Product Review: Hylete Backpack

I have a bit of an obsession with bags. Backpacks to be precise. I don't like duffle bags and messenger bags. I hate feeling like I'm unevenly loaded, or holding one shoulder up higher than the other. Duffle and messenger bags also tend to bounce and scoot around while I'm wearing them, which gets annoying.

I bought the Hylete backpack about two months ago. I love it enough that it has replaced my ever so beloved Dakine Mission back pack as my day to day bag. I could sing songs about the wonder that is the Dakine Mission backpack, too. But it was small enough that I needed a separate bag for my training gear.

Dakine Mission backpack. Best general backpack. Ever. 

On to the Hylete backpack. This one is big enough for me to put my daily crap plus all my training crap into.

So on first glance they look similar enough, but let me explain.

1) It's big enough

For once the makers didn't limit the width of the backpack to the width of a hipster's back. People who lift heavy can lift heavy so you might as well make a backpack that you can really fill up with a lot of stuff.

2) Has expandable areas

The bottom unzips to a large compartmentalized pocket that can hold a couple of pairs of shoes. The middle zipper gives the front pocket about two extra inches to expand. I don't use these portions often, but when I travel, it's nice to have the extra space to compartmentalize things more effectively.

3) Single, large space inside

I'd say the biggest issues with most backpacks, the limiting factor for me, is that the main holding area is often subdivided for the purpose of better organization. I guess that's great if you use it for traveling to an office, but it puts a serious damper when you need to pack awkwardly shaped training gear like shoes, belts and the like.

4) Side pockets meant for shaker bottles

Need I say more? Those are even more of the awkward items that take up too much space in a conventional backpack and they usually don't fit in the side pouches added for normal water bottles.

All the stuff I carry regularly in my Hylete backpack.

So it's become my everyday bag. However, there are a few things I'd like to see changed if an update is ever designed:

A) The design of the shoulder straps are really, really rough. I'm usually in a tank top, so by the end of the day I'm grimacing as I slide the strap off my shoulder. 

B) The chest strap should be placed a bit higher. It squishes my boobs and is both uncomfortable and not so cute. 

C) It would be awesome if one of the mini side zip pouches could be reached while wearing the backpack. This is one feature of the Dakine Mission back that I grew to really love. I could reach back and pull the car keys out while walking to the car and without swinging the back pack off. 

D) I love love love that the main holding area is large and open, but I wish the webbing at the base of the side zippers wasn't there. I've been tempted to cut it out, in fact. I want to be able to fully open the space to more efficiently pack my stuff into it rather than slide, shift, and hold things in place. Particularly when it comes to fitting my multiple belts in there.