I bought a Gonex 35L Hiking Backpack. The description says 'Trekking Rucksack for Outdoor Hiking Travel Climbing Camping Mountaineering'. However this backpack has many features of a laptop pack. I would classify it as a hybrid of a hiking pack and a laptop pack. The pack dimensions are about 31cm wide, 54cm high and 18cm deep. Assuming the pack is rectangular (which it isn't), when you multiply those numbers, you get a volume of 30 liters, not 35 liters. The advertised dimensions are 11.02 x 7.97 x 21.26 which is 30.6 liters. So the advertised pack volume is about 17% high. It should be called a 30L pack.

Back view

gonex_35_back gonex_35_bartack gonex_35_pocket

This is a view of the back of the pack. You can see the two thin green bartacks running vertically along the back. The close-up of the bartack shows that although the green webbing is thin, it is sewn robustly to the pack. Also visible is a zipper for the accessory pocket. The interior of the pocket has no features at all; it is simply a pouch.

Pack front


This is the front of the pack, i.e. the part which rests against your back. There are two shoulder straps and a waist belt. The shoulder straps have a sternum strap which can be adjusted vertically and has a orange whistle built in. None of my other laptop packs have a sternum strap. I think this is a pretty useful feature. The shoulder straps are constructed with zig-zagging foam, covered with fabric. This makes the straps light and breathable. It also reduces the padding they provide. The back is padded with lightweight foam and there is a central vertical slot for ventilation. At the top is a somewhat thin but robust carry handle. I think it should be longer and less thin to allow for a better grip.

Pack side


This is the side of the pack. There is a mesh pocket on either side of the pack which could be used to hold a small water bottle. There is a compression strap with a quick release on either side of the pack. There is also some elastic cord attached to one side of the compression strap that could be used to secure a pole to the outside of the pack.

Pack bottom

gonex_35_bottom gonex_35_rain

This is the bottom of the pack. There is a zipper to a compartment which holds a rain cover for the pack. The next picture shows the rain cover covering the pack. It is a nice feature, but a good pack should be reasonably waterproof and not need a cover.

Pack waist belt


This is the pack waist belt. Most laptop packs do not have waist belts, which I think is quite silly. This waist belt is reasonable thick near the pack and includes a pocket with a zipper, suitable for a phone on either side of the belt. This is by far the nicest belt I have seen on a laptop pack. The belt is a bit on the short side, but an extra piece of 1.5" webbing will fix that.

Laptop Sleeve


This is the laptop compartment. The sleeve has no velcro to keep the laptop from slipping up and down. The pack says it will hold a 15.6" laptop. On the gonex website, it doesn't say anything about holding a laptop, but reefers to a hydration bladder holder. There is an access hole at the top of the pack to allow access for a hydration hose.

Accessory compartment


This is the compartment for accessories. At the top is an interior zippered area approximately 6 x 8 inches. There is black webbing with a key holder clip on the end. There are asymmetric dividers and the main compartment area. The pack has less places for accessories than other laptop bags.

Pack Conclusion

Unlike many laptop packs there is a pretty thin and flexible framesheet. This contrasts to all my other laptop packs which have no framesheet at all. There are two gear loops on the bottom and corresponding bungee cords near the top which can be used to hold trekking poles or ice axes. Overall, this is a very nice, simple laptop pack. It is also a decent small hiking pack. It does not have as many compartments as my other laptop packs, but it has a waist belt which is far more important.

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