Mark Ryden is a growing player in the anti-theft backpack industry because the company offers premium features without the premium price tag. In this article, I share my complete Mark Ryden backpack review. By the end, you’ll know for sure if it’s the best buy of anti-theft backpacks currently on the market.
I’ve reviewed a long and growing list of anti-theft backpacks over the past year, and I’ll tell now that Mark Ryden is one of the best backpack brands for people who want to get their money’s worth.
After my Mark Ryden review, I’ll share my Mark Ryden vs XD Design comparison. XD Design is the maker of the popular Bobby anti-theft backpack.
Are you ready to get started?
Mark Ryden Backpack Review
Let’s start by checking out the key features of the Mark Ryden Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack. What makes this pack better than similar backpacks under $50?
- Padded laptop sleeve for laptops up to 15.6″
- Padded tablet sleeve for tablets up to 9.7″
- Inner zip pocket, plus additional internal organization pockets
- Shoulder strap zip stash pockets
- 180° and 90° opening angles
- Hidden zipper at main compartment
- Rear hidden pocket
- Hidden side panel zip pockets
- Water-resistant and slash-resistant front panel
- An external USB charging port for charging your phone on the go
- Luggage strap for hooking to a rolling suitcase while in transit
- Weight: 2 lbs
- Dimensions: 12.5″ Width x 3.9″ Depth x 16.5″ Height
What makes the Mark Ryden bag one of the best backpacks for everyday use?
Overall, I put the Mark Ryden bag in my top picks for best laptop backpack for travel and everyday use. Why?
I’ll show you what I like a lot about the Mark Ryden bag. First, the luggage strap is a key feature for travel that other anti-theft travel backpacks sometimes leave out:
I’ve been traveling nonstop for almost five years and have been a digital nomad for three of those years. That little luggage strap is crucial if you’re someone who travels from city to city like me.
The option to hook your carry-on bag to your rolling suitcase is an anti-theft feature that’s not often recognized. How does it prevent theft? It protects against grab-and-go robberies in areas of transit because thieves have to lift the bag from your suitcase to disconnect it.
Plus, it makes traveling through the airport so much easier on your back. Trust me, it’s important for travel.
The Hidden Compartments
The Mark Ryden anti-theft backpack offers a wide range of stash pockets and hidden compartments. You’ll find a hidden rear pocket, two zip shoulder strap stash pockets, and side panel zip pockets.
These hidden compartments and stash pockets give you loads of options for storing your valuables while in transit. For example, you can store a bit of cash or a credit card in the shoulder strap pocket for easy access.
Mark Ryden Checkpoint Friendly Feature
Another advantage of the Mark Ryden bag is the checkpoint friendly feature that makes it a lay flat backpack. This feature comes in handy for more than just going through airport security checkpoints.
A checkpoint-friendly laptop bag allows you to open your bag at a 180° angle. When you go through the airport security checkpoint, you avoid taking your laptop out of your bag by opening the bag 180°.
An additional advantage of the checkpoint friendly feature is that it makes it easy for you to organize your possessions and electronics when you pack your bag. You don’t have to reach down into your bag to organize it.
Do you see the red arrow above? I like how the Mark Ryden bag has elastic straps at the tops of the laptop and tablet sleeves to keep your laptop and tablet secure.
The photo above also shows you how the zipper to the main compartment is hidden beneath a thick layer of fabric. When you’re wearing the bag, the hidden zipper makes it nearly impossible for thieves and pickpockets to access your bag without you knowing.
The internal organization is more than ample in this backpack. I definitely put the Mark Ryden backpack in my picks for best checkpoint friendly laptop bag.
External USB Charging Port
The Mark Ryden is also in my group of best backpacks with a USB port. The USB charging port gives you the ability to charge your phone or other USB devices without opening your bag.
Keep in mind, you do need a power bank for this work. Click Here to check out the power bank I use.
I prefer the location of the USB port on the Mark Ryden bag. It keeps it hidden, and it’s easily accessible when you want to use it.
Other backpacks with a charger sometimes position the USB port on the outside panel which can lead to the port getting knocked off or damaged in transit.
Mark Ryden Backpack Size and Price
The last two considerations on the list are size and price. The Mark Ryden is in the mix for the best business travel backpack in 2020 at a budget carry on price under $50.
The Mark Ryden backpack is the perfect size to use an urban daypack, weekend business travel pack, or even for longer journeys when used together with a rolling suitcase. You can also use it as an under-seat backpack to avoid paying extra fees on airlines such as Spirit.
The bag has a professional look which makes it great for business travel or to use as a city commuter backpack.
If you look closely at the photo above, you’ll see the external pocket with a hidden zipper in the front panel. I like this pocket for storing slim objects or documents that I need access to without having to open the main compartment.
That completes my Mark Ryden backpack review.
Are you ready to see Mark Ryden vs XD Design?
Mark Ryden vs XD Design
If you’re familiar with the XD Design Bobby Backpack, then you already know that the Mark Ryden Anti-Theft Backpack has a similar design.
What makes these two packs different? Here’s a list of differences between these two anti-theft bags:
- The Bobby backpack features premium cut-proof materials while the Mark Ryden bag is slash-resistant
- The Bobby bag costs about double the price
- There’s no external front pocket on the Bobby
- The Bobby pack is slightly larger
- Bobby is a backpack with a zip on the back pocket. The Mark Ryden rear hidden pocket doesn’t have a zipper.
- Bobby’s shoulder strap pockets are missing zippers
I think the Bobby bag is the best anti-theft backpack with a rear hidden pocket because of the sleeve the zipper tucks into (see photo below):
Do I think the Bobby backpack is better than the Mark Ryden? Overall, I do think the Bobby is a better anti-theft backpack because of the cut-proof fabric and zip rear hidden pocket.
Is the Bobby bag worth the extra money? That’s debatable. Before you choose which pack is better for you, make sure you consider what you’re paying double the price for. The cut-proof fabric, zip rear pocket, and the XD Design name are the main differences.
The XD Design Bobby Backpack
What did you think of my Mark Ryden backpack review? I’m curious to know who you think wins in Mark Ryden vs XD Design.
Either way, you can’t go wrong. The Mark Ryden is a great anti-theft backpack for everyday use and travel, particularly business travel.
I think the Mark Ryden bag has a more professional appearance for use as a business laptop backpack. The Bobby bag is one of the best backpacks for students who are city commuters or who prefer anti-theft features.
Both bags have ample internal organization and the best position for the USB charging port. The biggest drawback for me is the lack of a zipper on the rear hidden pocket on the Mark Ryden backpack.
I prefer having a zip rear hidden pocket when I’m traveling to put my travel documents inside. Other than that, I do like the appearance of the Mark Ryden bag more.
Are you interested in checking out more backpack options? My master guide to choosing the best anti-theft travel backpacks and bags has a ton more ideas for you.