review

Arctic Fox Chameil Backpacks – Color Changing Bags anyone?

Backpacks are something all of us use in our daily lives, whether you’re a student, a professional or even a wanderlust. You might use it to carry around your laptop, a few accessories, books, and basically anything that you might need while you’re on the move. While the basic functionality of a backpack remains the same irrespective of what type you carry, adding a little bit of uniqueness into something as mundane as a backpack can be a differentiating factor for many.

Arctic-Fox

Arctic Fox seems to have some funkiness going on with their Chameil series of backpacks, which aims to make your bag stand out from the usual plain and boring designs. The Chameil range of laptop bags have a unique color changing trait, hence the name, with a portion of the surface of the bag that changes color when exposed to sunlight, or any form of heat. The unit sent to us changed colors from a regular black under room temperature, to bright orange when exposed to sunlight. However, Arctic Fox sells multiple variants of this with colors such as green, blue and pink being the other options.

The color changing portion has the Arctic Fox branding on it which is much more prevalent when the surface changes color as opposed to on the black finish. The rest of the bag looks just like any other generic backpack with the Arctic Fox logo on the top right corner. Moving on from the cosmetics, the backpack itself feels good in the hand and appears to be built well with premium quality materials. The zippers have an assuring feel to them as well.

Arctic Fox claims to be using a water repellent fabric in the construction of the bag, and has also provided a rain cover along with the backpack, which seems to do its job as advertised, and can be stored in a dedicated compartment at the bottom of the bag. The padding for the straps as well are of good quality and give a comfortable feel when worn on the shoulders even when the contents of the bag are heavy. There’s also a handle at the top with the help of which the backpack can be held in the hand if you do not want to wear it on your shoulder.

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Speaking about the main functionality of a backpack, its compartments to store your belongings, this is one area where Arctic Fox could have done a better job. The largest compartment is divided into two parts – The primary section to store a laptop of up to 15.6 inches in size, and the other division to store books or documents. The second compartment is slightly smaller and can be used to store your laptop charger, but does not have any pockets or smaller divisions within to store accessories.

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This can be an issue if you carry a lot of peripherals like computer mice, dongles, or even your smartphone charger along with a pair of earphones, which will all get tangled up if you put them into the same compartment. Also, if you carry storage devices like pen drives, SD cards or external hard drives, the lack of smaller pockets will surely disappoint you. There is a small compartment at the top side which can accommodate a smartphone or something of a similar size, but that’s that.

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A perk though is a dedicated compartment to store your power bank with a pass-through cable inside which connects to your power bank and offers a USB-out port on the exterior using which your smartphone can be charged. This makes it convenient as you do not have to take your power bank out of the bag each time you want to charge your devices. However, this pocket as well is slightly smaller than I had expected. I tried putting in a standard sized Mi 10000mAh power bank, and with some initial struggles, I was able to fit it in, but if you have a power bank with a larger footprint, you might have some difficulties to zip the pocket close.

Another slight caveat is the placement of the USB port, which could have been to the side instead of on the front, which would make it more convenient to connect your devices and use them while connected. Talking about the sides, there is a netted water bottle holster which can easily accommodate a bottle with 1L capacity.

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The Arctic Fox Chameil range of backpacks are available to purchase from the company’s official website for a price of Rs. 2,999 and is available in four colors – Green, Blue, Orange, and Pink. For this price, I would surely have expected more compartments, or at least a few pockets within the compartments to accommodate accessories. The price as well seems to be slightly steep as there are multiple options with similar features like an external USB port and a rain cover available for a much lower price. The only unique highlight of the Chameil range of backpacks from Arctic Fox is its color changing ability, and if you’re a fan of that, you can pick it up for its uniqueness.