I’m loving my downtime between product lines. I get to kick back with a new product every week, something small, to try out and write about. This week I got my hands on an OXA Ultralight Backpack, which is great, as I was looking for a new backpack. This one fits the bill rather nicely, a spacious backpack that is both inexpensive and hard wearing.
The key selling point seems to be the portability of the pack, it folds down into a 7″ x 11″ form factor for easy storage. It’s a nice touch, but not a feature I see myself using all that often. From my perspective the most important factor when deciding on a simple everyday pack is in the price. This is a product designed to be taken into the wilds, so it does not do to spend too much on something that is going to be covered in muck and wilderness. Thankfully OXA have priced this one well.
The only issues I can see off the bat might be in the look of the bag. It is not to everyone’s aesthetic tastes, but I would argue that that is true of most bags in this category. At least OXA have been able to provide the consumer with some color options if you need to match your outfit, but again, in the world of outdoor back packs the look of it is less important than the feel of it.
Before moving onto the review I think it is a good idea to know who we are buying from. There are so many options these days, and a fair few unscrupulous characters hocking sub standard gear, so it would be nice to know that OXA are not one.
I had a little trouble finding out more information on OXA. Not much of a surprise, seen as they are an Amazon affiliate storefront. This means that they have no real extended online presence, that their business is based on product sourcing from China. It’s called drop-shipping, and doing it right is a little difficult. A look through their product line shows stylish products, arranged well, all linked, creating a kind of cohesion within their store. It’s a smart way to do it, and it indicates that the folks over at OXA know what they are doing.
The real indicator of a good drop-shipping style storefront lies in the customer support, and OXA have done this right as well. Seen as they are intrinsically linked with Amazon.com it means that they make sure that all consumer needs are taken care of, that all inquiries are answered quickly, and that refunds can be issued quickly, else they face the wrath of Amazon. It also means that the quality of items listed can vary wildly. The Ultralight Backpack I got for review might be pretty good, but that may not hold true across the board.
OXA Ultralight Foldable Daypack Design and Build Quality
So, while I said in the intro that the look of the bag is less important, it is not unimportant, and it is here that I feel the OXA Ultralight Foldable Backpack falls a little short. The core look of the bag, head on, is a bit basic. I got a black one, and it just feels a little flat to me. The other colors fare a little better here, but not by much. It’s a shame, seen as OXA have stocked there shop with some very aesthetically pleasing bags and satchels, I am quite taken with their Canvas messenger bag.
I am not the target consumer for this product, my opinion on the look is evidence enough for that. I realize that the look of the product is less important to the avid hiker. The feel of the build is the most important part, and the OXA Ultralight feels amazing. The stitching is machined, but the double folds are in the right places, it really feels like it can take a snag or thirty. The straps are comfortable, with a nice little click bracket to maintain stability. I filled the bag to the brim and walked around with it for a while, I experienced a little discomfort, but shifting the straps alleviated it.
I didn’t want to pull too hard at the straps, because I intend to go on using the bag, but I did give them a good hard tug just to make sure they were on there tight. There are eight total compartments, though that does include the mesh bottle holder in the side, so I would have said seven. The main pocket can hold around a cubic foot of gear, which is impressive in this form factor. Folding the whole thing down for easy storage takes a few minutes the first time you do it, but after that you know where things go. The size difference is impressive, and having that feature is a useful bonus.
Overall there isn’t much more to say. At it’s core the backpack works. There are some issues with the look of the thing, but I imagine there is not much you can do to improve the look of a backpack when you are more concerned with hiking and visibility. The material is designed to be highly reflective, to increase your profile when traveling at night. The bag can take a pounding, and it is machine washable, two very important factors to take into account when in the market for a new backpack.
There are more durable bags out there, there are more reflective bags, more compact bags, lighter bags, there are bags that match the feature set of this one perfectly, but none of them are going to be at this price point.
OXA Ultralight Foldable Daypack Pricing and Warranty
Speaking of price point, the value in this product is really in how inexpensive it is. It does all the things I’ve said it does, and it does them for under $20. Right now the OXA Ultralight Backpack is $18.99, which is a bargain. The base price is listed as $39.99, but I feel like that might be a bit of obfuscation. OXA are dedicated to providing high quality products in the $20-$30 price point, Ten bucks above seems to be contrary to their mission.
In terms of warranty you do not have to worry. This is an Amazon FBA we’re talking about here. Their products are stored by Amazon, and the consumer protection policies of Amazon themselves are there to make sure you are not ripped off. There is a standard seller warranty to cover your first year of use, which is nice, but it only covers manufacturer’s defects. Considering what constitutes normal use of a hiking pack it is unlikely you’ll be able to make use of it .
The price is on point, and buying from an Amazon FBA means that you get peace of mind with your purchase as well. Be sure if you are in the market for a new anything to get it off Amazon, their consumer protection policies are second to none right now, and when it comes to buying low cost items like this in general it is better to be safe than sorry.
OXA Ultralight Foldable Daypack Conclusion
This was interesting. There are clear negatives to the product, the aesthetics are sub par, and the warranty is a little on the weak side, but the core features are on the level. There may well be products out there that surpass it, but all of them will cost you so much more. If you are in the market for a nice low cost hiking pack, that will stand up to the elements well and carry a large amount then the OXA Ultralight Pack is a great option. The added benefits of the reflective layer and the space saving folding feature are icing on an already delicious cake.