1. Home
  2. >>
  3. gear
  4. >>
  5. WaterField Designs Tuck Backpack Review: Compact, Expandable Storage for Your Gear

WaterField Designs Tuck Backpack Review: Compact, Expandable Storage for Your Gear

WaterField Designs Tuck Backpack Review: Compact, Expandable Storage for Your Gear

Source: Christine Romero-Chan / ComoHow

When it comes to carrying my tech gear, like my best MacBooks and iPad Pros, I always go for backpacks. They are more comfortable to wear for long periods of time, distribute weight evenly, and are quite roomy. I have many backpacks to choose from in my house, but one brand that I always turn to is WaterField Designs.

WaterField Designs is based in San Francisco, CA, and everything is handcrafted from the factory. Most of their products are made from genuine leather or waxed canvas, giving all products a sophisticated look and feel. Although WaterField bags can be expensive, they are incredibly high quality and will last you for years. In fact, I still have several WaterField bags from almost 10 years ago and they still look amazing.

The Tuck Backpack is the latest release from WaterField. The brand calls it a modern, updated version of a European military backpack, and honestly, it’s one of the best backpacks I’ve owned.

WaterField Designs Tuck Backpack Review:

WaterField Designs Tuck Backpack

Bottom line: The Tuck Backpack is a streamlined backpack-style bag made of waxed canvas or ballistic nylon and leather that can be folded or expanded to hold what you need. Powerful auto-sensing magnetic closures keep everything secure.

The good


WaterField Designs Tuck Backpack: Pricing and Availability

Source: Christine Romero-Chan / ComoHow

The Tuck Backpack is only available for purchase directly from WaterField Designs. That’s because each item is handmade in the San Francisco factory, so you can’t buy their products from other retailers. There are three colors to choose from: waxed canvas, ballistic nylon with black leather accents, or ballistic nylon with chocolate leather accents. At the moment, the Tuck backpack ships in packs; if you order today, you will be in package #6, which ships on March 4th. WaterField’s Tuck Backpack is $299 regardless of color and material choice.

WaterField Designs Tuck Backpack: Roomy and compact sophistication

Source: Christine Romero-Chan / ComoHow

Like other WaterField bags, the Tuck Backpack is made from high-quality materials. I opted for ballistic nylon with chocolate brown leather accents. The nylon is made from a 1050 denier material, making it a heavy duty nylon that is extremely resistant to all the elements you find yourself in. It also uses distressed natural full-grain leather that is soft and supple to the touch. The worn look improves over time as these leathers develop a rich patina with more use, which I love.

The Tuck is made from high quality materials that will continue to improve over time.

The Tuck features a front flap that uses one-way magnetic buckles. Simply pull the loops horizontally in opposite directions for the top and bottom, and you’ll have access to the main compartment. And for easy donning, the magnetic buckles are self-locating, so they lock into place if they’re too close together. If you’re worried about these magnetic buckles making it easy to access your stuff, don’t be: it takes a bit of effort to open, so you’ll definitely notice if someone prying. The flap even has a zippered pocket, giving you quick access to small details, and even iPhone storage. And thanks to the firm foam inserts that reinforce the Tuck, it can stand freely without falling.

Source: Christine Romero-Chan / ComoHow

The main compartment of the Tuck is very spacious. In fact, you can fold or expand it as needed to fit all of your gear, and it’s finished with WaterField’s signature gold ripstop liner, making it easy to see what’s inside. There are also two compartments on the back that can hold your favorite MacBook and your best iPad. The laptop sleeve fits up to a 16-inch MacBook Pro M1 and the tablet sleeve fits up to a 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Both are also padded with a plush quilted lining, so your devices stay safe from scratches and scuffs. On the opposite side of the sleeve compartments is a zippered pocket, ideal for storing small accessories and cables. There is also a key ring in this pocket.

The magnetic buckles on the front flap are automatically found, so they can be locked automatically.

Source: Christine Romero-Chan / ComoHow

You’ll also find two side pockets on the Tuck backpack. These pockets are thick mesh and quite deep. They are perfect for a water bottle and umbrella or other sundries. The two side pockets have a magnetic closure that keeps everything in place. And with the bag’s soft nylon fabric, the sides can collapse if it’s not full, keeping it compact.

For added convenience, the Tuck Backpack features a top handle, making it easy to grab and go. The back panel has breathable mesh padding that can absorb sweat and moisture. As much as I wish there could be a completely sweat-proof backpack, I don’t think it’s possible because that’s how humans work. There is also a luggage passage at the back, which allows you to roll the backpack with your luggage when you travel. The shoulder straps are also padded with a mesh material, making it comfortable to wear even on long journeys.

WaterField Designs Tuck Backpack – Style may not be for everyone

Source: Christine Romero-Chan / ComoHow

There’s honestly not much I don’t like about the Tuck backpack. I guess the biggest downside is that it’s not very affordable at $299, but WaterField products are incredibly high quality and last a lifetime. I have several bags from the brand and they all look great on me, despite several years. These bags are handmade from quality, authentic materials and is a small family business. These are definitely not mass-produced backpacks, and it shows by their incredible quality.

Style may not be your thing, and it’s definitely not a cheap bag.

While I appreciate the style of the Tuck, I understand that it may not be to everyone’s taste. But thankfully, WaterField does produce other styles of backpacks and while they aren’t cheap either, they cover a wide range of backpack styles. If the Tuck isn’t your type of backpack, there are others, like the Air Travel Backpack, the Mezzo Laptop Backpack, and even the Bolt Sling.

WaterField Designs Tuck Backpack: Competition

Source: Karen Freeman / ComoHow

Again, the Tuck backpack style may not be for everyone. Another backpack offered by WaterField that looks a bit like the Tuck, but not quite, is the Mezzo Laptop Backpack. It has a main zippered compartment, but there is also a front flap pocket with a buckle closure reminiscent of the Tuck. It also has two side pockets, padded device compartments, padded mesh back panel, and shoulder straps. It’s the same price at $299, so if the Tuck isn’t your type of backpack, maybe the Mezzo is.

If you’re on a budget but want a new backpack, I’d suggest something like the Incase Commuter Backpack. This lightweight backpack is made with recycled materials, so you can feel good about your purchase. It also has plenty of organizational pockets and a reasonably affordable price of just $100.

WaterField Designs Tuck Backpack: Should You Buy It?

Source: Christine Romero-Chan / ComoHow

You should buy it if…

You should not buy this if…

I’ve been a fan of WaterField products for over a decade and the Tuck backpack is one of my new favorites. Despite its compact size, this backpack is quite roomy and should have more than enough room for your MacBook and iPad, including the 16-inch MacBook Pro M1 or 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and all of their accessories. And even if it doesn’t fill it up, the Tuck can simply “hide” the extra space, so it still maintains a slim profile. The magnetic closures on the side pockets are nice and the auto-sensing magnetic buckles on the front flap come in handy. Even if you forget to close and secure the flap, the magnets will do it for you if they are close enough. And with the breathable mesh back panel, padded shoulder straps and luggage pass-through, this backpack is especially ideal for travelers.

4.5 out of 5

However, the price of the Tuck backpack can be a deterrent for some people and understandably it is quite expensive after all. But honestly, WaterField products last forever (almost), so I think it’s worth the price. It’s more of an investment for your gear, as the bag will definitely outlast the MacBook or iPad. And if you go for the leather options, it will simply look better over time as it develops a rich patina. And again, the backpack style isn’t for everyone, but if you want the WaterField quality then some of the other backpack styles are worth a look. They definitely make a style for everyone!

WaterField Designs Tuck Backpack

Bottom line: The Tuck is slim but incredibly roomy. In fact, it can be tailored to your needs, and it will last you a lifetime.

Carry your technology in style!

Get a stylish and feminine tech backpack with one of these options

While we’re not suggesting that women need special backpacks, there’s a lot to be said for a bag that reflects feminine style. These backpacks can hold any laptop up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro and other essentials, and are perfect for anyone who prefers a more feminine look.