If you’re a fan of backpacks, but tend to travel, or even walk around in public but worry about your personal belongings, there is a bag that can completely eliminate the thought of someone possibly standing behind you, grabbing your belongings. That bag is called the RiutBag R15 by Riut.
Created by Sarah Giblin, the RiutBag is the bag that can not only protect you from forgetting that your bag is open but in many cases, it can eliminate pickpockets as well. Judie and Helena from ChipChick.com went on a trip to Barcelona back in 2016 where Helena ended up actually being pickpocketed, and immediately I thought to myself when I received the RiutBag R15, this could’ve been the bag to save her things.
The premise of the RiutBag R15 is pretty simple. Instead of having the items in your bag exposed to the people behind you, why not just have the bag flipped 180 degrees, and have all of the zippers actually sitting against your back? This is an idea that when you think about it makes you wonder why this hadn’t been implemented prior? Granted it may have, but by no means is it as functional, practical, and fashion forward as the RiutBag by Riut.
Ever since I’ve been traveling with the Riut (pronounced “Riot”) R15 bag, I’ve actually really enjoyed the bag, so much so over the past few weeks it’s gone beyond being my airport and travel bag, and now I even use it when I carry my personal belongings to and from work. A 15-liter bag, the R15 has all of the functionalities that you’d want out of your everyday carry bag, just more secure and at a more than reasonable price.
The Riut R15 came in its own personal plastic bag versus in some fancy wrapping or a box which I was completely fine with since I wanted to get right to the bag itself.
Most of the bags I get are Black since they tend to not get dirty as quick, so I went with more of the same with the RiutBag R15. It does come in an awesome blue colorway as well, but again it all depends on personal preference. Every bag that Riut sells comes with four RiutBands that I’ve found to be pretty stellar and come in handy for things such as connecting to your suitcase or whatever you wish. I actually use them as luggage indicators so they are easily distinguished in the airport or out and about. They are even a bit reflective so cars can see you at night which I though was actually a good thing. Other cases I can see you using the RiutBands would be to Possibly attach a purse to the bag when commuting, or even connecting headphones to the bag. The possibilities are endless and the fact that they come included give you every opportunity to put them to good use.
Getting to the bag, the front of it is actually pretty stylish, featuring Riut’s logo to the top left of the bag. It’s pretty subtle and blends into the bag well which I really enjoy. At the base of the bag, there’s a faux shiny leather looking material that does look pretty well if I have to say so myself. Washington, DC has pretty decent weather the past few weeks so I haven’t dealt with elements like rain to test the bottom of the bag in which I plan on doing, but even with that being said I feel like it will hold up because of how solid and sturdy the bottom does feel. While it won’t stand up on its own while empty (because some bags do), it will tilt so that’s worth mentioning if you tend to sit the bag beside you while sitting in a chair or something.
On each side of the bag, there are slots for water bottles which is something that is highly looked over on backpacks these days. You don’t want to take the risk of throwing a water bottle in with your gear and gadgets so the fact that Riut opted to give you not one, but TWO slots I thought was actually generous. Although it was a bit of a struggle to get in there, I fit my 32-ounce Nalgene bottle in there and it doesn’t move or slip out so that’s pretty awesome in itself. It doesn’t go all the way down like a 16-ounce bottle would but then again this bottle is pretty oversized and still managed to fit that’s to the elastic that comes with the water bottle slot comfortably expanding.
At the top of the bag, there’s a nice sturdy handle that’s pretty thick so you won’t have to worry about it wearing off on you over time. The padding is nice so it doesn’t feel like rope cutting at your hands although I can personally say that it did feel a little loose in the middle of the handle in terms of overall cushion.
On the back of the RiutBag R15 backpack, you actually get the straps which are well padded to the point your chest and shoulders will honestly forget that the bag is on you in the first place. There’s a nice tension strap in the middle of the straps that help take the load off your back that you can clip if you have heavy gear in this bag which is nice. I never use this functionality because I’m always afraid it’ll break if I wear it with a jacket, so I just opt out of using it completely.
The padding on the back of the RiutBag is just terrific. I could go on for days about how great it feels on your back, but let’s just say while waiting for a delayed train, I actually sat the bag behind my head and used it as a pillow how comfortable the thing feels. This might come in handy during layovers, or even if you’re camping or outdoors with the bag and just want something to rest your head on, the R15 can do that for you which is something I really enjoy.
Since the back of the backpack also features the compartments, you’ll find both the top and bottom compartment to be pretty well sized. At the bottom, there’s a pocket that’s great for putting things in like pens, business cards and even a battery pack like I do. Since the bag is so well padded I wasn’t concerned about possibly feeling items that weren’t equal in size poking me in the back and I’m glad to say it has yet to happen. This compartment also comes with two separated pockets so you can sort things left and right of each other. What’s actually missing, however, are physical pen slots so that the pens don’t move though. But I think the idea is for this area to be used for passports and documents that you need, more specifically a wallet, which when I go overseas again, I will be using this pocket a lot.
In the middle of the bag which I actually forgot to mention earlier is the bags extra sleeve for luggage. When in the terminal, I tend to try to put my backpack on top of my luggage to failure because they aren’t truly meant to sit together. But with the RiutBag R15, there’s actually a little strap that allows the handle of your luggage to slide through the back of the back, making it easy to transport your R15 on top of your suitcase which in my opinion is a feature I’d like all bags to have.
The main compartment of the RiutBag R15 folds all the way out, which is really nice, and helpful especially if you’re attempting to breeze right through an airport. Although RiutBag didn’t say if this was TSA-friendly, I hate having to physically pull all of my things out of my bag, so it’s nice to be able to just fold the bag down, and hope that they will let you pass without trouble.
On the side that sits flush against your back are two zippered pockets that are nice to throw things in like cords and cables, toiletries, or a pair of headphones. The bottom is larger than the top as you can see which I don’t mind since they both seems to be large enough to fit things I carry with me normally. If you tend to carry a lot of things like chance, or just little knickknacks, these pockets are perfect and will separate the clutter from the necessities.
Behind that are two compartments that you can fit not only your laptop up to 15-inches which is perfect for my MacBook Pro, but there’s a slot in the front for your iPad or tablet. Both pockets are deep, so I was able to slide my iPad Pro 12.9-inch in there with ease in front of the Macbook Pro. If you’d like a bit more security for your laptop, there are two elastic bands in a cross- X formation that allow you to strap it to the bag so it doesn’t slide around while in your bag. While I don’t use this nearly as often as I should, it’s completely worth mentioning, and a great feature to have that most bags, in fact, do not.
On the other side of the main compartment is a blank canvas area that is useful for things like a spare pair of clothes, maybe a notepad, or just any other essentials you might need. There’s another clip on this side of the bag that allows you to secure the items sitting behind it which I like. When I carry my gym clothes in the bag, I tend to clip it together so if I go to open my bag, they don’t immediately fall out. Also on this side of the bag are the expandable bottle holders that when there’s a drink sitting in there, will take away some of the space in your bag. Again this isn’t a big deal since there’s more than enough room if arranged properly, but do note that the bigger the bottle, the more space it will take up on the inside. Behind those two bottle holders is a zippered pouch for anything else you couldn’t fit in an another pocket like a power bank or something.
At the top outer of the bag, there’s a compartment for soft things like your smartphone or a pair of glasses which is pretty nice. There’s a soft material inside of it so you won’t have to worry about things cracking or breaking, which is also nice.
This bag overall is everything you could want from a travel bag and may have to be the bag I go to when I travel. Not only is it super comfortable to wear, but the abundance of pockets, and its ability to protect my things thanks to its padding make this quite possibly my favorite bag that I’ve reviewed. If I could change one thing about it, it would certainly be the inner compartment’s water bottle area. It takes away a lot of retail space and I’d rather opt for an out of bag pocket for water bottles so I can fit even more things into the bag. Despite that, RiutBag has gotten it right with the RiutBag R15, and I highly recommend it to any frequent traveler or anyone who rather not give the person behind them rummaging through their things.
For more information on the RiutBag R15, you can head over to their site today.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Super secure sitting on your back, and the quick passport pocket is a great idea; Houses 15-Inch MacBook’s comfortably
What Needs Improvement: Water Bottle area does take away some of the space from the bag