ProView – DB The Hugger 20L
For the past three weeks, I have been using Douchebag’s 20L Hugger as my commuting, work, and travel bag. The Hugger is a minimalistic, durable, and stylish take on a small backpack. The Douchebag 20L Hugger is a compelling answer to the challenge of attempting to create one bag that fits every need. It transitions well from work to light hiking and travel. Additionally, the large main compartment design with a flap opening allows the 20L bag to feel spacious and gives it the same packability as a duffle bag.
DB The Hugger 20L
Product Description: Meet our iconic bestseller amped up with a durable pressed E.V.A. front panel, giving it a refined look while still being durable as hell. Right in the intersection between handy duffle, durable boot bag and smart backpack, stands the Hugger 30L. This cabin friendly carry-on loyally follows you anywhere you want to go.
Offer price: MSRP: $169.00
The Hugger is a minimalistic, durable, and stylish take on a small backpack. The Douchebag 20L Hugger is a compelling answer to the challenge of attempting to create one bag that fits every need. It transitions well from work to light hiking and travel. Additionally, the large main compartment design with a flap opening allows the 20L bag to feel spacious and give it the same packability as a duffle bag.
- Needs a water bottle holder
When selecting a color for the bag, I decided to go with navy blue. It was more distinctive than my traditional black commuter bag choice but seemed practical enough to hide the dirt I felt I was almost certain to get on it. However, as soon as I started to use the bag, I realized my conservative reasoning was unfounded. The Tarpaulin outer material gives the pack an impressive amount of durability, scratch, stain, and water resistance. Those looking at the bolder and lighter colors such as white, tan, red, and purple can do so without the concern that the bag will show every fleck of dirt. Furthermore, the bag’s patented “rib cage technology” gives me quite a bit of comfort about the bag’s protective capabilities, even when I am carrying my laptop or camera.
The top pocket is a well-designed feature of the bag, which helps to keep essentials accessible. The pocket is large enough to fit my iPhone pro max with ease, while still leaving plenty of room for other small items. I normally put my phone, keys, wallet, and snack in the top compartment. I’ve enjoyed how easy it is to keep these items accessible in the top pocket.
Unexpectedly, another one of my favorite features is the grab handle on the front of the bag. Given the bag’s 20L volume, I didn’t expect to have much use for the grab handle, however I’ve found that when I am picking up the bag to head out in the morning, or moving things around to load up the car, I always find myself reaching for the grab handle. I appreciate how easy and comfortable it is to carry the bag both as a backpack and as a duffel with the grab handle.
The laptop compartment snuggly fits my 13-inch MacBook Pro. The interior mesh organization pockets offer a good place to store pens, chargers, and other small items you wish to keep organized. My former commuting bag was a 32L pack, and I was initially worried transitioning down to the 20L Hugger would feel cramped; however, somehow the designers managed to make these 20L feel incredibly roomy. I have more than enough room for my essentials, including a spare outfit to change into once I arrive at work. There is even enough room to pack a few groceries in the bag that I pick up on my way home.
As a fairly minimalistic traveler, I had initially hoped to use this for ultralight travel, however for any trips beyond overnight travel to warm locations, I find the 20L isn’t quite large enough to pack the essentials. I believe the 30L hugger would work better for people with one-bag lightweight travel in mind.
I’ve been impressed by how well this bag has withstood the first few weeks of hard use. Even after muddy/rainy commutes, being haphazardly placed on all kinds of terrain, and being stuffed into a fully loaded trunk more than a few times, the pack still looks brand new. The 60-day return policy and 2-year warranty are a testament to the durability of the bag.
The bag’s most innovative features are only available to those who are fully committed to the Douchebag ecosystem. All of the company’s roller bags offer a hookup system that allows the Hugger 20L to be stably connected to the rolling bag. Although this feature seems appealing, I did not have a Douchebag rolling bag to test it out on.
Room for Improvement
Perhaps the most glaring missing feature on the 20L Hugger is a water bottle holder. Although a water bottle can obviously be placed in the main body, the one-compartment design and large flap opening doesn’t make this efficient for staying hydrated. Although I imagine integrating a water bottle holder that doesn’t detract from the aesthetic appeal of the rest of the bag will be a challenge, I think having some way to stow water efficiently is an important feature to add.
The Final Word
The 20 L Hugger is durable enough to handle the rigors of daily use but lacks the distinctive features to truly specialize in one area. Where the bag most shines is in its flexibility. I think the ideal user that will get the most out of this pack is someone who is looking for an all-around backpack. The pack is comfortable enough to wear on a daily commute, sleek enough to look at home in the office, stylish enough to merit compliments, adaptable enough to be useful for travel, and durable enough to withstand anything you throw at it.
About the Gear Tester
Christina Savvides is a Midwest transplant, currently calling California home. Making up for years spent surrounded by too many cornfields, she now spends as much time as possible exploring the west coast. You can find her mountaineering, snowboarding, backpacking, scuba diving, cycling, or trail running.