Db Hugger Backpack 30L Black Out Review

Orlaigh Magennis
Written By:
Orlaigh Magennis
Last Updated:
January 8, 2024
Here's my full and honest review of the Db Hugger Backpack, a 30-litre everyday pack with basic features that are ideal for both travel and urban life.
Db Hugger backpack 30l Review

The Hugger Backpack is a streamlined everyday backpack with a 30L capacity and functional, straightforward features.

Whether you’re looking for a new travel gear or a laptop backpack for daily use, this might be the bag for you.

With the sturdiness of a duffel bag, elements of a tote bag, and the range of a backpack, it’s extremely versatile.

But is it really what you need?

Are there downsides to the Hugger Backpack?

Here’s my honest, in-depth review of the Db Hugger Backpack 30L. I will cover points such as:

  • Who I think this backpack is for
  • Highlighted features
  • Cons of the backpack

And more!

Rating: 8.5/10

Let’s start.

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Who is Db Journey?

db hugger 30L outside

Before diving in to the review, here’s a bit about Db Journey.

Founded by a freeski legend and engineer, this is a Norwegian brand that aims to redefine travel gear by creating innovative designs that can make your trips simpler.

Their range includes backpacks, carry-on luggage, ski bags, and various accessories.

Their products have won all sorts of awards and prizes, including multiple ISPO design awards.

I’ll let you read the full story on their website!

But one thing I can say is that I admire their design philosophy, which is based around functionality, simplicity, and low impact on both the environment and community.

They also approach design through the lens of problem-solving, resulting in unique features you can’t find anywhere else.

Not to mention that the company is B corp certified — a plus point in my book.

Where can you buy the Db Hugger Backpack?

Probably the best place to get the Db Hugger Backpack is on their website, as this will give you a limited lifetime warranty.

Lasting for the product’s lifetime of 20 years, the warranty covers everything from faulty zippers, seams, and tears, to broken hooks.

And if you sign up to their newsletter, you’ll also get free shipping and other perks.

Db allows you to return products within a 100-day window, as long as it’s unused, undamaged, and still has all the labels.

A pretty great deal, I’d say!

Db Hugger backpack outside on ground

Overview: Hugger Backpack 30L Specs

  • Price: $229
  • Weight: 1.07 kg
  • Dimensions: 56 X 32 X 24.5 CM
  • Noteworthy Materials: 
  • Color Options: Falu Red, Moss Green, Fogbow Beige, Black Out, Blue Hour
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Capacity: 30L

Who should get this backpack?

The Hugger Backpack is perfect for those wanting a simple backpack but with a unique design.

It’s straightforward with all the basic features of a travel bag, and uses great water-resistant materials. It’s not overwhelmed with organization pockets too, which is great for a simpler experience.

Who should not get this backpack?

Those wanting a bag that has a water bottle compartment, organization and back support. I wouldn’t say the Hugger Backpack is uncomfortable, but there are better options if you’re looking for more padding on the back.

Db Hugger Backpack 30L Backpack Review

outside testing db journey hugger 30L backpack

Much like their Ramverk Backpack, which I’ve already reviewed, there’s a lot of simplicity here — a running theme to their backpacks.

However, simple does not mean boring, as the Hugger Backpack is unique and well-made.

And I love the style of their bags, which is something I personally find appealing.

I believe Db has changed the Hugger design a few times, and what I prefer on the old version is the external loops that can be used to attach headphones on the go.

On the upside, the branding on the newer one is much subtler and thus gives off a more premium feel.

How well-made is the Db Hugger 30L Backpack?

Overall, I’m impressed with the quality and craftsmanship of the Huger 30L Backpack.

The performance is fantastic in terms of materials and build, and I have no issues in these aspects.

materials of the db hugger 30L on outside

This bag is water-resistant and easy-to-clean, thanks to the 100% polyester material.

The zips all run nice and smoothly, with pullers that make zipping and unzipping a breeze.

Zips on the db journey hugger 30L backpack

Plus, the structure of the bag holds itself well while still having some flexibility to it, which is nice when you’re trying to fit it into the overhead compartment in a plane or train.

How comfortable is the Db Hugger 30L Backpack?

db journey backpack hugger 30L inside standing up

In general, I found no issues with the the comfort, although I feel for my own back support I wouldn’t carry this bag for long periods of time.

There’s some padding on the back, but nothing as thick or supportive as on the Ramverk 21L. If you wear thin clothing, you can still feel your laptop on the back.

Again, no complaints here, but the back padding is quite basic and for the price I would expect more.

The straps are thin and also comfortable but nothing exciting.

Back of the db journey hugger backpack 30L

Moreover, for a 30-litre everyday carry, I would’ve also liked a sternum strap, which would be useful for someone travelling or commuting with the bag.

The old version of the Hugger Backpack seems like it has the same style of back support as the Ramverk, which is something I actually appreciate more.

straps on the db hugger 30L backpack

What makes the Db Hugger 30L bag a great backpack?

Build quality and comfort aside, below are some of the most noteworthy features of the Hugger Backpack:

1. Roomy main compartment

The capacity of 30L is more than enough for short trips. I’ve taken the backpack for 5 nights away and it packed up nicely.

The organization itself is pretty minimal but functions well.

inside the db 30L hugger

There are multiple mesh pockets inside to store cables, socks, and other small items.

pockets inside the db hugger 30L

2. Large clamshell opening

In addition to being spacious, the main compartment can open up fully, which I definitely love.

This clamshell opening allows for effortless packing and unpacking.

opening clam shell of the db hugger 30L

For me, this makes the backpack great to use for the gym as it’s so easy to fit in my shoes and other gear.

3. Easy-access top pocket

The top pocket is very easily accessible and separate from the main compartment.

front access pocket on the db journey hugger 30L backpack

Other than giving quick access, this is handy in terms of organizing your belongings.

Inside is a meshed pocket and a key lash, with the pocket being able to fit my passport and iPhone 13.

There’s also a larger space for things like headphones, wallets, or even portable chargers.

top front access pocket on the db 30L hugger backpack

Just be aware this compartment is easily accessible with no anti-theft protection.

4. Separate laptop pocket

On the back of this bag is a dedicated compartment for your laptop, which includes its own zipper and padding for protection.

The fact that it’s a separate pocket means quick access, for example when going through airport security.

side laptop compartment on the db hugger 30L backpack

It can fit up to a 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the bottom of this compartment is well-padded.

One detail I appreciate is a little hood for the zipper to slide into, which ensures added protection from water and other weather elements.

11 inch laptop fitting into the db hugger backpack

5. Db Hook-Up System

This Backpack attaches nicely to Db’s checked in or carry-on luggage, thanks to the hooks on top that connects to the patented Hook-Up System.

If you have the Db Ramverk Carry-on or their other luggage, you can easily have the weight off your shoulders.

Db Hugger 30L backpack hook up system

It’s a brilliant feature that makes for a more enjoyable travel experience.

However, this may not be relevant if this is the only Db product you have.

6. Recycled materials

Finally, the Hugger Backpack is made from mostly eco-conscious and recycled materials.

db hugger laptop compartment

The polyester exterior and lining are verified by the Global Recycled Standard (GRS), which tracks the content of recycled materials in the final backpack.

This addresses issues like social requirements, chemical content and labelling.

Cons of the Db Hugger 30L Backpack

While this backpack is still very comfortable, as I’ve mentioned above, it would be nice to have a bit more padding on the back.

But the main downfall for me is the lack of a water bottle compartment. Whether for travel or gym use, this would’ve been a useful addition.

Other than that, the style here is definitely more stripped back, and this can be a plus point for some people while beeing too minimalist for others.

This is a matter of preference though!

Db Hugger 30L Backpack: Performance over time

Orlaigh outside testing the Db Hugger Backpack 30L

Here are my impressions after using the Hugger Backpack for the first time, and then three weeks later.

First use:

  • Plenty of space to work with, works as a great gym bag 
  • Minimalist but fun design
  • Noticeable lack of back support. Not a problem for everyday use, but would appreciate for when the bag is fully packed

After 3 weeks:

  • I love the design of this bag! It’s straightforward while still having a unique edge
  • No water bottle compartment which was disappointing, but I guess fitting to their minimalist approach and design
  • Maybe some zip tags around the bag for anti-theft purposes would help make the bag feel less exposed 

Overall verdict: Are Db bags worth buying?

No time to read this in-depth review? Don’t worry, I got you!

You’re probably wondering:

Is the Hugger Backpack 30L worth getting?

Overall, I’d say that it probably is.

The Db bags I’ve tried and review thus far have all been impressive, and the Hugger Backpack is no exception.

I enjoyed testing and reviewing this one, and it will be a gym bag for me mainly because it’s convenient in term of space and access.

Some people might think that it’s too basic for the price, and lacking must-have features like specialized back support and a water bottle compartment.

But as I’ve been using this mainly as a gym bag, it’s working out super well so far.

Adventure wise, the Hugger Backpack feels best suited for use in the snow, and it also has that ski vibe to it. This makes sense considering who the founder is, so I can completely appreciate this design and niche because it works well for that!

What else does Db sell?

Ramverk Backpack 21L

For a daily backpack you won’t be using for travel, the Ramverk Backpack can be a great option for you. At 21L, it has all the best features of the Hugger: a separate laptop compartment, quick-access top pocket, clamshell opening, and internal mesh pockets.

db ramverk backpack

Here's a full review of the Ramverk 21L.

Ramverk Carry-on

The Ramverk Front-access Carry-on is also part of the Db Hook-Up System, and this is ideal for longer trips and air travel. It features a unique front access with a pull-up contraption for your laptop, and easy access to your main compartment.

Read my full review of the Db Ramverk Carry-on here.

Ski & snow bags

I can’t recommend any specific ski or snow bag, but Db boasts quite a huge range of products in this line. From backpacks and roller bags, they’re all designed for snow activities.

Db Alternatives

Don’t think the Hugger Backpack is for you? Maybe you’ll find one of these options more fitting…

Knack Bags Series 2 Medium Expandable Backpack

The Series 2 Backpack by Knack Bags offer more organization but is still adaptable. For a 2-in-1 solution, this could be a better alternative.

You can expand it into a spacious travel bag or compress it to a small and more compact backpack for day-to-day use.

Peak Design 30L Travel Backpack

This one offers the same volume and is similar in terms of price point. Featuring a clamshell opening and rugged materials.

The Peak Design Travel Backpack actually comes with expandable side pockets, a sternum strap, and stowable handles.

Okay, that wraps up my review for today.

Have you ever tried the Hugger Backpack 30L?

Or other Db products? What do you think?

Comment below with your thoughts!

Don’t miss some of these other reviews:

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