The perennial problem for runners and athletes is simply the question, “What do I do with my shoes?”
You know the problem…you tie them together and sling them on your backpack and they are dangling around, or they are dirty so you don’t want to put them inside of anything…let’s face it, shoes are a pain in the ass to travel with sometimes.
Local Sonoma County entrepreneur and designer David Deioma has recognized this significant problem and created a new company called Mudroom. The backpack I tested is called the Small Quartible 18L.
Overall, this is an excellent travel backpack that provides a much needed solution for carrying your shoes. The 6” depth makes it easy to put under the seat of an airplane, or even in the small overhead of commuter jets, like CRJ’s. If I ever fly to a race, this would be the bag I take on the plane with all my critical stuff. The reason is that I want to have everything with me for my race, so even if my checked luggage is lost, I still have just what I need to get by. And it would easily hold your toiletries and other essential items.
Each side of the backpack has zippers that open to hold running shoes, up to size 18 I am told. They fit in easily, and there is a stretch pocket on the inside that I was able to put two pair of socks or a pair of running shorts. And the top of the pocket is ventilated with mesh.
As a runner, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this feature. Being able to separate and carry my shoes with my other stuff is really awesome. And actually you can access the shoe pockets from the inside as well.
Laptop and ipad
I’ve never seen a backpack designed before that can hold running shoes, a full size laptop, and an ipad. David did a great job organizing this backpack and making it work.
The laptop can be put into the slot from the inside, but a really fantastic feature is the side zippered access to the laptop. The reason is that there are times when you need to cram your backpack full of stuff, and if you try to get it out from the inside, it’s difficult. With the side access, you can immediately get to it.
There is also an ipad pocket but this can also be used for other items like notebooks, books, etc.
Inside the Backpack
I was able to fully load this backpack on the inside with:
- Running shirt
- Running glasses and case
- Bottle of Whiskey
- Mt. Tam map
- Sonoma Coast map
- San Francisco map
- Book: How Bad Do You Want It? By Matt Fitzgerald
- Bose ear buds
- 13″ Mac Book Pro
Honestly I could have put a lot my stuff in the backpack but I thought that was a reasonable amount. I don’t normally drink whiskey, but for this product review, I thought I’d get a little wild. The wide front zippered opening makes it easy to access and organize your stuff.
Front Organizer Pocket
I appreciated how deep and side this pocket is, because I easily put my large cell phone in the front, passport, pens, as well as a USB, and phone cable.
Lower Front Zippered Pocket
This pocket was big enough for my keys, my running watch, and the charger. Since my watch is so important to me, I always like putting it in a separate pocket.
On the back of the backpack is a hole underneath the label that goes to the inside, where you can hang your hydration bladder. You have to make a choice – use a hydration bladder, or carry your laptop. It’s nice to have this feature in case you want to go hiking or biking and you can leave your laptop back at your place.
The side pockets work for water bottles, energy bars, etc.
Other features include daisy chains on the front to connect carabineers or other stuff, reflective tape, an adjustable chest strap, and padded shoulder straps.
Kudos to David Deioma for recognizing the problem that runners and athletes have and coming up with a great backpack solution.
You can go see the backpacks in person at Fleet Feet Sports in Santa Rosa. http://www.fleetfeetsantarosa.com
You can read about David’s company here: