A great travel companion for short trips.
A couple of years ago, I went to CES for the first time. It was a long trip — 7 days and I wasn’t sure what to expect for my packing needs. As a result, I overpacked. I had a full size (27-inch) rolling suitcase that was filled to the rim and weighed over 60 pounds. I was fortunate that it wasn’t overweight for my flight, but when I got home I realized just how much stuff I didn’t need. The following year, I tried to be more conservative with my packing and while I did better, I still missed the mark and had more than I needed. One thing I discovered with these two adventures was that the proper baggage can really make or break the trip and you should always begin with the end in mind. Figure out what type of trip you are taking and select the proper baggage for it. With CES, it was a week-long excursion so I needed to be prepared. But for smaller, one or two night trips something a bit more simple can work much better. The Slicks Backpack Travel System is ideal for overnight jaunts and weekend excursions.
You just need one bag that is modular, multifunctional & transformable to meet the demands of your changing travel needs, be it your daily commute, leisure getaways or business trips.
SLICKS is designed to be a modular system for travel luggage. The thought behind it that users could utilize one bag for all purposes. You start with the base backpack and then add accessories to it. There are four options that SLICKS provides based off of use. Each configuration includes a rain cover. It starts with the PACK, which is just the backpack. Then, the step up from there is the SUIT, which includes the PACK plus the Suitcover. The third configuration is the TRIP, which includes the PACK plus the Tripcover, Shirtcover, Laundrybag, and Washbag. And finally, there is the BIZ, which includes the PACK and the Suitcover, Tripcover, Shirtcover, Laundrybag, and Washbag. Each accessory is intended to expand the function of the PACK.
The PACK’s dimensions are 20.5 x 12.6 x 7.9 inches and it has a capacity of 30 liters. Completely empty, the BIZ configuration, which includes all the accessories weighs in at 6.38 pounds. While there isn’t a whole lot of information available about what the SLICKS luggage is made from my best guess is that the exterior of the PACK is made from a water resistant nylon and most of the internal components are made from a more flexible nylon. The PACK has a semi-hard shell on the front with a nicely padded back panel. There are two color choices (yellow or black) and each one has reflective material on it.
There are multiple pockets and compartments to use with the PACK alone, but they are a little nontraditional in style. For example, there is a sleeve/pocket for a laptop on the outside, but it doesn’t include much padding. So, while it’s easy to slip your laptop inside, it doesn’t seem to be contoured properly for a piece of computer equipment. This can easily be remedied by adding a laptop sleeve. SLICKS does include detailed illustrations on how best to use the modular system for travel, which was very helpful as I was testing this out.
As it turns out, I ended up having a perfect use test for my SLICKS system. Not long after the backpack arrived, my family and I took a short overnight trip to visit out of town family. The trip was planned for only a one night stay, but there were activities like swimming and a cookout planned, which meant I had to be prepared for those circumstances. So, I got the PACK out along with all the accessories. I packed my main clothes in the Tripcover and put my personal items into the Washbag. The Washbag is meant to fit inside the Tripcover, which meant that I only had one pocket for my clothes.
Even though it was only one night, I had a change of clothes, including pants, swimming trunks, and undergarments. Even though I tend to overpack a bit, I felt that what I took was the bare minimum while still feeling prepared. That said, I had somewhat of a hard time getting all my clothing stuffed into the one pocket of the Tripcover. The Washbag was suitable for my toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, and shampoo, but I had a little difficulty when it came to packing my electric razor. It wouldn’t fit well in the Washbag so I placed it elsewhere in the PACK. In addition to the razor being an issue, I found that my medications had to go into a separate bag as well.
I did pack my laptop inside the back compartment and my power supply and cable went into one of the inside pockets. I ended up having room for a second pair of shoes (sandals) and a few other items by using the outside front compartment. Because the PACK is soft-sided for the most part, when you stuff dirty clothes into the mesh pocket on the inside, it takes space away from the outside compartment. This made the PACK a bit restrictive when it came to repacking after the trip.
Because I had the PACK fully loaded, it was quite heavy. That said, as a backpack, it wore very well. I was comfortable lugging it around and had I been in a situation where I had to walk long distances, I don’t think it would have caused me any undue stress because of the weight. One thing I did notice was that the zipper pulls are Velcro and they kept getting caught on things. This was a distraction and annoyance because they wouldn’t just stay in one place.
Even though I’ve seemed a bit critical of the SLICKS system, I was actually quite impressed with it. There were some things that I felt didn’t work for me very well, but that had more to do with how I packed and not the performance of the SLICKS luggage. I think if a particular user was going to take an overnight business trip, SLICKS works perfectly for the essentials. I love that it’s well within carry-on baggage guidelines (9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches). I wouldn’t hesitate to use it as a carry-on because there are so many uncertainties with travel. You could end up with lost luggage and not have things you need. Fortunately, the SLICKS system ensures that you can still have one or two days worth of clothing along with all the basic items you need. Personally, I think this SLICKS bag is the ideal carry-on bag because of its versatility. Is the only bag I would travel with? Probably not — especially if I was going to be gone for an extended period of time, but I would use it as my emergency bag. It’s made very well and looks great.