miu color lightweight backpack

I thought I graduated from simple little backpacks when I finished high school. Ever since, I’ve been using specialty hydration packs, serious backpacking packs, or at least a fancy laptop-carrying briefcase.

But now I find myself with the smallest, lightest backpack I’ve ever owned – the MIU COLOR Packable Lightweight Backpack.

Normally I would turn down such a product review opportunity. I mean, it’s just a little backpack, what would I even write about?

But then I realized it would make the perfect gym bag for me! And if you go to the gym, you might like it, too!

While it’s not an advanced, high-tech pack for sports, it does have one stand-out feature: it’s extremely lightweight!

Even better, it folds up inside itself, then zips back together in the shape of a small purse.

Here’s what it looked like when it arrived in the mail:

miu color backpack folded

But it unzips, unfolds, and unrolls into a legitimate backpack:

miu color backpack unfolded

The Basics

“Basic” is actually a perfect word to describe this little backpack. It’s a standard design like I carried in grade school – one main compartment and one small compartment.

There is a water bottle pocket on each side; a nice touch!

It has a modern look and comes in blue and green colors, and the bright colors are good for visibility. There are reflective pull-tabs on each side for even greater visibility in low light conditions.

It’s probably the lightest backpack I’ve ever felt. It’s lighter than those little drawstring sacks people carry to the gym!

How do they make it so light? It’s partially the simple design, partially the material. The material is super thin!

It still seems pretty strong though. It’s definitely going to be more durable than I anticipated.

Another feature it has, which was not mentioned in the product description, is some sort of flat internal pocket inside the main compartment. It’s about the size of a wallet, and seems useful, except it doesn’t close with a zipper or Velcro, so it probably won’t hold anything!

The only awkward thing is there’s no shape to the pack. It’s going to conform to the shape of whatever you put in there.

But that also means it folds up easily.

As you saw, it’s packed up in purse form when you buy it. It’s almost totally flat!

When you unzip it, everything falls out and it turns into a decent size pack.

Folding it back up into a purse is easy. Folding it into a perfectly flat purse is more difficult, but hardly challenging.

The transforming mechanism is slick. Everything collapses into itself and folds up into the small front pocket, the zipper flips to the outside, and you zip it shut.

It could be a good pack to carry within a backpacking pack for days you don’t want to carry the full pack.

It’s priced like an accessory. The retail is $29.99, but it’s selling for only $14.99 at Amazon.com. That’s a good deal!

For $30, you could find something from a well-known brand – like this Sea to Summit day pack. But for $15, you’d have to look for something at an REI garage sale (and it would probably be used).

Why I wanted it

I have some duffel bags, but they are all pretty big (too big for normal daily trips to the gym) and the shoulder straps aren’t the best design. I also have a couple little hydration packs that are great outdoors, but not so nice for indoor use. It seems like a waste to use them inside.

For example, I used to use my Deuter hydration pack when going to the indoor climbing gym, but then I’d have to switch stuff around when it’s time to hike, climb, or bike outside. And using a hiking pack with drawstrings and carabiners hanging everywhere on the outside seem out of place and could draw unneeded attention.

That’s a thing of the past though, now that I have this neat little pack!

It has become my dedicated climbing wall backpack. I toss my shoes, harness, and chalk bag in the big compartment. My tape, energy bar, and first aid kit go in the small compartment. And my water bottles go on the outside.

Perfect!

miu color backpack straps

It works

I needed the bag to hold stuff, and it holds everything I wanted it to. Actually, it holds more than it looks capable of holding!

It’s not uncomfortable, despite such thin/light shoulder straps. If you try to overload it, yeah, it probably wouldn’t be comfortable. But with only some gym essentials, you hardly know it’s there.

Just remember that there’s no shape and no back support, so whatever is in the pack will poke into your back. Pack smart and it’s no problem. (Clothes are perfectly fine. Certain other outdoor gear, especially if it’s hard, pointy, or oddly shaped, you might want to think twice.)

The water bottle pockets are excellent; they’re deep and tight.

miu color backpack reflective loops

And those reflective strips, they are actual loops, not just pull-tabs. So you can hook carabiners onto the reflective loops if you need to carry anything extra.

I only have one complaint.

My only nitpicky complaint is that the carry handle for the folded position can get stuck in the zipper and is sort of annoying when opening/closing the small front pocket.

miu color backpack zipped handle

What this bag is NOT

This pack is best thought of as a gym bag. It’s more for transporting items in a car than transporting said items on your back all day.

Going by my guide to choosing a hiking backpack, this doesn’t really fit in anywhere.

It’s definitely not a sturdy pack. It doesn’t have any supportive waist straps to keep it in place so it could shift around if you try to hike or run. And you obviously can’t carry enough for a backpacking trip.

Nor is it suitable for short outdoor adventures like my Deuter hydration pack (that I still love) is designed for.

The lightweight material could tear if exposed to briars, jagger bushes, sharp rocks, etc.

And it’s not waterproof. The “water resistant nylon material” is unlikely to do much good if you’re out in the pouring rain.

You’d want to carry a JerseyBin in there for waterproof capability.

It’s not a bookbag either.

Compared to a Jansport backpack like this, the Miu Color backpack is very different.

It’s just so much lighter that it’s not going to be suitable for carrying stacks of books. (Well, maybe it would be suitable for it, but it would not be ideal.)

miu color backpack filled with Easter eggs

What Fits Inside

If you happen to be hiding eggs for an Easter egg hunt, you can totally wear this pack on your chest and fill it with 96 plastic eggs!

Using it the other 364 days of the year? Here are some examples of what you can fit inside:

For the gym or fitness center
  • Sneakers
  • Shorts and t-shirt
  • Change of socks and underwear
  • Towel
  • Energy bar
  • Deodorant wipe
  • Water bottle
  • Blender bottle

 

For the rock climbing gym
  • Rock climbing shoes
  • Chalk bag
  • Harness
  • A few carabiners
  • Belay device
  • Shorts and t-shirt
  • Energy bar
  • Athletic tape
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Basic first-aid kit
  • Water bottle

 

For travel or vacation
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel and swim trunks
  • Bathroom kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Umbrella

 

If you get creative using both compartments, both water bottle pouches, and some carabiners, you can carry quite a bit with this little thing!

miu color backpack open

My final verdict is…

If you need a simple, lightweight gym bag like I did, this pack is awesome! At $15, it’s about the price of a stuff sack, but much more versatile.

Official website: www.MiuColor.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: MIU COLOR
Product: MIU COLOR Packable Lightweight Backpack
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2015-04-29
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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