines. The internal sleeve for keeping a tablet or documents secure is open at the bottom corners so that the stretch fabric doesn’t tear from sharp edges. The 2"x2" loop patch has been carefully heat pressed to form the company’s logo. At the bottom of the main zippers are loops to use for leverage when zipping the bag up. The laptop compartment has a zipper garage to maintain a clean look. The area at the top of the shoulder straps expands to contour to the wearer’s back instead of pulling and bending the laptop compartment. I won’t even start with the level of scrutiny that went into the fabric selection but I encourage you to look back through the Kickstarter updates.
Out of the box, the bag looks great. I am eager to see how it performs over the next few months and how it fits into my quiver of bags.
Update (5 FEB 2018)
I wanted to point out a few more details I missed this weekend. The side carry handle for carrying the bag briefcase style is a nice addition for situations or meetings where walking in with a backpack on isn’t quite ideal. Under the side handle and inside the main compartment is an aluminum stay that keeps the side of the bag from folding and collapsing when carrying a full bag from the side handle. The stay is also removable if you need to reduce rigidity. There is also a small loop at the top of the laptop compartment to hook a water bladder. The drinking tube can then be routed through the sleeve covering the top of the shoulder straps.