My main goal with all our products is to make them versatile, clean and functional enough they work almost anywhere for anything. This is something I call Adaptive Integrated Design, which basically means we design for perfect balance of form and function. We do this by offering clean designs with open access to the entire bag and integrating features and function in a way that’s “out of sight, out of mind” - and when you need them, then they’re easy to access. When I was 7 years old, I had a pack for about every activity. Now I have more access to backapacks than any pack nerd could dream of and I need to use very few bags because that’s the way we’ve intentionally designed our gear. Have one design work hard and look great in any environment, it’s our ultimate goal in everything we design to bring you the best backpack possible.

This in mind, I wanted to take the opportunity to show a typical situation in my life of how I use my personal everyday backpack. Whether I’m traveling or going to work, almost every day I use our Federal backpack 99% of the time for just about anything I’m doing. Below is a glimpse of a common situation for me, go to work all day and then travel for a few days, come back, repeat. Here, I went to work on a Friday, went to the gym, came home and had to pack and leave for a weekend trip to North Carolina. Below is a journal on how I use my bag in this situation and some helpful packing tips I’ve learned over the years to share with you.

GOING TO THE GYM & WORK

My day usually starts by transferring my work stuff from my home office into my Federal pack and I’m out the door. For work, I usually carry the stuff pictured below; my laptop, iPad, sketch book, notebook, wallet, keys, pens etc… This isn’t by any means a ton of gear for my work day, but the Federal has a sleek and clean profile so it doesn’t feel like it’s too big of a bag with a bunch of unused space even when it’s minimally loaded. It just feels like an everyday laptop bag that’s just right for carrying a few things around.

As you can see, I loaded all the stuff pictured above in the rear compartment of my bag (pictured below) so it’s quickly and easily accessible and separate everything else in the bag’s main compartment.

Unfortunately, this day happened to be a gym day so after loading up all my work stuff I packed my gym clothes and shoes in the main compartment and was out the door with my work backpack and my gym bag but all of it in the same bag.

 

PACKING UP FOR MY WEEKEND TRIP

By the end of the day, I’d used by Federal backpack to carry around to meetings at work and then to the gym quick before I had to get home and pack for my weekend trip. As soon as I got home I pulled my gym clothes and work stuff out of my Federal and started organizing all the clothing for my trip. Here’s what I had to pack...

Packing List:
x2 pairs of jeans
x2 pairs of shorts
x5 pairs of socks
x5 pairs of underwear
x5 shirts
x1 toiletry bag
x1 laptop with charger

It’s important to note that the best way to pack is using the rolling method. It’s the most space efficient way to pack and it will allow you to get more inside a backpack. 

The next few pictures clearly show the Federal’s size, compartment layout and full access to the entire bag when empty. As you can see, it’s clearly a very normal size to carry around as your everyday backpack. However the shape, open access top-to-bottom and foam lined panels give it a very structured, protective and refined feel that works perfectly as luggage.

 

 

 

I start by packing my 2 largest and bulkiest things - my jeans. I roll these up and shove them as far down to the bottom as they’ll go.

Looking from above you can see that there are still pockets of usable space on the sides. These pockets of space usually go overlooked by many when packing a backpack, so make sure to really pay attention to any space that could be utilized for smaller items.

Below you can see there is a crease or “V” between my jeans. This is also a very usable and overlooked space where clothing can be packed to make it flat.

There was also a pocket of space in the very bottom of the pack where I was able to stuff all my socks. If I hadn’t put my socks there, that space would be unknowingly vacant and I probably wouldn’t of had enough space to fit everything else I needed to pack. Make sure you really explore and stuff things into every fraction of space available. Another good tip is if you’re traveling with shoes, pack them as full as possible with small stuff you don’t care about wrinkling like socks and underwear. This will open up a surprising amount of space filling up your shoes.

Next, I filled all those pockets and creases with my underwear.

The last step before I loaded my shirts was to get my 2 pairs of shorts packed nice and flat in the remaining pockets of available space as shown in the next 2 pics.

I had a few more spots to put 2 shirts above my jeans, so I placed those in there snuggly.

 

Once I knew I had used all the space I possibly could in the lower section of my bag, I zipped up both sides so I could better visualize the remaining space left.

With that last bit of space I put the remainder of my shirts and toiletry bags in top and zipped it closed.

My former everyday laptop bag is now transformed into my weekend travel bag and it looks nearly the same as when I left for work earlier in the morning and there are 5 days of clothes packed in there! It’s pretty amazing that knowing how to pack well and using a functional backpack with a design that’s structured to be space efficient can make such a big difference and fit so much into a small space.

Even with all the clothing in there, I’m still able to fit my tech and remaining few things neatly in the rear compartment and front pocket.

Even with the bag packed very full, we designed the front pocket to have preserved volume so you can still easily pull the smaller stuff in the front pocket in and out of the bag.

 

Before I head out to the airport, I plugged in my iPad to the backpack power supply to charge it a bit before my red-eye flight.

BIKING TO THE BEACH IN NORTH CAROLINA

Even though I was in a near zombie state after working all day and catching a red-eye flight overnight, the weather when I got to NC was beautiful and I wasted no time hopping on a bike and exploring my way down to the beach!

 

Side note: When I was on this trip, Colorado got slammed with a blizzard that left several feet of snow. Don’t get me wrong, I love snow but I’ll take these amazing beaches right now...

The Federal posted up on the beach in Wilmington, NC enjoying the waves and sun! Maybe one day it’ll even be smart enough to surf...

Alright, there it is, some basic insight to how I carry, pack and use my bag on a daily basis for a ton of stuff. For me, the Federal pack is my everyday laptop backpack, my gym bag, and my weekend travel bag, it works perfect for all of that. In the course of 24 hours my SAME bag was used for work, the gym, traveling, biking and carrying stuff around the beach. In the typical situation I just shared with you, most people would have used 2-3 bags. I was able to use the same bag for everything and travel with 5 days of clothing and it never looked out of place in any environment I was carrying it in- office, gym, airport, bike trails and the beach. Imagine a scenario of what most people would carry in the same situation as my 24 hours. They would have most likely carried a messenger to work, gym stuff in a duffle and then roller luggage plus a laptop bag for their travel. Even as much as my seven-year-old and current self love gear and bags, I’d much rather just have a one bag solution for most everything I do and the Federal Backpack has been that do-it-all backpack for me.

If you’re on the quest for an everyday backpack that can work hard in many scenarios, then I encourage you to try out our Federal pack and let me know what you think. You can try it out risk-free and return it within 30 days for a full-refund if it doesn’t fit your needs as long as it’s in new condition. At the very least, I also encourage you to share your carry stories with us. What works well for you, what doesn’t and what would you like to see in bag designs that you haven’t yet. Shoot us your feedback to info@co-alition.com

Thanks for reading!

Jeff