You might think that as a fitness editor, I don't come across many backpacks to review. Well, you're wrong! I tried quite a few bags during my time at T3, gym bags and camera backpacks alike. Admittedly, not all of them got me as excited as the DB's Ramverk 26L Pro backpack, which I was sent to try a couple of weeks ago. I was so impressed that I decided to keep this minimalist commuting backpack, even if I had to pay for it.
What makes the Ramverk 26L Pro a unique bag? For me, there are three key things that distinguish this backpack from the competition and make it the best backpack for my needs.
Number one: build quality. I like well-built, sturdy backpacks that also happen to be light. The Ramverk 26L Pro reeks quality and doesn't get all floppy when there is nothing inside, thanks to the Rib Cage Construction, that not only provides some structure to the bag but also protects whatever is inside the bag. Well, I doubt the ABS ribs would stop a car, but they might be enough to provide some resistance to compression. The emphasis is on the 'some' bit.
The second feature I like is the top compartment, which is surprisingly spacious and has a good shape to it, too. I love that I can easily dump things in this box and access them when I'm out and about. Sure, there are zipped mesh pockets inside the bag, but I find those less useful for quick access stuff. I found the side mesh pocket particularly useless.
I thought it'd serve as my water bottle holder, but it's too shallow, and the mesh is too rigid to house anything. If you have long, flat stuff you want to stow away on the side of the bag, you'll love this pocket; for me, it's just disappointing. Thankfully, this pocket (and the fact I can't make sure my water bottle stays upright in the bag) really is the only thing's not quite perfect about the Ramverk 26L Pro.
The final feature that sells the bag is its minimalist aesthetics. I have the bag in Black Out colourway, and as you'd expect, it is as subtle as it gets. It's all black, including the wax-coated nylon 500D front, the straps and their metal buckles and even the fabric back panel. And yes, even the detachable waist belt and the sternum straps are black.
Truth to be told, I wouldn't swap my Chrome Industries Niko 3.0 Camera Backpack for the Ramverk 26L Pro as my camera backpack, even with the camera inserts (opens in new tab) (retailer link) included; the dividers are not sturdy enough, and the bag, in general, is too shallow to store taller lenses upright. Maybe the small insert would be an okay option to separate my Sony Alpha A7III with a smallish lens attached to it from the rest of the contents of the bag; who knows?
Maybe at a later date, I'll invest in one of those, but for now, I'm happy with using the bag for commuting to work and carrying my everyday essentials: keys, phone, snacks, and three portions of chicken-rice-and-broccoli (if you know, you know). If Db turns around and asks for their bag back, I'll tell them it got stolen because it looked so irresistible. Hopefully, they won't read this article.