Laptop Mag Verdict
The Mancro Travel Backpack looks compact and feels lightweight, but it’s surprisingly roomy inside and equipped with cool features, like water-resistant fabric and a built-in USB port.
Incredibly lightweight and compact
Surprisingly spacious interior
Has a USB port (for use with a power bank)
Multiple fun colors to choose from
Thin fabric with minimal padding
Barely reinforced bottom
Included lock feels pointless
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The Mancro Travel Backpack offers plenty of room for all your belongings, whether you need it for a two-night vacation, a full day of classes, or remote work in a coffee shop. Despite its roomy interior, it’s lightweight and compact, making it an awesome bag for commuters or students who walk a lot. Oh, and it’s less than $30!
We reviewed this fun galaxy design, but if that’s a little too flashy for your taste, there are plenty of other color schemes to choose from. No matter which color you choose, Mancro’s bag is equipped with a built-in USB port so you can plug in your power bank and charge your smartphone or earbuds. With its water-resistant fabric, rain and accidental spills will just roll off instead of soaking in.
This backpack is fitted with neat features at an affordable price, but there are some elements of the bag’s design that were a little disappointing. Read on to find out what’s great about the Mancro Backpack, and what’s not so great.
Mancro Travel Backpack price and availability
Depending on the color scheme you go for, the Mancro Travel Backpack for 15.6-inch laptops ranges in price between $19.99 and $27.99. The Galaxy color we reviewed is $25.99 at the time of writing, the cheapest color is Grey at $19.99, and the most expensive color is Black at $27.99.
If you’re looking for a pop of color, there’s a Yellow option for $25.99 and a Blue option for $26.99. Mancro also offers Crest Blue and Red color schemes as well, but these are currently sold out. Those with larger laptops can opt for the 17.3-inch version of Mancro’s bag, which costs $29.99 whether you opt for the Black, Blue, or Grey model.
Despite boasting an affordable price, the Mancro Backpack is equipped with useful features you sometimes won’t find in an expensive bag. Most notably, it has water-proof fabric that’ll make accidental spills or rain just roll off, a USB port so you can charge your phone while walking, and plenty of well-organized storage space.
Mancro Travel Backpack design
Mancro’s Travel Backpack is made with nylon fabric that’s durable, but doesn’t feel high-quality. The bag’s fabric is roughly textured and a little loud when you run your fingers over it — both qualities that are quite common in nylon backpacks. What’s not as common in more premium bags is how thin the fabric is.
Some sections of the backpack are slightly padded, while other parts feel as thin as a few sheets of paper. In the front zipper pocket, the black liner doesn’t cover the entire inside. Instead, around the zipper, you can see the white backing of the bag’s fabric showing through. Since this is inside the bag, it’s not a design choice that people will see on a regular basis, but it still feels like an odd choice.
The Galaxy color scheme is a fun option, and the colors and clarity of the pattern come through nicely. The patterned fabric is continuous around the entire bag, except for the black accents, like the luggage strap, carrying handle, USB port, and slots on the shoulder straps to hold a headphone cord. All of the external fabric is water-resistant, so when you pour water on it — which I did — you’ll see droplets form and roll around, but they won’t soak into the fabric.
Although the Galaxy color may not be for everyone, the actual style of the bag is simple, yet attractive. The slanted zipper pocket on the front gives the back a stylish edge. The only thing I’m not crazy about design-wise is the black, rubber Mancro logo on the bag’s front. Its stitching is coming out a little bit, and it’s so dark that it just looks like a black rectangle from a distance.
Commuters will love how light this bag is, weighing in at only 1.21 pounds when it’s empty. It’s also relatively compact, measuring 19 x 12.2 x 7 inches. Because the backpack is so light and doesn’t have much padding at the bottom, it needs to be leaned up against something when it’s put down.
Mancro Travel Backpack pockets and organization
Looking at the Mancro Backpack, you wouldn’t think there’s much room inside. It appears compact, and there’s only one main compartment for larger items. When I packed in all my daily-use items for work — two thick spiral planners, my 14-inch laptop, a paperback book, my standing pen bag, and a medium-sized journal — I was surprised to see quite a bit of extra room inside the main compartment.
In the main compartment, there’s a thickly padded laptop sleeve with a velcro strap to keep your laptop in place. There’s a small zipper pocket in the lining across from the laptop sleeve that’s big enough for small items, like your smartphone, wallet, keys, or sunglasses. The rest of this compartment is open storage.
There’s a smaller zipper compartment with a little open storage, and a few built-in slip pockets. The medium-sized slip pocket is big enough to slide in a paperback book or a tablet, with half of it in the pocket and half poking out the top. Two slip slots are perfectly sized for individual pens or pencils, and two are small squares, great for full-size sticky notes or thicker writing utensils.
The zipper pocket on the bag’s front is quite large, but the zipper chain size restricts what you can put inside. The pocket itself could fit a large paperback book, but the zipper chain won’t accommodate items much longer than a modern smartphone.
Mancro’s Travel Backpack has side pockets that can fit large water bottles or umbrellas. The side pockets are made with the same thin fabric as the rest of the bag, which makes larger water bottles fit tightly. If the side pockets were made with stretchy mesh, they’d be more breathable and able to fit around larger items with more ease. One side pocket has a metal, magnetic clasp that can close if you have something shorter to store inside.
Mancro Travel Backpack adjustability and comfort
With its padded mesh shoulder straps, the Mancro Backpack is comfortable to wear for long periods, even if you’re in a sleeveless top. If your bag is packed with heavier items, the overall comfort level goes down because of the bag’s thinly reinforced bottom. All your heavy items sink to the bottom, and the weight isn’t as evenly distributed as it should be.
You can adjust the backpack to be higher or lower on your back by raising or lowering the shoulder straps. To lower the bag, you’d pull up on the plastic strap clips, and to raise the bag, you’d pull on the strap tails. This is usually the only adjustment you’ll see with backpacks, but Mancro has another handy adjustment.
With buckle clasps and adjustable straps above both side pockets, you can cinch the bag. This is helpful if you don’t have that many items in the bag, or if you have heavy items that need a bit of extra support. There’s a strap tail you can pull to cinch the bag tighter. When you need to get your items out of the bag, you can just pinch the buckle to release pressure instantly.
Mancro Travel Backpack special features
This backpack comes with a USB-A port built into the left side. The included cable stays inside the bag, where you can plug in a power bank. Then, you can plug in a USB-A cable to the stationary port on the bag’s left side to charge your phone, earbuds, or any other device while you’re walking without needing to carry your power bank too. There’s no dedicated pocket inside for your power bank, so it’ll be loose in your bag, but the included cable easily reaches the bottom of the bag.
The Mancro Backpack comes with a combination lock that can feed through the two zippers of the main compartment. This is a great add-on in theory, but the lock feels cheap and gummy, especially when rolling the numbers to input the combination. It’d still be easy for someone to swipe the entire bag, and then cut through the lock or break into the bag through the zipper chain later.
Mancro’s Travel Backpack isn’t the absolute best backpack you can buy, but for its incredibly affordable price, it’s a steal. The bag is compact and lightweight, but offers a considerable amount of well-organized space inside. It even has a USB port so you can charge your phone while walking. How is this bag only $26?!
There are downsides, like the minimally reinforced bottom and the thin, crunchy fabric — but Mancro offers additional features to combat these negatives. The heavy-item sag that results from a thinly padded bottom can be lessened with the horizontal, cinchable straps. The fabric may be lower quality, but it’s water-resistant.
If you’re after something simple and affordable, you’ll be happy with the Mancro Backpack and its little bonus features. If you want more in-depth organization or a sturdier backpack, it’ll be smart to splurge on a backpack with a reinforced bottom, thicker fabric, and more compartments.