17/06/2024

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Driibe CITYC 2-in-1 Expandable Backpack

8 min read
Driibe CITYC 2-in-1 Expandable Backpack

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For the modern-day traveler, it can be a struggle to find the perfect backpack that meets all your travel needs. When I came across the Driibe CITYC 2-in-1 Expandable Backpack, I was amazed by how versatile and innovative the backpack is designed.

woman standing on beach with driibe backpack on

Driibe is a travel products company I’ve fallen in love with, and we have a few of their products now, including the 3-in-1 Dakota convertible bag.

So, we’re happy to share another travel bag option, especially for our male readers who may not want the aforementioned purse. 

Unfortunately, the days of carrying just a water bottle, a Lonely Planet guide, a sweater, and point and shoot camera are long gone. 

The modern traveler has so many more packing considerations to factor in, especially as more and more people are dependent on being digitally portable and need to carry more electronics and connectivity.

We were given the travel backpack to Driibe to test and review if we thought it a worthy addition to your travel luggage. 

And we absolutely do! Craig mostly uses this bag, while I stay attached to my Dakota backpack purse. 

In this review, I have shared my honest and personal review of the Driibe CITYC 2-in-1 Expandable Bag, so you can decide whether it’s the right backpack for you.

About Driibe

Before I get into my full review, I want to quickly introduce you to Driibe in case you’re not familiar with the brand.

Driibe was born out of long-term travelers’ frustrations with so many luggage inconveniences and impracticalities. 

The company started in 2018 when its founders realized that there aren’t many bags, travel gear, and clothing designed specifically for travelers on a trip from Switzerland to Sydney. Their first product was the DownUNDER pants, a pant whose length you can adjust as needed.

They have a “+ in 1” product philosophy where all their product lines must be created to preserve the main features and purposes of two or more different products, thus reducing their impact on the environment and bringing greater practicality and convenience to the traveler.

By 2025, they aim to use only recycled materials in their products.

Their mission is to improve the way people travel through smart products that adapt to different situations, help people travel more sustainably by providing clothes and bags crafted with respect for the planet, and for their products to support people in need and help make the world a happier, safer, and healthier place to live.

Not only that but since 2020, they have been donating part of its profits to support victims of domestic violence by donating to shelters and organizations.

And that to me is a company worth supporting!

Quick Answer: What Did I Think?

This expandable Cityc laptop backpack carefully considers the needs of today’s traveller. It’s a product that brings more functionality and comfort than other products on the market. 

Plus with its slimline, modern design, and aesthetics, the bag will look stylish no matter who is wearing it and where. 

Because it’s a compact backpack that also has a large capacity, it’s ideal for digital nomads who are looking for a backpack with enough space for their clothes but also has a compartment for their laptop.

With a maximum volume of 17 liters, you could even use it as a weekend bag, as it has enough space to pack a few t-shirts and essentials. No need for a suitcase!

If you’re keen to get one right now, be sure to use our special coupon code: YTRAVEL10 for 10% off when you purchase via this link!

 CITYC 2-in-1 Expandable Backpack Specifications

  • Normal: 
    • H 39 x W 29 x D 11 cm
    • (H 15.4 “x W 11.4” x D 4.4 “)
  • Expanded: 
    • H 50 x W 29 x D11 cm
    • (H 19.8 “x W 11.4” x D 4.4 “)
  • Laptop pocket dimensions:
    • 38 x 28cm (14.9 “x 11”)
  • Maximum Volume: 17 L
  • Weight: 900g ( 1.98 lbs)
  • Material: Water resistant nylon, recycled polyester (RPET)

Key Benefits and Features of the Driibe Laptop Bag:

The Driibe CITYC 2-in-1 Expandable Backpack is loaded with features that make it a must-have for any traveler. 

Here are a few to love…

Expandable Design

No matter what type of trip you are on, or its duration, there will come a time when you need a bigger or a smaller backpack. 

One of the key benefits and features of this travel bag is its expandable design. When you need extra space, just unzip the bottom to unlock 25% more space in an instant. 

No need for a second bag, you can pack more or less whenever needed. This is perfect for when your children hand you their sweaters to carry and there’s little room left in the bag. Just unzip the bottom and in she goes!

15.6″ Laptop Compartment with Waterproof Padding

Of course, one of the main reasons for purchasing this backpack is the ability to carry your laptop. 

There is a waterproof padded laptop compartment to protect your device from bumps, dirt, and scratches.

I put this to the test on a kayak trip recently. The bag received quite a lot of splash from our intense paddling and everything inside remained dry! I love the versatility of this bag. This waterproofing saves me having to pack too many different types of bags for our outdoor adventures and mobile office needs.

Organized Inside and Out

You’ll be surprised at how much space is actually in this backpack that looks quite streamlined and small. 

Its beauty is in its organized minimalism. 

There are two external elastic pockets, two internal pockets, and a discreet anti-theft pocket making it easy to safely and securely organize and store your items. 

Jacket or Yoga Mat Holder

girl carrying backpack with jacket
The handy jacket holder

As with the Dakota backpack purse, this feature has me wondering why I’ve never seen this on other day packs and backpacks before. It just makes common sense. 

CITYC’s front flap can turn into a handy jacket holder: just open the zippers and slide your jacket or pullover through it.

You can also use this clever pocket to carry your yoga mat or store your documents, smartphone or tablet. It has a hidden pocket feature which is perfect for when you want to hide your documents.

Pockets on Shoulder Straps

woman putting sunglasses into backpack strap pocket
Sunglass pocket on straps

My biggest pet peeve with any kind of laptop bag or day pack is a lack of easy access to things I need to reach quickly and often. For example, my hotel room card or sunglasses. I typically have to wear a front cross-body bag in addition to my backpack for this reason.

Not with this backpack, whether you are right or left-handed, there’s a handy pocket in the straps for you to store those items. 

There are four Elastic Pockets on both Shoulder Straps. They aren’t big enough to hold a smartphone – not a Samsung Galaxy 23 Ultra anyway!

Quick Access Pocket Optimized for Left and Right-Handed Users

woman grabbing something from bag
Love the quick access pocket

Another great feature of the backpack allowing for easy access to commonly used possessions in the front is a discreet, extra-zippered elastic pocket. (It’s the same space where you can hold your jacket.

You don’t have to take the bag all the way off your back. Keep one strap on your shoulder and easily access the pocket from the side. Whether you are left or right-handed, there is a zip to match.

It’s simple, yet well-thought-out designs like this that make a difference.

Elastic Side Pockets

backpack on suitcase with water bottle in pocket

I love backpacks that have side pockets for easy access to water bottles. It also keeps them out of the main compartment in case of any water leaks endangering my laptop!

The expandable backpack has one on either side. You might want to volunteer to hold another person’s water bottle, so you can balance the weight on the bag as it can lean too heavily in one direction with just one full water bottle. 

Padded for Comfort

The bag has also been designed with your comfort in mind giving you padded ergonomic shoulders and a padded back panel. 

High Quality Materials that Reduce Environmental Impact

The backpack is also made from high-quality water-resistant nylon, and recycled polyester, which when compared to virgin polyester, saves 90% of water, and 85% of energy and reduces carbon and sulfur dioxide emissions by 50-65%. 

Machine Washable

Rejoice! You can throw your urban backpack in the washing machine along with your clothes! Now I may actually have a regular backpack washing schedule. 

Luggage Strap

daypack strapped to suitcase
Luggage strap!

Small things make a big difference for a traveler. There is a luggage strap across the back of the backpack which allows you to attach it to your luggage trolley and take the weight off your shoulders. 

Slim, lightweight design

woman wearing backpack looking at view
Looks good on the trail

Before discovering Driibe’s travel bag range, I used our Tortuga Laptop Backpack, which I still love and use!

But it’s bigger at 25L so it’s much bulkier. When I don’t need that much space, I use this Driibe backpack instead.

I love its light and streamlined design, which feels a little classier. The exterior looks elegant and soft, but it has plenty of space on the inside for accessories.

Its classic black/gray color goes with anything. You can also style it up a little with the sand and black 2-in-1 backpack

Pros and Cons of the Driibe CITYC 2-in-1 Expandable Backpack

While by now you’ve realized I really like this backpack and would recommend it to other travellers, every product has its drawbacks.

Below I have listed some of the main benefits and areas of improvement that I found with the CITYC 2-in-1 Expandable Backpack.

Pros

  • Expandable design allows for more storage space
  • Durable and high-quality materials ensure longevity
  • Multi-functional design allows for use as a backpack or briefcase
  • Multiple pockets and compartments for easy organization
  • Comfortable to wear for extended periods of time
  • Sleek and modern design

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other backpacks on the market but quite comparable to other higher-end, quality backpacks like our Tortuga laptop bag. 
  • Some users may find the backpack too bulky when fully expanded.

The Verdict

person putting laptop into bag

The Driibe CITYC 2-in-1 Expandable Backpack is an excellent choice for travelers who need a versatile and durable backpack.

The expandable design allows them to pack more items without having to carry an extra bag, while the high-quality materials ensure that their belongings are protected.

Additionally, the multiple pockets and compartments make it easy to stay organized while traveling.

For a sophisticated female traveler, who needs a bag for multiple purposes, I’d recommend the multipurpose Driibe Dakota bag instead, which I love. 

But I also love having this one that Craig mostly uses. If I’m going into our co-working space in Downtown Raleigh for the day and only need a commuter backpack, this is perfect! I’m so happy we have both of these options in our house.

I love bags that I can use in my everyday life and in my travel life. And that is the Driibe 2-in-1 expandable backpack. 

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