Skyborne Smart Pack PLUS Review: The Smartest Travel Bag on the market?

Orlaigh Magennis
Written By:
Orlaigh Magennis
Last Updated:
December 18, 2023
The Skyborne Smart Pack PLUS is a combat-style backpack with anti-theft features, plenty of organisation, and a large 30L capacity great for business wear.
Skyborne Smart Pack PLUS Review

Searching for your next travel backpack?

You might have heard of the Skyborne Smart Pack Plus and are trying to decide whether or not to get it.

This 30-liter backpack is full of features that are designed to make travel less stressful.

But is it the right bag for you?

How well-built is it really, and what about the comfort level?

In today’s review, I will be talking about the different features, advantages, and disadvantages of this Skyborne Backpack.

Rating: 8.5/10

Let’s go…

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Who exactly is Skyborne?

Skyborne is a Canadian-based brand that started in 2018, and it aims to produce accessible products that make travel stress-free.

They’re known for their smart bags and travel collection, specializing in modern designs and practical features.

Although relatively new, they’ve come up with several incredible products that are superb in function and style.

Skyborne is an accredited BBB corp with an A rating, which means you don’t have to worry about their service quality and production standards.

Skyborne Smart Plus Backpack


Where can you buy the Skyborne Smart Pack Plus?

Skyborne upclose

The best place to buy the Skyborne Smart Pack Plus Backpack is directly on their website.

Get Your Skyborne Smart Pack Plus Here!

They offer free standard shipping and dispatch orders from Markham, Ontario Canada.

Not to mention a 30-day full refund policy, which is perfect if for some reason you end up not liking the bag.

Free exchange is also possible if you receive a faulty product.

Quick overview: Technical Specifications

  • Price: $387.00
  • Weight: 3.2lbs/1.45kg
  • Dimensions:19.4” (49cm) in length, 14.2” (36cm) in width, 9.3” (23.6cm) in depth
  • Materials: Ballistic Nylon/ Leather/ Polyester/Aluminum rubber
  • Color Options: Obsidian Stealth Black
  • Warranty: 10 years 
  • Capacity: 30L
Skyborne Smart Pack Plus review outside walking

Who should get this backpack?

This backpack is for anyone looking for a smart, well-rounded backpack with anti-theft features that they can take travelling. It has a minimalist and effective design; sleek and stylish without being overly flashy.

It’s great for anyone who can appreciate and make use of all the bag’s features, especially considering the price. The Smart Pack Plus also uses strong, waterproof materials. 

This is overall the perfect bag for city life, business trips, and work commuting.

Who should not get this backpack?

This Skyborne backpack is probably not the best for those with an active lifestyle. It doesn’t have specific features to enhance your adventures and hiking trips.

So, if you need an adaptable backpack to accompany you through cities and mountains alike, you might want to consider other options as this one isn’t going to move well through hot days.

Skyborne Smart Pack Plus Backpack Review

At $387 or roughly £314, the Skyborne Smart Pack Plus is not the most affordable backpack on the market.

It’s a modular, all-in-one backpack with a 30L capacity, is carry-on approved, and with a combat-style aesthetic.

Skyborne smart pack plus handle

How well-made is the Smart Pack Plus Backpack?

Skyborne Smart Pack Plus outside reviewing

This backpack is the type that holds its shape no matter if it’s packed or unpacked so that there’s no real bulk even if you’ve packed it to the brim.

It’s great for packing purposes and maintaining the shape of the bag, but could be a minor drawback if you prefer your backpacks with a slim and compact silhouette.

The bag itself is pretty lightweight, though there’s no real flexibility to the structure. 

Skyborne smart pack plus dopp kitt on the bag

This just means double-checking with your airline if you want to take it as a personal item for the seat in front of you—you won’t be able to shove the bag and make those extra inches. But it will fit fine as a carry-on, in over overhead locker.

In terms of style, the Smart Pack Plus reminds me of Herschel backpacks because of all the external clips. It’s just a bit more structured, which means it does make the content feel more protected from the outside world.

The look definitely boils down to personal preference. It’s super sleek and combat-style, but not everyone will enjoy this boxy look and some might find it outdated.

However, I find that the backpack grasps a lot of the older tech features while giving them a modern twist, which is fab.

As far as I can tell, the hardware is premium, especially how taper-tight the sealed aqua YKK zips are and how smooth they run. 

How comfortable is the Smart Pack Plus Backpack?

Back of the Skybourne smart plus backpack outside

I wouldn’t say the padded mesh is overly premium for the price. I think you would expect some sort of memory foam, though this doesn’t take away from the comfort of the bag.

The padding runs into the straps and I can say it feels pretty comfortable overall.

Skyborne smart pack plus Straps

More on the straps: they’re thin and slightly curve to the chest area for even more comfort and adaptability. You can adjust them easily.

The airflow on the back of this bag runs horizontally, which works decently but I prefer it to run down the center for a more even and comfortable breathability.

I feel like this would also allow them to place the padded mesh in more beneficial positions to help with supporting your back. 

For example, the gap on this backpack from the luggage slit exposes the middle of my spine. It would’ve been nice to have support on either side of my spine (I have seen brands do this and still have the luggage slit horizontally).

There’s also a sternum strap that can help distribute the load. It moves up and down smoothly, but it does feel tight on the chest area as there’s not enough material here—I wonder if they designed this with women and those with a chest in mind.

It’s a shame because it has a great dangle-stopper!

All in all, though, I have no major complaints about the comfort of this Skyborne backpack.

What makes the Smart Pack Plus a great backpack?

1. Detachable DOPP kit

skyborne smart plus pack dopp kit

The detachable DOPP kit is the main highlight of this backpack. 

It runs around 8.5” in length and 7” in height when closed, and 18” when opened, and attaches to the bag with two Fidlock magnetic buckles and an optional aluminum G hook.

It opens via two small secure buttons and unfolds nicely. 

skyborne smart plus pack dopp kit closed

This is where you can store all your liquid for faster TSA access, and you can immediately take it to the shower with you when travelling.

There’s also a netted pocket for your non-liquid accessories and knickknacks. It’s a bit rough in texture but is very strong and doesn’t rip easily.

2. Spacious compartments 

skyborne smart plus pack inside the clam shell opening

The main compartment is very spacious and opens at a 90-degree angle for convenient packing and unpacking, but you have the option to make it top-loading should you prefer it.

I love this suitcase-style strap that holds and compresses everything in nicely, which isn’t something you get in a lot of backpacks!

There’s a shoe compartment in the bottom, which is great for keeping the rest of your things clean. However, the interior space is compromised when you do have a pair of shoes here.

This is where you’ll find a separate pocket to store your power bank and connect it to the charging port.

skyborne smart plus pack inside the shoe compartment

Not only is everything functional and well-thought-out, but the blue mesh pocket on the flap side of the bag also adds a nice pop of colour.

Also, when you need to find something from the top, it’s hard to see inside due to all the black, so the splash of blue does help with visibility.

3. Organisation features

skyborne smart plus pack key lash

Diving into the organisational features of this Skyborne bag, there is plenty to explore here.

skyborne smart plus pack  buckles

There’s a side pocket hidden by the exterior material where you can tuck the zips into, and it contains a retractable key lash. The hardware is solid and premium, which works out well given the price.

The pocket itself runs 8” in length and height, and is perfect for storing small items you may need quick access to.

The water bottle compartment hides a smaller pocket that can fit my iPhone 13. You can’t really use this when you have a bottle in, but still a nice detail!

skyborne smart plus pack water bottle testing

I could fit my 500ml bottle comfortably, while the elastics hold it down in place. I also love the fact that you flatten the material into the side of the bag when not in use.

Not to mention a secret pocket where you can keep your cash or passport that’s hidden underneath the luggage slit at the back of this bag.

skyborne smart plus pack secret passport pocket

4. Unique Axis straps

skyborne smart plus pack Back straps

The Axis straps because of the ergonomic comfort and adjustable height.

More than that, there’s a hidden zipper slot where you can store your transit cards, Airpods, or other smaller items.

skyborne smart plus pack sternum straps outside tested

There are some excess straps here too where you can attach things like bike locks, lights, or even keys.

The overall look of the shoulder straps is sleek and simple, with a subtle branding that I think looks quite high-end.

5. Laptop compartment with combination lock

skyborne smart plus pack laptop compartmnet fleece material

The laptop compartment is amazing as it can fit up to a 22-inch laptop.

skyborne smart plus pack laptop compartment

Plus, it’s protected with a combination lock, which isn’t something you see much in a backpack.

skyborne smart plus pack combination lock

This is perfect for ensuring that your tech is doubly secured!

skyborne smart plus pack combination TSA lock

It’s super well-padded, while the material itself is soft and smooth so that it doesn’t scratch your electronics.

In front of the laptop sleeve are some more pockets to keep your accessories and gadgets organized. These work great for notebooks, hard drives, and chargers.

words emoji on strap

6. Waterproof charging port

Finally, the Smart Pack Plus comes with a waterproof charging port, which I love!

You’ll find this right below the TSA lock on the outside of the bag (which, speaking of, is a fantastic anti-theft feature).

The USB port has a flap that looks stylish, especially compared to bulky ports you find on the Siena or Matein bags.

(Admittedly, after a few minutes the flap ended up snapping, so this bit could’ve been made stronger.)

Con of the skyborne smart plus pack

While I personally don’t use this feature much as I just generally don’t charge my power bank often, this could be super useful if you’re always on the go! For instance, in airports, and during long-haul flights.

Is the Skyborne Smart Pack Plus Backpack Waterproof?

Yes, the Skyborne Smart Pack Plus Backpack is waterproof.

It uses Ballistic Nylon, Leather, Polyester, and Aluminium rubber as the main materials. This will help keep your tech and other belongings inside dry even when moving through rain and rough weather conditions.

skyborne smart plus pack  reviewing it ouside

Cons of the Skyborne Smart Pack Plus Backpack 

skyborne smart plus pack testing the backpack outside

While the overall hardware on the Skyborne Smart Pack Plus is well-made and nice, some of them could have been stronger.

One example is the flap on the USB port.

Skyborne extra material

Moreover, it would have been nice for the shoe compartment to not take up too much space on the inside, though I imagine this would make the bag even bulkier.

On that note, while this backpack has a large capacity and packs well, the fact that the box shape is fixed and inflexible makes it less suitable for those with a smaller frame.

It might be a bit bulky for some people and you can easily look “swallowed” by the bag.

Another drawback is that this bag doesn’t feel maximized in terms of comfort and design for use in warmer weather.

This is mainly due to the leather and nylon material which can tend to stick on your skin at higher temperatures.

Skyborne Smart Pack Plus Backpack: Performance over time

skyborne smart plus pack outside on branch

How did I find the Smart Pack Plus Backpack upon first use and over time? I’ve listed my thoughts and impressions below…

First use:

  • The clips and style remind me of the old-school Herschel backpacks
  • Comfortable to wear with great anti-theft features
  • A premium feel and look, with exceptional zips

After 3 weeks:

  • Waterproof, great for rainy days and unexpected weather, but not so great on a hot day as the leather makes you sweaty. It’s NOT BAD compared to some other brands but just something to note
  • The sternum strap is not thought out enough in terms of fitting to and supporting different body types 
  • Overall really comfortable
  • A lot of great features and details. I love the modular style and it’s great for maneuvering through the airport 

Overall verdict: Are Skyborne Bags worth buying?

If you’re here, you’re probably wondering if I think the bag is worth it.

This review boils down to one question:

Should you buy the Skyborne Smart Pack Plus Backpack?

My answer is yes. I can definitely recommend this backpack.

The Smart Pack Plus itself is a fantastic city backpack with excellent anti-theft features, including a TSA lock.

It’s a great carry-on to bring on business trips and for everyday work commute.

If you can make use of these features and advantages, this Skyborne bag is great for you.

Otherwise, I have a few alternatives at the bottom of this post.

Get Your Skyborne Smart Pack Plus Here!

What else does Skyborne sell?


The Slinger fits inside the Smart-Pack which is great for a local carry once you land at your destination. It’s a simple yet functional sling bag with an anti-theft pocket, key clip, water-repellent material, and other great features.

skyborne Slinger

iTravel MINI

The iTravel MINI is a pocket-sized “bag” specifically designed for your passport and a pen. It’s got the perfect pull-and-go tab to reach your passport in seconds without having to dig into your bag when travelling.

It fits into the backside of the Slinger, so you can keep your valuables even safer from theft and closer to you!

Trek Pack Mini Travel Sling

The Trek Pack travel sling boasts 4L of capacity and plenty of organisation in a compact design. With USB-C compatibility, a YKK quick zipper pocket, and three carrying modes, it’s an adaptable sling bag perfect for travel and everyday errands!

Skyborne Smart Pack Plus Alternatives

Are you worried the Skyborne Smart Pack Plus might not be for you? Check out these other alternatives; maybe one of them will suit you better.

Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

This is an affordable and durable option if you also want that smart style and design. It comes with anti-theft features, a USB port, and excellent back support, but is slightly bulkier and not as stylish.

Here’s my full review!

Nomatic 15L Lite Pack

The Nomatic 15L Lite Pack is a higher-end product and doesn’t have smart features, but it is practical, well-structured, simple, and sleek. I’d recommend this one for business purposes and short travels.

Knack Bags Series 2

The Knack Bags Series 2 is the perfect backpack if you want something geared specifically for travel and adventure! It’s expandable up to 39L and has tons of organisation, while still being suitable for work life.

That’s all for my review of the Skyborne Smart Pack Plus.

Have you ever used this bag, or maybe their other products?

Let me know by commenting below!

Meanwhile, check out these other bag reviews:

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Some images courtesy of Deposit Photos.
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