Chris Townsend is a world-leading authority on outdoor gear. In his weekly column, he assesses new innovations and tests exclusive early samples of new kit

Unusual small daypack with zips against your back

RuitBags are designed for urban rather than outdoor travel, their unique feature being that the zipped openings are against your back, protecting them from theft and from objects falling out if the zips aren’t fastened (the latter can happen in the hills!). The latest model, the Crush, could be useful for walkers though, either carried just in a case of an opportunity for a stroll needing a bit of gear or, on overnight trips, as a small pack for side trips or even just carrying valuable articles to the café or bar rather than leaving them in the hut or tent. In your big pack it could double as a stuffsack. And when travelling to a walk it could hold all the items you need to hand.
At 236 grams it’s quite light and packed away it’s quite small. The capacity is given as 10 litres – I think this an underestimate and it’s more like 15 litres. It’s made of ripstop nylon and has padded shoulder straps. There are three zipped compartments. The main one and the small top one are yellow inside, which is excellent as it makes finding items easy. I wish other pack makers would do this. The top pocket is ideal for a smartphone, wallet or similar. The lower compartment is the one into which the pack can be stuffed. As it sits against the lower back I found it most comfortable with clothing inside rather than anything hard or angular. Overall I didn’t notice the zips against my back. As there’s no stiffening the Crush does need packing so that hard objects can’t poke you in the back.
The Crush won’t replace a bigger pack even for day walks but if you want a small secure pack for travel and for when a bigger one isn’t needed it’s worth considering. And I can see the advantage of having the zips against your back in airports and on city streets.