I have a bit of a thing about backpacks. I love them! Years ago, I used to use a messenger bag for my work commute but then started noticing my back and shoulders were hurting a bit unevenly. So, I made the leap to using a backpack for my commute. I have tested several backpacks over the years, and have become pretty particular on the things I require. But when I made short trips, I always added a carry-on suitcase (and usually overpacked it). Now I think I have the perfect, short-trip solution – the Nayo Almighty Backpack. It’s part backpack and part carry-on suitcase, but more of a 70/30 type of combination. (*Disclosure below.)
Update 9/27/19: Nayo has kindly provided a 15% discount code “HighTechDad” which will work until Oct 31, 2019!
Many people use backpacks when traveling. I backpacked around Europe after college and used a huge frame backpack. It was comfortable and held enough clothes to handle a week of traveling before having to wash. But it was big and bulky. Alternatively, when I travel with my family for longer trips, I always have a suitcase AND a backpack. The suitcase holds all of my clothes while the backpack holds all of my tech (laptop, tablet, cables, etc.). And the backpack would sometimes be used for day trips when we were traveling (no sense in using a suitcase to go hiking, right?).
Some backpacks are smaller than internal or external frame travel packs but larger than commuter packs. This is a sweet spot for those people who are traveling for the weekend and simply don’t want to bring too much stuff, yet still have their laptop and clothes all together. These need to be large enough to hold a few days’ worth of clothes yet potentially small enough to be used as a carry on as well as not too heavy to carry for a few hours on your back.
The Nayo Almighty “has your back” literally and figuratively when it comes to that hybrid style of travel backpack. It could conceivably be used for just commuting to work, or it can be loaded up with a few changes of clothes for a weekend trip. And, there are a few other features that the Nayo has that I particularly liked.
Essential Backpack Features of the Nayo Almighty
Let me first start with the backpack features of the Nayo Almighty. As I mentioned, I think about 70% of this pack is backpack (the other 30% more suitcase). For starters, this pack is roomy. The Large size (the one I tested) has a total capacity of about 32 liters. There is a smaller one that holds about 25L, but I felt that for a weekend travel pack, the larger size would be better.
A vital requirement for me was to make sure that when full, this pack could still be used as a carry-on. The Large size dimensions are 13.8” wide by 6.7” deep by 20” tall. Standard domestic carry-on dimensions are 22” x 14” x 9” so it looks like the Large size will fit those requirements. Yay!
Next, the backpack needs to be comfortable with good padding and straps. The Nayo Almighty has a sternum strap which will secure the pack to your chest. Unfortunately, it does not have a waist strap. Both the back and the straps are padded, which in my mind is essential. You don’t want the shoulder straps digging into your shoulders under a heavy load. The back is also padded and has a breathable mesh. It won’t prevent you from sweating, but it will keep you a bit cooler than no mesh padding at all.
Another little feature you don’t always think about, but I feel is a necessity is a handle on the top. Sometimes in crowded trains, it’s best just to carry the pack instead of wearing it on your back. It saves space for others around you as well. The Almighty has a steel-reinforced handle that is quite solid.
For me, storage in the form of pockets and compartments is critical. I like tucking things away in their own spaces. There are padded pockets inside the main compartment for laptops and tablets. These pockets are fairly deep so you can get a pretty large laptop in. And both pockets have elastic to hold the laptop and/or tablet in place.
There are other organizer pockets for items like office supplies, a detachable keychain for keys, and plenty of other spaces for different, smaller items.
On the shoulder straps, there are two small zippered pockets for ID or credit cards.
There is a sunglasses holder on one of the straps as well.
On the side of the Nayo Almighty, there is one expandable pocket (which I would use to hold an umbrella, for example). And on the other side is a zippered pocket that is insulated and is used for keeping liquids like a water bottle cool.
On the top is an easily accessible pocket that is great for holding sunglass cases or perhaps cables or something you may need to have access to without having to open the entire pack up.
In the padded back area, there is another zippered pocket that can be used for travel documents. This is a great place to store things a bit more securely as it is practically impossible for anyone to open the zipper when it is on your back.
Lastly, and this is a great tech feature, there is a built-in USB cable and port. So, you can store a portable, rechargeable battery inside your pack, attach it to the built-in cable, and then plug another cable into the outside port. Then you can charge your smartphone easily without having to get the portable charger out. Love it!
So, the essentials of a work or commuter backpack are there. And wearing the pack is quite comfortable when loaded. I tested with a laptop, tablet and some clothes and feel like I could travel around easily with this pack.
The Nayo Almighty’s Core Suitcase Functionality
I just mentioned the word “clothes.” So while I have tried to travel with a backpack, the problem is, you just stuff your clothes into the pack and it is impossible to find things. And your clothes typically end up wrinkled or balled up. It definitely isn’t ideal.
Well, this is where the 30% suitcase part of the Nayo Almighty shines. The main compartment unzips almost completely so that it can lie flat and open. On one side are all of your “gadgets” and the other is designed for holding your clothes. And, being able to open it all of the way is great for security checks as well as packing, unpacking, or finding things inside.
The “suitcase” side is essentially a large compartment that has a mesh cover. The mesh allows your clothes to breathe a bit as well as allows you to find things easily.
Also, the Nayo Almighty comes with two zippered and removable storage compartments. One is a toiletry bag (I believe it is the silver-lined one which would make it easier to clean), and the other is an accessory back (maybe for a shaver or something similar). These have velcro that attach to the bottom of the suitcase portion of the Almighty.
While the website says that this back would be good for a 3-5 day trip, I think it is better suited for a 3-day weekend max. You can probably load it up with a few shirts, pants/shorts (dresses?), underwear, socks, and a light jacket, along with your essential toiletries, I think it may be maxed out there (unless you don’t mind re-wearing your clothes).
But it is a heck of a better solution than bringing a backpack AND over-packing a suitcase. It’s a great weekender, grab-and-go bag that I will be definitely using.
The Nayo Almighty – a Hybrid Backpack
The Nayo Almighty seems fairly well stitched and constructed. It has a water-resistant fabric (I probably wouldn’t stand out in the pouring rain with it and expect everything to remain bone-dry). The zippers seem to be robust enough to withstand a lot of wear and tear.
If you do want to bring a suitcase with you, there is a strap in the padded back area which you can slide over the handle of your suitcase.
Overall, I was impressed with my initial testing of the Nayo Almighty (Large size). That being said, I haven’t taken it officially on a couple-day trip.
There are two sizes to choose from, Large and Normal. The Normal one might be great for kids. I feel the Large size is the ideal size to have.
There is one last thing that is quite impressive about this Nayo backpack, the price. As of this writing, the Large size is on sale for $92.00 (from $155 originally), and the Normal size is also on sale for $88 ($148 regularly). The site does say free shipping and customs duty world-wide which is a bonus.
From my standpoint, the Nayo Almighty truly seems to be one of those handy travel backpacks that is thoughtfully designed and capable of handling your gear for a 2-3 day trip. It could also be a super commuter pack (perhaps in the Normal size). However, only through time and testing will I know how great this pack is. But from the features and construction, I’m looking forward to testing it out.
Disclosure: I have a material connection because I received a sample of a product for consideration in preparing to review the product and write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page.
HTD says: The Nayo Almighty Backpack nicely blends the features of a great commuter backpack with the essentials of an overnight suitcase. Its design and construction are smart, it looks sharp, and has the capacity to hold the perfect amount of gear for a 3-day weekend.
- Price Point
The Nayo Almighty Backpack nicely blends the features of a great commuter backpack with the essentials of an overnight suitcase. Its design and construction are smart, it looks sharp, and has the capacity to hold the perfect amount of gear for a 3-day weekend. Overall, I was quite impressed with the design and the layout of the compartments. While designed as a backpack, there is more than enough room to hold a couple of days’ worth of clothes and toiletries. You probably can’t put shoes in there though. But, there is a dedicated area for gadgets like laptop and tablet and work-related items, and another side for clothes. This is a perfect long-weekend bag for everything.
- Multi-purpose (backpack & suitcase)
- Many compartments for tech and clothes
- Can be used as a carryon bag
- Thoughtfully designed
- No waist strap
- No phone holder on straps