NayoSmart EXP Travel Backpack Review

Affordable travel bag that expands for all kinds of adventure

Last updated:
8.3
GREAT
BUY IT NOW

The NayoSmart EXP backpack has been sitting in my closet for a long time and I never gave it the chance to really put it through its paces on my travels until now. For an affordable bag of less than $100, it’s very impressive and an excellent carry-on that can pack plenty with its expandable features. Here’s what it looks like and why people looking for travel-minded carry may find this a good option to consider.

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BRAND NAYOSMART
MODEL EXPANDABLE
TYPE TRAVEL BACKPACK
SUITED FOR TRAVELLER, DIGITAL NOMAD, BACKPACKER
CAPACITY 25L EXPANDS TO 40L
MEASURES 50 X 15 X 31CM
WEIGHT 1.1KG
MATERIAL WATERPROOF TPU FABRIC
LINING 230D LINING + 12MM EVA
LEARN MORE NAYOSMART

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Light Travel Shell

NAYO SMART EXP BACKPACK REVIEW ONE TECH TRAVELLER LAPTOP
Buy NayoSmart EXP

At 1.1kg, 31cm wide, 50cm tall and 15cm deep, it fits perfectly into any carry-on airline dimensions. The boxy-rectangular design gives me travel vibes and feels more capable beyond the rated 25L capacity it’s said to hold. The design makes it friendly to pair packing cubes, and various clothes rolling techniques to maximise every inch of the NayoSmart EXP so you can ditch the luggage entirely without compromising on what you can bring.

There are several built-in compression features like the four buckles that cinch down over the zipper tracks so it never feels as bulky if you’re packing tight. It feels balanced as a travel bag as the weight is very reasonable and gives you more allowance to pack for longer trips compared to harder carry on luggage or heavy duty bags. There’s a well cushioned side handle that makes briefcase style easy to rock, and a seatbelt top handle to pick up the NayoSmart EXP, although isn’t comfortable to hold for a long period of time due to a lack of cushioning.

For an affordable bag, the NayoSmart EXP backpack is an excellent carry-on that makes ditching the luggage possible, no matter how long you travel for.

The exterior shell has a waterproof TPU fabric, beading off water if I’m caught out in the rain, although the zip track themselves aren’t at all so there’s a risk heavy amounts of water can seep through. It’s not a multi-condition kind of travel bag but it’s more than capable enough.

The front design is minimal which makes this attractively pleasant. The lid hides a hidden zipper track where you can stow flat or thin stuff, a nice catch-all without needing to dive into the main compartments. I would reserve the other compartments for bigger items as using the front pocket presses against the fabric.

Organised Front Option

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Opening up the front compartment with zippers that open more than halfway down, it reveals a very spacious area with pockets towards the top for easy and quick accessible. No need to rummage at the bottom of the bag. A few cm makes this flexible if you want to slide a tablet, camera body, extra travel clothes you can easily reach or a water bottle.

I like this area and find myself using this compartment the most, thanks to it’s very accessible opening and organisational pockets. It’s simple, but works well. The two wider pockets can fit a pocket notepad, hard drive, XBOX controller for PC gaming, while two pen holders for an Apple Pencil, Surface Pen or box-standard pen to write with. The rest you can fill it with anything you may need to reach along your journey.

The flap folds over nicely so you can see plenty of the interior although it also holds up well if you need some discrete privacy to hide away your valuables. The grey inner lining is common in affordable bags like the NayoSmart EXP backpack so I would have liked a different colour to brighten up inside or match the black for a stealthier look. It’s fine, just a little boring but I can’t complain for the price point.

Bright Bento Opening

NAYO SMART TRAVEL STORY REVIEW ONE TECH TRAVELLER LUGGAGE

Where the NayoSmart EXP backpack shines is the main compartment and it’s bento-style opening that reveals each side with full visibility. It takes the same hard-luggage concept when you unzip and reveal a divided side and an open side. That feature works excellently here and makes this more useful as a dependable carry on backpack. Familiar, just more compact and organised at a lighter weight.

The main compartment makes the entire side available to pack inside, separated by a zipper and mesh liner. Relatively visible to get the jist what’s inside the compartment and adds some privacy at the same time. The zip track could be better reinforced or more durable to ensure long-term reliability as any excessive force I could see breaking off. That being said, I’ve had no problems with the zipper, just exercise a little more care.

The other side against the front compartment is separated into two sections, great to divide your socks from your underwear, dirty from your clean, bathroom essentials and tech accessories. The mesh pocket has some flex to pack it tightly, though the main compartment has much more depth for your main clothes.

Laptop Compartment

Finally, towards the back is a laptop compartment generous in size. It’ll comfortably fit a 17″ laptop and has further space for a tablet or desktop accessories like a keyboard. The laptop sleeve doesn’t have a tab to secure it in place so be careful if you plan to flay it flat as the device could slide out. My only gripe that they should add to make it secure.

A joey pouch that stretches opens up plenty of ways you can use it such as sliding a raincoat or layers to add if weather conditions change on your travels. You can certainly put a travel umbrella here too. There’s a bit of space so you can fold a few layers although if you’re packing a laptop it can get a little pressed so bare that in mind, but the flexiblity here is impressive.

Ditch the Luggage

NAYO SMART EXP BACKPACK REVIEW ONE TECH TRAVELLER PACKING

As a travel backpack, I find the NayoSmart EXP very impressive. It’s affordable, well-organised, has a clean design (besides the many straps, buckles and zippers), flexible compartments and the highlight feature, expands from a 25L to 40L bag for those longer travel getaways. This has proven to be super useful when I need to pack heavy (road trip, luggage less or away for a while).

It does pack tight but looks more comfortable when expanded and beats any backpack that can’t expand. When it’s just 15cm thick, the EXP looks surprisingly slim for a travel bag and stretches to 25cm when you need the extra space. Many travel bags default to one size so they can sometimes be way too big for what you want to bring or the overall footprint even if you’re travelling light, or restricted if you go for a similar 25L that cannot expand. When compared to that, the NayoSmart EXP is an excellent choice.

Are there things they could improve? Of course. For $100, I don’t expect features of a premium back and for the most part, everything you would need a here and more. The USB port on the side easily connects to any powerbank inside and is more convenient than other backpakcs I’ve tried even if it’s obvious on the outside. The top handle could be padded as the seatbelt material digs into the hand, reinforced zippers inside and a water-resistant zip track outside. But it gets the fundamentals spot on and feels great to wear for long periods of time, flexible to pack and functional to organise with. I’m thoroughly impressed how great this works as a travel backpack and for the price point, will be a formidable companion for carry-on travellers.

CONCLUSION
For an affordable bag, the NayoSmart EXP backpack is an excellent carry-on that makes ditching the luggage possible, no matter how long you travel for.
DURABILITY
7
ACCESS
9.5
DESIGN
8
QUALITY
7.5
FUNCTION
9
VALUE
9
HIGHLIGHTS
bright access to compartments
comfortable to travel with for long period of time
great value for the affordable price tag
expandable capacity for longer travels
LOWLIGHTS
non-weather resistant zippers
dull grey inner lining
uncomfortable top handle
laptop can slide out of sleeve when opened fully
8.3
GREAT
BUY IT NOW
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DURABILITY
ACCESS
DESIGN
QUALITY
FUNCTION
VALUE
Final Score