For those of us who work and travel regularly, finding a good backpack for remote working or digital nomads is like striking gold. The thing is, there are many different bags and backpacks aimed at the business travel crowd – and not all are created equal.
So how does Gomatic stack up?
I’ve been test driving the Gomatic Travel Pack for the past few weeks, so I have had more than enough time to put a solid review of this backpack for remote workers and digital nomads together.
What’s the verdict? Read on for my honest Gomatic Travel Pack review…
Is Gomatic also Nomatic?
You may already be aware of the brand Nomatic and be thinking, Gomatic is a bit close for comfort? Well, actually yes Gomatic is the European branding for established travel backpack makers Nomatic.
So with that being said, you probably know how this review is going to go. After all Nomatic are one of the best known and highly esteemed travel bag makers for the laptop working crowd.
So let’s take a look at the Gomatic Travel Pack.
First impressions of the Gomatic Travel Pack
I’ve used a number of laptop travel bags over the past few years – with varying degrees of longevity and success. Some have lasted just a few trips, others a little longer.
The Gomatic Travel Pack is a 20 litre bag designed as a carry on bag.
It measures 47 cms high x 30 wide by 10 deep, and weighs under 2kgs, coming in at 1.89kgs.
It’s marketed as a travel bag for 2-3 day trips – so how did it fare when I took it on the road?
When I received the Gomatic Travel Pack it’s plain to see that this is a cut above the rest. The material feels premium and there are no parts which look like they might tear or break easily. A good start. Even the bottle carrying pocket on the side snaps shut with a magnetic strip, making it less likely to get caught on door handles (as happened with one of my laptop bags); or for the front compartment fabric to rip (also happened with a well known Swiss branded laptop bag I used to own).
One thing to bear in mind though is that the Gomatic Travel Pack is actually covered by Nomatic/Gomatic’s lifetime guarantee. So if there are defects in the material, then that is covered – however they don’t cover cosmetic damage. I’m guessing that means that if a zip breaks off they won’t cover it, but they will if one of the shoulder straps decides to fail.
Lots of compartments and pockets
Opening the bag up and you realise that there are a lot of pockets and compartments. Like… A LOT.
I’ve counted 22 compartments that I’ve noticed – but then these bags sometimes spring up a few surprises.
Are all of these pockets useful? I mean, sometimes too many compartments confuses things and you end up totally forgetting which compartment your tickets are in. I’ll be honest, this happened to me with the Gomatic Travel Pack – and I’m not to most organised person.
I own another travel backpack for digital nomads, which is also full of random pockets. The difference with the Gomatic Travel Pack is that the compartments open nice and wide and the pockets are actually quite logical in their layout. It’s actually easier to find stuff with this bag, so Gomatic are already winning.
In particular I like the fact that there is a nifty pocket on the top of the bag for your tickets and passport. However this is the one pocket that doesn’t have a lockable zip, so I would be worried about leaving important documents there if I was travelling on public transport somewhere new.
But there is one nice little touch on the Gomatic Travel Pack, which is the expanding main compartment.
Once zipped out the bag offers an extra 10 litres of storage, a total of 30 litres.
Now if you travel a lot you know that 30 litres ain’t much. You’ll have enough space for a few pairs of underpants and socks, a change of t-shirt or two, a light sweater and your gym gear or swimming gear. Yes you can also squeeze in a DSLR (I did with the above mentioned clothing) into the main compartment.
There is also a shoe compartment within the main clothing compartment, which looks nifty. But to be honest, I didn’t use it. It would be ideal for a pair of sliders or flip flops – probably not your stiff brogues.
The other compartments all offer ample storage space for your laptop, charger cables, assorted documents and notepads. I’ll be honest, I like the sunglasses storage case, but it kinda gets in the way of your clothing storage. Also I have a solid sunglasses case already, but it’s a nice touch anyway.
So storage wise, yes the Gomatic is more than adequate – it’s great in fact.
Real world use
For actual travel trips, I’ve used this for an overnight trip and a weekend away. Both times it was perfectly suited to what I needed, with plenty of room for my essentials. However, on both occasions I wasn’t needing to carry much save for a change of clothing, toiletries, the usual cables, a laptop and a few snacks.
In the past I have used another expandable travel backpack to take on a snowboarding trip. Regular readers of this site will know I’m a keen snowboarder… And that sport requires a bit more kit such as goggles, padded trousers/salopettes, gloves, thick socks and, obviously, cold weather clothes.
I did a test pack to see if I would be able to use the Gomatic Travel Pack for a 5 day snowboarding trip – I’m sorry to say it’s a no. Not unless I cram everything in and probably forgo (or just wear) a thick sweater. So it’s unlikely that my Gomatic will be making it to the Alps any time soon. (Check out my latest review of Les Deux Alpes over at our partner site)
But that’s not what it’s for….
What it is made for though is long weekends away or for travelling light. And for that it’s perfect.
As a carry on bag, it’s also absolutely ideal. You could definitely take this as carry on luggage for many of the budget airlines in Europe including EasyJet. The Gomatic doesn’t quite fit into Ryanair’s small cabin bag requirements, but you could probably get away with it on a Eurowings or Vueling flight.
Would I use the Gomatic Travel Pack as a my daily laptop bag? Or for a longer trip?
As a daily laptop bag, yes, absolutely. With so many compartments, if you work on a laptop and you’re in and out of cafes, random coworking spaces or jumping onto public transport, this is a really nice bag to use.
For a longer trip? It depends. If you pack light and you don’t expect to accumulate much stuff then yeah, absolutely. The Gomatic Travel Pack also has zips which can be used with locks, which is a major consideration when travelling regularly (for me at least).
In terms of comfort, this is a very comfortable travel pack, with easily adjustable shoulder straps. The back is padded, the case is very much waterproof and overall I’ve been very comfortable wearing this bag around for a few days.
So we’ve reviewed the Nomatic or Gomatic Travel Pack – and put it through it’s paces. How does it stand up?
I have loved using the Gomatic Travel Pack. It feels like a quality bag, perfect for daily use, and it definitely looks cool too. Despite a few grumbles in this review, I have found it more than adequate for everything I’ve needed it to do.
It also benefits from a suitcase style carry handle, which is useful, as well as the usual backpack straps and top handle. I’ve also found it comfortable to wear, and I’ve not noticed the laptop banging around which happens with my other laptop bag from time to time.
If you’re looking for a carry on travel bag with an expandable compartment, here are our ratings:
Where can I get the Gomatic Travel Pack?
You’ll find Gomatic and Nomatic bags on their website. The Gomatic Travel pack retails at £279 with free shipping.