Portal Navigator Hybrid Backpack

Portal are perhaps best known for their work on outdoor living products, including outdoor furniture: with the Navigator Hybrid Backpack they’ve turned their experience with lightweight and waterproof designs to the travel bag market, with interesting results. The first thing to be said about the Navigator Hybrid is that it’s not pretty, with an ugly chunky black-and-gray aesthetic; but this rather utilitarian appearance is a result of Portal’s imaginative design. The Navigator Hybrid is so-called because it’s a hybrid of two bags; a wheeled carry-on backpack and a detachable daypack. The wheeled component of the Navigator Hybrid is more like a trolley case with attached shoulder straps than a true backpack, but it’s sized to serve as carry-on luggage and features (along with the daypack) a number of interior and exterior pockets and carrying handles. It should be noted that on some commercial airlines – particularly the notoriously stingy European budget airlines – you may struggle to get both parts of the Navigator Hybrid on as one person’s carry-on luggage; but if this is the case, the daypack can simply be detached, either to serve as someone else’s carry-on or to sit in the hold. There might be better trolley cases and travel backpacks on the market, but at the low price at which the Navigator retails, it’s hard to imagine finding a better hybrid of the two.

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