The Ethnotek Raja backpack will be your friend till the end. However, reviewing this backpack took a bit of extra time and effort. It offers so much, it took a long while to evaluate it well and find the best aspects and the not so positive aspects. First off, Ethnotek offers a wide array of backpacks and specifically in their Raja line, they offer 21 different designs. These backpacks are all finely made and feature batik fabric that was sourced directly from artisans in Indonesia. Below is their mission for you to understand a bit more of who they are.
At Ethnotek, our mission is to keep culture alive by creating high quality laptop and travel bags that feature ethically sourced handmade textiles. Your purchase sustains employment for the art of hand printing, weaving and embroidery with our partnering artisan villages in Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. Ethnotek is so much more than just a bag! It's a celebration of culture, it's a community, it's a global movement! Come join the Tribe, together we can keep culture alive!
CONSTRUCTION + DESIGN
The construction of this bag is none other than incredible. It is not only actually made well, it also appears to be made well. The strength of the Batik material is evident and will provide your clothing, computer, camera, and other gear inside with protection.
The construction includes many pockets for each of your applicable gear. When you think about a multi-use backpack, you will certainly want to consider the Ethnotek Raja.
While this backpack does offer many strong design and construction features, it does offer some frustration when opening the main compartment. Having to unroll and re-roll the main compartment can be very frustrating. And digging through the pack top down can become daunting if you packed well and for a full weekend.
One of the best design features of this pack is that it has an interchangeable design on the front. The design velcros and clicks into place. Who wouldn't want their backpack to look different every once in awhile! A great feature that supports good people.
The Raja does well in usability and offers flexibility for a variety of circumstances. The Ethnotek Raja not only works for weekend trips it also is functional for extended trips, camping trips, day hikes and anything else you could throw at it.
The Raja has an integrated back cushion that makes the pack lay comfortably on your back. However, even though that is extremely comfortable, the shoulder straps were somewhat uncomfortable during even a short hike. They seemed to be too close together and therefore rubbed painfully on my neck. I tried to adjust the straps but never was able to make them adjust to a higher level of comfort. I even had another explorer wear it for awhile and they thought the same thing.