The Numinous range of anti theft travel packs are solid backpacks with a serious arsenal of hardy, integrated security features that are designed to make your pack as theft proof as possible. An evolution in design, these packs take the best features of other backpack styles and put them in one neat package. In my opinion it is a great improvement on already pretty good earlier designs.
The Numinous backpacks are available with 55 litre and 65 litre capacities, with a 25 litre daypac and a huge 80 litre wheeled luggage set also available. This review is specifically for the 65 litre pack, although it will be applicable for the 55 litre too if that is more suitable for your size.
The 65 litre pack is small enough to be manageable, and large enough to be suitable for any long term trip.
It is made up of cordura, nylon and kevlar, which makes up part of its unique security features, and weighs 3.5 kg when empty, and has an adjustable back length of 50 – 60 cms, which is essential to get the right fit for your height.
Unfortunately at the moment they only seem to come in grey, but apart from aesthetic value that isn’t a huge concern.
It is definitely a true travel pack, meaning that it is a hybrid between the traditional (for backpackers) top loader hiking backpacks and a suitcase style opening which allows you to pack it like a suitcase with a zip that opens all the way around. It even has suitcase style handles on both the top and side, making it easier to handle and giving you more carrying options. Despite that, this pack leans a lot more toward the backpack in style and design, which is definitely for the better.
Having a suitcase style zip which allows you to open the pack right up (as opposed to traditional top loaders) gives you access to the large bucket style space for all your main kit, a bunch of straps to help keep your gear in place and with a padded lid with various pouches and pockets. In many ways exactly like a traditional suitcase. This makes it a lot easier to find and organise your stuff, especially if you combine the open space with stuff sacks or packing cubes, and is really practical when travelling as opposed to rummaging round in the black hole of a top loader.
What really sets this Numinous travel pack apart, and what leans it over to the side of a traditional backpack, is that as well as the large suitcase style bucket, you also have a large secondary compartment which I am really pleased about. This means that while you are travelling and you want quick access to certain things, you don’t have to open up the entire pack.
The second outer compartment and padded laptop compartment are a great addition and much needed. The compartment’s zips don’t open up very far, which combined with how deep the pocket actually is (which is actually a good thing) means that you may have to reach right down and fumble about for that book you put in there, but that really is a small gripe.
There are also mesh pockets to both sides and a larger mesh pocket on the back, which I found to be a nice added feature. These are really useful for carrying those basics such as water bottles or your sandals that you don’t want to put in your pack but don’t want to carry either. These little attentions to detail may seem superfluous, but they add a lot of versatility and practicality when travelling long term and that scores a lot of brownie points.
Fit and comfort.
The swing toward a more backpack style design has meant that the Numinous backpack feels a little more comfortable on your back, as opposed to carrying a big square suitcase on your back which is a design flaw many suitcase or holdall style travel packs suffer from.
The Numinous pack has a padded lumbar support and airflow system which felt pretty comfortable. To be honest it is not the best airflow system on the market, nor is it the most padded, but it does the job really well and is comfortable for extended periods with some good weight inside the pack which is exactly what you want it to do. The adjustable range really made a difference here as I could make sure that the pack was fitted right for my height and build.
One of the nicer features of the pack is that it has a zip all around the outer edge of the backpack rig for an external cover, which means you can cover up the entire shoulder straps and hip belt, including all of the associated straps, every time you need to check the bag in the hold. This unfortunately means the head rest part of traditional backpacks is gone, but so is the risk of all those straps being wrecked by the check in process! I love this feature! I have to admit it did take me a little minute to figure out exactly what to do with the attached cover when I unzipped it, but soon found the hidden pocket at the bottom of the pack where it folded into.
The security features.
The sheer level of security on offer is what sets the Numinous backpacks apart from most in the market and the whole concept that it sells itself on, and I have to admit I am seriously impressed with them.
First off is the fact that the pack itself is made up of kevlar anti slash technology, with a material that has an impressively high tensile strength to weight ratio. This basically means that you are carrying an ultra light steel case on your back that no one can slash or gain access to your belongings through.
Now there is no point in having an impenetrable pack if the openings aren’t secure. Thankfully that isn’t the case here. The zips themselves are even made with anti puncture technology, which stops the old trick where thieves would puncture a closed zip with a pen or knife and the simply rip open the zip.
Apart from being puncture proof, the heavy duty zips form part of the heavy duty TSA approved travel packs. These awesome attached locks remove any need for padlocks or keys, and are TSA approved so there is no need for the overzealous TSA to literally wreck your stuff if they ever decide they want a peek inside. You simply close the zip, take the two zippers, clip them into the lock and set it with your own personal code. The lock is a little fiddly at first to get both zippers in at the same time, but once you have done it a few times it becomes a lot easier and more practiced. These locks are on both the main compartment and the front pocket and laptop case
And that isn’t all! When you mention to other travellers about a theft proof backpack, someone always says ‘well what if someone steals the whole pack? As if Numinous didn’t think of that!
The retractable combination wire locks are what really makes these Numinous packs relatively unique and infinitely practical. These are integrated wire cables that you can pull out to secure the pack to any fixed surface. I have used other cable locks and pacsafes to do the same job since I started backpacking over a decade ago, and I think it is absolutely genius to have it integrated into the pack itself! I can’t believe this hasn’t become commonplace before now! All you have to do is pull out the cable from one of the integrated combination locks on one side of your pack, pull it around something secure, then put the cable into the lock on the other side. Easy!
And one final thing I like is that when carrying the pack, all of these security features aren’t instantly and glaringly obvious thanks to the pouches and covers that are used as a design feature to hide them! Very clever move.
Seriously, this is the fort knox of backpacks!
Overall the Numinous travel pack is a seriously impressive piece of kit with a lot of useful features which will serve a lot of backpackers well on their gap year. The security features are above and beyond, and raises the bar significantly in terms of quality and value, putting it above and beyond many other choices for the security conscious backpacker in the price range.
Ready to buy? You can purchase a Numinous anti theft travel pack here.
This review was possible with a product supplied by Numinous. The views and opinions expressed are the authors own and are honest and factual without any bias. No incentives are ever accepted in return for positive coverage, and in the instances where assistance has been given by travel industry professionals and services, full editorial integrity is maintained and all reviews will remain honest and forthright.