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Any regular reader of Loophole Travel knows that we LOVE to pack efficiently for our trips. A huge part of packing well is selecting the best bag for the trip. I recently tested out the HYLETE Icon 6-in-1 backpack on a two-week work assignment, and it was fantastic! This backpack is like nothing I’ve seen before. It has the unique ability to morph into six different forms, based on what you need. Whether you need a spacious carry-on backpack, a lightweight daypack, or a duffel to carry to the gym, the HYLETE Icon 6-in-1 backpack has you covered!
This backpack is extremely well-designed. As soon as I stumbled across its product page, I knew that I had to check it out. I reached out to HYLETE, and they graciously sent me a pack to test during my travels, in exchange for an honest review.
In this article, I will break down the six forms of the HYLETE Icon 6-in-1 backpack and demonstrate how each one has unique advantages. I will also discuss some of my favorite features of the pack, and a couple things that I would change. The pack is offered in 40L and 60L sizes. For this article, I will be discussing the 40L option.
Form 1 – Backpack (25L)
The primary form of this bag is a spacious 25L backpack. In my opinion, 25-35L is an ideal size for carry on travel. It limits over-packing by forcing me to be efficient with my choices. If you need more space, grab the larger size, which features a 40L main pack.
The backpack features a spacious main compartment with a fold-back flap, allowing you easy access to all of your stuff at once. The two side pockets are insulated, so you can keep a water bottle chilled. I opted to use one side pocket for my toiletry bag, and the other for my electronic chargers/cables. The inside flap of the main compartment has some mesh organizers as well.
Along the front and top of the pack, you will find three additional storage spaces. The very top pocket and the front pocket are fleece lined to protect items like tablets or sunglasses. The pocket on the top/front contains extra organizational options for items you want quick access to during your travel, like a phone, passport, or wallet.
The large zipper along the back reveals a fleece-lined laptop sleeve and extra space for other electronics or books. The backpack straps have ventilated padding, a sternum strap, and a loop to hold your sunglasses.
Form 2 – Extended Backpack (40L)
Most of the time, during a trip, my gear will not stay as well-packed as it was originally. I also will accrue a bit of dirty laundry that I want to keep separate from the clean clothes. This is where the extended backpack compartment really comes in handy.
At the base of the pack, you can unzip and extend an extra 15L section. This compartment is separate from the main part of the pack, making it a perfect place to store dirty laundry. It can also provide space if you pick up souvenirs along the way. Even with the extended section full, the pack still fits within most carry-on size limitations.
Form 3 – Small Duffel
For the next transformation, you can tuck the backpack straps into a compartment behind the back panel, sealing them with a zipper. Attach the included duffel strap to the hooks on either end and viola, you have a small duffel bag.
This duffel was particularly useful as a gym bag. I like to find a local gym with some free weights during my work trips. I tossed a change of clothes and a towel into the small duffel and headed to the gym. The insulated side pockets kept my water bottle cold as well.
Form 4 – Large Duffel
Similar to the large backpack, you can fold out the 15L extender and clip your duffel strap to the hook at the end of this section. This larger duffel would be useful for sporting events that require more gear. I used it to keep my sweaty gym clothes separate after a workout.
Form 5 – Daypack (10L)
Honestly, this was a huge selling point for me. When I saw that I could zip off a removable daypack, I was totally sold! This is an absolutely brilliant innovation.
The large zipper running along the back of the pack can be completely unzipped to separate a 10L daypack from the main backpack. The daypack utilizes the same padded straps and keeps the laptop sleeve, electronics sleeves, and a couple organization pockets intact.
When we explore new cities/beaches/jungles, we will use a day pack for bathing suits, towels, camera gear, change of clothes, rain jackets, snacks, etc. Daypacks are essential to our travels. Usually, we will toss a packable daypack into our bag. The design of this backpack allows us to save the space previously taken up by an extra pack.
Form 6 – Messenger Bag
Fold the backpack straps into the back panel, and attach the duffel strap to the daypack, and you have a slim messenger bag. While this may not be the most “professional” looking messenger bag, it serves its purpose very well. I could bring my laptop, charger, notepad, and a few pens for my work assignment. The bag is slim enough not to be bulky, but large enough (10L) to carry my essentials.
What I Loved
Intelligent Design – I absolutely love well-designed products. Innovation and attention to detail set this pack apart from the rest. The design team really knocked it out of the park!
Versatility – With six different forms, this pack is easily the most versatile bag I’ve ever used. I particularly loved the ability to separate the daypack and the duffel and use both at the same time.
Compartment Access – The main compartment opens wide, so I could reach anything I needed. No need to dig through the bag from the top, like most backpacks.
Sits Up on its Own – This may not seem like a big deal, but I’ve been so frustrated by backpacks that fall over as soon as I set them down. This pack has a wide enough base to remain upright.
Expandable Compartment – I originally thought I wouldn’t use this much, but the ability to easily separate clean and dirty clothes between washes is really nice.
What I Would Change
Waist Strap – When completely full, this pack can get pretty heavy. It would be nice to have an optional waist strap to transfer the load to my hips.
Top Pocket – The pocket at the very top of the pack hangs into the main compartment. When the pack is full, it becomes difficult to put anything into that pocket.
Branding on the Daypack/Messenger Bag – I understand the desire to brand items as cool as this, but putting the name in bright white letters across the daypack/messenger bag looks a little cheesy. The black matte lettering/logo from other parts of the pack would have been a better option here.
Daypack Zippers – The ability to zip off the daypack is awesome. However, re-attaching it can be just a bit frustrating. The zippers take some effort to seat correctly. Minor complaint.
I really like what I’ve seen so far from my HYLETE Icon 6-in-1 backpack. It is an ideal bag for work travel, given its many forms and functions. I packed everything I needed for the trip in the 25L backpack. Once at the hotel, I unpacked and separated the duffel and daypack. The duffel served as my gym bag, complete with insulated pockets for cold drinks and a separate space for sweaty clothing. The daypack and messenger bag served as my work bag to carry my computer and essentials to the job assignment. At the end of the trip, I simply zipped everything back together, pulled out the 15L extension and stuffed my dirty laundry in there for the return trip.
If this bag sounds like something you would love to carry, you can purchase it here for $200. As a bonus for Loophole Travel readers, HYLETE is offering a 40% discount code, bringing the price down to $120!! Enter HM4300 at checkout to save 40% on your first purchase.