Don’t give up desk space real estate when the BackPack is available.
When I first started MacSources almost ten years ago I had a super small desk that I kept my iMac, two Western Digital external hard drives, and Drobo. It was a pretty full desktop for such a small piece of furniture. I look back at those times and think about how much space I could have had by storing one or both of the WD drives on the Twelve South BackPack.
When Apple released the new M1 iMacs (May 2021), Twelve South modified the design of the original BackPack to fit the new iMac design. The aluminum cable pass though is narrower and more oblong in shape (rather than circular) so Twelve South had to come up with a new design to make BackPack work with the 24″ iMac. They did and it works really well.
The BackPack’s roots go way back to 2009 when Twelve South’s designers made a paper prototype one Saturday morning. Now there are two versions of it – one for the older iMacs and one for the newer 24-inch M1 iMacs. The BackPack for 24″ iMac, the version we are focusing on in this review, is made from aluminum and comes in one color – matte white.
The BackPack is designed to help you declutter the desk where your iMac lives. It can hold up to 3.5 pounds and seamlessly attaches to the back of the iMac. The stand can hold anything even portable hard drives and USB-C hubs without issue since it is vented. Because of its position on the iMac, it’s even well-suited for items like business cards, action figures, or awards.
The BackPack comes equipped with all the hardware needed to install it including an adjustable Peripheral Strap and coated wire twists. The Saddle Clip and Saddle Lock are made with clear plastic.
BackPack comes in a simple Twelve South branded box. It’s a retail-ready box and has nice imagery of the product on the front and back of it. There is some product information included as well. The box contains the kit listed above. The Peripheral Strap is gray and uses Velcro to tighten to the correct spot. For my purposes, the strap was plenty long, but I’ve seen some other comments online where users wish the strap was a bit longer. I could see that being an issue if you were stacking two or even three items together.
Installation of the BackPack was very easy. You first have to remove the power cable from the iMac. Then you slip the Saddle Clip through the iMac’s stand. The Saddle Lock should be placed on the backside of the iMac stand and then pushed onto the Saddle Clip. This ‘saddle’ forms a holster for the BackPack shelf, which slides into the saddle. Once in place, the BackPack is quite sturdy.
BackPack is a simple, but effective accessory for cleaning up desk clutter. I love that Twelve South designers recognized that it could (should) be about more than just functionality. It’s a fashion statement for your iMac. It’s easy to install and it can provide many forms of productivity for its user.
The BackPack retails for around $45 (at the time of publishing), which might seem a little steep for an item like this, but it is a specialized piece of machined aluminum that is custom-made for this purpose. I think it would be nice to see Twelve South add more accessory options to be companions for the BackPack. It’s a unique device with a specific purpose that could serve many different types of users.