I was recently sent an Altitude backpack by Solo to review, and I’ll admit, I was excited. While I may not technically need another backpack, I figured, for the sake of science and readership, I would give it a try. I’m glad I did.
The Altitude backpack is designed for fitting a whole lot, so I decided to test that out.
I wanted to see if I could take it for a weekend trip, perhaps to a writing conference or a Duran Duran concert. I laid out all my stuff, fit it all in, then went back to find a few more things. Note: I don’t wear makeup, so there may or may not have been sufficient room for that (but I bet there is).
I filmed a video of myself loading everything inside it, then watched the video and saw how horribly dull it was, so I decided to spare Y’all and just post the pre and post pictures.
And then my 16-year-old noticed the bag.
I had recently helped him sew up a tear in his backpack, and was still basking in pride that he was inclined to repair rather than replace his pack, so I didn’t suspect a thing. Turns out, one’s need for a pack (his had since torn again) supersedes another’s affinity for bags.
So I let him use the Altitude backpack, with the understanding that I could ask him some questions. He agreed to my terms, and I bid a fond farewell to the relationship that would now never be.
Interview With a Teen About the Altitude Backpack
After letting the teen try out the Altitude backpack for a couple of weeks, during which he could settle into using the new bag (and finally have a free moment between school, baseball practice, and NBA2K17), he granted me the interview. I knew better than to let the opportunity slip by.
First, the basics. “What do you use the pack for?” I asked.
Yep, we were off to a strong start. I may or may not have rolled my eyes, and if so, I’m not certain who it was more directed at. That’s okay, I told myself, we were just warming up.
I tried again. “Does it fit everything you need to carry?”
As I asked it, I realized a yes-or-no question was just asking for trouble, but the question was already out.
Surprisingly, he offered more. “There are some things that I used to carry that I have to leave out.”
Ooh, the plot thickened. “Like what?” I asked.
“My headphones,” he said. “So I carry earbuds instead.”
Clearly, then, dear reader, there is a bit of a size restriction to the Altitude backpack, one I hadn’t discovered when packing for my weekend getaway. That said, if you’re not in the habit of carrying around giant headphones, you should be fine.
Of course, aesthetics also matter, so I asked, “Does it look good?”
“On the outside, yes,” he replied. “The yellow on the inside is kinda weird. It still looks good, it’s eye-catching, but if it were a darker blue that’d be good. When it’s closed, a bit of the color still shows.”
Then, unprompted, he explained his one issue with the pack.
“There’s one function to it that is kind of annoying. There’s a pouch with a hook that wraps around to hold it closed. It functions fine, but it goes over another zipper, so if I have to get something from there, I have to unhook it to get into it. It’s just another step.”
The other thing I would add is that the side pocket doesn’t really have room for a water bottle. There’s a mesh pocket on either side, but they’re sized more for a phone or maybe a granola bar, so plan accordingly.
That said, I’m not sure where the best place would be for a water bottle, but if you’re taking it on a plane, too large a bottle would be taken by TSA, and anyhow, with everything on your back, your hands would be free to carry said water bottle. Nonetheless, plan accordingly if this is an issue for you.
As far as the capacity, I asked the teen, “How many books can you fit in it?”
His response? “Three textbooks, one book, and a notebook. Plus my laptop. Plus a binder, that takes up a lot of space.”
So if that’s all you need to carry, you should be good.
The final concern, of course, is the comfort. Personally, I need a pack with lumbar support, but not everyone does.
I’ve long forgotten what it feels like to occupy a 16-year-old body free of aches, so I had to ask, “Does it feel good on your back?”
“Very comfortable,” replied the teen, then further explained that it “sits well, had no problems on my operative last night. I was able to obtain my ninja stars faster than my opponents.”
Did I mention my teen’s got a teen sense of humor?
I tried again. “Does it have a place to keep your keys, phone, whatever you need?”
And we were back to monosyllables. “Yes.”
It was time to quit. Hopefully, this review offers enough information that it can help you decide whether the Altitude backpack is a suitable bag for you. It fits enough for a high schooler with a packed schedule, or it could have fit enough for me to get away for the weekend. It won’t, now that the teen has claimed the bag, but it could have. But maybe it could do so for you…
Disclaimer: I received the Altitude backpack from Solo for review purposes. The opinions expressed, however, are entirely my own or those of my teen’s.