The Showcase - Review of the Oneplus Explorer Backpack by Elliro

  1. Elliro The Showcase Reviewer Nov 29, 2018

    Elliro, Nov 29, 2018 :

    The Showcase: Explorer Backpack

    Review by @Elliro

    Let's start with the usual disclaimer: OnePlus did send me this backpack for free, but that has not influenced my review in any way. They have not tried to modify, change, or otherwise pervert the spirit of this review. All of the opinions and experiences are my own, unless otherwise stated.

    Hey there! I’m Ellie (Otherwise known as @Elliro) and I was chosen to review this backpack among with nine others. This is the first part of my review. About a week ago I received my OnePlus Explorer backpack, and I’ve used it daily since then. In this first post I’m going to talk about my first impressions, and some of its features. In later posts i’m going to go deeper into what makes this backpack special, and what comes with these special features; both good and bad. As I’m just going to cover first impressions and basic features in this post you might want to wait if you want a more balanced review with pros and cons.

    I'm going to start off with telling you a bit about myself, so you understand my use cases, and can compare them to yours. I'm a high school student in Norway, where winter is settling in. I'm also a huge tech nerd and an artist, so I bring a Macbook and an iPad pro with me to school every day. This means I also have to bring chargers for both of these in addition to my phone's charger. I also bring lunch to school every day, which can take a bit of space. But enough about me: let's bring on the review!


    First Impressions

    The two first things that came into my mind when I first pulled the
    OnePlus Explorer backpack out of the box it came in were "wow this
    feels nice" and "this thing is light!". Made out of water-resistant polyester
    it comes in at just 840g. Might sound like much but this is a stark difference from the much smaller, but somehow heavier backpack I used before. That one was made of leather and thick canvas
    material, while this one uses a more modern and lighter plastic based materials.
    The outside is roughly knit, and seems very durable, while the inside and the
    part that goes toward your back are softer and nicer to touch.


    Of course the first thing I did when I pulled the backpack out of the bag it came in was to start playing with the magnetic Fidlock locking mechanism. It’s really satisfying but not pain free. I had a few problems trying to close it. This problem does arise sometimes, but not often enough to be a major annoyance. Although it certainly was annoying the few times it happened.

    After this I tried to stuff the backpack with all my things, which were in my old backpack. I was too lazy to move them over one by one though, so I just put the whole backpack in the main compartment and to my surprise, it fit! It was only now I realised how big this backpack is. Yes, it’s slim, but it’s also quite tall and wide which gives it an unreasonable amount of room. It almost feels like a TARDIS; bigger on the inside!


    Before we got our backpacks there was some discussion among us in the reviewer squad how waterproof the material was and I set out to find this out. I got a glass of water and laid the backpack out on the dinner table. Then, with utmost care and excruciating precision I upended the whole glass of water on my backpack. When I think back that was probably not the best idea... It was educational though, and I learned that the backpack is pretty waterproof. The fabric actively repels water! After pouring off the water pooled on the backpack it felt slightly damp, but not wet. After a quick wipe with a towel this feeling was gone too. I have not encountered rain yet but I’m certain it will hold up well. Now for cleaning the table...


    These first impressions left me impressed with OnePlus’ efforts, and made me excited to go out and test it the next day. Stay tuned for further posts with more details in a deep dive into the backpacks features.

    Comment below with questions you want answered or features you want covered. I’m also working on a video review, is this something you’d be interested in? Let me know!

    That’s all for now. Until next time!


    Edit: Oh and one more thing! All the pictures in this review were shot on my OnePlus 6, and slightly retouched in Lightroom CC to better reflect the real life colours, and give them a bit more 'pop'.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018

  2. Elliro The Showcase Reviewer Dec 6, 2018

    Stickied Post
    Elliro, Dec 6, 2018 :
    Everyday Usage / Full Review

    In this post I’m going to talk about how the backpack holds up on everyday use, and how it fits with my use case as a student.

    I´ve been using The Explorer backpack every day for over two weeks now, and I’ve learnt a thing or two. I’ll cover all of that here, so this post will be quite lengthy and detail filled. In a couple days my last post will follow where I draw conclusions and ultimately decide whether this is a backpack I would recommend or not.

    I’ve seen a lot of comments in threads about about The Explorer Backpack where there has been a lot of differing comments about the design of the backpack. It’s polarising, but I really dig it. I've seen some people draw comparisons to statues and pop culture characters but this is less visible in real life than in the promo images. The colour of the backpack is definitely unique, and while I do not see much of the green, I can tell that it’s not grey. I really dig the colours in this backpack, and others have commented this as well. I also really dig the little pop of colour in the pull-tab, and although it was less saturated than I thought it would be, I think it’s just perfect.

    I think the best things the design of this backpack has going for it are all the little touches scattered all over. My favourite among these is the lines of the top flap, and how it continues when you open it up. Design touches like this always warm my heart, especially when they’re as well executed as this one.


    Size-wise it makes some interesting choices.

    It’s very slim, but also quite tall and wide. Personally, I prefer this over a longer backpack that I might bump into people with. The slim design makes navigating crowds and small spaces a lot easier. I don’t know about you but I often forget that I am wearing backpacks, and bump into people or things. This never happened to me with this backpack.

    As far as usability goes this backpack has exceeded my expectations in almost every way. It’s lightweight, functional, and stylish. I actually don’t have any big problems with how this backpack has worked in my daily life. That doesn’t mean that there have not been any problems, though. I’ll get to that later.


    The most standout feature this backpack has is probably the magnetic fidlock. It works mostly well, but there are sometimes if you fill the backpack just right you might have a bit harder time closing it. This happens so rarely it's not a big problem, but it does come up from time to time. You'll get used to it so it does become less of s problem over time. That said I definitely do prefer this fidlock over other locking mechanisms, which I do not think would work as well as this one does. My favourite thing about the fidlock is just how easy it is to open and close. Except for the rare times it acts up its wonderfully quick and very satisfying to open and close. I never really felt that it held me back or wasted my time, which I often feel with normal backpack fasteners.

    This backpack has loads of space, and I never had trouble fitting all my stuff. Even when bringing loads of food, the hard case for my headphones, my MacBook and iPad Pro, and all my chargers. I also brought a calculator, a notebook, some pencils and some toner stuff. Despite all of this the backpack never felt cramped. It’s also in scenarios like this the slimness of the backpack shows it’s weak side. I had to carefully think about which objects went at the bottom, and which ones went at the top, because to get to the bottom objects you have to remove whatever is on top of it. This is to be expected though, and is a worthwhile trade off.


    (Sorry for potato quality, blame OnePlus :D)

    I mentioned water resistance in my first impressions, and I have now been so ‘’lucky” as to have gotten some rain. Yay for Norwegian winters! (/s) Anyways, after a while in the rain the fabric of the backpack does start to absorb some water, but this will not get through to the contents of your bag. Your tech is safe from all but the heaviest and longest rain sessions.

    There is one thing I really like about this backpack, and this is still something that surprises me. The build quality is impeccable. I have yet to see a loose seam or anything indicating that the build of this backpack is lacking. This feels more like it’s built by a backpack company than a smartphone company doing merchandise.

    The zippers feel nice, the inside fabric is smooth as velvet, and everything just feels good. I am a fan of leather and more rustic appearances but I actually don’t mind the lack of this here. The weight tradeoff is worth it.


    I find that this backpack holds up to everyday wear and tear pretty well. But scratch resistance is definitely not on par with the slate black version. I leaned up to a rough brick wall the other day, and this gained me a small tear in the fabric. It’s so small it won’t affect the backpack much, but it is visible. The underside of the backpack is the same material and I have no such scratches there, so it might just be a fluke too. I have a bigger tear in the soft fabric the the back of the backpack. This is a soft loopy fabric that I easily can imagine getting caught in places and tearing. Not a major drawback, but I thought I’d mention it.


    I’m not great at natural endings, but that’s all for today. I’ll come back tomorrow with a summary and my conclusions on this backpack. Tell me if there’s anything you’re missing and I’ll try to cover it. See ya!

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018

    madabusd and dalmia09 like this.
  3. YRJ KitKat Nov 29, 2018

    YRJ, Nov 29, 2018 :
    aha! is this a coincidence?
    great review Ellie and yeah you have up your photography game.
    all the best!
    questions coming your way Soon™
    goodluck! ;)

    buntycubal likes this.
  4. YRJ KitKat Nov 29, 2018

    YRJ, Nov 29, 2018 :
    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]
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018

    buntycubal and Elliro like this.
  5. superplus English POC Assistant Head Moderator Nov 29, 2018

    superplus, Nov 29, 2018 :
    Haha, oops, sounds like something I would've done :D Hopefully there wasn't anything precious on the table which got affected :p

    Great read so far and helpful pics!

    Elliro and Cheetosdust like this.
  6. Elliro The Showcase Reviewer Nov 29, 2018

    Elliro, Nov 29, 2018 :
    nah I moved some stuff away for the backpack first [e]1f602[/e]

    superplus likes this.
  7. Seagal_aikikai Honeycomb Dec 3, 2018

    Elliro likes this.
  8. Drewbikscube The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Dec 5, 2018

    Drewbikscube, Dec 5, 2018 :
    Awesome photos and great review! Thanks for sharing!!!

    Elliro likes this.