Nomatic Backpack Review: A Sleek Travel Pack for Multiple Purposes

In this Nomatic Backpack review we see what really sets this everyday backpack apart from the competition and whether it’s worth the price.
nomatic backpack
nomatic backpack

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A modern EDC backpack must combine durability and comfort for all-day use, plus the organizational features to make your life easier. Nomatic makes some pretty tall claims about the functionality, comfort, and organizational chops of their bags. In this Nomatic Backpack review, we’ll see how it measures up.

Nomatic Backpack

Quick Overview

The Nomatic Backpack is one of the most fundamentally functional bags we’ve ever used. It offers a ton of value to those living life on the go, particularly daily commuters, frequent flyers, or students, and looks great doing it.

Functionality

9.9/10

Style

8.5/10

Dependability

9.0/10

Value

9.4/10

What We Like

Minimalist, understated style
20+ pockets and pouchesn
Water-resistant and durable
Adjustable carry methods (backpack or briefcase)

What We Don’t Like

Lack of alternative colors to black
Quite pricey for its size
Durable tarpaulin body stiffer than you might expect in a backpackn

Want more bag and backpack options?

Gear up for your everyday adventures with the right backpack or bag. Check out our review of the best EDC bags and backpacks.

Full Nomatic Backpack Review

Nomatic started on Kickstarter with a simple premise: Making the most functional gear ever. Its range of bags, organizers, clothes, and EDC accessories show just how hard they work to accomplish that goal.

Every piece of Nomatic gear we’ve used has incorporated organizational, functional, and comfort features that we love. They pack in convenience and usability tweaks that seem obvious in hindsight, but are real game-changers when first experienced.

Even better, they accomplish this without compromising style or durability.

Nomatic Design and Style

Nomatic embodies the ethos of form as function and sleek design. The Nomatic Backpack is a sleek and almost blocky 20L/24L everyday use bag available in a single color: black.

Nomatic backpack review

Every aspect of its appearance is determined by the value it adds and the function it makes more effective. The result is a trim and stripped-down bag with clean lines and a total lack of embellishment.

Nomatic backpack review bag style

That’s not to say that the Backpack is plain or unattractive. There are plenty of attachments, handles, and functional features adorning the exterior, but the style comes from the attention to detail and evident craftsmanship that went into constructing every stitch and seam.

It’s a premium, minimalist commuter and business travel bag that screams “m here to get things done.” It looks great on you whether you’re in an airport or in a business meeting. 

Nomatic Backpack Features 

What sets the Nomatic apart from the competition are its deeply useful features and tons of pockets. The folks at Nomatic live and breathe organization, ergonomics, and usability. The placement, type, and amount of features showcase that. It looks small from the outside, but there’s a LOT of extra space in here. 

By far, the biggest draw of the Nomatic Backpack is its comprehensive organizational features. There are two main pockets comprising 24 separate compartments, pouches, slots, and sleeves. This gives you the option to store your gear pretty much anyway you like. 

Product specifications

  • Capacity: 20L – 24L (expandable)
  • Dimensions: 18.5 in / 47 cm H x 12 in / 30.48 cm W x 5-7.5 in / 12.7-19.06 cm D
  • Weight: 4 lb / 1.81 kg
  • Laptop Compartment: 15.5 in / 39.37 cm x 11.5 in / 29.21 cm x 1.5 in / 3.81 cm

Key features

  • 20+ organizational pockets and pouches
  • Cord pass-through for charging your cell phone on the go
  • Stowable backpack straps for use as a briefcase
  • Lay flat main pocket for easy access to everything inside
  • Magnetic water bottle pockets

Front access pocket

The front access pocket offers four mesh pouches for storing frequently used items like phone chargers, batteries, hand sanitizer, pens, etc. Just below it is a notebook holder sized perfectly for commonly used notebooks like Moleskine. 

Nomatic front access pocket

The front of the pocket has slots for pens, small pouches for other accessories, and a zippered pocket perfect for storing things like tickets, cash, credit cards, and other small items. You’re bound to find a hidden pocket or two for whatever you carry. 

In our testing while writing this Nomatic Backpack review, we stuffed snack bars, portable batteries, flashlights, chargers, and all kinds of other helpful stuff into these neat little mesh pouches. It was great to access our most used items in seconds without having to search through the pack.

Nomatic backpack packing

This is also a great place to store dirty clothes if you’re caught out on several days of travel. Keeping your clothes separate in their own waterproof pocket is a smart way to make traveling easier. 

Main pocket

The main compartment is where you store your bulkier items. It opens out into a lay-flat organizer and truly offers tons of organizational features. It’s spacious yet highly organized, with over a dozen individual pockets focused on laptops and professional equipment. It might be big enough to handle your shoes, but it would be a tight squeeze. In our test, we found the laptop sleeve to be adequate protection. 

There’s a padded laptop sleeve, an additional tablet sleeve, plus spaces perfectly sized for keyboards, a mouse, mouse pads, chargers, batteries, battery pack, photography gear, and all kinds of other valuable bits of kit (but especially your electronic gear). One of our favorite pockets is designed just for holding glasses. Each section is separated by a mesh divider.

Nomatic backpack padded laptop sleeve

It has a hard shell protective case that allows you to store your sunglasses, reading glasses, or spare prescription glasses without having to worry about damage. 

Nomatic backpack glasses sleeve

There’™s also a series of cord access ports moving through the various pockets that make it possible to run a charging cord from your phone in the easy-access top pocket to a battery in the front access pocket or main pocket. There’s also a retractable key tether to keep your keys in line. We probably wouldn’t use the tether, but many people will find genuine value from it.

Exterior pockets

The exterior of the Nomatic bag is exceptionally sleek but still finds space for several convenient extra pockets. There’s a small pocket right on top with an ultra-soft liner for things like your phone, wallet, and watch, plus a pair of magnetic water bottle pockets.

Many of the backpacks we try out have a water bottle pocket that is either slimline and therefore too small to hold our ridiculous water bottles or roomy but jutting out and messing with the look of the bag. Nomatic provides the best of both worlds with expandable pockets held in place with magnets.

When not in use, they sit snugly against the side of the bag yet can be deployed to hold large water bottles with just a slight tug. It’s not something we knew we needed, but now we think it’s a must-have.

Wearability and carry options 

The Nomatic Backpack stands out from many packs on the market in the versatility of your carry options. It can be worn as a backpack, but it also has handles on either side to carry it as a briefcase for more formal moments.

Nomatic backpack review wearability

A snap-close back panel allows you to stow the backpack straps away in briefcase mode and doubles as a pass-through point for a roller bag handle. Instead of sitting precariously on top of your suitcase, the Nomatic Backpack securely slips over the handle and makes for easy movement through the airport.

It’s also sized specifically to fit the requirements of many airline carry-on bag restrictions.

Nomatic backpack carry-on bag

The padded shoulder straps themselves are broad enough to distribute the weight of the bag and include a sternum strap for even better stability. The comfortable shoulder straps and the back panel are cushioned for comfort and stitched with care to avoid creating any pressure points.

This is a backpack you’ll have no problem wearing all day long if needed.

NOMATIC Backpack- Water-Resistant RFID Laptop Bag

The most functional backpack ever. Perfect everyday bag. The exterior is strong and waterproof. The backpack is 20 liters but can expand to 24 liters. Strap design allows you to switch between brief case and backpack. Full perimeter zipper gives you access from all sides. 20 pockets of different types. Whatever you’re carrying, this bag has a spot for it. Plenty of accessories too!

Buy on Amazon Buy on Nomatic

Nomatic Backpack Review Materials and Durability

Nomatic went with a tarpaulin material for the main body of the Backpack. It’s a durable material that’s backed up with reinforced stitching and a careful ergonomic design.

Tarpaulin is commonly used as an all-weather material for tasks that require stringent durability and longevity. It’s easy to clean and does a great job standing up to the rigors of everyday use. 

This isn’t a bag you’d want to take out onto the trails. But for planes, trains, and campus lanes, it’s plenty durable enough to last for years.

The interior of the bag is equally durable, with reinforced stitching on all pockets, pouches, and organizational sections. The laptop compartments and tablet pocket are particularly beefy. It incorporates a shock-absorbent sleeve, making it a safe pocket to protect your valuable electronics from bumps and knocks. 

Water-resistance 

The last thing you want while out and about is for your laptop, papers, and other gear to get wet in a sudden shower. Nomatic uses waterproof materials: YKK waterproof zippers and a water-resistant tarpaulin exterior. A key part of our Nomatic Backpack review was seeing how well these actually worked.

These two features cause water to bead up on the outside and run off the bag during regular use. It won’t handle being fully submerged but is more than capable of keeping your stuff warm and dry in a rainstorm or quick splash.

Nomatic backpack water resistance

Are Nomatic Bags Worth the Money? 

No Nomatic Backpack review would be complete without digging whether or not they’re worth the price.

Nomatic bags (and even their clothes) are stylish, comfortable, durable, and offer tremendous organizational benefits, but they’re definitely not cheap. If your last backpack purchase was a $30 Jansport for school, you’re going to get some severe sticker shock checking out a Nomatic backpack, which – at the time of writing this Nomatic backpack review – costs $279.99. 

If you’re outside the U.S. and thus don’t qualify for free shipping you’re also looking at a pretty hefty shipping charge just to get your bag. 

In the end though, and for the right person, we think Nomatic backpacks still make sense, whether you use it for a trip or everyday carry. It’s little extras like a built-in hardshell glasses case, adaptable internal organization, and ability to jump from pack to briefcase to roller bag topper that set it apart from the competition.

The Nomatic Backpack is undeniably a premium bag, yet it’s cost-competitive with similar products and offers more value than most of its closest competitors. If you’re looking for a backpack to make your daily commuter or weekly flights more bearable you’ll see a ton of value from the Nomatic.

Nomatic lifetime warranty

Nomatic offers a generous lifetime warranty for its luggage products. We love companies that stand by their work. Here are the warranty terms:

We stand by the quality of our luggage with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty* against defects in material and workmanship. All of our luggage pieces have removable components, which make repairs simple. If you’re feeling handy you can order one of our DIY repair kits for a $10 handling charge, or you can ship it to one of our 3 US repair centers. The customer is responsible for the cost of shipping the bag to and from our repair facility and NOMATIC will cover the repair cost. If it can’t be repaired, determined at our discretion, we will replace the bag. For protection against accidental damages we also offer two and three year extended protection plans for all luggage pieces.

Who are Nomatic Backpacks For?

You don’t have to be a digital nomad to love Nomatic backpacks. They’re great for daily commuters, frequent flyers, and world travelers. They incorporate organizational and comfort-enhancing features that make moving and staying productive on the go with any of their bags faster and easier.

Nomatic bags are designed to account for TSA screenings, airline carry-on restrictions, and the ability to interface seamlessly with other pieces of baggage, making it an easy add-on to your carry-on luggage stack. They excel at this, with features like easy-access laptop storage, pass-through roller bag slots, and extra-strong zippers sized to allow TSA-compliant travel locks.

The organizational features mirror this goal. Nomatic wants you to be able to reach into your bag and know exactly where any piece of gear you need is located through their comprehensive organizational layout. 

With that in mind, they’ve even put together a number of packages that offer complementary products for different types of users. These include Nomatic camera backpack bundles, Nomatic everyday backpack bundles, and commuter bundles.

Nomatic bapack commuter gear

The size of the Nomatic Backpack hits that sweet spot of holding everything you need for daily operations without being too large or bulky. Those looking for a bit more space should check out their Travel Bag.

College students, transit commuters, business travelers, digital nomads, and others who need to pack around valuable gear (cameras, microphones, etc) for their job will see the most benefit of a Nomatic backpack.

Our Nomatic Backpack review shows that there’s a lot less value for people who don’t often travel and even less for those whose commute consists of driving to their office to get on a desktop. If you aren’t consistently packing around a laptop, camera, or other gear, it doesn’t make sense to go with a premium travel and productivity bag like the Nomatic.

Which Brand is Best for Travel Backpacks?

Nomatic is an innovative and growing player in the travel and EDC gear market, but there are tons of contenders out there for the best travel backpacks and carry-on luggage. Tortuga and Tom Bihn are two names you hear a lot in the premium backpack and travel gear space but you shouldn’t count out well-regarded brands like Osprey or Patagonia.

If you like the concept of the Nomatic but aren’t sold on the bag itself, the Tom Bihn Synik or Tortuga Outbreaker are similarly priced alternatives. They don’t offer quite the same level of organizational aides, but they’re equally well made, slightly larger in capacity, and stylistically take a somewhat different approach.

Tom Bihn Synik
Tortuga Outbreaker

If you’re looking for an everyday backpack at a more approachable price, the Osprey Nebula or Patagonia Refugio are excellent choices. Both companies have well-deserved reputations for making exquisitely crafted hiking, outdoor, and lifestyle gear, and their commuter bags show admirable quality and attention to detail.

Osprey Nebula
Patagonia Refugio

They offer even fewer organizational tweaks, but are exceptionally comfortable, durable, available in numerous colors/patterns, and come in at barely a third the cost of the Nomatic Backpack. The Nebula is also a clamshell-style pack, making it easier to move through TSA by quickly folding out your laptop compartment.

Nomatic Backpack Review Final Thoughts

The Nomatic Backpack is one of the most fundamentally functional bags we’ve ever seen. It offers a ton of value to those living life on the go, particularly daily commuters, frequent flyers, or students. It’s suitable for anyone taking a long journey as well as people on shorter trips. It’s the perfect size for most traveling and looks great doing it.

The style, particularly the lack of alternative colors to black, isn’t for everyone, but the organizational features are worth their weight in gold.

NOMATIC Backpack- Water-Resistant RFID Laptop Bag

The most functional backpack ever. Perfect everyday bag. The exterior is strong and waterproof. The backpack is 20 liters but can expand to 24 liters. Strap design allows you to switch between brief case and backpack. Full perimeter zipper gives you access from all sides. 20 pockets of different types. Whatever you’re carrying, this bag has a spot for it. Plenty of accessories too!

Buy on Amazon Buy on Nomatic

Dennis Hammer
Dennis has been a part of EDC since he was young - before he even knew what it was! As an artist, he loves beautifully designed products that function well. He also likes to be ready for any situation, which makes EDC perfect for his lifestyle.

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