Knack Bags Series 2 Medium Expandable Backpack Review (Unbiased)

Orlaigh Magennis
Written By:
Orlaigh Magennis
Last Updated:
November 27, 2023
This is an in-depth and honest review of the Series 2 Medium Expandable Knack Pack, an expandable backpack suitable for everyday use, travel, or both.

On the lookout for an everyday daypack that you can travel with?

Today, I’ll be reviewing the Knack Medium Expandable Pack Series 2 and testing various aspects of it.

It’s a solid 24L backpack that can expand to 35L for you travel adventures.

This backpack has a lot to offer with a laptop compartment, clamshell opening, tons of organisation pockets, and a side handle.

Hopefully, this review can help you decide if this Knack Bags product is right for you.

Some of the points we will talk about:

  • Quality and durability
  • What makes it a great backpack
  • Whether it’s worth buying

Let’s get stuck in!

From everyday to carry-on travel bag.

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Who exactly are KNACK BAGS?

Knack Bags is all about creating the ultimate backpack that can do it all.

The company started when its founders wanted to solve the problem of people carrying multiple bags. From laptop bags and gym bags to travel backpacks, just to name a few.

Knack is best known for its versatile backpacks, which vary in size, but they also have sling bags, duffel bags, and all sorts of travel accessories.

series 2 medium expandable knack pack

Where can you buy SERIES 2 KNACK backpacks?

The best place to buy the Series 2 Knack Backpacks is through their official site.

They offer free shipping within the US and frequent free shipping promotions for Canada.

Unfortunately, overseas shipping is currently unavailable, although many customers have used freight forwarders to get their Knack purchases!

The best thing about buying directly from Knack is the no-fuss 30-day trial period. 

You can return your bag for free if for some reason you’re unsatisfied with it by the thirtieth day. No questions asked!

Quick overview: SERIES 2 KNACK BACKPACK specs

  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Unexpanded volume: 24 L
  • Expanded volume: 35 L
  • Unexpanded dimensions: 19" x 12" x 4.5"
  • Expanded dimensions: 19" x 12" x 9"
  • Laptop Pocket Dimensions: 15.75" x 11" x 2" (15-inch laptop)


I have been testing this bag for a couple of weeks now. To have a bag that can reduce the amount of bags I need to take with me is awesome.

The first thing I love about it is the fact it’s like a mini suitcase, thanks to its clamshell opening.

The style being is another main thing I adore about this bag. Overall very modern, compact, and stylish. 

How well-made is the Series 2 Medium Expandable Knack Pack?

For the price of $265, I’m very pleased with the build quality of the Expandable Knack Pack.

The YKK zippers ensure smooth movements, while the microfleece material on top helps protect your valuables. 


The back expandable zipper is accessible through a protective PVC material, which helps keep the bag safe from spillages. However, it can be kind of annoying if you’re in a hurry and gotta fumble about with it… 

back expandable zipper

Knack pays attention to detail in terms of lining the bag with antimicrobial treatment, which will keep the bag smelling fresh!

I also love the removable straps, so you can use the bag as a briefcase instead of a backpack!

The best part is that you can tuck away the straps and have them out of sight.

tuck away straps

This is great in terms of travelling in a more risky area, then you can switch to briefcase mode and have your bag closer to you. 

briefcase mode

How comfortable is the Series 2 Medium Expandable Knack Pack?

While it’s overall very comfortable to wear, the back padding is a bit flimsy in comparison to Stubble & Co’s bag.

You’ll also receive a sternum strap with your purchase, which you can attach and detach as you wish. It’s great to use for travelling as it provides more support!

sternum strap

Moreover, there are handles on the front and side for easy carry. I appreciate this feature as it lets you switch things up as you need.

multiple handles

What makes the Series 2 a great laptop backpack?

1. Excellent organizational function

The Series 2 has three main compartments and a laptop compartment.

The front compartment is an impressive feature if organisation is a priority for you and you like having specific pockets for specific things. Although, I personally don’t use them.

There are dedicated pockets for your passport, wallet, pens, and cards, and a removable key leash. The lining even has RFID blocking, which may come in handy if you have contactless cards.

front compartment

I absolutely love the hidden water bottle pocket, which isn’t something you see in many bags, as I like having all my belongings actually inside my bag. 

BUT some people may think this is a drawback as access is not as quick, it takes up room within the bag, and there’s no escaping if your bottle spills or leaks…

Hidden water bottle compartment

The picture shows a 500ml water bottle, which actually my all-time favorite bottle now, from Super Sparrow.

2. Padded laptop pocket

Another unique feature of this bag is the 15-inch laptop compartment, which has excellent padding and a side zip access.

The bag is extended on the bottom, which gives more protection for our laptop if you ever drop your bag!

My laptop is 11 inches for reference.

3. Large capacity

The main compartment is spacious and not as bogged down with pockets as the front compartment. I actually love this because it gives you more room for clothes and other bulkier items.

There are plenty of surprises in terms of hidden pockets for keeping your important documents and valuables safe. 

hidden pockets

4. Modern and minimalist design

In terms of look and design, this bag is as modern as it gets.

It’s minimalist and classy with neutral color options that you can style with almost any outfit.

There’s a nice stubble detail and engraved zippers too, which is excellent if you don’t want anything over-the-top.

5. Clamshell opening

The clamshell opening is awesome as you can stuff it with travel cubes and pack things much more easily, just like a suitcase.

Clam opening style at the of the bag 

Clamshell opening

You can still open it like a normal backpack for when you’re looking for something quick.

6. All-in-one bag

At the end of the day, the Series 2 Knack Pack is great because it’s versatile.

You can do anything from going to the office or gym to catching a flight straight afterward. It fits overhead and under the seat in front of you on the plane (if unexpanded).

Knack bags waterproof

It’s a great everyday backpack at 24L—not overly big but not tiny either.

That’s what the 35L makes good use of because then it gives you an entire back compartment for clothing, etc.

There’s also a slit to hang over your suitcase, aka a perfect travel companion!

suitcase strap

Performance over time

Initial Usage

The Series 2 Expandable Knack Pack felt super strong and durable at first use. 

The waterproof material makes it adaptable for every weather condition, while the stowable straps allow for a useful briefcase mode.

3 Weeks Usage

When fully expanded, I realized I could fit a lot into it!

This includes a laptop, cables, two dresses, sweats, four tops, socks and underwear, a make-up bag, heeled boot shoes, liquids bags, and even headphones.

However, I didn’t end up using the front organisation pocket much, so I wasn’t able to get the full advantage of the bag.

I absolutely loved using it for hitting the gym and straight to work after. I love being able to stuff all the items I need inside!

use as gym bag

6 Month Review:

  • This remains my top for one of the best all in one travel backpacks
  • The condition remains the same as the materials are easy to clean and maintain
  • Only downfall thus far is the fact that they do not ship internationally, I wish everyone could experience this backpack but fingers crossed this will be coming soon
6 Month review of the Knack Bags Series 2

Cons of the Expandable Knack Pack

One thing I don’t like about this bag is the pattern of the fabric lining inside.

I get that it’s meant to make finding your items easier, but I personally feel sick when I look at it.

The mesh on the front compartment also could have been designed better, as for now it reminds me of a mosquito net…

They say you can add a lock on top for added security, so it would be fab to have that come with the bag. 

Another thing is that when you have the bag fully packed with the expansion closed, it can be quite hard to get your laptop into the fitted slot.

Who should get the Series 2 Medium Expandable Knack Pack?

I’d recommend the Series 2 Medium Expandable backpack if you’re a minimalist traveller. That means: you know how to cut back and not bring your entire wardrobe on a trip!

This bag has actually stopped me from overpacking, which is a good thing.

While the capacity is large and decent enough for backpacking and short weekend getaways, it may not be ideal for longer travels, unless you pair it with a suitcase, then it’s perfect.

Alternatively, you could get the Series 2 Large Expandable Knack Pack.

It can fit a 17-inch laptop, expandable to a whopping 46 litres, and still fit under the seat while unexpanded.

Overall verdict: Are Knack Bags worth buying?

If you’re looking for a quick answer to this important question, then you’re reading the right section.

Should you buy the Series 2 Medium Expandable Knack Pack?

My answer to that is yes!

If you want an all-in-one bag with excellent organisation, this might be it for you.

It may be on the pricier end, but I think it’s well worth it.

Moreover, what I will say about Knack Bags is that their website gives great detail into what you are getting with the bag.

Most brands leave you hanging so you don't always know 100% what it looks like. But Knack shows you every part, which I appreciate because, for its price point, you never want to return a product because it’s not as you expect!

You can get the Knack Bags Series 2 Expandable Bag here.
series 2 medium expandable knack pack review

What else does Knack Bags sell?

Knack offers other fun items too, such as:

Packing cubes

You can maximize the storage inside your Knack Pack with their packing cubes, which are designed specifically for the bag and can save up to 60% of space!

Series 1: Medium Expandable Knack Pack®

The Series 1 is basically its predecessor and has a slightly larger capacity of 27L (expandable to 39L). It’s a great alternative if you want something similar but bigger.

That’s it from me about the Series 2: Medium Expandable Knack Pack®. Have you tried it or any other Knack products?

Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts below!

Here are some more gear reviews you might like:

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Some images courtesy of Deposit Photos.
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