Attitude Supply is a travel/lifestyle brand, started in Milan, Italy in 2012. They started out producing clothes but designer Michele’s love of travel meant they quickly moved onto packs. Their first carry option, named the ‘Packsack,’ was a simple drawstring design, but Michele’s skills grew, producing a series of ever-more-capable bags. Their newest model, the ATD1 is funding now on Kickstarter. It represents years of testing, development and improvement on those earlier products, intended to be a pack that can work for daily life, travel and the outdoors.
[table id=11 /]
Quality & Comfort
The ATD1 is intended to deal with everything, from a few hours in the office to two-weeks in backpacking hostels, which means the actual load the bag might be carrying can vary severely. The core of the bag’s design allows it to expand and compress its volume by a wide margin, ranging from an upper end of 55L all the way down to a tight, minimal 20L daily carry.
Not fully grasping this, my first impression of the ATD1 was of a floppy, shapeless ball; the pack’s exterior is 500d Cordura, which is much more flexible than heavier fabrics. My first week I ran the bag half-empty, saw it sagging in the middle, not holding a shape. The extra volume came in handy when stopping at the supermarket after work, but most of the time it felt like a hindrance. It wasn’t until after speaking to Michele that I came to appreciate the bag’s compression options. The ATD1 features two compression straps on each side and a generous rolltop baffle – by tightening these right down when packing light I was able to seriously improve my experience with this bag.
In use, the ATD1 did pretty well. The bag wore comfortably over long periods and handled a five-hour hike in the Scottish hills without any complaints. Likewise, in and out of vehicles or busy train stations, the pack was easy to pick up and dash with. The straps are wide and spread over the shoulders nicely, and Attitude Supply have included a pair of load lifters which help keep weight close to the body. I really felt the benefit of these when the bag was full. Again, by making effective use of the compression straps I was usually able to keep the load under control most of the time.
Under really heavy loads I found the ATD1 pulling away from me a bit and I feel that the bag could have done a better job of keeping the weight on my hips. It does come with a removable sternum strap, and Attitude Supply have also teased a belt accessory that may become available in future. In addition, the bag does have a framesheet but which helps in this regard, but is not rigid enough for my preference. I hope that Attitude Supply decide to opt for a thicker, more structured framesheet before the ATD1 goes out in production.
The other aspects of the pack’s construction are all great. There are a few really nice details: the four (one on each side) grab handles are low-profile, well padded, and easy to use. The compression straps all came to me fitted with velcro one-wrap to keep it tidy. External branding is minimal and subtly placed. The Cordura, despite being a lighter variant, is really durable. Attitude Supply have gone with a PU-coating on their fabric, boosting the weather resistance a ton, as well. I love the gold colour of the lining, which makes for a highly visible interior without the garish brightness of an orange or red. The zips, buckles and other hardware are all premium, and the ATD1 comes with a lifetime warranty, meaning I have no concern about its durability whatsoever.
Although the rolltop is a central feature of the ATD1, almost all of my access to the bag’s main compartment was done through a zippered panel, which lets the whole rear of the pack clamshell wide open. When laid open the bag’s contents are easy to access, but the design means that it’s effectively lying on its front, and makes for quite an unstable platform to load in and out of – there have been times when I’ve been glad of the top-load option when spilling my gear all over the table might have been the alternative.
The back panel, which comes away with the straps and frame, sports two stretchy sleeves which are perfect for a laptop and tablet. I ran into a couple of problems trying to use this sleeve for a hydration bladder – my 3L Camelbak was actually too long to fit. Furthermore, the stitched pass-through was too narrow for my bladder’s mouthpiece to fit through; this was a minor inconvenience since it was very easy to route the tube out through the zip opening, but it’s worth noting.
Aside from the rear zip, there’s also a front pocket compartment on the ATD1, accessed by a vertical zip that makes the pocket really easy to get into when the bag is slung across the wearer’s chest. This section is perhaps my favourite thing about the pack – it’s spacious but low profile, and contains further stretch-material pockets and slots for small-item organisation. There’s even a key-leash inside, and I found this a great place to keep loose gear and get at it all quickly.
Finally, there are two side pockets on the ATD1, which can be used for water bottles or other tall items like umbrellas or a camera tripod. The lower compression straps can be unhooked and routed to run over or inside these pockets, which I thought was a neat touch, and give retention to the contents either way. These aren’t my favourite I’ve ever used, but they’re easy to get in and out of, and fairly secure.
The expansion/compression Attitude Supply uses system is very effective. I know that’s not something everyone needs, but is a real advantage when travelling (extra clothes can be packed and unpacked as needed) or for those looking for a true ‘one bag’ solution to all their different needs.
As I said, I love the front organiser pocket on this bag. It’s very usable, giving really good access and preventing the dreaded gear soup that big bags often succumb to.
Everything I want to change about this bag would be done in the rear panel: firstly, I’d make the framesheet just a millimetre or two thicker so that it didn’t flex under a heavy load or bulge outwards when holding a hydration bladder. Second, I’d make the sleeve maybe five centimetres longer, and the passthrough a touch wider, again to work better with my camelbak, and last of all… this is not a unique problem, but the back of this pack could be a lot more breathable. Admittedly all my testing was done in summer, but I found myself getting very sweaty when carrying the ATD1
In the past I’ve seen bags sacrifice features for the sake of versatility, but the ATD1 isn’t one of them. It effectively hit the marks for me to run it as an everyday carry, weekend away and even an outdoor bag. Admittedly, the design still has a few issues and the question remains as to whether it’s better to have one pack for all the tasks, or multiple bags dedicated for each role.
I think the bag’s versatility and its blend between organisation and mobility make the ATD1 a real success for one-bag travellers, but others need to ask if it’s the perfect pack for them.