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ChicoBag Reusable Travel Pack Repete Shopping Tote
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- Bag unstuffs from attached pouch to a full-size back pack. Capacity 936 CU IN (15L), 7.2 oz (204g).
- Embossed recycled PET ripstop fabric (rePETe fabric) is made from 100-Percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.
- Hydration ready plus side bottle pockets. Breathable shoulder starps and removable sternum strap.
- Made with certified fair labor and one-year limited warranty.
- Machine wash cold, no fabric softener, hang to dry.
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The ChicoBag TRAVEL PACK rePETe unstuffs to a top-loading full-size backpack. It is a compact, pouchable backpack designed for the environmentally conscious traveler or commuter. The travel pack stuffs into the zipper pocket when not in use for easy storage and is perfect for throwing in your suitcase or camping gear for day hikes or shopping trips.
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Top Customer Reviews
Further Update: More than two years down the line, I still have this thing, and it's still going strong. I still use it as a dance bag (and as a grocery bag, and as a schlepping-books-around bag, and...), and I now routinely pack it down and take it with me on plane or Megabus trips.
That way, I can carry just one bag on the outbound flight or bus ride, use this bag as a daybag/dance bag while away, and then if I wind up coming home with more stuff than I left with, I've got an extra bag to schlep it back.
I somehow poked a hole in one of the side pockets at some point (if I remember correctly, I rather ill-advisedly stuck a pair of scissors into the pocket in question). I haven't gotten around to fixing it, so the hole is still there, of course -- but it's also still the same size, regardless of my concerns that it would go rogue, expand, and render the pocket unusable. I guess I could fix it, but at this point, it almost seems like a badge of honor for the bag.
Moreover, our old washing machine met its maker in an ill-advised rug-washing incident, so we replaced it with an inherited "industrial" washer that lacks a delicate cycle. That doesn't appear to phase the ChicoBag one jot. It's still hanging in there and, with the exception of the hole mentioned above, pretty much looks like it's brand new.
By the way, the bag itself doesn't have much structure, but if you need to give it a little shape, you can stuff a regular school folder in the hydration pocket. It takes a little doing, but works a treat.
The one thing to keep in mind is that a standard rain cover will be a difficult fit; if you purchase one, you may need to modify it. I used a little binder clip on mine; that eventually wore the waterproof coating off the rain cover -- so I'd actually recommend attaching some velcro to both rain cover and backpack to keep everything covered.
Update: I meant to go back and up this to five stars if the bag was still going strong after a year, but apparently I was so busy using it that I forgot. It's still working; I now use it as a dance bag and sometimes for shopping. It has also served as a day bag on several trips. I lost half of the sternum strap recently, and I plan to replace it; I will definitely be purchasing another one, and I plan to buy one for my adventurous Mom as a gift.
I originally ordered this ChicoBag to fill in as a packable backup-bag: something I could stuff in a jersey pocket in case a bike ride turned into a shopping trip, or in case I wound up buying more at the grocery than I planned to, etc.
Since the day it's arrived, I haven't bothered stuffing it back into itself and putting it away.
It turns out that ChicoBag makes a great little backpack, and here's why:
This bag feels like it weighs *nothing.* On a long bike commute, that's pretty cool. It also makes taking the bag along in its compressed state very feasible.
I didn't expect much from my little back-up bag. It just had to be more tolerable than the drawstring kind. It turns out that the straps on this bag are nicely padded, but not stiff. It's not just more comfortable than my old drawstring mini-pack, it rivals a much-more-expensive cycling-specific backpack that I rarely find occasion to use anymore.
The sternum strap keeps everything together and helps balance the load. There are also loops so a waist strap can be added, but thus far I haven't needed one. The backpack has been stable on the road; stable enough that I've ridden my sharp-handling road bike to school several times this semester.
3. Reasonably Capacious
Though I didn't intend it to hold much, I've actually been schlepping everything I need to and from school in this thing. That basically means one of those hybrid note-binder things with five classes' worth of stuff, a 5x7" planner, a 10" tablet PC, a lightweight keyboard, a box to contain pencils, and sometimes an extra notebook or book. On lab days, I also throw in a pair of capri-length pants, some googles, a bag of nitrile gloves, and a pair of lightweight shoes. I wouldn't hesitate to use this bag for a weekend trip (note: I pack lightly).
Note, I use Kindle versions of all but one of my textbooks (that last one isn't available in a non-print format). That makes a huge difference to my daily load. I've also taken to carrying a tablet PC in place of my laptop (even though my laptop only weighs about four pounds). If I need the laptop, I can just throw it in its little clamshell case, toss it in the pannier, and carry it separately.
4. Perfect Size (for me)
When making lane changes, I can easily glance over my shoulder and double-check the status of traffic. The ChicoBag doesn't obscure my view of the road.
I can also drop the whole backpack, contents and all, into my panniers (though for the last couple of days I've just ridden with it on my back). My other backpack doesn't fit at all; my briefcase just barely fits. Being able to just drop the backpack in is really nice change. It makes the transition from the bike to class really easy -- just grab 'n' go.
5. Great hydration pocket!
While at least one other reviewer has used the hydration pocket to add some foam padding for awkward loads (a great idea!), I've had great success using mine for it intended purpose using a large gel-insulated hydration bladder. Though I do own one of those small, lightweight Camelbaks intended for use in foot and off-road bike races, I may well take this backpack along on my next gravel race, since it's so light and comfortable (and since the gel-insulated bladder doesn't fit in the Camelbak!).
Many larger backpacks can be a pain to wash and dry. After this one came home from a hot (heat index of 102 degrees F) commute crusted with salt, I simply took everything out and threw it in the wash with my bike kit. One delicate cycle in the wash and one ride through the dryer (on low) later, it looked good as new. I suspect this bag would be pretty easy to wash in the sink, as well.
I like this bag so much that I've ordered a rain cover so I can use it in all kinds of weather as the semester goes on. I think I'll probably order a second one to fill the role I expected the first one to play -- packable bike-friendly shopping bag.
Four stars for excellent implementation. If it's still around in a year or so, I'll bump it up to five for excellent implementation plus durability.
The bag will not resist water at all, especially if the bag is placed onto a puddle, etc. It will actually wick water in if placed on a wet spot. This was my fault as I was by the pool at my hotel and did not realize I placed my bag on a plate sized puddle near my chair. I found my towel, beach shirt, and kindle case soaked (kindle was not inside, luckily). The bag enables the fabrics inside it to wick all the moisture into the bag. When I mean soaked, I had to wring out everything. I was actually shocked as I thought the bottom was a more resistant material. It is abrasion resistant but not water resistant whatsoever.
The Sea-to-Summit bags are fully waterproof but have very thin straps that dig into to your shoulders, making it unwearable for me. I would have liked the Sea-to-Summit bags more if they had an external pocket, better straps, and a water bottle pouch. The chico bag almost is perfect for me minus its ability to resist water. Just a warning rather than a true complaint as it was not listed as being water resistant. So to be fair it gets 5 stars. Enjoy!
The design is amazing... well-thought-out and clever. The stuff pouch morphs into a second zipped pocket for the pack. Bottle pouches, sternum strap and heavy zippers are perfect. There's a hydration pouch inside, that (for me) serves as a place to keep notebooks and other flat items. The bottom is made of heavier fabric for longer wear. The fabric is embossed with a subtle, beautiful design.
I wouldn't change anything (yet). The only possible hitch is that I just got it, so cannot comment on longevity.