Greenroom136 Genesis – fantastic EDC backpack with a few quibbles I’ve fixed with a custom order. I don’t see much about the Greenroom136 Genesis, so I thought I’d write a four month review for anyone that’s interested.
I’ve been carrying the Genesis daily for about four months now. It has its flaws, but most everything about it is spot on. I didn’t intend to use this EDC backpack for EDC when I got it, but it goes nearly everywhere with me. I like it so much, I’ve ordered a custom version that fixes some of my cons below.
– Very comfortable straps. I’ve loaded it up to 15 pounds or so, and never had any issues. I wasn’t sure about the seatbelt material at the top of the straps, but it allows a lot of range of motion and shoes no sign of wear. The straps have a D ring each, which is a must for me, and they just look damn great. They are the best looking thing on the bag.
– The outer pockets are excellent. There are three on the back and one “concealed” pocket in the back panel. The biggest and best of these pockets has a vertical zip, D ring, and it can be accessed when the main pocket is closed. The other two pockets on the back of the EDC backpack require the main flap to open for access, but with the Fidlocks I added, it’s no sweat. The concealed pocket is perfect for passports, but anything that goes in there needs to be relatively flat or it will dig into your back.
– The water bottle pockets on either side are sturdy and large, but I don’t know about the big Nalgene bottles. My Yeti 26oz Rambler is as big as I would go.
– The top flap and vertical locking/compression straps work very well as a beaver tail for outer layers. The webbing is on the bottom in this case, so it is less secure than a traditional beaver tail, but for a jacket in the airport, it’s all I need.
– The removable laptop sleeve is a little bulky, but very well padded. The inside is lined with corduroy, and there is a kangaroo pouch on the front that I use for papers. Business papers.
– The main compartment is huge for 15L. I fit more in this EDC backpack than in a 21L GR1. It is top loading, which is not my favorite, but it’s worth it to have all of the other features the pack carries. The main compartment also expands up. There is a small zippered pocket inside the main compartment, but anything that goes in there eats up real estate at the top, so I only have small items like my deck of cards in there.
– The grab handle is excellent, and there is a little webbing loop at the top that’s perfect for a Hero Clip. There isn’t much padding on the handle, but that’s fine with me. I prefer it sturdy and tight to the pack. If you need padding, they sell it.
– Velcro silencers. I really dislike Velcro on a pack, and the option to buy silencers is appreciated more than Gordon can know.
– The pack has molle webbing on the back, but it’s very subtle. No one is going to mistake me for military when I wear it, which did happen a handful of times in airports with the GR1.
– Materials are, of course, excellent.
– This is purely subjective, but the pack is a joy to carry. It has a “wow” factor for me that hasn’t diminished over these last months. I load up the pack five times a week for my commute, and it’s fun every single time.
– Buying this pack supports an independent and very talented designer.
– There is no frame sheet. The back panel is stiff and padded, and I just always leave the laptop sleeve in, and I haven’t had any issues, but I think that if I took the sleeve out, the pack would billow into my back.
– It’s tough to explain (see the photos below), but the main compartment is sewn to the pack at the front two corners. This creates 3 deep pockets, two the length of the pack, and one the width. These pockets are awesome, but I worry that if I were caught in a downpour with the pack fully loaded, water would get into the two side pockets. When the top is folded over, and I’m using side compression, this is not an issue.
– The EDC backpack only has top side compression straps.
– I know I’m in the minority, but I’m right handed and prefer to have vertical zippers on the left side of the pack. When I bought my first bag that wasn’t North Face, it was a Chrome messenger I used for biking, and I had to buy the left handed version. The Genesis has the zippers on the right hand side, and I have tried, but I can’t get used to swinging it around on my right shoulder. It’s uncomfortable and awkward, and it’s the only irritating thing about the pack. I’ve fixed this by ordering a custom pack with the zippers on my left. Problem solved.
– The webbing has a very slight shine to it. I’ve gotten used to it and don’t even notice it anymore.
– It’s not big enough for one bag on a plane when I’m traveling for work. With the family, it’s fine, but my work/travel load is too much for this pack alone. I bought a Tom Bihn Pilot that’s on its maiden voyage right now to supplement, and I like the setup with these two bags. All of my work gear is currently overhead in the Genesis, and my personal stuff is in the Pilot under the seat in front of me.
– This particular Genesis was stock and bought right before they stopped making stock versions (you can only get a custom Genesis now). I have to point out that the back panel was sewn onto the body strangely, a bit crooked, and the logo on the back of the pack was also sewn on a bit crookedly (pics below). It doesn’t affect usage in any way, but it bears mentioning.
– The bottom of the EDC backpack gets a little bit frumpy on the side that carries the water bottle. No big deal.
As I said, I just ordered a custom Genesis this morning that will have the vertical zippers on my left and two compression straps per side with Fidlock buckles and snaps all the way. This custom version may be as close as I can get to perfect for now.