Behind the Scenes: Introducing the Max
Posted on November 22 2020
Introducing the Able Carry Max.
Able Carry. A small team based out of Hong Kong, a tiny island of 7 million people, giant skyscrapers, and as much city as you can handle. They couldn't find an everyday backpack designed for the city, so they built it themselves and launched it on Kickstarter. Since then, they've been on a relentless mission to make the best tools for today's citizens so that they can carry better gear in comfort and style.
They follow three criteria when designing their bags.
No gimmicks or unnecessary features. Just sleek design built with purpose.
This time, we'll be taking a look at their newest addition, Max, currently on Kickstarter. Ending on December 9th at 11 pm, the Max is a 30L backpack. It is purpose-built to carry more than just your essentials – built with maximized comfort, smart organization, and secure travel features. This bag will move seamlessly from everyday carry to a weekend on the road and beyond! As their 2nd Kickstarter and 4th backpack, you can be sure they are guaranteed to deliver a high-quality product.
Let's take a look at this, shall we?
- $260 > $200 (Kickstarter Price)
- XPAC (VX21 for Tarmac Black and Ocean Blue, X42 for Earth Green) and Cordura 1000D nylon.
- Height: 530 MM
- Weight: 1.7kg / 3.7lb
- Width: 300 MM
- Volume: 24 L
- Depth: 170 MM
The laptop sleeve measures H390mm x W270mm x D25mm.
- For reference, it will fit the Macbook Pro 16" (2020) without problem (and the new Apple releases).
How we tested
New York City is a melting pot not only for people but for different environments. We tested it based on three criteria,
- Daily usage.
The package arrived sometime between the evening before and the morning of, and lucky that it did. I had plans to take the family to the Brooklyn Botanical garden, and it was an excellent opportunity to take the Max for a spin.
Upon laying it out flat for packing, you'll instantly realize that the bag is quite spacious. As a male with a slimmer body profile, I prefer smaller bags when it comes to daily usage, and this bag is more significant than what I usually would carry during the day. While I wouldn't necessarily use this bag for daily usage, it is a perfect bag for a weekend trip or carrying on.
During these COVID times, we usually work from home, but I head into the city once a week to work on things in our office because there are only things we can do there. For me, daily use includes moving in and out of my car, walking across the city, office sitting, and swinging it around to get my things. The weather also has been all sorts of crazy, from hot to cold and constant rain. Luckily that's perfect weather to test our favorite new addition to the backpack lineup.
The interior space is spacious and can hold a fair amount of gear. For reference, Able Carry mentioned that you could fit at least 20 rolls of toilet paper, and let's face it; during these times, you may need the Max to do just that.
I packed two pouches, a notebook case, and a light, packable jacket. It fits well without having to worry about space as there was a lot of room left.
The zipper for the main compartment is a YKK zipper and is a smooth ride when pulled with one hand. Easy to use and has the option to use a lock to keep your bag secure. I genuinely dislike being unable to open the bag with one hand when I need it the most.
The walls of the interior space of this bag have high "walls". That makes packing a breeze without needing to worrying about the things I put sliding out. I can stack and fill with ease.
The front panel, when unzipped slightly, reveals a pocket on the inside. Great to put some items that are more expensive and not used as often. I usually slide my WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones in there.
If you take a gander around the bag's exterior and interior, you'll also notice Able Carry's signature hook and loops. I wish bag brands offered more places to hang things. While not a fan of hanging too many things, I still like having options to do so. The straps are great to be able to attach bike locks, carabiners, and hand sanitizers. Visually, the loops are apart of the design of the bag without being obnoxious. Examples being the molle system that the more tactical or military bags have. More subtle and thus a better overall look for the Max.
The laptop sleeve is just great. The laptop is held by an elevated sleeve that holds laptops snuggly—fitting up to a 16 inch 2020 edition Macbook. Regarding fitting smaller laptops, I use a ROG Zephyrus laptop with a 14 screen, and I slid it in with no resistance. It also held it in place as I moved, so I'm confident that it'll keep your laptop safe.
Last but not least, the water bottle pocket. Damn. Able Carry killed it with this one feature. I'd say this pocket is the one feature that stands out in the sea of other bags. It's such a great idea to incorporate the pocket into its own space. When facing the bag's exterior, you have a zippered closed pocket to hold water bottles. The fantastic thing about this is the flexibility of this pocket. You can use it to keep a multitude of things. Like what, you ask? Here,
Large battery pack
The cupholder shaped wipes
Portable air purifier
Options are endless, honestly.
I received the Max in Ocean Blue, but it also comes in Earth Green and Tarmac Black. The Max utilizes VX21 for Tarmac Black and Ocean Blue, X42 for Earth Green, and Cordura 1000D nylon for other parts of the bag.
The bag we received comes in a VX21, a highly durable fabric best used for the lightweight yet super tough stuff. It's waterproof, and the extra rigidity is nice to hold its form.
The Max is a bag that is ideal for that weekend trip or a carry-on. It's not as large as some other travel bags, so that means that when you land, you can unload and use the Max for daily carry. Is it ideal for everyday carry? It depends on who you are and how you carry your things.
If I had to sum up the bag in one word? Flexibility. It offers unparallel amounts of ways to pack: grocery shopping, travel, weekend trip, motorbike, exploration, trekking, and more. Hang things off your bag, replace your water bottle with a tripod, lock your bag with wiring, and more. The sky is the limit depending on what you need when you need it.
When will you be getting them?
Currently available on Kickstarter HERE. When they finish their Kickstarter shipments, we'll be sure to look into carrying a few on our end. As always, keep it locked on our IG @urbancred_official or FB @urbancred.
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A HUGE thanks to Able Carry for sending us a sample to test before we allow it into our curated collection!