Review: Cocoon’s slim backpack sports a unique organizational system

Cocoon Innovations is known mostly for their line of unique organizers, known as the GRID-IT.

Their slim backpack takes that already popular product and builds it into a slim, handsome bag. Even with its slim profile, it’s capable of holding a surprisingly large amount of gear.

Backpacks are entirely subjective: everyone has their own style and a set of gear they need to bring with them. While evaluating this backpack, I tried to focus on what makes it unique instead of how my personal gear actually fit (or more accurately didn’t fit) into the bag.

To see it for yourself, as well as how the GRID-IT works, check out my hands-on video.

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With the video out of the way, lets dive in!

Build quality

This bag sets itself apart immediately with its exceptional build quality. The body itself is made out of ballistic grade nylon, which is also water repellent. The zippers are all waterproofed, which really helps keep your gear safe.

The strap adjusters and the zipper pulls are made from a space gray-like metal.

The compartments in the back for storing your laptop and iPad are roomy and plush-lined to keep them padded.

GRID-IT system

The GRID-IT system is really why one buys this bag.

They are normally sold as standalone boards that can fit into your existing bag. If you aren’t familiar, the basic concept is that there is a series of intertwined elastic bands that can be used to strap down all your gear. Nothing too large, mind you, but all your cables, adapters, chargers, battery packs, headphones and portable hard drives should generally fit just fine.

The built-in GRID-IT system works just as the solo units do—it has its own pocket and can easily accommodate most anything you may be toting around with you on a day-to-day basis.

Everyday use

Because the GRID-IT holds most of what you carry with you, Cocoon is able to keep the bag shockingly slim. What I normally brought in my much larger messenger bag, when organized, fit easily into the Cocoon (barring a couple outliers).

The backpack itself is very comfortable. There was no fancy gel or special padding in the shoulder straps, so I imagine they will flatten down a bit over time with use. In my few weeks of carrying it, however, it was actually very comfortable to wear.

The biggest hurdle for me was adjusting to not really having a main compartment to the bag. Normally, I feel a backpack has some small front pockets, a big main section and possibly a laptop/iPad compartment.

This bag essentially splits that main compartment into two: one for the GRID-IT itself and the other for your iPad, laptop and some documents. The main compartment is actually quite small, with not much room for anything else other than your tablet and computer.

The thinking is that if you have all of your smaller accessories that usually float around in the main body of your backpack, you don’t need such a large compartment there. To a degree, this makes sense. In daily use, every time I wanted to bring something bigger it was a struggle.

As a couple examples, the times I tried to take a few iPhone boxes with me to the office, they didn’t fit. I experienced a similar issue when I went to the lake for a weekend and wanted to bring with me my Marshall Stockwell portable speaker.

As I said, these are outliers.

The wrap-up show

I’m one who has a trouble staying constantly organized.

A lot of times I wrap my cables and throw them in my bag in a fairly haphazard fashion. The Cocoon backpack actually helped me kick that habit.

Now I consistently place all my cables, adapters and other accessories into this bag—and it’s so much easier to find what I’m looking for without having to dig.

I was very impressed with not only the quality of materials, but with the extensive feature set, too. Compared to other bags at the ~$50 price range, there’s no question which one I prefer.

If you’re also a fan of the Cocoon backpack, you can find it on Amazon for only $51.99.

I’m always interested in your thoughts so be sure to throw them up in the comments!