5 Days with IVY: Nike SB RPM Backpack - A Pack So Nice, I Bought It Twice

Let’s start this off with getting two things out of the way;

1. Yes, I’m doing another review of a backpack and I’m not the least bit ashamed about it.

2. I’ve actually been using this pack for over a year, so calling this “5 Days With IVY” is well, well it’s a lie.

Ok, with that behind us, let’s get on with it.

I originally purchased the Nike SB RPM pack in camo about a year ago when I was finding my Peak Design Everyday pack too cumbersome (and at $289, pretty pricey too) continuously trying to affix my skateboard to it. Sure it had straps and stuff, but it wasn’t convenient enough for my liking, so I started my search for a new pack and settled on Nike.

Unfortunately while on a trip to Tulum a couple of weeks ago, that pack was stolen (along with a shit ton of camera gear) and I was again without a backpack.  I started searching again and again I settled on the Nike SB RPM pack in olive. 

5 Days With IVY, here we go.

The Week

Day 1 – Travel Pack

I never get on a plane without a backpack.  Never.  And I’m very specific in what I need of a pack when I’m flying.  Obviously it has to fit under the seat in front of me, which this easily does even with it packed to the brim. It also has to have easy access to the different compartments.  This should go without saying for any backpack, but the layout of pockets on this pack are pretty much as expected.

Main compartment. Laptop compartment. Small microfiber lined compartment.

Side compartments. 

Again, comparing this to my Peak pack, which has compartments inside of compartments, inside of compartments, which is nice, but also overkill, the Nike SB RPM has just what you need and nothing more.

Day 2 – Motorcycle Trip

Just like getting on a plane, I rarely, if ever, get on my motorcycle without my backpack.  With no storage compartments on my bike, having a comfortable backpack is extremely important.

The straps on this pack are a good thickness and they also have a cross-chest strap to take some of the load off of your shoulders.  The thing that really impresses me with these straps is that I get little to no digging into my armpits, which while on a multi day motorcycle trip comfort is everything so even a little rubbing here could make for a miserable time. 

Another convenient feature is, what I call the towel straps, on the bottom of the pack.  I’m sure there’s some sort of more official name for them, or use for them, but I always use this to carry a beach towel and keep it separate from everything I have going on, on the inside.

Day 3 – Skateboarding

Ok, finally I get into what separates this pack from the others I’ve had in the past.  The two large velcro straps are easily strong enough to hold your board in place when you’re carrying it around.  Whether you’re on a bike, a motorcycle, or Super 73, your board won’t slip or shift (which I’ve had happen with other setups). 

I use the side pockets to carry my wax, skate tool and extra bearings so I’m always a hit at the skatepark whenever someone is in need of a quick fix.=

I also always carry my camera gear with me, which I keep in the bottom of the main compartment.  This is one area where Peak definitely has the advantage.  Their split design keeps all of your gear separate and safe from rattling around and bumping into other things you may be carrying, so my way around that was to buy a small padded camera holder, which somewhat does the trick.

Day 4 – Working Remote

When I need to get out of the office, I’m usually carrying two laptops and the laptop compartment easily accommodates two 15” laptops.  Thumbs up, Nike. 

Along with all of the other storage locations, this pack is ideal to carry everything you’ll need when working remotely.

Day 5 - Everyday Carry

At first, I was doing a lot of switching between my Peak Design pack for my everyday carry, my Osprey Porter 30 for travel and then my Nike SB RPM for skateboarding.  This was obviously a pain in the ass with moving all of my gear from one to another, so instead I’ve put the other two in a closet and have made the Nike SB RPM work for all occasions. 

Wrap Up

Does the Nike SB RPM excel at everything I look for out of a backpack? No.  It’s a little too small to be the only pack I travel with, I usually carry a duffle as well.  Does it store all of my camera gear in a safe spot?  Nope, my stuff rattles around in the main compartment and I’ve had to slim down the amount of camera gear and lenses that I bring with me.  I guess I’ve become more efficient that way?  However for a skate pack, it does everything it was made for and meets all the expectations any skater should have for a skate pack.

Rating

  1. Style: 5 out of 5

I love the look.  It comes in many different colors and is minimal enough so there’s not zippers and buckles hanging all over the place.

  1. Functionality/Comfort: 3.5 out of 5

I should probably split this category into two, but I’ll address both.  Functionality for a skate backpack is top notch, but as I alluded to above, leaves a little to be desired for all uses.  As for comfort, I’d easily give this a 5 out of 5.  Very comfortable pack.

  1. Durability: 4 out of 5

All of the zippers and material are very well crafted, however on my older pack, I did notice that when carrying a skateboard, the grip tape tended to start to wear down the material on the front of the pack.  I aint at all mad though, just look at what it does to your shoes after a few kick flips.

  1. Cost: 4 out of 5

$90 for a backpack, especially one that meets so many needs is, in my opinion, priced just right.

  1. Overall:  4 out of 5

A pack so nice, I bought it twice.  When looking around at other options, they either were equal or less than I was getting with the Nike SB RPM, so why would I change at this point?

If you’re a skater and a traveler and a worker and you’re looking to slim down your packs and find one that can meet most, if not all of your needs, then this is the pack for you.


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