Newegg

Review: Bolt Backpack from Waterfield Designs

With all of the amazing bags coming out of places like Mission Workshop, Chrome, GORUK, and Waterfield Designs, there’s never been a better time to buy a gear bag. Whether you’re looking for a small bag that can accompany only the essentials, or a bag your inner weekend warrior would love, there’s something for everyone.

The Waterfield Designs Bolt is a product that aims to provide a large enough capacity to fit anything you’d need for the commute to work, including gym clothes, and be small enough to provide hassle-free handling, all while maintaining a classic waxed canvas and leather aesthetic.

COMFORT

The Bolt features back padding, as well as padded shoulder straps to provide comfort during your commute. It’s always important to wear a backpack properly to avoid back strain, but it’s even more important with the Bolt. I found that if I wore it more loosely than I should be (which is, unfortunately, my default), the bottom of the Bolt applied pressure to my lower back, an obvious warning that I was wearing it wrong. However, after cinching it up a bit, the Bolt is extremely comfortable thanks to the dense padding and mesh construction, which allows air flow.

ORGANIZATION

The Bolt’s organizational system is very straightforward. There are two zippers on the top: one for access to the laptop sleeve, and one for access to the main compartment. The laptop sleeve holds 15“ x 10”, which is more than enough for a 15“ Retina MacBook Pro or a Dell XPS 15. Additionally, there’s a 13” x 9“ tablet sleeve that’s capable of holding a 12.9” iPad Pro, Surface Book, or even a 13″ MacBook Air.

The main compartment is large enough to hold books, newspaper, magazines, and the like. There’s also two hand pockets inside the main compartment for quick access items like your computer charger, chapstick, Lightning cable, and more. A key tether allows you to secure your keys inside your Bolt while providing access to them through the main compartment.

The interior of the Bolt is lined with a striking gold polyester, which looks fantastic with the brown waxed canvas.

The front of the Bolt features two additional pockets with leather magnetic closures. These pockets are great for things like pens and cables. Surprisingly, nothing fell out when I turned the Bolt upside down during testing. It helps that the pockets are deep, which can be both a blessing and a curse when trying to find that fountain pen ink cartridge you’re sure you put in there. Above the two front pockets is another zippered pocket, which is great for things like medication, toothpicks, or anything else you may need during weekend trips. Out of all the pockets, I’ve used this one the least since the Bolt has been able to comfortably fit everything I’ve thrown at it so far.

The Bolt maintains a classic look that I’ve come to expect from Waterfield Designs. Made of tan waxed canvas with leather accents that come in Chocolate (dark brown), Grizzly (traditional leather), and black leather options, the Bolt is suitable for office commutes, weekend trips, or even hiking. The great thing about leather is how much better it looks after it ages, and I’m excited to see the evolution of the look of the Bolt as time goes on.

The zippers are lined with a waterproof material, which, in combination with the water resistance of waxed canvas, makes the Bolt a great option for moisture-heavy environments. The only drawback I’ve experienced with the zippers is that they can be difficult to open with just one hand. Instead, one hand stabilizing the bag and the other on the zipper works better. However, I’d take waterproofing over ease of opening any day of the week.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Bolt is another great product from Waterfield Designs. I’ve grown to love their use of leather in their products, as well as the attention to detail they put into each of their bags. I can fit more than enough inside the Bolt to carry with me each day, while still leaving some room in case I need to pick up something from the store on the way home. The Bolt feels like it’ll last ages, and I’m excited to see if it can do so.

You can buy the Bolt on Waterfield Designs’ website for $329.

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