[The Showcase] Explore in V8's Perspective

  1. BobbyV8_ The Showcase Reviewer Nov 29, 2018

    BobbyV8_, Nov 29, 2018 :
    Banner Final.png

    We’ve seen quite a few versions of The LAB where our friends tested and explained us about functionality, performance, pros & cons of mobiles. Now comes a first of it’s kind opportunity for us to review backpack with The Showcase referred to as sibling of The LAB. Thanks to our wonderful community for showing their love by voting us and team who pulled it up.

    A backpack is not as simple as it sounds. Although not stressed much, we use it a lot without even realising how important it is to us. Be it a busy day at work or a fun weekend trip, backpack is our companion.

    OnePlus makes good phones. Their records show us good team in the backpack stream as well. Did they manage to continue the legacy with Explorer Backpack (I’ll call him TEx)? Let’s head to CarLau Stadium where the big game is on.

    Gates open & audience cheer for our centre forward ‘Slate Black’

    Player Final.png

    You're set to go on a very long exploration, can jump to Pros, Cons & Conclusion if you need a quick way out / weak hearted to throttle a V8

    Who is it for?:
    Looking ‘Smart & Simple’ TEx is ready to serve us for college or work & short weekend explorations. Plain design and silent colours blend it in office’s Formal-Casual environment, helps our student hearts to sneak in / out of those boring lectures. Hey peers of all ages, we have a guy who looks funky but ain’t flashy. Carry him around all day long and he’s always ready for a next drive.

    He says - Find me! give it a try
    Desk Explorer.png

    First Impressions:
    Guy with a grievous face who is serious at business. Enough space for our short trip needs. Smart as it’s equipped with the smart FIDLOCK™. Made with CORDURA® classic fabric and lined with Real Dupont™ Kevlar® fiber sewing line.

    We have an adjustable side pocket that can fit in a small water bottle or even an umbrella. Quick access pocket for laptop we’ve seen with Travel Backpack is still at work. Secret pocket - Check. Angry mouth looking (waterproof) zipper to eat wet items or even stationery, power banks, USB sticks and similar goodies in the front.

    It works with the latest Oxygen OS based on Android BagOS Pie and powered by Qualcomm’s NxGendragon 3, 8GB RAM & 64GB Internal storage.. Uh oh excuse me! I’m stuck in the smartphone language 3 compartments, 8 Pockets, 64 Imperial Cups (18 Lts) Volume and weighs 860 gms (when empty).

    Quick unpack:

    After 6T, OnePlus gave us something that doesn’t have a notch. Jack is back, yes you heard me right but this jack is a little bigger to hold a pair of headphones but can hold a small water bottle.

    Logo on centre of forehead, red strap to pull unlock which looks like nose and droopy mouth shaped wet compartment leads us to a grumpy face. Well our designers didn’t see that coming. @Donna L. thanks user imagination for pointing it out.


    As said earlier, TEx has a simple design that blends perfectly in our environment be it Office or a weekend trek camp or that party at local pub we’re going to attend right after office. It’s available in two colours, Morandi Green & Slate Black. Both variants got a decent & cool look, I’ve picked up Slate Black not because Morandi Green isn’t nice but @Trista W. said I can’t have both & I’m a man of blacks.



    Designers focused on safety and got it a single zipper fold over cover that is secured by FIDLOCK™.

    What does this mean and how’s it going to act as a secure layer? A zipper on the left side (while we face it) travels all the way up (L shaped) where it gets closed by a lid on top & then locked securely with magnetic FIDLOCK™ that can be unlocked with a pull. Once opened, inside looks like the gap between two edges of a valley.

    Inside -

    Shoulder straps are easily adjustable but sadly binders to hold extra length we saw on traveller are missing. It’s padded by pearl foam to cushion our shoulders over weight being carried inside comfortably. Mesh allows airflow to keep sweat off meaning no more wet shoulders for your morning meet.

    It has a handle on the top midst of shoulder straps useful to hang it. This is not stiff and hard as seen on the Travel backpack but does it’s job pretty clean.

    Dimensions - 34cm x 13cm x 46.5cm (W x D x H)

    I’ve tested it by splashing some water. First I’ve placed some tissues in the wet compartment, splashed a glass of water and let it untouched for 15 mins before splashing another glass of water. You can also see water droplets rolling down without getting absorbed.

    Result - Tissues didn’t catch moisture unless for droplets on my hands. Water didn’t go in and fabric is dry, however the red pull tag got wet. It was all good except my mom being mad at me for the mess in balcony
    DSC_0085-01.jpeg DSC_0086-01.jpeg DSC_0088-01.jpeg DSC_0091-01.jpeg

    Partitions & Compartments:
    We have a wet compartment with air vents on the left (when we face it) to store an umbrella or for that matter any wet items. Store something wet in an ordinary bag and you’ll regret it when other compartment catches moisture and later even the whole bag stinks. Things get useful when you want to carry a cool drink, wet clothes after a swim or even sweaty stinky gym shirt . With air vents in play there’s no more stinky or wet compartments and it’s a GOAL. Bonus time: Zipper is waterproof.

    Wet Compartment -


    Air Vent -

    Waterproof Zipper -

    Front pocket placed above wet compartment can hold all kinds of small stationery, USB sticks, etc., I stuffed in my Casio calculator into this. Too many items in this pocket shapes out face of TEx.


    Biggest concern for me with the Travel Backpack was “where do I place my water bottle” Explorer has an adjustable side pocket on the right which can fit in a small umbrella or even a water bottle though it can’t accommodate a big one, GOAL again. I tried to push in a 1L bottle but it looks so odd and even slips out when handled without care.

    Fits well -

    Fits perfect -

    Doesn't fit good -

    Laptop compartment is well padded and can fit in a 15 incher. My 13” MacBook Air had ample space to sit and have some chat with it’s charger mate.

    A secret pocket! Shhhh!!! It’s a secret, I’m not going to tell you what’s in it but we have one. This is the handy phone pocket placed between adjustable side pocket and our back which can easily be reached. No phone in pocket while cycling! Well you didn’t drop it half way silly, it’s safe in dedicated secret pocket. Store your passport and it’s still safe in here, what a marvellous tackle.

    Let’s see what and how many/ much I can stuff this explorer with.
    Here you see the stuffed TEx which contains the following

    1. Laptop, Chargers (both mac & 3T)
    2. Nikon bag (can hold camera + 2 lens + cables & charger)
    3. 1 File & 2 books (I later got some stationery in wet compartment)
    4. Clothes bag that came with traveller (2 pairs of clothes, socks, etc)
    5. My cards, wallet, and few travel docs (not shown for some unknown reason)



    Tech used:
    CORDURA® - ONLY FOR SLATE BLACK VERSION. (As per design team, Morandi Green didn’t look good in CORDURA® so they opted a similarly durable fabric)

    CORDURA® classic fabric body feels smooth and nice to hand and can withstand accidental splashes of water and is tear resistant.

    Designed for living and built to last, with high tenacity air jet textured, rugged, strong & water repellent nylon 6,6 filament yarns.
    Source - CORDURA®


    - We’re familiar with these kind of snappers on helmets. Magnetic button locks it in a snap to be quick & easy to use.

    Fasteners featuring the Fidlock combines advantages of two fastening concepts in a completely new way. Strong magnets make them easy to close and secure snap functionality ensures a continuously high locking force.
    Source - FIDLOCK™

    Kevlar® Fiber - Light in Weight, High in Performance.
    Running along top & bottom of shoulder straps is the Real Dupont™ Kevlar® fiber sewing line to ensure strength and to withstand hardships our explorer hearts bring it.

    DuPont™ Kevlar® fibers are used to help clothing, accessories safer and more durable. With five times the strength of steel based on an equal weight basis, it’s the go-to fiber for protective apparel and accessories.
    Source - Dupont™ Kevlar® fiber.

    Pros: 9 - Design, Water repellent fabric, Strong sewing line, Laptop, wet compartment, Waterproof zipper, Adjustable pocket, Lightweight.

    • Simplistic design and calm looking colours make it usable anyday in any environment. Funny face like shape attracts more attention.
    • Whole fabric is water repellant and should be competent enough to survive water splashes & light rains. I haven’t tested it in heavy rains or didn’t throw it into a pool so I can’t comment on that.
    • Lining looks strong enough to hold it in place and all this together gives us a product that’s durable for considerately long time. Shoulder straps are more tough with Kevlar lining (Didn’t torture it in the Red Room though).
    • Laptop compartment at the back is easy to reach, quick, convenient and securely padded. It can fit a 15” though I had tested only with 13” Macbook Air.
    • Wet compartment & air vents are really helpful if we have something wet, but I hardly used it for that purpose in the short duration of my review period. A dedicated wet compartment helps to restrict moisture to itself additionally air vents help it dry quicker.
    • Waterproof zippers on which I can feel a special coating worked as intended. This however is available only for the one on wet compartment
    • Adjustable pockets are comfortable. It now doesn’t have a large pocket to store a small umbrella or a small pocket that can’t hold a water bottle.
    • Luggage pass through at the back makes it easier to place on a trolley & pull. (I don’t use this though)
    • It’s lightweight & is easy to carry around.
    Luggage passthrough

    Cons: 2 - Zipper & Sturdiness

    • Opening the main zipper is not just a pull task. Snap the FIDLOCK™out of it’s place, slide zipper down. Then zipper travels all the way down opening it in full. While this could be helpful in certain scenarios, I don’t find this appealing in daily usage. DSC_0052-01.jpeg DSC_0047-01.jpg
    • Explorer doesn’t stand still for itself on my desk like the Travel backpack usd to. I need to find it a support else it’d disturb me by falling out of place multiple times.
    Could be better: (Not cons)

    • For the word Explorer, I expect it to serve me those weekend treks. Now that it doesn’t have a waist belt, I can’t really feel this good enough for the purpose. But as I pointed out at the beginning this isn’t a rucksack so not a big issue. @Donna L. says they didn’t make it for us to trek.
    • Waterproof zippers are only for the wet compartment and not other compartments / pockets. Having all of them waterproof would have been better.
    • Having more volume can give space for more items inside and be perfect for 2 day trip but this is a result of the design as quoted by our design team.
    • Dupont™ Kevlar® fiber sewing line is used only on top & bottom parts of shoulder straps. Durability increases if opted it as a single sewing line.
    • FIDLOCK™which is being highlighted needs more than an attempt if the bag isn’t stuffed properly at it’s placement. I felt a bit annoyed at times. Key to get it right easily is hit the flap as I did in video.
    • It could’ve been a little longer so that I could throw in my tripod and won’t have to carry extra luggage & space for bigger water bottle would’ve been nice.

    Head on with Travel Backpack:
    Travel backpack is sturdy unlike The Explorer. TEx has advantage in respect of ease to reach, adjustable side pockets, wet compartment, added smart & secure FIDLOCK™, tougher water repellent materials CORDURA® classic fabric & Real Dupont™ Kevlar® fiber sewing line.

    Speaking of CORDURA®,it’s used in traveller as well, but the difference is in materials. Traveller was made of 100% Polyester and has a waterproofing coating while TEx is made of 100% Nylon and is waterproof without any extra coating.


    Things that I felt uncomfortable over Traveller is that lack of sturdiness and way the zipper is opened. Pull, unfold & unzip is somewhat longer than what I’m used to - just unzip all the way down. However Explorer somehow managed to convince me to leave behind Travel Backpack in shelves safe & secure.

    Explorer is a little smaller i.e., 2L less volume than Travel Backpack. Shape of TEx is different from it’s senior. While Traveller is straight and has uniform space from bottom to top, Explorer gets narrow as it goes up. This is the main reason for it losing 2L volume even if dimensions are almost similar.

    Though side pocket looks smaller on the traveller, it can fit in same sized water bottle and still stay calm & unnoticed unlike on the TEx.

    Though not much of a difference, it slightly leans toward everyday usage rather than short trip purposes. Shoulder straps now have Pearl foam instead of regular Memory foam and is little thin, softer & feels cooler.

    Reason - While carrying over all positives from it’s senior it also picked up better and extra reinforcements. Sturdiness & unzip behaviour aren’t enough reasons to hate it. It is sleek and serves my daily purpose without any letdown.


    With it’s Simple design, silent colour, tough CORDURA® skin, strong Dupont™ Kevlar® sewing line, easy to reach & organise compartments, wet compartment with air vents, adjustable side compartment for water bottle, Separate Laptop compartment, padded shoulder straps, waterproof zipper, fold and FIDLOCK™ top The Explorer Backpack is a power packed Smart & Simple companion for our daily backpacking needs. Well our centre forward managed to impress me with 9 - 2.

    While I have good impression on this, price is something that should be considered before picking this grumpy guy. For $99 / ₹4990 it is a good pick, a little less would’ve been better but it’s on you to decide now. Traveller backpack is not on sale anymore and if your question narrows down to “If I should buy TEx or not?” I’ll say you won’t regret spending on it.

    This is a quick & short time review. I will update you (in short) with how I feel & confirm if TEx managed to stay as my daily companion after using it for a week. As of now, I feel this better over the Traveller backpack.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018

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  2. BobbyV8_ The Showcase Reviewer Jan 12, 2019

    Stickied Post
    BobbyV8_, Jan 12, 2019 :
    After using it for a month, I've settled back with my Traveller backpack. Here is why I had to do it

    1. I gave away the Explorer to someone important.
    2. Stability issues as I pointed in my initial review. Explorer backpack keeps falling on it's face and disturbs me during work.
    3. Filling the Explorer tightly pops the FIDLOCK out without pulling the red tag and the purpose is defeated. It also looks like you forgot to snap it in place and dangles as we walk.

    Coming to the quality issues, I have used it roughly and it took quite a bit of abuse but stays intact without any wear and tear. However other reviewer with a Morandi Green reported that the stitches came out.

    As a whole, honestly I vote for the Traveller (which isn't available any longer sadly)

    luxuskamel likes this.
  3. RJBoss The Showcase Reviewer Nov 29, 2018

    RJBoss, Nov 29, 2018 :
    Woah, that's too big bestie. Damn! I wish I could write that long too, but it's amazing! <3
    Well done :)

  4. BobbyV8_ The Showcase Reviewer Nov 29, 2018

    BobbyV8_, Nov 29, 2018 :

    You read it in under 4 mins!!!

  5. Shivang Joshi Starting Point Expert Nov 29, 2018

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  6. RJBoss The Showcase Reviewer Nov 29, 2018

    RJBoss, Nov 29, 2018 :
    When did I even say I read it at all? xD

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  7. meatandy Nougat Nov 29, 2018

    meatandy, Nov 29, 2018 :
    I was kinda disappointed by the volume that the backpack held , it's very good for laptop and some essentials but nothing much larger than that.
    The First backpack better suits my needs.

  8. the_o2 Lollipop Nov 29, 2018

    the_o2, Nov 29, 2018 :
    Wow, you mentioned almost everything, nice to see pros and cons.
    Great job. :):)

    One question, is that calculator is doing for MA+H ;):p;)

  9. BobbyV8_ The Showcase Reviewer Nov 29, 2018

    BobbyV8_, Nov 29, 2018 :
    Though little less, it fits my needs perfectly enough. Of course it's again user preference

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  10. BobbyV8_ The Showcase Reviewer Nov 29, 2018

    BobbyV8_, Nov 29, 2018 :
    Thanks, nah it's for Accounting, I'm against 'Do the MA+H'

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  11. YRJ KitKat Nov 29, 2018

    YRJ, Nov 29, 2018 :
    That's huuuuge!
    You showed everyone how it's done aka The Lab ki Bhadaas nikaalna!
    TBH great review I would not even expect this long review for a phone! Great job
    Go outdoors with the bag and give us some nice sunset shots of the bag in the open
    And now,
    Time for the questions these remain same for all reviewers and the 6th one is the emotional Quotient let's see who surprises me here [e]1f609[/e]
    1.what do you think of the Fidlock?
    2. how long do you think that's gonna hold up against everyday usage?
    3.on a scale of 1-10 how much would you recommend this bag to another person?
    4. which bag do you think(apart from this one) is the immediate substitute in terms of price and quality?
    5.i would love to see the rain cover in action in the full review.
    6.would you part with your beloved current backpack and switch to this ? [Emotional Quotient]
    thanks [e]1f60a[/e]

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  12. Bouncer71 KitKat Nov 29, 2018

    Bouncer71, Nov 29, 2018 :
    Wow... 8O
    Now that's a backpack review...

    I couldn't come up with that much info even for my 12 years old Deuter...

    Great job...! 8D

    What I really miss , also on the Traveler Backpack, is a sternum strap...

  13. BobbyV8_ The Showcase Reviewer Nov 29, 2018

    BobbyV8_, Nov 29, 2018 :

    1. I've answered it already, go through the review.
    2. I can't do carbon dating or whatever, but it should hold on for considerate time to pay back it's price. - Remember it's waterproof, tear resistant and has a strong Kevlar lining.
    3. Look at the pros I've listed and you have your answer
    4. I'm not much into backpack stuff so I can't really suggest something else if not this.
    5. What rain cover are you talking about? There's nothing as such.
    6. You can get the answer in head on with Traveller and the additional note in the closing

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  14. BobbyV8_ The Showcase Reviewer Nov 29, 2018

    BobbyV8_, Nov 29, 2018 :
    Thank you

    I don't miss it but think it'd be nice to have one. However design team had a different plan.

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  15. B_Wrath Lollipop Nov 30, 2018

    B_Wrath, Nov 30, 2018 :
    Well written detailed review! It took me whole of 15 minutes to read the entire thing:p
    Not being a backpack guy and coming up with this! Kudos on the excellent job! :)
    I just got a few of questions.
    1. Is the laptop compartment zipper waterproof? Considering it is exposed? I saw you only mentioned the wet compartment zipper was waterproof. If so, don't you think it is a poorly thought through?
    2. If fully stuffed, does the fidlock work properly or did it take a couple of tries to lock and unlock? I see you mentioned it doesn't work when unevenly stuffed. Did you also mean full capacity?
    3. The inner linings, how much of an abuse can it take? Can it withstand being pierced by keys and sharp edges of books and stationeries?

    And even I'm kind of disappointed with the reduced volume. I just hope it can handle a couple of jeans and few t shirts for a week getaway.

    buntycubal, BobbyV8_ and the_o2 like this.
  16. BobbyV8_ The Showcase Reviewer Nov 30, 2018

    BobbyV8_, Nov 30, 2018 :
    Thank you!

    It's easier to lock it when filled at full capacity
    They're of good quality, I can't answer you exactly on how much abuse it can take as I'm not doing a torture test on it.

    I can do it if you send me your backpack, I'm not going to damage mine :p

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  17. B_Wrath Lollipop Nov 30, 2018

    B_Wrath, Nov 30, 2018 :
    You wish:p
    @RJBoss has two. Let's ask her to donate and sacrifice one in the name of science and experimentation:D:D:D

    And thanks for the answers:)

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  18. RJBoss The Showcase Reviewer Nov 30, 2018

    RJBoss, Nov 30, 2018 :
    I could've had "THREE". And I did give it in a giveaway! Being a fan of Backpacks and not owning two of its only colours, seemed odd to me, lol, hence I own "TWO" now xD

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  19. YRJ KitKat Nov 30, 2018

    YRJ, Nov 30, 2018 :
    yes, I can see that you have answered the questions above but as I said the questions are same for all showcase members hence for uniformity I had posted the questions!
    Regarding the 2nd question I was asking about the fidlock, onto how long it would hold up?
    question 5 my bad I was actually to state, how does the bad perform in rain! but you did answer the questions.
    much thanks
    Yash [e]1f60a[/e]

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  20. BobbyV8_ The Showcase Reviewer Nov 30, 2018

    BobbyV8_, Nov 30, 2018 :
    Still the same, fidlock is not going to take any abuse, so
    It isn't rainy as of now to test, but watersplash video should answer this.

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  21. Plenkske Dutch POC Assistant Head Moderator Nov 30, 2018

    Plenkske, Nov 30, 2018 :
    Awesome huge review and I also enjoyed the comparison with the previous backpack. Well done !

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