Doughnut Macaroon Backpack Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

Be still my bag-loving heart, but I do love a good backpack. And the Doughnut Macaroon is a good backpack!

It's made from Korean twill fabric--nicely sturdy with a smooth texture. I like the feel of it more than Cordura, and it has stood up well to some serious abuse. It stayed water resistant when I carried it in a light rain, with the water beading on the surface. Nothing inside got wet at all, and the water was easy to wipe away. The seams appear very durable, and the brass buckles and leather straps give it a practical and attractive ruggedness. All the fun colors make me want more than one backpack, and I've got my fingers crossed that JetPens will consider carrying some of their other products (don't look at the Doughnut website unless your willpower is strong).

Both the padded shoulder straps and the front pocket bands are adjustable. The bands have functional buckles, but the pocket actually operates with two snap closures located at the top of the straps. Please don't ask me how many times I unbuckled the pocket to open it before I discovered the snaps. But I was delighted to find them, because nobody has time for actual buckles. There is also a snap-closure loop around the top handles, so they can be joined to make a nice top-carry handle. The shoulder straps stay comfortable even when the bag is stuffed to capacity with books.

The front pouch is roomy. It fits plenty of fast-access essentials, though it is just one compartment--so I have lost some time fishing for items in there. The side pockets are designed to fit narrow items like umbrellas, cords, or a small water bottle (wider bottles will likely not fit).

The main compartment is accessed by unzipping the front panel of the backpack. The flap that covers the zipper is a little obstructive. It's stiff and very deep, so folding it back to access the zipper is an extra step to opening, and almost requires both hands. The zipper itself is sturdy and the leather pull tabs are really nice.

Inside the main compartment is a padded laptop/tablet sleeve that will fit an item up to 13". Along the front panel of the pack are smaller pockets and pouches, some with zipper closures, and one with Velcro. Because this front panel folds down when the pack is fully opened, you have to be a bit careful that items don't fall out of these pockets, especially as the weight of the items will pull the top of the panel down. I started leaving one side of the panel zipped to keep this from happening. I think these pockets could have been better placed to avoid spillage. I think they'd have been particularly useful if placed in a separate zipper pocket on the front of the bag, so they could be accessed quickly without diving into the main compartment. That intermediate pocket is, I think, the main thing that this bag is missing.

The main compartment is quite large. I'm currently using the backpack as a diaper bag/kid kit, and I can fit everything I and my toddler need for a day out--and a spare of everything. And on top of all the baby gear, I can still fit my big planner in its over-stuffed case, my Traveler's Notebook, a pack of pens, and my knitting.

The pack is spacious enough to serve as an overnight bag or travel carry-on, and would make an excellent commuter bag. It's great for getting items from point A to point B. I don't think it's ideal for an everyday bag--it needs that additional medium front pocket and better access to smaller items for that. But it's definitely the bag I'll grab for travel, or trips to the library, zoo, or anywhere I know I'm going to need everything (and a spare).

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

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Posted on March 30, 2017 and filed under Doughnut, Backpack, Bag Review.