Its bigger brother passed MobileTechTalk just a few months ago, and it’s already time for a follow-up; the XD Design Bobby Compact backpack. Let’s take a look if it brings the same quality to the table, or even better. Should you buy this one, or is its older brother the better choice? Read on to find out everything.
Disclaimer: Although XD Design did provide me (Jeffrey) with the backpack, they had no influence on the editorial outcome of the review. The backpack has been tested for two weeks carrying smaller items.
- Anti-theft Backpack
- Water Repellent
- USB Charging Port
- Fits laptops up to 14”
- Fits tablets up to 9”
You may see me comparing this backpack to its bigger brother a lot in this review, so bear with me… There will be enough information about the Compact version of the Bobby in this review. Let’s start off with the build quality of this backpack, which certainly has improved from the original Bobby. While the original Bobby backpack felt extremely solid, XD Design opted to use even more high-quality materials for the latest generation.
The fabric used on the sides and top feels even more solidly than it did on the original Bobby, and it shows no signs of wear and tear after weeks of using it, the Diver Blue color does seem to pick up smudges more easily. One wipe later with a wet cloth and you’re ready to go though.
The front of the backpack feels like it’s of a more premium material, but could more easily get damaged. I haven’t seen this in the weeks I’ve used it though, so it may just be a case of the feel but not the actual sturdiness of the material. As it was with the original Bobby, the front is still cut proof, so rest assured that XD Design did their job if we start talking about making a high-quality backpack.
The underside of the backpack is made of the same material that’s being used on the sides and the top, which might sound like a good thing. What I do need to note here is that I don’t know how it holds up on the long-term, especially because of how people put down their backpacks on the floor. The original Bobby used the same material as is being used on the front, which might just be the better solution for underneath the backpack.
The zippers used for this backpack are once again made by YKK, of which I know that they’re able to deliver extremely high-quality zippers. With the Bobby Compact backpack, it’s always a pleasant experience opening the backpack, the sound just gives you the feeling that you’re dealing with some nice and solid zippers.
Its bigger brother is the foundation of the Compact version, so if you really want an all in-depth look on the design, feel free to read it here at the review of the original Bobby backpack.
There are a few slight differences, one of them being the sides and top which are made of a different feeling and looking fabric. I would say that the change is for the better; it gives the backpack a more luxury look and feel.
One other thing that’s different as well are the colors in which the backpack is available. It’s all about funkier and less business focused color options, with the lineup existing out of coralette (pink), diver blue, primrose yellow, and mint green. I went for the diver blue model, and the color complements the backpack very well with the black sides and darker blue front. It’s good to see XD Design walking on a different side of the market, and I’d certainly like to see these colors in their future products. Of course, colors are something you’ll either love or hate, so take it just like you want to.
If you don’t have both backpacks, you of course won’t notice the size difference, but having both backpacks myself I can clearly tell that the Compact backpack is truly… compact. Whilst the original Bobby wasn’t something you could call spacious with just 13L of space, the Bobby Compact gives you even less at just 11L. If you’re a student who needs to take a lot of books with you, this isn’t the backpack for you, I’d instead recommend you to go with its larger brother.
Who is this meant for then? The answer is probably: those who take their (14”) laptop with them on the daily basis with a few papers and other small items. This backpack be really useful for those people, as they don’t have to carry a huge backpack with them while still be able to carry all the things they need. From time to time it truly annoys me that I’m taking something that small with me and I end up taking a huge backpack with me; this easily resolves that issue. I’ve mainly used this for a few books which surprisingly enough fit in the backpack with ease, and though I wouldn’t be able to use this on the daily with school, going to friends with this backpack from time to time shouldn’t be an issue at all.
Of course, I can’t forget the anti-theft feature of the backpack, one of the main unique selling points of the backpack. You may not think it’s actually useful until you get robbed, and that’s exactly what this backpack is trying to prevent from happening. The zippers are located at your back making it virtually impossible for robbers to get inside your backpack, and the cut proof front and sides make that they can’t easily get into it either by cutting open the backpack.
With the original Bobby, I mentioned that the straps got loose extremely easily, and this is something XD-Design did a great job on fixing the issue. They made the straps less smooth, which makes it feel more durable and it makes the backpack actually stay at where they are while running.
At last I’d like to talk about the comfort side of things, and oh boy, I love this backpack. It’s something I loved about the original Bobby and I’ll once again say it about the Bobby backpack. It’s probably the most comfortable backpack I’ve ever had the chance of using.
The original Bobby is a huge success and it deserves every bit of love it gets. With the XD Design Bobby Compact, they improved on the things that were “wrong”, to make what was already a good backpack, even better. Of course, the Bobby Compact is a lot smaller so it’ll be of interested for other people than for who the original Bobby was made for.
For £79.95 on the official XD Design Amazon UK store you get an amazing deal on what is a backpack with many features of its older brother while being just a tad bit smaller. Oh, and don’t forget the tiny and cute mini carrying purse you get with every Bobby Compact, plus the rain cover in the color of the backpack. If you’re going to pick one up, do let me know in the comments below.