REVIEW – Ever since I bought my GORUCK GR1 in 2015, I haven’t looked twice at another backpack, at least not until I picked up a GORUCK Bullet seven years later. Between those two sturdy GORUCKs, I never thought I would need or want another pack. However, after some time with the Able Carry Daily Plus though there’s a new member of the “pack”. The Daily Plus backpack has all the durability and strength of the GORUCKs along with a cool futuristic design. Priced at a premium of $198 the Daily Plus falls somewhere between the GR1 and Bullet in terms of cost and is in line with other similarly featured backpacks. During my testing, it was almost impossible to find any flaws with the Daily Plus, and the few I did find were minor.
What is it?
The Able Carry Daily Plus is a 21L water resistant backpack with a sleek modern design, reinforced webbing, and an internal foam insert. The Daily Plus has a dedicated laptop sleeve, tablet sleeve, internal bottle pocket, and several zippered compartments.
The Able Carry Daily Plus arrives in a simple cardboard box. To protect the backpack during shipping it’s packed inside of a thin fabric drawstring bag.
I really like the drawstring shipping bag, it’s a nice touch and is better than using a plastic bag.
What’s in the box?
- Able Carry Daily Plus Backpack
- Protective bag
- Capacity: 21L
- Weight: 2.6 lbs (1.2kg)
- Height: 19.3″ (49cm)
- Width: 11.4″ (29m)
- Depth: 7.5″ (19cm)
- Laptop Compartment: Fits most 16″ laptops up to 15.3” x 11” x 1.5” (39cm x 28cm x 4cm)
- Tablet Sleeve: Fits most 11″ tablets up to 7.5″ x 9.8″ x 0.6″ (19cm x 25cm x 1.5cm)
- Water Bottle Pocket: Fits most 1L bottles internally
- Outer Material: X-Pac Fabric
- Zippers: YKK Racquet Coil
- Hardware: Duraflex POM (Polyoxymethylene) thermoplastic
- Available Colors and Fabric:
- Black: X-Pac VX21
- Olive Green: X-Pac X42
Design and features
The ultramodern look and design of the Able Carry Daily Plus Backpack owes a lot to the X-Pac fabric used in its construction. X-Pac is a low-weight, high-strength fabric made of several layers laminated into a single sheet and reinforced with a distinct X-Grid crosshatch pattern.
The X-Pac fabric differs greatly from the 1000D Cordura used for the GORUCKs but is just as strong and durable. This unique fabric also provides the Daily Plus with water resistance so it can handle brief periods of light rain but not prolonged exposure.
The self-sealing rubber seams along the zippers add to the water resistance of the Daily Plus as well.
The interior of the Able Carry Daily Plus Backpack seems a bit smaller than it should and I think it’s due to the three large sleeves meant for e-readers, tablets, and laptops, so I’m not complaining.
The front two sleeves are made of a thin stretchy material that works great for holding items in place without damaging them.
The material has a lot of give to it, so I’m sure it could accommodate other items besides tablets and e-readers. Additionally, there are slots on either side of the sleeves that can be used to hold pens or markers.
I was able to fit a 15″ Razer laptop, a Surface Tablet, and an Amazon Kindle Oasis e-reader easily inside the sleeves.
Behind the laptop sleeve there’s a foam insert located inside a hidden zippered pocket for support. This hidden compartment is a great place for keeping valuable items like a passport, there’s also a second smaller compartment on the inside secured with velcro.
Folding back the front flap of the Able Carry Daily Plus Backpack you’ll find a large zippered pocket.
This pocket is perfect for securing larger loose items that you don’t need immediate access to.
I like that the X-Pac fabric is a lighter color on the interior which makes it easier to see items inside the pockets as well as the bottom of the main compartment.
The larger main compartment is pretty roomy but does get cramped when the other sleeves and pockets are filled.
Moving to the exterior of the Daily Plus, the non-descript appearance gives few hints as to how many places there are for storing your gear. Barely noticeable is the diagonal zipper that provides quick access to another pocket with the same stretchy material as the interior sleeves.
This pocket is easy to get to when wearing the Able Carry Daily Plus Backpack over one shoulder. The orientation of the interior zippered pocket and open stretchy pocket are horizontal when slung across the front of your chest.
There’s even a removable key leash with a tiny carabiner inside this pocket.
Just beneath the external front pocket is perhaps my favorite feature of the Daily Plus, an internal water bottle pocket.
This pocket can easily hold a 1L water bottle and accommodates my Yeti Rambler with no problem.
What’s so great about this internal bottle pocket is that you never have to worry about your water bottle falling out or getting snagged on anything as is the case with external bottle sleeves.
The one caveat is that having a bottle in the pocket does take up a good amount of the main interior compartment.
Flipping the Daily Plus over exposes the cushioned backplate. There are plenty of channels sewn into this section to provide good air flow to prevent a sweaty back during prolonged use.
The cushioning feels supportive and comfortable even with a heavy load in the pack and helps add support.
Along the sides of the backplate are several small reinforced loops.
These loops are perfect for carabiners or attaching other items like bike locks.
The shoulder straps on the Able Carry Daily Plus Backpack have the same comfortable material used in the backplate.
They’re pretty thick for straps, but that thickness adds to their comfort.
The excess length on the shoulder straps folds up nicely into integrated elastic keepers.
The premium quality of the Daily Plus is clearly evident even in the keepers as they are double stitched around the straps to prevent slippage.
Another innovative feature of the Daily Plus is the magnetic sternum strap.
The strap latch snaps into place with a satisfying click and stays connected.
The other end of the sternum strap can be adjusted to different heights or removed all together.
Above the shoulder straps is yet another hidden zippered compartment.
I found this compartment perfect for my keys and wallet, leaving them accessible from the outside but well protected.
The whole pack can easily be carried via the top carry handle which is large enough to grab but small enough to blend back into the profile of the Able Carry Daily Plus Backpack when not in use.
The zippers used on the Daily Plus are YKK Racquet Coil zippers.
The exterior zippers have extra long zipper pulls made of strong fabric loops with extra stitching for strength.
The pulls for the main compartment zippers tuck neatly under another reinforced loop stitched across the bottom of both sides of the pack.
The loops used for anchor points around the Daily Plus are made of strong, load-bearing nylon webbing. This webbing continues along the bottom of the pack in an A-type configuration.
Not surprisingly Able Carry refers to this webbing as its A-Frame and it’s responsible for providing support and structure to the Daily Plus.
The way the webbing crosses up and around the Able Carry Daily Plus Backpack also helps to prevent sagging.
The final premium touch on the Daily Plus is the subtle branding.
The logos are discreet and classy adding to the stealth overall design of the pack.
To demo the Daily Plus I found a more photogenic model than myself (which isn’t really hard to do).
Able Carry recommends that all of its backpacks work better if worn higher on the back and the Daily Plus is no exception.
When worn a bit higher, the backpack confroms nicely to your body even when fully loaded.
If worn low the pack can ride too far back and doesn’t feel as comfortable and secure.
The weight of the Daily Plus is evenly distributed most likely due to the stiff internal foam insert and the A-Frame webbing.
Using the sternum strap helps increase the comfort and support of the backpack as well.
I’ve been using the Able Carry Daily Plus Backpack as my everyday carry bag for over a month now and have taken it on two overnight trips as well. It did take a little while adjusting to having so many compartments to use as compared to my GORUCKs. But, once I found a logical place for all of my items I really appreciated the deliberate design choices and extra features of the Daily Plus. Overall, I think Able Carry created an excellent backpack with features that will appeal to most backpack connoisseurs like myself.
What I like
- Premium durable build quality and stitching
- Plenty of easily accessible compartments
- Sleek, futuristic design
What I’d change
- 21L capacity may not be large enough for some
The Able Carry Daily Plus backpack is an excellent option for those in search of a sturdy, comfortable, and stylish backpack for everyday use. Although priced a bit high, the quality of materials, design, and craftsmanship justifies its $198 cost, particularly when compared to other backpacks in the same category. At 21L the backpack’s main compartment could be a bit small for some, especially since the internal water bottle pocket and sleeves take up some space. But with dedicated laptop, tablet, and e-reader sleeves, a quick-access pocket, and several other compartments there should be ample space for most users. The water-resistant material and zipper seals make it even more attractive as an everyday carry pack. While I still love my GORUCKS, the Able Carry Daily Plus is now officially in the rotation.