Review of Travel Inspira folding backpack

This is an especially well-made and well-designed folding backpack. Weighing just 306g it has a large capacity of 30 litres with a main large compartment measuring 45x30x12cm (max) at its extremeties and a 30cm deep x 28cm wide internal pocket, ideal for a small laptop, netbook or similar. To the front is a useful zipped pouch pocket of 22x20x4cm inside which is a slip-pocket plus a zip-topped mesh pocket ideal for organising small items such as a camera, batteries, memory cards and charger cables which can be quickly found and easily retrieved rather than packing them in the main compartment. An open-topped slip-pocket of 19 x 16cm wide and secured via a webbing strap and click-lock fastener on the front is handy for carrying non-valuable items such as booklets or maps in dry weather. to the sides, mesh pockets of 17x14cm with elasticated tops are perfect for carrying a packaway waterproof jacket and over-trousers. At the top of the backpack is an internal pocket 25x18cm accessed via an external zip - this is the pouch the pack folds into when not in use and is ideally suited to valuables, tickets, passport or other paperwork which needs to be kept secure but easily accessible.

Quality is excellent. It is made from a tough but lightweight rip-stop nylon fabric with colour co-ordinated zips, all of which run smoothly and have extended pulls for ease of use in cold weather with numb fingers. Compression straps to the side are an unexpected bonus and not normally found on a lightweight folding backpack but were very good for compressing my (albeit limited) load and were useful when cycle-camping. Stitching is neat and accurate throughout and the overall finish is nothing short of excellent. For ease of carrying, there is a useful grab-handle to the top.

Unlike other folding backpacks I have used, this has a lightly-padded back which adds to its comfort along with similarly lightly-padded fully-adjustable shoulder straps. It is comfortable to wear, falls to just below my waist (I am 1.76m tall) and is very lightweight. Having tested it in the British spring rain, I can also vouch for it standing up to prolonged drizzle. A torrential heavy shower is pushing it just too far and there is then some rain seepage through the seams and fabric, as I would expect from any backpack but would always advise packing clothing or electronic items in waterproof bags within any bag or backpack.

When not in use or for storage, it will fold into its top pouch in just two minutes as demonstrated in the video. I've just used it for a spring backpacking trip with a lightweight tent (not carried in backpack) and it has performed well in carrying a change of clothes - packaway waterproofs, a compressible jacket, merino baselayers, light merino wool jumper, microfibre towel, camera, Kindle and a few other essentials.

It is the ideal backpack to use for a day out, weekend away, cycling trip or simply for carrying for opportunistic use: it can be carried in another bag to be ready for use to carrying shopping home after work or when out for the day will carry additional clothing then fold away when the clothing is worn. It could also be suitable for occasional school use, particularly school trips, but as it is a light-duty backpack, I wouldn't recommend it for regularly carrying heavy books and folders but, other than this, it's a great backpack for outdoor leisure use.