I picked up the Mission Workshop Vandal backpack at Interbike back in September. I previously only used messenger style bags, but my back was beginning to strain under the uneven weight distribution. Backpacks are more comfortable for carrying the heavier loads, though not as convenient to access. The Vandal is Mission Workshop’s larger backpack. It was a bit of a struggle deciding which size to get, but ultimately the larger won out. I couldn’t be happier with my choice. The Vandal is a well thought out bag with plenty of storage for everything. On the outside are two small pockets perfect for keys, cards, gum, and all the other small but necessary things. The next two separate compartments are perfect for my daily planner, iPad, laptop, magazines, bills, etc. The final pocket closest to your back, is my choice for shoes, jackets, sweaters, lunch, and tools. Because there is an internal sleeve on the back side of the bag, nothing will poke your back. It is always comfortable to wear.

Yesterday, I was finally able to test, what is in my opinion, one of the greatest features of the bag. I needed to go to Trader Joe’s to pick up groceries for home. I purchased a 1/2 gallon of milk, a six pack, orange juice, and quite a few other things. I managed to get everything into one Trader Joe’s paper bag. I then un-zipped the backpack in the middle section, which then allowed the grocery bag to slide neatly into the backpack. It’s quite amazing how easily the bag adapted to carrying such a large load. The backpack with the groceries and all my other regular stuff weighed in at 44lbs according to my scale at work. I was apprehensive about riding home with such a load, but the Vandal handled it all with ease.

I’m very impressed with this bag and recommend it to anyone needing to shoulder their life around. I’ll post more updates as it gets worn in.