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ProView – Exped Metro 20

Whether commuting by hike, bike, plane, or bus the Exped Metro 20 pack is the perfect upgrade from traditional messenger bags that can cause poor posture.  Its simple, functional design is timeless, and the unobtrusive colors (light or dark grey) allows your blend into concrete American jungles or the streets of Paris.

Exped Metro 20

Product Description: An urban everyday companion with a tidy, timeless design, Metro is a comfortable and versatile pack for use in the urban jungle. The simple, roll-top main compartment with thermo-formed back panel is made of durable and water-repellent polyester and is environmentally-friendly bluesign-certified.

Offer price: MSRP: $99.00

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (4)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (5)
  • Eco-Friendly
    (4)

Summary

The Exped Metro is a simple, well designed, stylish pack great for commuting regardless of the mode.  The clean design will blend-in in the largest cities, and the Bluesign Certification is the benchmark for sustainable textile manufacturing.  Waterproof zippers and material would make this pack next-level and perfect for the pacific northwest.

Overall
4.6

Pros

  • Simple/clean Swiss design
  • Bluesign Certification
  • Water resistant / durable materials

Cons

  • Zippers and roll-top are not waterproof
  • Limited number of pockets for organization

As a freelance professional photographer, I am constantly packing and repacking, to spend at least half the month on the road.  Shooting assignments is only one part of my job, the other is countless hours at coffee shops, airport terminals, hammocks, or my co-working space — behind a computer doing post-production or building relationship hours.  Being able to travel, commute, and organize the items I need to run the backside portion of my business is essential. 

I live in a small community with only a regional airport, so I was pleasantly surprised when this pack easily fit into the overhead bin of a CRJ200.  Those that have had the pleasure of flying on these small regional jets know the space dilemma, an overhead bin only 7 inches deep means most bags eat all of your legroom.  I get enough anxiety gate checking my carry-on sized pelican case full of camera gear, keeping my leg room free from a bag is an extra treat!  I also used this pack bike commuting from my house to my co-working space in downtown Grand Junction, CO (GJ).  I found that I could easily pack what I need for the day: computer, charger, external hard drive, food, water, jacket, change of clothes. For one particular assignment, the 20L version fit: a 40° 650fill down bag, change of clothes, toiletries, laptop, inflatable pillow, chargers, and other sundries.  Those that are “pack everything” packers may want to consider the 30L, version.  You would be hard-pressed to fit a helmet into the 20L pack if that is of importance to you.   

Performance

Overall the straps and back were comfortable while walking or riding, they carried the standard day items well.  Summers in Grand Junction are hot, 100°+ for like 6-8 weeks — hot.  Though the pack is comfortable, it does not breathe well, but honestly, nothing does when it’s that hot.  While looks and style are a personal taste, I really liked the design of this pack.  It’s simple, clean, and functional; everything you need in a backpack, and nothing you don’t.  I’d feel completely comfortable walking around European cities with a bag, knowing I’m not going to stick out instantly as an American.  The pack comes with a removable waist strap, that I immediately jettisoned since I wasn’t planning on carrying heavy loads (not that 11mm webbing is going to transfer any weight) or doing any high-speed dynamic maneuvers on my town bike (things will have gone drastically wrong at this point, a waist strap isn’t going to make or break anything). 

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Features

The bag features a laptop sleeve that is reasonably padded both externally and internally.  The main compartment has an envelope sleeve that worked well to carry reading materials or organizing papers.  I did not find it’s a problem, but it should be mentioned, this is a top-loading pack, and as with any top-loading pack, it can be hard to find things on the bottom.  There is an outer pocket, with a sub internal pocket.  I would have liked to have more small padded pockets for things like a mouse or hard drives, but I quickly adapted by using padded hard drive cases.  For those of us with blood type = caffeinated, there are two external pockets that can easily hold a 32oz Hydroflask and hot cup of café, or two thermoses of coffee.  The material is reported to be water-resistant.  Being in a regional drought; I did not get a chance to test this aspect.  Given the design, I think this pack will do well in a light rain/drizzle, but I would not trust it keeping my computer dry in a Seattle winter.  The zippers are not waterproof, and water could get in through the roll-top.  The material is durable and has worn well during the testing period.  I appreciated Exped’s nod to the bike commuter community with the removable reflector on the dorsum.  Despite Grand Junction being a bike focused community, cyclists on the roads are still met with resistance, any extra visibility is a nice safety feature.  Other features include: the pack is fully padded, and the interior is a light grey which helps reflect light making the interior brighter and easier to visualize items in. 

Eco-Friendly

The Swiss-made Exped Metro line is Bluesign certified.  Bluesign is a fellow Swiss organization that’s sole focus is the sustainable manufacturing of textiles.   Specifically, Bluesign audits factories and products with an eye to resource consumption, pollution production, and chemical exposure in workers and consumers.  Give Earth some love when you shop!

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The Final Word

The Exped Metro is a simple, well designed, stylish pack great for commuting regardless of the mode.  The clean design will blend-in in the largest cities, and the Bluesign Certification is the benchmark for sustainable textile manufacturing.  Waterproof zippers and material would make this pack next level and perfect for the pacific northwest.

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Find Exped Metro 20 on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
brook-hayer
Brook Hayer

Brook is a Grand Junction, Colorado based professional photographer focusing on the outdoor space.  Brook is a contributor to Rock & Ice and Mountain Flyer magazines.  When not behind the lens, Brook can be found adventuring around the west or climbing in Spanish speaking countries.  You can view Brook’s work at www.brookhayerphotography.com or on Instagram @brookhayer.

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