29th November 2017
Play your cards close to your chest with this clip-on pouch for the front straps of a backpack. Handy when travelling, but at its best when hiking
When the Clakit XL Two-Zipper Travel StrapPack appeared in the TravGear office, we instantly made our minds up about it; it wasn’t going to be used much beyond the review. Big and bulky, it proved too big for our passport, too big for our phone, and rather too over-engineered to hold a boarding pass. So why have we changed our tune since that first impression?
We took the Clakit XL Two-Zipper Travel StrapPack out hiking, that’s why. If you’ve been off-grid lately you’ll probably know that technology has stepped in where soggy maps used to rule; tThe modern hiker meet easy and quick access to a smartphone. That’s exactly where this accessory comes into its own, offering really quick access to a device.
Having easy access to a smartphone while hiking is, we found, the best use for the Clakit XL Two-Zipper Travel StrapPack. However, it’s primarily designed to prevent pickpocketing by keeping travellers’ valuables close to the body for security and convenience. However, it is just too big for that. We understand why; there are two main sections that will each take a six-inch phone, and a further Velcro pouch on the front that just about squeezes-in passport. However, on the back are various heavy-duty straps for attaching to backpack’s chest straps.
It’s the clip that gives the Clakit StrapPack its name. You simply wrap the patented clip around a strap and squeeze to lock. It won’t slip – it’s been tested to 120 mph and up to 25 pounds (that’s 11.3kg) – and you could leave the clip on your backpack if you have more than one StrapPack pounch. It’s easy to use, it’s strong, and it means that the StrapPack can fit to any belt, belt loop or bag strap you can think of. However, if this is mainly going to be used to keep valuables close to the chest while hiking, the chest strap on any backpack will do just as well, meaning the clip isn’t strictly necessary – and nor are all those straps on its back.
Securely holding valuables while travelling is an excellent idea, and the Clakit XL Two-Zipper Travel StrapPack does just that. However, we feel that this XL version for big smartphones is slightly over-designed, leaving it fairly bulky. We would have preferred to see one much slimmer zip pouch that was able to take a phone, passport and anything else in just one main section. That would make it much more appealing to TravGear – it’s just trying to do too much. Having things close to you is great, for safety and convenience, but no-one wants to be unzipping and tearing off Velcro constantly while moving through an airport. However, for hiking with a smartphone, the tough and water resistant Clakit XL Two-Zipper Travel StrapPack proved really useful.