Baron Fig Slimline Backpack Review
The Baron Fig Slimline Backpack1 is a backpack originally released by Baron Fig as part of a Kickstarter in early 2018. However, it has been since updated you use better zipper and have a more waterproof outer casing. This 2.0 version was the backpack that I used as my primary backpack for a little over a year2.
It is a backpack with some great design choices, however, it is very opinionated with these choices. The bag has a way it wants you to use it, and if that doesn’t work with you this probably isn’t the bag for you — you have to adapt to the bag and not the other way around. The backpack is centred around one core affordance: its ability to lay flat. Every design choice this bag made is centred around that one decision. On the Baron Fig site, they explain the bag as:
Opens flat, creates an instant workspace
This captures how Baron Fig wants you to use the bag. It’s a bag you fill with just the stuff you need to work, and when you get to your office, you splay open your bag or hang the bag fully open on a hook and access the contents this way.
If it sounds perfect to you, maybe you should think about getting it. However, for me, this design is very limiting. More often than not, I pack my bag for the day and just pull things out when I need them. Rarely am I in one spot that, 1: I have enough room to open my bag lay it out and fully unpack it, and 2: if I am going to be somewhere for long enough that I could justify sprawling out the odds of there being enough room to do that are pretty low. Imagine going to a library or a coffee shop and having 2½ feet of space to lay your bag open. The other issue that being able to open flat causes is that the zippers need to go all the way down the sides meaning this bag doesn’t have what I like to call a ‘stuff slot.’ You know, that spot in your bag that holds stuff without a defined pocket. Often for me this is temporary things that I may bring for the day but don’t exactly belong in the bag. While you can just throw things in this bag because of those zippers, you have to be careful when opening it and trust me I’ve been a little too rough and have had shit thrown about the room more times than I wish. The last issue the open flat design causes for this bag — and it is a small one — is that there isn’t any pocket for bottle whether it’s on the inside or out, and because of the previously mentioned lack of a stuff slot it’s hard to carry a water bottle around even it’s just loosely. So while this bag is wide enough to hold a 15 inch laptop and an iPad in the designed sleeves for each, because of this design it’s not gonna hold much more and that defiantly something to keep in mind.
So even though I’ve only really mentioned things that I don’t like about this bag, nonetheless, there are some really lovely features of this bag that I wish others would copy. One of them is, funnily enough, the other selling point of this bag what Baron Fig likes to call ‘swing pockets.’ They are called this because you can swing your bag on one of the straps3 on the front. There are pockets on each side that are the easily accessible and pretty good size I’d say they are a little bigger than an iPhone 11. This itself, while nice, isn’t special. There are a lot of other bags that have this feature. Still, one thing the Slimline Backpack that I haven’t see one other bags is that these pocket are these pockets are both accessible from the inside and outside of the pack. This is a genuine, really great feature, and I wish more bags did.
Overall this is a bag that has a way it wants you to use it. It’s a bag that knows what it is and doesn’t try to be anything more, which is commendable. However, it is something you need to keep in mind. If that sounds great, and you think this is the backpack for you can buy it here4 at the time of writing its $85. Aswell Baron Fig recently added some really excellent colour variants for the bag I’m particularly a fan of the Glacier Blue/Yellowgold varient. But, what I learned after about a year of using this bag is that it wasn’t for me, and that’s ok.
Now known as the Venture Slimline Backpack ↩
A quick note is that Baron Fig’s support is really nice. I had my bag stolen and they replaced it free of charge no questions asked ↩
One small note the straps are not padded so if that matters to you now you know ↩