I have quested for a durable and comfortable backpack for quite some time now. I find myself using a different back for every convention these days – not because I necessarily like them, I just can’t find one that I love. That is, until now, when SOLO was nice enough to send over one of their Rival backpacks for us to take a look at.
The SOLO Rival features a darker color scheme, with lots of grays black shades gracing its polyester body. It has a “techy” feel but its construction, size, and sheer number of pockets alludes to more beneath the surface. The person who dons the SOLO Rival is prepared for anything (assuming they utilized the Rival’s internal space properly).
In terms of internal space, the SOLO Rival has it in spades. It has one big compartment that can hold up to a 17.3 inch laptop, a slightly smaller tablet pocket which can accommodate an iPad Pro 12.9 inch, and then three additional compartments of decreasing size. On its sides are two hardshell, zippered pockets which offer some protection to the items inside. The website advertises these as great places to store headphones, etc and I have to agree. They are rugged pockets and should provide decent armor to those things inside.The back of the SOLO Rival has a padded mesh which definitely makes it one of the least sweat inducing backpacks I have used – which surprised me, given its larger size.
Another great feature of the SOLO Rival is its cross-chest strap which pulls the backpack straps towards your breast bone, taking stress off of your underarms and shoulders. It also enables your arms to move more freely while wearing it. I find this extremely helpful – especially when I am also carrying a DSLR camera that I have to wield about in sometimes awkward positions to get a shot. Additionally, the backpack straps are padded and of decent comfort to boot.
I would have NO problem wearing this through the craziness of the San Diego Comic-Con – both inside the main hall as well as out in the Gaslamp District. In contrast, the SOLO Rival is hefty and rugged enough that I would consider taking it along camping with me – albeit I would probably not put my laptop inside. It has lightweight build quality and a lot of space for survival necessities. The only addition I would probably make for it in this regard would be some MOLLE panels, but I digress.
Overall, the SOLO Rival backpack is a great choice for those of you needing a lot of internal storage space while not sacrificing comfort. At $79.99, the SOLO Rival backpack is available now at SOLO’s official website as well as other online retailers.
SOLO Rival Backpack Review Score(5 out of 5 Stars)
- Fully padded 17.3” laptop compartment
- Internal iPad/ tablet pocket
- Hardshell side zippered pockets protects most headphones
- Built-in headphone port
- Three full size compartments
- Quick access pocket
- Front zip-down organizer section
- Padded shoulder straps with chest strap for added comfort
- Cooling air mesh back padding
- Reflective strip for increased visibility
- Lightweight polyester body