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I’ve owned many backpacks in my travel lifetime. There was the backpack I borrowed for my first Europe trip, the one I bought on sale for my trip to Australia that was still too big and the Osprey I downsized to.
I’ve also reviewed a Timbuk2 Aviator backpack, a more modern style.
But I would get rid of almost all of them in favor of the Outdoor Products Artemis Backpack, which is saying a lot.
This backpack might have been too small for my travels only a few years ago, but I’ve since been able to streamline my packing methods and travel with much less. The Artemis is now my go-to for puddle jumper flights, weekend getaways and even longer trips.
>> Check out the Artemis on Amazon.
One of the most important features of any backpack made for travel is the fit. There are plenty on the market that look good, but don’t fit your body in a way that relieves the weight you’re carrying.
>> Check out our guide for choosing a backpack, or even these mistakes of first-time backpackers.
This backpack has an interior frame for this reason, as well as ergonomic, padded shoulder straps to prevent chafing and a waist belt, along with a chest strap. The straps are easily adjustable and the waist belts have pockets for the items you need to quickly access like your phone, keys or passport.
For a simple backpack, the Outdoor Products Artemis has some quality features. It’s made up of a polyurethene coating on sturdy fabric so it can take a beating. The exterior features an optional webbing add on for extra items, a trekking pole loop, a large front pocket and side pockets for water bottles. There are also compression straps to ensure that everything fits.
On the inside, there’s an interior pocket for a Camelbak hydration system or your laptop. The backpack is top loading, but is designed in a way that makes it easy to access. It curves around the top rather than zipping straight up. An interior panel has a diagram showing you how to pack a backpack correctly and even a packing list for a hike.
The Artemis is arguably one of the smallest backpacks I’ve ever traveled with. It’s 35.8 liters, to be precise, and is smaller than my other 35L labeled backpack, mostly for the different frame, yet holds everything I need. It can easily be carried onto planes, even small, regional planes. If you have to, you can even fit it underneath your seat.
It weighs only 2 pounds (about 900g) completely empty and folds flat for storage. The dimensions are 18.5in x 8.5in x 8.7in and the backpack, like all Outdoor Products, has a lifetime warranty.
And at around $80 USD, this is a very reasonably priced backpack. I recommend the Outdoor Products Artemis for weekend travelers and for ambitious long-term travelers. I hope to use only this backpack for longer trips in the future!
What Fits in This 35L Backpack?
I’ve now used this backpack for a handful of trips, including an overnight camping trip where most space in the bag was taken up by my sleeping bag. I can now say that the bag remains comfortable until about 20 pounds, but by then it may not just be the bag that makes you uncomfortable. This is when you’ll want to adjust the straps so that the load is sitting well on your back.
For my next trip, I packed both professional and casual attire for a conference lasting one week. Here’s what I packed inside:
- Timbuk2 Snoop with camera gear
- laptop (not pictured)
- jewelry bag
- makeup kit
- 4 boxes of business cards
- 1 umbrella
- bag of medicine
- packing cube containing 7 tops and 1 sweater
- packing cube containing 2 pairs of shoes
- packing cube containing 2 bras and 6 pairs of underwear
- packing cube containing 2 pairs of jeans and 1 maxi dress
- an extra denim jacket
What’s not included is my carry on bag, which includes my purse and other immediate essentials, as well as my liquid toiletries and the outfit I’m wearing on the plane. My backpack weighed 20 pounds when all of these items, apart from the few in use, were inside. There’s still room in the bag, meaning it’s not filled entirely to the brim with the seams busting, so I can squeeze it into the overhead bin as needed.
You can see that this bag fits plenty of items in it if you use packing cubes and other methods. When I started adding items to my bag, I placed the items I wouldn’t need immediately at the bottom and built around it depending on size.
I first placed my laptop bag flat against the back of the bag, followed by the Snoop. I then put a packing cube next to it to fill up the bottom.
Then I placed a row of three cubes on top of it in a Tetris-like fashion.
I topped it with the smaller items, like the makeup bag and medicine bag, as well as the denim jacket. Since the zipper is curved, not in a straight line, you have more room to place items on top.
All packed up!
Star Summer says
How waterproof would you say this backpack is?
Caroline Eubanks says
Star, I wouldn’t soak it completely, but it will hold up against light drizzle. I recommend getting a rain cover to go with!
I have that osprey sirrus and love it for longer trips. I was looking for something for day hikes/ one maybe two nighters. The liters for the artemis was throwing me off since it is so close to the sirrus, but looks significantly smaller/ not as long maybe. What are your thoughts?
Hi Caroline, I was just wondering whether you have a post on a packing list for this backpack, or pictures of what you can fit inside this backpack? I am interested in buying this pack (thanks to you!) but I cannot find any other review other than yours and no pics of what fits inside. I am also quite worried about the opening of the pack because it stops less than halfway from the top of the pack. Do you find this troubling in any way? Thank you!
Caroline Eubanks says
It fits way more than it looks. On my last trip, I fit my laptop, 2 large packing cubes, 1 medium packing cube and a shoe bag. I also fit a number of smaller items in there as well.
Thanks Caroline! Good to know regarding the packing cubes!
I thought the hip belt was meant to actually go over your hip bones? the pictures don’t look like that’s where it’s hitting.
Hi Braelyyn- I just double checked and the manufacturer actually lists it as a waist belt, not a hip belt. I’ll update the post to reflect that. It’s more about stability than load bearing, which seems to be more normal for smaller bags.
Metal Rabbit says
I’ve never used a nylon backpack before. How much weight can you put in this backpack without it tearing or breaking something? Considering this for use as urban commute backpack and occasionally carrying things home.