The EVOLVE BACKPACK, a Backpack for Electric Skateboards – A Review

evolve backpack review

I got the EVOLVE BACKPACK, one of the rare backpacks for electric skateboards in the market

I love electric skateboards!

For someone like me who grew up in the 80’s watching Back to the Future, skateboards that move without pushing is really a dream come true.


Nowadays, I find my self choosing my electric skateboard over my bike to get around the neighborhood.

It’s fast, convenient, and just plain fun!

Acton Blink S white road

acton blink S asahidake acton blink s rishiri fuji acton blink s souyamisaki acton blink s tokyo tower

Get the Electric Skateboard ACTON BLINK S, now at 15% off!!

Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could take the board with me when I go out of town?

To do that, it would be handy if there was a backpack that I could carry my board in when I’m not riding it…

Thus began my search for an electric skateboard backpack.

After hours of online searching, this is what I found…there aren’t many to choose from.

There are hundreds of options for regular skateboards, but only a few for electric skateboards.

Recently, I purchased the Arc’teryx Khamski, for this exact purpose of carrying my electric skateboard on it.

After testing it at home, I wasn’t comfortable trusting the two thin straps to hold the weight of the ACTON BLINK S.

arcteryx khamski acton blink s

To be honest, I also didn’t want the grip tape of the skateboard to scratch up the surface of the backpack.

The backpack cost me more than $400 so I’ve decided to take good care of it!

In the end though, I did find a backpack that looked promising!

evolve backpack with acton blink s

A backpack by evolve, an electric skateboard brand.

And it’s called the EVOLVE BACKPACK!

evolve backpack with skateboard attached

evolve is one of the big players in the electric skateboard market and the backpack looked like it was the real deal judging from the pictures on their website.

The only problem was that I couldn’t find many reviews on it.

What do I do in those situations?

Buy and review of course!

Today, I’ll be reviewing the EVOLVE BACKPACK!!

 

EVOLVE BACKPACK – Review

Design

evolve backpack front nothing attached

The design of the bag is quite unique.

I like it more than I hate it!

It doesn’t feel high-end, but it also doesn’t feel cheap.

The bottom of the bag is reinforced with rubber so it looks like the bag can take some beating.

evolve backpack bottom

For some reason which I can’t understand, the bottom of the bag isn’t completely flat and is at an angle.

This means that the although the bag can stand on it’s own depending on what you put in it, it won’t be as stable as something like the Peak Design Everyday Backpack.

evolve backpack standing up

The print on the surface of the backpack acts as a reflector in the dark.

It’s nice that they thought of skaters’ safety when designing the bag.

evolve backpack reflector

 

Size

The backpack is quite large.

Compared with the other backpacks that I own, it ended up being one of the largest.

backpack collection

It is larger than the Arc’teryx Arro 22 and the Peak Design Everyday Backpack.

According to my measurement,

H 54 cm x W 30 cm x D 17 cm

The bag is structured and the lid opens wide so it is really easy to get stuff in and out of the bag.

evolve backpack front lid

I would say that it is the easiest among the other bags that I currently own.

This advantage turns out to be a disadvantage at the same time, but that will be coming up later on in the review.

 

Pockets

The backpack doesn’t have many pockets but has what you need.

Lets look at the main compartment.

evolve backpack main compartment

There is a sleeve for your laptop.

evolve backpack main compartment pc

It easily fits my 14 inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

The DJI Spark carrying case fits perfectly in the bag.

evolve backpack dji spark case

Even with the laptop and drone in the bag, there is still plenty of space left over so you can fit a lot in this bag.

There is a mesh pocket on the inside of the lid, which would be perfect for your skateboard remote.

evolve backpack lid pocket

There is a zip pocket on the outside of the bag.

evolve backpack front pocket

Access to this pocket is easy, making it perfect for earphones and card cases.

There is a zip pocket on one side of the bag.

evolve backpack side pocket

This pocket is one of a kind.

It looks like it has insulation capabilities!

Other than drinks, I think the pocket would work well with things that you want to access on the fly.

Things like propeller guards I guess.

evolve backpack side pocket propeller guards

On the other side of the bag, you’ll find a mesh pocket that you can use as a drink holder.

evolve backpack drink holder

 

Straps

The straps are wide, which is nice because the bag is going to be heavy with the electric skateboard attached to it.

evolve backpack straps

There’s just one problem.
(I want to be clear that this problem is only applicable for people that have super sloping shoulders like myself)

The straps are placed too far apart from each other.

evolve backpack straps wide apart

This causes the straps to fall off my shoulder when carrying the bag and becomes really stressful.

The straps on the Arc’teryx bags are placed really close to each other.

arcteryx arro 22 straps arcteryx kaminski straps

I have no issues with the straps slipping with these bags.

This is one of the reasons I love Arc’teryx bags.

The straps on the Adidas backpack that I got recently are placed a little apart from each other but I don’t have problems with this bag either.
(By the way, I really like this bag so I’ll be doing a review on it soon)

The Peak Design Everyday Backpack, this is where I start having issues.

peak design everyday backpack straps

It’s still manageable by tightening up the straps.

You can see how the distance between the straps on the EVOLVE BACKPACK is really far apart compared with the other bags.

The wide straps compensate to a certain extent so I can still use the bag.

Nonetheless, the Arc’teryx and Adidas bags feel more comfortable on my back.

The bumps look like they’ll help in keeping your back cool during the hot summer season.

evolve backpack back

The strap adjusters have locking capabilities.

evolve backpack strap adjuster lock evolve backpack strap adjuster

My guess is that they’re there to prevent the length of the straps from changing due to the weight of the load you will be carrying.

 

Skateboard attachment area

Now lets look at where you’ll be attaching your skateboard.

evolve backpack front evolve backpack side evolve backpack back

The skateboard won’t be going on the outside of the bag but rather on the inside, close to where your back will be.

The advantage of this is that the center of gravity will be closer to you and will probably help you when walking around with the heavy load on your back.

To attach the board, you will open the bag up and strap down your skateboard using the two Velcro straps.

evolve backpack lid open evolve backpack board attached

There is a third strap that goes around the truck to prevent the board from sliding down.

The backpack didn’t come with an user’s manual but this is probably how it’s supposed to be used.

After strapping down the board, close up the bag using the zippers on the side and you’re good to go.

evolve backpack lid closed evolve backpack lid zipped evolve backpack skateboard attached

 

What size board can you attach on the EVOLVE BACKPACK?

The ACTON BLINK S that I own is one of the smaller electric skateboards currently in the market.

This is probably the smallest you can go with the EVOLVE BACKPACK.

If your board has a longer wheel base than the ACTON BLINK S, you can probably use it with the bag.

Of course you can use the bag with regular long boards and not just electric ones.

As an FYI, the ACTON BLINK S has a wheel base of 47 cm.

Anything shorter than that, you won’t be able to close the backpack.

evolve backpack with short board evolve backpack short board doesn't fit

 

Likes vs Don’t likes

Things that I like about the EVOLVE BACKPACK

  • mega capacity and easy access to items in the bag
  • I like the way the skateboard attaches to the bag, very stable
  • designed with skateboarders in mind (ex. reflectors)

 

Things that I don’t like about the EVOLVE BACKPACK

  • the straps are placed far apart from each other
  • zippers are tiny
  • can’t use the top handle when the main compartment lid is open

I already mentioned the issues with the straps being far apart from each other so I’ll touch on the last two.

The zippers on the EVOLVE BACKPACK are tiny.

You won’t find such tiny zippers even on regular backpacks.

evolve backpack zippers

The bag is going to be quite heavy when you attach an electric skateboard to it and I am worried how the zippers will hold up with all the weight.

Next is the issue with the top handle placement.

I mentioned that I liked how the front lid opens up wide allowing easy access to the main compartment.

The issue is that the top handle is also attached to the lid.

Because of this, you can’t pick up the bag using the top handle when the lid is wide open.

evolve backpack top handle

With regular backpacks, the top handle is attached to where you can pick up the bag even when the main compartment is open.

My take on this is that due to design restrictions, there was no choice but to put the handle on the lid with the EVOLVE BACKPACK.

evolve backpack top handle placement
I thought this would be a pet peeve in the long run because there will definitely be situations when you want to pick up your bag with the lid open.

 

 

Summary

evolve backpack side with acton blink s

The EVOLVE BACKPACK is designed with a specific purpose, to carry electric skateboards.

Due to the unique nature of this purpose, I kind of understand that certain compromises have to be made when designing the bag.

There is no doubt that the EVOLVE BACKPACK is an important asset considering the limited options currently available in the market for carrying electric skateboards.

I can see the EVOLVE BACKPACK satisfying the needs of many electric skateboarders and long board owners.

Me??

The bag can be quite heavy with an electric skateboard attached to it.

I personally thought it would be quite tough to walk long distances with the load on my back.

For short distances, I can just carry the board with my hand.

So considering my current lifestyle, I won’t be using the bag as much as I thought.

So I’ll probably be selling it soon.

blink s escalator

 

Where can you get the EVOLVE BACKPACK?

I don’t think anyone sells them in Japan now so your best option will be to get it from the evolve website.

One tip to save some shipping cost.

evolve is an Australian company so if you google them, most likely you’ll end up at their Australian website.

Shipping cost to have it shipped directly to Japan is 285AUD and is ridiculously expensive (approximately 25000 yen).

The backpack itself is 149AUD so the shipping cost ends up being more.

There’s a good chance you can save shipping cost by using a transfer service.

I’ve never used a transfer service in Australia and so I didn’t know who I could trust.

So what I ended up doing was, I went to the evolve US site and used a transfer service in the US to ship it over from the US to Japan.

This is what I ended up paying:

That’s 20,823 yen (@111 JPY=1 USD)!

If you decide to use this method, the transfer service that I use has a referral program where you get $5 off your first transaction.

Contact me with your email address to get $5 off your first transaction!

 

 

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