Peak Design Packable Tote review – A little on the small side, but still very usable.

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REVIEW – What is the least expensive bag from the premium bag designer Peak Design? It is not the sub $25 Shoe Pouch. It is the Peak Design Packable Tote.

What is it?

Quite simply the Peak Design Packable Tote is a smallish, 12L bag that can be packed into a very convenient little pack. The resulting pack can easy slip inside most pockets or bags as shown inside of the small Peak Design V1 Field Pouch as shown above and it “only” cost $19.99.  The product was recently released in early February 2022, along with some other new PD bags, as well as new color ways for some existing products.

Unlike many stuff sack pockets, which often times require an origami master to get them back into their shipped stowed state, the Packable Tote easily stuffs into its’ stuff pocket, and remains soft, even squishy, allowing it to easily be stuffed again into just about anything which has the room to hold it. The resulting sack will not give you an unsightly bulge in your jeans, depending on where you stuff it of course.

The Peak Design Packable Tote is available in two color ways, Charcoal and Raw, both shown below.

What’s in the box?

  • Nothing more than the Peak Design Packable Tote, packed into its smallest state.

Design and Features

The Peak Design Packable Tote has a very simplistic design.  It is constructed out of 100% recycled ripstop 70D nylon which has a special coating to enhance its water resistance.  This material also has a self-healing characteristic should the bag be punctured by a small sharp object contained inside the bag.

The Tote is made up of a single piece of fabric which allows for increased strength as there are no seams to split.  In addition, the single microfiber padded shoulder / hand strap is not just sewn into the top corner of each side of the bag like in most designs, but forms the complete edges of the bag, further enhancing the overall strength of the tote bag when in use.  This decision seems to be a more robust one than simple bar-tack stitching on one corner of the strap to the bag.

The Tote in the packed state has some uncharacteristic branding, however, the expanded Tote has limited branding to the small PD trademark tag on one of the corners of the bag. The oversized stuff sack pocket ends up on the inside of the expanded Tote and allows for the storing of a plus size iPhone 8 when the Tote is unstuffed, and when stuffed, results in a soft and squishy bundle that is comfortably placed inside a coat or jean pocket.  Compare this to some other stuff sack pockets which have been reduced in size to the smallest possible volume, requiring a lot of time to get them back into the pocket/sack and often result in a hard knot of fabric to deal with afterward. Once in the packed state, there is a small loop on one side of the pocket which is a convenient grab handle or can be outfitted with a carabiner to attach the small pocket to another bag or backpack.

Finally, the Peak Design Packable Tote utilizes Peak Design’s own #5 UltraZip zipper at the opening of the bag which allows the bag to be sealed, preventing the contents from spilling out when put down. This is not typical for a bag of this size and solves the nagging issue which plagues many small packable totes once placed on the floor or in the trunk of one’s car and is often only discovered after the drive is done, finding a scattering of the tote’s contents about the floor or trunk.

Some Specs

  • Dimensions: Unpacked: 42cm x 41cm x 12cm (16.5″ x 16.1″x 4.7″)
    Packed: 15cm x 9cm x 4cm (5.9″ x 3.5″x 1.6″)
  • Max interior pocket (Stuff Sack) Capacity iPhone 12/13 standard and Pro models (does not fit 12/13 Max)

What I Like?

  • I really like the fabric of the Packable Tote. If you are familiar with other Peak Design products, it is the same fabric as used in their Packing Cubes, and the before mentioned Shoe Pouch.
  • The squishable flexibility of the Tote in the packed state just can’t be praised enough. It is just so easy to pack the Tote and the result is a very stowable pack to place just about anywhere you would want.

What I’d Change?

  • Some may find a 12L tote to be too small.
  • Making the strap longer would be nice, but would of course result in a harder to stuff, and less squishable stowed product in the end.
  • Stuff pocket is just a tad too small for the largest iPhone on the market now.

Final Thoughts?

Overall, I really like the Peak Design Packable Tote.  I have been trying to cut back on plastic bags, and the convenience of being able to just keep this bag with me is making it easier and easier to forgo the plastic bag for all of my one off runs to any kind of store.

Price: $19.99
Where to buy: Peak Design and Amazon
Source: This product was purchased with my own funds.

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