Gear Review – Numinous Travel Pack – DaySac 25L
Reviewed by Stephen Downes
You’re travelling alone and wind up in a dorm in the depths of Cambodia. You’re sharing the room with a Brazilian and his Columbian mate, a Swiss guy who seems OK, and three Kiwis who wear more ink than your average football team. And they love a beer, of course.
You don’t want to judge by appearances, but … The South Americans look dodgy, you need a pee, and you don’t usually take your backpack to the lavatory. We’ve all been faced with it – in dorms, in flight. And it looks kind of nerdy to padlock your day pack at 40,000 feet before you head to the bathroom. That’s why the new 25-litre day pack from British maker Numinous is brilliant. Not only does it lock up with a sturdy combination device, but an extra wire lock lets you attach it to a fixed post, pole or table leg, say. It’s as secure as your squillion-dollar mountain bike locked to a stand.
They’re not silly, these Brits. ‘Numinous’ applies to anything of a spiritual or divine quality, and I’m betting that many lone travellers, and even those who aren’t, will be prostrating themselves before this pack, thanking it for the peace and security it provides. Most importantly, the locks are TSA (Transport Security Administration) approved, which means that those pesky American border guards won’t be getting out their bolt-cutters to see what’s inside your luggage.
Finished in pale greys, the pack weighs just over a kilo, has zippered pockets everywhere, a padded one for your laptop or device, and is made of a new fibre that the maker says is five times stronger than steel on a pound-for-pound basis. It’s strong because of what they call ‘anti-slash’ technology. The pack’s main zips resist puncturing by ballpoint pens and sharp tools.
But there’s something about the pack that especially appealed to me – it has shape and body and stands easily. Aren’t you sick of picking up and putting down your pack in airport queues and having it flop about like a new-born foal? The Numinous’s base is about 16 centimetres deep and seems more solid than other packs I’ve used, even if a hard frame is lacking. Numinous makes several boasts for its new day pack, including a padded lumbar support, mesh side pockets, concealed back panel and an ‘adjustable back system’, which sounds as if it could put chiropractors out of business.
I’ve used it over three days and can’t see anything seriously wrong with it, although I’m having trouble getting the wire to work. But I think it’s me. You might want more than 25 litres. You might think the locks are a bit fussy to set and use. Why bother? you might think. Your call entirely, but in my view this is a great product, and a portion of Numinous’s profits go to the African Children’s Fund, which provides school meals for poor kids.