But Does it Travel? Nomatic Bag Review

Hey there family! We are squarely situated in 2019 and in the spirit of what I do around here I wanted to bring you my first bag review of the year! I have yet to find THE bag, so I guess I am a little bit of a bag accumulator.

But here is the thing, I pride myself on minimal packing set ups. I do not really like to carry around a whole bunch of things while I am traveling, especially when I have making more than one stop. With the uptick in airlines that provide a basic economy option, it is important for me to be able to pack less in order to take advantage of that good old cheap fare. Enter the Nomatic 40L travel bag.


What initially caught my eye about this bag is the fact that it is a backpack that does not look like the backpacker’s bag. You know what I mean.

I don’t want to look like this.

A little side note about me: I do my best not to stick out like a sore thumb while I am traveling abroad. I do not want tourist to immediately be all over my person when people look at me; I try my best to blend in. So I attempt to choose bags that allow me that ability to be a little bit more incognegro, if you will. This bag is pretty sleek. It has a minimal waterproof design and converts from backpack to duffle bag in one fluid motion, which is really cool.

The bag began as a Kickstarter and raised over $3M. I did not get my bag through the Kickstarter but through the website on sizale (sale). The bag retails for $249 which is totally nothing to sneeze at when you’re on a budget, like myself. Like I said, I found it on sale and then found a coupon code so I paid about $129 for my bag. But was it worth it?


Some of the features that it boasts are:

  • The size. It is a carry on size bag (21”x19x14)
  • An RFID pocket for credit cards
  • Laptop and Tablet pocket
  • Shoe and underwear compartments
  • Book pocket
  • Sternum Strap 
  • Laundry bag
  • Waterproof water bottle pocket.
  • Comfy handles

This is a cute little line up right? Personally, they had me at water bottle and book pockets. Heck, lets be honest, they had me at pockets. Here are my thoughts about the back after putting it to the test my trip to Kenya.

The Good:

This bag actually has a lot of space! The bag is supposed can handle a 3-7 day trip and I toted it around for a little over a week. The opening for the largest part of the bag is against your bag so it is hard to get into, which I really like. The tablet and laptop pocket are on the other side of that opening flap and they both are padded. The laptop compartment fits a 15” laptop. I was able to carry my 11” MacBook Air, my 8×11 travel journal, and my iPad. I also think I snuck a small book in there. The side pockets are also very useful for organizing things like your cords and passport for easy access. 

The shoe compartment was also a great feature because it separates your shoes from the rest of your clothing. I wear a size 10 in women’s shoes and I fit a pair of sandals and a canvas shoe. 

The Not-So-Good:

It is a really big bag for me. At a statuesque 5’4, this bag goes from shoulder to almost past my butt. While appreciate that this bag does not creep up to my head, I did find it to be a little cumbersome for my small frame. The straps are comfortable and had the padded aerated holes, but that was not the case for the back of the bag. If you’re toting this bag on your back for an extended period of time you will inevitably get sweaty in your back area. 

Big bag, not so big person.

The compartments for shoes, underwear and water bottle were all amazing and thoughtful features but a thing to note is that the compartments extend into the large portion of the bag. This can potentially cut into your overall space inside of the large compartment. I sometimes found that to be a bit of a bother as I arranged my things, but not a dealbreaker. 

The Verdict:

I genuinely like the Nomatic 40L bag. It is a thoughtful design that allows your to easily organize smaller items and it is sleek enough that you look like a savvy traveler. The fact that it goes from backpack to duffel is also really helpful when you are traveling. I think that this is a solid bag for my travel needs although the sheer size does pose a little challenge for my short frame.  My Sharde’ Searches rating is 4 Worlds. 

Love and Light,


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I'm Sharde', I'm Doctor living in Houston! I'm a nerdy jetsetter, Master Packer and personal growth enthusiast. I share my tips, tricks, and soul searching adventures here and on my YouTube channel. I enjoy reading, photography, writing short stories, hanging out at the beach, skin care, and discovering new coffee shops. These days you can usually find me creating new photography projects, shooting with my camera, or planning my next adventure.

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