There are heaps of backpacks on the market and they fill every niche under the sun. For a commuter pack however, protecting technology is fast becoming an essential feature. Caleb checked out the heavy-duty Pelican MPB25 backpack.

Speaking from experience, I can confidently say that using a hiking pack for transporting my laptop, phone and other tech accessories can become a costly nightmare. If your pack doesn’t have the right slots and internal protection, your gear can easily get damaged. I had been searching far and wide for a reasonably priced pack that I knew would be comfortable, durable and protect my gear. Luckily the Pelican MPB25 swooped in and I haven’t looked back.

A Bit Of Background

Pelican is a company that prides itself on providing protective, durable and long lasting products to protect your belongings. From Coolers (Eskys or Chilly Bins depending on where you are from) to phone cases, Pelican provide top notch gear for everyday life. They have a history of providing rugged gear for military and scientific expeditions and that technology is now making its way to backpacks and other luggage.

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The Pelican MPB25 is the middle size in the Mobile Protect Backpack range. It holds approximately 25 litres, with 20 and 35 also available. The MPB25 was chosen as it’s about the size of an average day pack. It’s a perfect fit for any adult size, with adjustable shoulder length straps as well as an adjustable sternum (chest) strap. The adjustable sternum strap was a pleasant surprise as it’s not always a feature on this style of backpack. When the pack’s fully loaded the sternum strap helps pull the shoulder straps together and better distribute the weight.

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The comfort isn’t too bad with this pack, but it definitely isn’t ideal for a day-hike where you might find yourself carrying a heavy load on your back for a long duration of time. Due to not having a waist strap, it does lack some support. If you have multiple heavy objects together in the pack like a laptop, water bottle and books, it will put all of the weight on your shoulders, leading to a potentially painful walk.

But if you have a heavy load and are only walking a short distance, like to Uni or work, you’ll be sweet. It does have some padding on the shoulder straps, but it isn’t a huge amount. It’s better for protecting than hauling.

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This is Pelican’s specialty. I cannot fault the pack in any way when it comes to protection and durability. The zips are rubber coated, and the bag is highly water resistant with a DWR finish. That being said, you should always prepare for wet weather and never take a gamble, especially if this pack will be carrying your tech.

You’ll find that the bag may cop a few exterior scratches if you aren’t too careful with it, but in no way will that cut through the bag. The 1000D Nylon outer shell is rough as guts, scratching it up is almost mandatory, like kicking a bit of dirt on brand new shoes.

Likewise the interior of the bag will last a lifetime. The stitching is high quality and all the EVA moulded foam that protects gear from drops (and your back) is secure. Pelican have a lifetime guarantee too, so they’re pretty confident in the construction.

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The MPB25 comes in three understated colours; olive green, grey, and black. The bag is decent when it comes to aesthetics, but won’t necessarily have you jumping out of your seat. That being said, the size looks good on your back, the zips match the bag and the colour composition is something to admire. It’s just subtle.

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Ease of Use

Something I really liked about the Pelican MPB25 backpack right from the get go is that they haven’t sacrificed any space. The pack gives you ample room for your technology and precious belongings whilst ensuring that they will be kept locked in and safe. They have a separate laptop pouch and phone/sunglasses pocket, as well as space for papers/books or any other documents.

There are specific sections for each purpose so it’s easy to know what goes where, making packing and unpacking much easier.

It’s a really well designed backpack which manages to fit 6 external pockets and heaps of paddings into an average size commuter pack, without looking overloaded.

This review was not paid for but the author was allowed to keep the product after the review.

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Pelican MPB25 Backpack
"Our Adventurer Caleb Hindley tries out the Pelican MPB25 Backpack in the hope of finding a bag suited to his adventurous lifestyle and the workweek hustle."
Ease of Use
Has a pocket specially designed for your phone / sunglasses / small valuables
Ideal for the daily commute
Has a small piece of fabric that holds the zip closed
Has elastic that holds your water bottle locked into the side of the bag
Only holds a small water bottle
No waist strap