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Refugio Daypack 26L ReviewsWrite Your Review
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All 95 Reviews
nice small pack a few weird quirks
Love the color. Size is nice. Laptop sleeve is removable which works nicely. There is no clip for keeping track of keys or other small things, which is super annoying. The side pockets are a soft mesh and not sturdy at all. I've used this bag just a couple of times and have already worn a hole in one side. Also, maybe related to my stature but... Read More the side strap/buckles bump into my biceps. I wouldn't wear this for an all-day hike but short outings are fine.
Good backpack, one major flaw
I enjoy this backpack for the most part; the laptop sleeve is convenient and the other sections are large enough to fit the various things I need throughout the day (change of clothes, speaker, toiletry bag, etc). HOWEVER, I'm very disappointed by the mesh bottle holders. I've had this bag for a few months, and haven't been aggressiv... Read Moree with its use. There are already sizeable holes in the mesh bottle holders from setting it on the ground. Besides that, it's the perfect daypack. If you plan to just use this for work and not hike (where you'd set it on rough ground), it'll work for you. Because I wanted wider use, I would've gotten a different bag. I love Patagonia and their products/practices, so I will get another pack for hiking.
Response from PatagoniaMay 25, 2023
We're very sorry to hear about the lack of durability in the side pockets of your pack. Your purchase is absolutely covered by our [Ironclad Guarantee](https://help.patagonia.com/s/article/Ironclad-Guarantee) so please don't hesitate to reach out to our Customer Service team to return the pack for a repair or warranty. We'll be glad to assist you!
Spacious, well balanced multipurpose pack
I bought the 26L Refugio pack. I LOVE that it really only has three pockets: a front vertical zip pocket, the center compartment, and the back where a laptop sleeve (included, very nice) or hydration reservoir goes. I do find that the vertical orientation of the front zipper is a little awkward if you have a lot of loose things in there - they ca... Read Moren come tumbling out - but easily corrected with a $12 set of mesh zip bags meant for travel (purchased elsewhere). I like the lack of organizational pockets because it gives me a lot of versatility. I can throw in a full packing cube, book, compressed totepack, iPad, and toiletries and head out on a trip. Or, I can load my laptop in the sleeve and toss my mouse, keyboard, and docking station in the center and head over to my coworking space. All in all I'm extremely happy with this bag. It fits me well, too -- I'm 5'3" with a short torso.
comparison with older versions
For the past decade, my everyday backpack has been a Refugio. I just bought a new 26, which I'll compare mostly to my Refugio 28 from 2019 (and a bit to my 28 from 2013 that I gave to a friend). These are first impressions that I'll update with time. Since 2019, the top lifting handle became more ergonomic. It now fits your whole hand ea... Read Moresily. As always, the shoulder straps and back panel are comfy as hell (I'm a thin man). I like the included top-loading laptop sleeve. (I was already using a separate sleeve for extra protection in my previous 28.) It happens to fit my 14" Thinkpad T480 nicely. The separate exterior laptop compartment is new and I don't know how to feel about it. The laptop sleeve could just live in the main compartment, but alright. Interior organization suffers compared to previous Refugios. The backpack itself no longer has any interior pockets for pens and small doodads. The only such pocket is on the laptop sleeve, which is a bit awkward to access while the sleeve is in the pack. I get what they're trying to do: the sleeve holds your "work" stuff so you can remove all of it for non-work outings. But it's too clever. There is no longer a great spot for my pen, spoon, lip balm, spare earbuds, floss, and just-in-case meds. Some of this stuff will now live in the vertical-opening "front" pocket (which also holds my wallet, keys, and so forth). The side water bottle pockets are now 100% thin stretchy mesh, even on the bottom where they will abrade against the ground! Previous Refugios used durable fabric here. This feels like the one instance of "cheaping out" on a pack that Patagonia should build to last for years.
Ideal High School Backpack
This backpack is the perfect size for high school students who need to carry laptop but don't want a bag that's so big it's overkill. My daughter wanted something efficient and durable to replace her worn out school pack. She now uses this one for hikes, school, and as a carry on.
Needs more pockets
Good product, yet needs way more pockets! Only really has two large ones. Can't believe I overlooked that while searching for one; I almost want to get another from another brand now.
Response from PatagoniaMay 11, 2023
Hi Amy, we're very sorry to hear that Refugio Daypack 26L wasn't what you were expecting. If you're unhappy with your purchase, please feel free to begin a [return or complimentary at exchange](https://www.patagonia.com/returns.html) at your earliest convenience.
Bring back the old design
This refresh of the Refugio bag is lazy and clearly not welcome to most people buying this bag. I really hope that the design team is considering a change because currently the bag is not for me, as a student. Also, nobody wants or asked for that tech insert.
Had it for 8 years and still going strong.
I bought this backpack in high school, and have used it all through college as well. I was looking into getting a new one, but then I realized I didnt really need it. the only thing that has failed after 8 years is the water resistant coating (which is expected).
Perfect All Rounder!
I purchased the Refugio 26L to use as a travel/flight/day walking bag. I chose the dark 'pitch' blue with pink and light blue zips/straps. really cool colours, reminds me of a tracksuit I had in the '80s! I read a lot about the size and shape of the compartments, my views are; firstly its an excellently made and comfortable bag, look... Read Mores and feels superb as well as being light. Secondly the 'tech pouch' is really neat, I had worries after reading some reviews that the mesh pocket was difficult to access etc. However I find it perfect, good size, there is enough slack in the velcro hanging cord to lift the pouch slightly and reach everything with no problem, also, if you're not taking a laptop then passports/wallets etc can fit in the laptop space easily and are doubly secure via the velcro flip and pocket zip. Thirdly, the main compartment is large and very useful to stuff quite a lot of kit. Fourthly, the smaller zip pocket is a good size and easily accessible. My only point for the design team, to make this bag perfect, would be to add a mesh pocket to the back of the outer zip pocket, because if you use the bag for a hike and remove the tech pouch, and want to swing the bag around and get something like a snack out of the zip pocket while on the go, it would be very easy for a wallet/key/phone to fall out as it's quite a roomy space.
Please bring back the Salvia (light green)
Hello, I love the Refugio Daypack. My favorite color, which I bought a few years ago, was a light green which the company now seems to call Salvia. (See the Altvia daypack.) Please consider bringing back this color, or a light color like Husk Tan without the blue details. Thank you.
Perfect size for personal item on flights
Perfect for travel and short hikes! I used this bag as my personal item in spirit and used packing cubes so I could take my clothes out while keeping them organized and I was able to take the pack on a hike after arriving at my destination! Happy with the quality! I love that you can remove the laptop sleeve as I used that pocket for a light jacket... Read More, a book and easily accessible snacks!
Yet another downgrade
Yet another downgrade why remove all the internal pockets and add it to the laptop sleeve that is essentially useless
Response from PatagoniaMarch 17, 2023
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review and we are very sorry to hear about your dissatisfaction with the new features of this pack. Please rest assured that we will be passing along your comments to our Product Design Team. In the meantime, please feel free to [return](https://www.patagonia.com/returns.html) your item at any time as we want you to be completely satisfied with all of your Patagonia purchases.
First of all, I would like to say I am a long time Patagonia shopper for many different reasons and I love everything about them. However I am very disappointed about this item for two reasons. First, sidede pocket got ripped off the very first time I put my water bottle in. Second, the front side gets marked easily.
Response from PatagoniaFebruary 24, 2023
Thank you so much for writing this review, Ali! We are truly very sorry for the disappointment you have had with this pack. We will make sure to pass along this feedback to our Product Design Team so they are aware of the issues with this pack. In the meantime, we will reach out to you privately to get this pack issue resolved as soon as possible.
This pack is travel perfect. Just enough compartments. Holds a 24 oz tall bottle in a side pocket. I am short and even with a heavy load it sits high enough without cutting into my neck - and it rides light. Although you can secure the zipper pulls with a carabiner, so nobody behind you can open it, this option of locking down the pack isnt ideally... Read More designed. I give it a 90/100 for that.
This has been a very good backpack! I got it for school and work, and it has done very well. It took a few days to break in but has been great ever since. I do have one issue, the stitching on the handle has come undone within the first week of owning, I had to try to fix it someway since I could not go with out a backpack. Everything else has been... Read More great!
Response from PatagoniaFebruary 10, 2023
Hi Brett, thank you for your review. Sorry to hear about that stitching! Please keep in mind you can absolutely send it to us for either a [return or a repair](https://www.patagonia.com/returns.html) if you need to!
Where is the functionality?
I love my old refugio (it is the 26L and it is the women's which is narrower is you are short like me) but I have had refugio for almost 10 years. This is the worst re-design ever. There are not internal pockets so the large pocket is just a black hole (and not like your black hole organizers) and the narrow second pockets is worthless if you ... Read Moreremove the laptop "envelope). I can't believe that the design team would make these types of decisions. Maybe it is a less expensive to make but I would pay another $10 to get a pack I can actually use. I returned it.
Response from PatagoniaFebruary 10, 2023
Thank you for this feedback, Nora. We're glad you returned a pack that wasn't going to work for you, and we hope we can help you find something that better suits your needs.
Love this backpack! I tried out a couple of different backpacks in various stores and none were perfect and some were pretty pricey! This one is lovely and simple with not too many pockets yet good, deep drink bottle pockets and the front pocket with vertical zip (which I was a little worried about when I saw the picture on line) is actually a ver... Read Morey practical design for cell phone etc. The back pack is not too big, yet roomy (I managed a 4 day trip using only this bag to avoid checking luggage) Most importantly is VERY comfortable to wear! The straps are nicely padded and when going on a long ramble/hike you can happily swing your arms, they don't rub on the pack (hiking with my husband's back pack is very annoying as as you are hiking along swinging your arms you are constantly rubbing your arms on the backpack) A relative who got the same backpack and uses it for business really loves the extra removable computer packet that slots into the back pocket.
Shockingly great school bag
Bought this for my middle school kid. F on the outside it looks small, but it somehow Carries far more than her old LLBean book bag. It also sits better on her shoulders and back, making it easier to carry a full and heavy bag whether she walks or bikes. But the real bonus is the weather resistance- today it handled a deluge without anything inside... Read More getting wet.
Needs more pockets
I like the material. Feels very nice. The zippers feel really nice too. They zip very smoothly. I wish the zipper on the top-most bag-part was a dual zipper, like the way the lower bag part is. My biggest issue is the lack of pockets. There is only one pocket and it is on the laptop bag. And I have to put only small items in it as to not have it pr... Read Moreess against my laptop lid. I would have liked it if there were some pen/flashlight/mouse pockets in the backpack. I had to get a separate baggie to hold my charging cables and such. The adjustable straps are nice. However, I don't use the front strap much, so I moved it to the back. I like how I was able to simply unclip it and then clip it onto the straps on the other side. One thing about the backpack part that holds the laptop holding bag is that I wish there was more zipper to zip down. The limited distance i can zip down prevents me from pulling the backpack too far open and seeing the contents of the mesh pocket of the laptop holder. I have to blindly shove my hand into the mesh pocket and rummage around for my pens. I wish I could see deeper into my bag, as that is the point of having a mesh pocket. I really like the deep water bottle pockets. Too often I have my water bottle fall out of my old backpack because the pocket was too shallow, but this holds it very nicely and securely. It has two pockets, so I use one for a water bottle and the other I use for holding my flashlight and whistle, and I use the strap to hang them on. But because it's open, I'm afraid it might fall out or get pickpocketed. Maybe if the water bottle holder had a zipper too that would be cool. Thank you very much. I like it.
Response from PatagoniaFebruary 1, 2023
Thank you for this detailed and thoughtful review, Andrew! We appreciate your feedback, and we're sharing it with our product designers.
Great size, comfortable on your shoulders
This is a great backpack. I love the bright blue color, it adds some fun to any outfit! I was surprised at how comfortable the straps lie on your shoulders, even when it is completely full! Not huge, yet holds a ton of stuff and even has a padded laptop/iPad sleeve. Super high quality, as expected from Patagonia!
Not the old refugio
I needed to replace my refugio after a number of years of beating it up. I have had two and they have proved reliable companions for years. The new, however, is a hot mess. First, they preserved the two sections BUT they made on narrow so that only a computer/tablet fits in (with a nice removable sleeve) but the compartment has NO INTERIOR POCKETS!... Read More It is just one but sack so putting items like toiletries in can't be put into compartments. My old on has two sleeves in the back (one for a computer and the other for whatever...I used it for books) The other section had two pockets, one mesh and one zip for sundry items. The small outer pack remains the same. I wanted to replace my everyday backpack but I will need to wait for improvements. So sad...
I always buy a quality
I always buy a quality product. This product was lacking in two things 1. Inside layering has a band of rexine kind material which peels off while washing it in washing machine. 2. Although its overall material was good but I did not like the outer two pockets material for the water bottles. I am still looking for a perfect choice in other brands.... Read More I strongly feel on-line shopping has severe limitations and the products should be bought in person from a store.
Response from PatagoniaJanuary 27, 2023
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this daypack, Harindar. We actually recommend hand washing this pack, rather than running it through a washing machine. In any case, we're glad to see you've returned it, since you weren't satisfied with the features of this pack. Please let us know if we can help you find an alternative!
Patagonia print logo
I was disappointed for the logo that was in the front (refugio 26L). After just like 5 months, the logo starts to wear off. I hope patagonia can have an alternative material for the logo that can last for a lifetime.
Response from PatagoniaJanuary 20, 2023
Hey Justin, thank you for the review. We agree that we expect more durability from our products and we're sorry that this has been your experience. If you'd like, we'd be happy to set you up with a warranty evaluation. Please reach out to [customer service](https://help.patagonia.com/s/?_gl=1*n5bf11*_ga*MTE3MzgxOTU4OS4xNjQ3NTMxMTc0*_ga_1SYPSJZYJ5*MTY3NDI1MDgwMC40NDIuMS4xNjc0MjUyNzU5LjAuMC4w) so we could get that set up for you.
Love this backpack
I bought this backpack primarily for airline travel or an overnight bag when I don't need a suitcase. The size is great, easy to get into the pockets in the constrained airplane seats, fits under my seat with room for my legs, is comfortable to wear. I especially like the vertical front zipper for accessing my phone and id. I did purchase orga... Read Morenizers to fit the front and rear pockets to keep my things readily accessible. I prefer this to having built-in pockets as I can customize the inserts to meet my own needs. Highly recommend!
Got this for my son
Got this for my son to use as his school backpack and he loves it! Versatile in that the laptop pouch can be removed. Plenty of space for his lunch, after school activity gear, and school materials. Backpack is lightweight so it doesnt add extra weight to all his stuff. He looks like a fortnight character when he wears this backpack with his sno... Read Morew gear, helmet, gloves and goggles.
Perfect all around backpack
I wanted something to replace my messenger bag for my laptop, but really wanted a backpack instead. This pack is the perfect size for a daytrip, or to bring to work, or for your carry-on on the plane! Cool colors and super comfy fit. Tough so far, and sure it will last a long time!
Great Rucksack that I purchased after lots of research with the goal of wanting a rucksack that can be used for commuting to work or for a day trip out hiking. Most bags serve one function but I love the removable laptop case so at the weekend I can use this section differently and quickly get my work gear back in the bag when I go to the office. T... Read Morehe case easily fits a 15 inch laptop. I have given 4 stars instead of 5 as the main section could do with an internal pocket, an easy design fix for the future. I through in a pouch to get over this minor issue but it would be easier to have an internal pocket for smaller items. The bag looks smart too so great for work and for those who have long commutes. The straps are excellent and adjustable. I have a short torso so this fits well and the straps curve to my shape. I love this bag, superb quality and value for money. Well done Patagonia for offering such a versatile bag!
Refugio isn't what it used to be
I bought my first refugio backpack circa 2014-2016 and I absolutely loved it. The 3 main compartments were a laptop compartment, main bulk compartment, a sleeker organization with dedicated space for pens and sunglasses. It also had a small 'hideaway' pocket up top for valuables in addition to the waterbottle mesh pockets on the sides... ... Read MoreContrast with this new 2022 Refugio backpack which is effectively one large sack separated by two zippers. None of the compartments have any organizational components to them (save for a pretty redundant/useless laptop sleeve) and there is no safe place to store valuables like passport/wallet -- the large vertical zipper compartment does not at all feel secure for someone traveling or flying with valuables, and its too small to really hold anything larger than that. Really disappointed with this new design, and hopeful that Patagonia will return to the glory days of the Refugio pack from 8-9 years ago.
Response from PatagoniaOctober 25, 2022
Hi Nirav! Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. We're really sorry to hear about the disappointment with the changes made throughout the years. We'll share these comments with our design crew. Your satisfaction is always guaranteed so you're welcome to [return](https://www.patagonia.com/returns.html).
Prefect size and fit
I LOVE this bag! I primarily use it when I ride my bike to work (I teach and advise at a nearby college) or walk to work to carry my lunch, purse, laptop, and teaching books/ notebooks. I ordered the larger size first and sent it back. Totally not the pack for what I need. But THIS one is perfect. And I love the color. I got the red with blue trim.... Read More And the water bottle holders on the side are big enough to carry my large water bottles, which was always a must and usually a problem in the smaller backpacks. I am taking it on a plane next week to a conference and am excited to try it out for travel too! Some of the reviews said it didnt have enough tiny pockets but thats actually a plus for me as it lets me stuff more of what I need and I already have my purse or smaller carry ons for smaller things that could get lost. Overall, this is my perfect bag. Finally!
Love / hate with this bag
This bag checks so many boxes, but could be improved with two small zipper pockets in the front vs one massive pocket where everything gets mixed and lost. I love the double side bottle pockets with straps. The bag is plenty roomie for a long weekend trip. Comfortable enough for hiking. It just needs better organization for small items that's ... Read Morenot a laptop sleeve.
So the 26L backpack was perfect for my petite 5'2" height. I wanted something that fit a lot but yet didn't overwhelm. However, as other reviewers mentioned, I'm not sure I'm sold yet on the lack of pockets inside. The front vertical zip isn't the greatest either. If you're pack is full, it's not easy to stor... Read Moree much where as if you had actual horizontal pockets you'd probably be able to fit more and find what you need easier. It's a pain to have to have your own pouches to itemize and find items. The laptop sleeve was great though. I like that it's padded and you can easily have all your accessories in one. So... I'm still debating about whether I want to keep this or not. I'm curious if Patagonia will have a newer model with same laptop sleeve yet better inside and outside storage being released soon. If so, I will definitely exchange or return this.
I was super excited when I purchased this backpack. I could not wait to start using it to replace my previous backpack for school. But after 2 days, it was very clear to me that this was not the backpack for me. Zero organizational pockets. Nothing for smaller objects, so I found myself fishing through my backpack looking for small items. Compartme... Read Morentalization is a must for any school backpack for me. I have friends that have the previous Refugio model and I absolutely loved theirs. So after spending hours total looking for the previous model online, I eventually found a used one that I had to purchase. It seems as thought everyone and their mother is looking for the previous model because the updated one is significantly less desirable. On another note, the 26l isn't very large, which is why I needed the previous design that was 28l which will be the perfect size. Overall, I wouldnt recommend this backpack if you like an organized backpack. But if thats not an issue for you, then by all means go ahead and purchase this backpack because it is a very nice one. Just not exactly what I was looking for.
Response from PatagoniaSeptember 12, 2022
Thank you for sharing this feedback, Zoe. We're sorry to hear this redesign of the Refugio Daypack made it less useful for you! We had intended to maximize space and save on weight by changing the internal organization and adding a removable tech caddy to hold smaller items. We're glad you've found an earlier model that will work for you. If you would like to return the newer model, we will be happy to help you [return](https://www.patagonia.com/returns.html) it.
Excellent, versatile backpack!
These are fantastic, long-lasting and durable bags, with great features. My college-age daughter borrowed mine to take with her to Europe, and now I can't get it back : ). She loves it for school, climbing, travel, etc., and I used it for travel, beach, etc. I am excited to see that this new version comes with a laptop sleeve, which is a nice ... Read Moreaddition. I am actually here to buy one for my husband for his birthday, but eventually I will get myself another as well. (I use the Atom tote for work, which is another fantastic bag.) Feels good knowing that they will last a very long time!
Made it work
I have 3 versions of the Refugio and lately I find myself reaching for this 2022 model the most. Yes there is no fixed internal pocket organization but I honestly never use them as I carry pouches to organize my stuff. The removable laptop sleeve is great for me to pack my work items and carry them with other totes/bags. The backpack has plenty of ... Read Moreroom for my lunch, an extra layer, keys, sunglasses, etc. Side pockets easily hold my 32 oz insulated water bottle. I added a bungee cord in front to strap down an extra jacket or helmet. The 26L is a perfect size for my daily activities and does not overwhelm my petite frame. This backpack may not be the best choice for school because of the lack of internal pockets and overall size. I think adding a mesh or small zipped pocket for quick access to phone/keys would be ideal.
Perfect for work
I work in a hospital. I am a fan of the big mesh pockets on the side. I keep a Nalgene in one and a thermos in the other. The front zip is convenient for easy access to my ID, stethoscope, pager, lotion and keys. I took out the laptop holder. And I use that space for my wallet, a book and learning materials. The main compartment will hold my sweate... Read Morer and some protein drinks and fruit. It is perfect for me.
Pretty good overall, needs organization inside
It fits well and holds a fair amount. The lack of internal organization makes for a frustrating experience. I can see why people recommend buying a previous model.
Response from PatagoniaSeptember 9, 2022
Thank you for submitting this review, Ryan. We're sorry to hear the features of this redesigned pack didn't work for you! We will share your feedback with our product designers. In the meantime, we'll contact you about returning the pack if you wish.
Just What I Needed
I was looking for a bag that could fit under the seat of an airplane, so I bought this 26L Refugio. I had read that people have used this pack for the same purpose. My first reaction was the surprise of not seeing pockets inside, but in the end I don't need pockets. I wanted a bag where I could fit my hiking boots because they didn't fit ... Read Morein my carry-on luggage where I put my 28L hiking pack; and I didn't want to wear them on the trip although I had considered wearing them. Well, surprise, the hiking boots fit perfectly well (I have a size 11 for boots) and I have plenty of room for my small camera, extra lens and accessories, which was very important to me when I tried to find a bag. I can also stick a small tripod on the side of the bag. I was attracted to the simplicity of this bag. I'm not too sure why people complain about the lack of pockets. I have room for a small pouch for toiletries that also fits well. Fixed pockets in a utility bag like this could be a problem in case of tight space. I originally tried to cram everything in one of my smaller hiking bags, but the boots were taking too much space, and I gave up. To say the truth, I didn't even try to see how comfortable or not this bag was because I don't intend to take it hiking. I have dedicated bags for that. But this is the perfect travel bag for personal stuff in addition to the overhead carry-on. Keep it simple!!
Best backpack ever!
I ordered this backpack from surf dome ( A Patagonia certified supplier) in the grey and green which is absolutely gorgeous. The bag itself is 100% waterproof and so easy to clean, the computer pocket at the back of the bag is ingenious with the velcro loop to attach the laptop case. The backpack is so practical and ideal for outdoor use in all env... Read Moreironments. I am looking forward to using this for college and in the future, Thankyou so much Patagonia I've had bad experiences with backpacks in the past, yours are by far the best and are environmentally and ethically made too, a real game changer! ( These backpacks also look great with pins and badges I put my red panda pin on mine and it looks brill!)
Revolutionary laptop protection and TSA transit
Both the 2022 redesigned (maybe 2021?) 26L and new 30L Refugio daypacks ace the "must bring along laptop" and "must transit TSA and international security checkpoints with minimal hassle" checkboxes. To wit, the latest Refugios have removable padded inserts to hold and pad our laptops. The new removable laptop sleeve not only a... Read Moressists with security transits, it means easier and more complete recovery of storage space at destination. At home, ditch the sleeve to reclaim usable space when you don't need it, or to make room for a water bladder instead. (Note that there is a Velcro loop closure at top of slot, for holding a water bladder, that will also attach to the padded laptop sleeve for a little extra peace of mind against theft.) During security transits, the padded sleeve protects the laptop and keeps potential thieves from accurately assessing the value of your laptop. You can detach the Velcro security loop, or wiggle the sleeve out and spread eagle daypack and sleeve on the conveyor belt. I wouldn't put anything except cables (without wall warts/power bricks) in the mesh accessory panel on the exterior of the laptop sleeve. Anything that protrudes will simply focus the force of an accidental drop onto a smaller area of the laptop lid or body and improve the odds of a cracked screen. (Same principle why corner drops are usually more damaging than flat drops.) I would like to see Patagonia include "security loops" where zipper pulls can be zip-tied to prevent pilfering. Where there are two zipper pulls on a compartment, of course usually they can be ziptied to each other. The only single pull, no anchor point, on the 26L Refugio is the otherwise very handy outermost stuff panel with a single vertical zipper. So tempting to stow your passport there, but don't do it. Tiny cable zip ties are the best; I travel with a small pouch of them and a nail clipper to cut them loose. In bulk, they are very inexpensive and its only on transits where I'm napping that I worry about security.
Do not redesign proven and working product
I had the old 28L Refugio backpack. It was great. I Have taken it on my travel/trips all over the world. The new design decided to remove all the nice features such as packets for storing and organizing items. The bag becomes an empty small duffel bag. A backpack cannot be just empty room for stuffing stuffs. When one travels or on a trip, ther... Read Moree are always small items that one must pack and quickly accessible, such as going through an airport, or need to get your camera flash out, pad and pens to write/notes, key, daily medicines and so on. If the backpack provides me no means for organization, then it is simply impractical to use. The removable caddie for laptop is a useless complication. If I need my laptop, then I just take it out and use it. I don't want to remove a caddie to take my laptop out then I need to put the caddie back into my backpack or leave another item on usually limited working space environment. In addition, the new backpack feels very uncomfortable and tight. The new backpack material also appears thin and inferior to the old construction. Everything can be improved but try to solicit real product customers inputs for improvements. There is no need to redesign a product simply because of its old and change for the sake of changing. I bought everything from Patagonia since 80s. This was a disappointment. I returned it and purchased a Black Hole 25L. I hope it will be satisfactory when I received it.
Uncomfortable straps, new design?
I watched many review videos and I like it. But when I bought one for mine, the first thing I noticed was where all those little pockets on the videos? Okay for me I can live without them. Then I put it on, and that is killing me. The straps are anti-ergonomic as if I they are shaped in the wrong direction. The pressure is only on the inner side of... Read More the straps as if they are put in the opposite direction of how to fit a body. So, all the weights pressed only on the inner side of hard straps pinching at the shoulders near the neck the most and also all around the front of the body. It hurts immediately. I do not know if any of the designers try it on and say wow that is comfortable. And now I am reading the reviews here and found that mine is a new design!!! Not sure how good the straps in the old design were but they had to be much better than this. Never have backpack this uncomfortable before. Everything else (except the issues with organizational pockets) looks great. I will return and now look for another brand. Please have a serious talk with the designers. Recalling this design immediately might be the way to go to save the brand. First time to be disappointed with Patagonia to the point that I have to write a review to warn others.
Learned to love it
At first, I love this bagpack because of the simple shape and the dedicated department for laptop(s). Then, I realized it doesn't have any pockets, and i almost did not get it. After some debate in my head, I decided to get it. To solve the inner pocket issue, I thought of using a couple of small zipper bags to store my personals and accessor... Read Moreies, which goes into the middle compartment. That way I can grab what I need out of the bag and don't have to dig inside of the bag. It works perfectly and keep all my pens and pill box tidy, and it hold quite a lot inside. It's not for everyone, but it is great for people on the go, who loves the outdoor and also carries their laptops everywhere (techie).
This 26L daypack has room
This 26L daypack has room for everything. It has a padded compartment to hold a tablet or mobile devices which is removable. There are mesh compartment on each side of the outside for water or anything else and a full accessible zipper on the outside front which eliminates going inside the bag. This is and ideal bag for daily commutes and everyday ... Read Moreuse.
Worst Redesign Decision
I have owned the last two Patagonia Refugio 28L designs since 2015. I purchase this new model 26L and 30L Refugio and ended up returning them both the next day. I quickly stocked up on two older models found on EBAY to last the 4 or so years that this design will be offered until they redesign once again. The pack has no organizational pockets and ... Read Moreinstead comes with a organizational sleeve which was not functional for daily use. The new designs literally have a SQUARE feel on your back making the older models conform feel much more ergonomically fitting for everyday use. The last design offered a 28L MENS and 26L WOMENS which me and my wife both love. Now the 30L is too large for my liking and looks like the old Chacabuco model and the 26L is too small for me but looks closer to the last Refugio model appearance with the front zipper down the middle vertically. PLEASE BRING BACK THE OLDER DESIGN and just rename these two different packs something else.
Response from PatagoniaJuly 22, 2022
We're truly sorry to hear we missed the mark on this redesign with you. We always hope our redesigns take us forward with the changes made but this can be difficult for those who prefer the older models. We are glad to hear you were able to find some older used Refugios to get you through the next few years. We also passed your thoughts along to our Design Team. If you have any questions about your returns, please be sure to reach out to us [here](https://help.patagonia.com/s/). Thank you so much for your feedback.
Where are the interior pockets???
My college-bound daughter has taken over my Refugio I bought a couple of years ago and now I need another one. I thought Patagonia would have the same one since it is basically the perfect smaller backpack, but was shocked when I realized that they had remade a perfect backpack into something that is unusable for so many. This was a terrible mistak... Read Moree you guys made and whoever did it should be given a stern talking-to! Please make the old ones again, really because so many of us need one and don't want to resort to ebay. The design was PERFECT and did not need to be changed.
Response from PatagoniaJuly 19, 2022
Hey Emily, thank you for the feedback. We're sorry to hear that you're not satisfied with the design changes we've made to the Refugio, we'll be sure to share the feedback with the product team. We do sell lightly used gear from past seasons on our [Worn Wear website](https://wornwear.patagonia.com/shop/packs-and-gear). We're not seeing any Refugios at this time, but we add to inventory daily so we recommend checking back.
Bring back organization pockets
Great backpack size and style. But the removable organizer is annoying for me. It would be much more useful to have organizer pockets sewn into the pack like the old model. Hopefully they will return to what works well.
Response from PatagoniaJuly 13, 2022
Thank you for sharing this feedback on the redesign of this pack, Roger. This is useful to both our designers and other customers. We're sorry the current version isn't working for your needs! We'll reach out to you about options.
Please bring back old design!!
As a nerdy student, I used to be a little obsessed with backpacks.. but when I stumbled across the Refugio 5 years ago, I had never felt the need to buy another one; it was the perfect backpack. But I recently bought one for a family member going to college, but it turns out they redesigned it!!! The shape is way less flattering now and I miss th... Read Moree laptop and tablet pockets in the back. Also, the side pockets are terrible as well, since they arent naturally roomy. In the redesign, theyre flatter and tighter, making it more awkward to put my water bottles in. I have no idea why they would redesign the perfect backpack! It had just the right amount of pockets to store things. Ill definitely be returning it.
Response from PatagoniaJuly 13, 2022
Hi Liz! Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. We're really sorry to hear about the disappointment with the changes made. Feedback like this is crucial to improving products for future seasons. We'll share this with our design crew.
I bought this back pack for school I live in a rainy area and I needed something waterproof and it is great it has room to fit everything I need I love it great purchase really recommend
Response from PatagoniaJuly 5, 2022
We are so stoked to hear you love your purchase of the Refugio Daypack 26L. It's water resistance comes from the PFC-Free DWR finish. If looking for something water proof, be sure to check out our waterproof and water resistant bags found [here](https://www.patagonia.com/shop/luggage-waterproof-bags). Feel free to reach out to Customer Service if you are not sure whether your bag is water proof or just resistant and we will be happy to help.
Please bring the old design back!
Like other reviewers have stated, the redesign on this backpack totally misses the mark. I own the 2019 version, and it is pretty much the perfect backpack. This updated version scraped everything that was great about the old one (organizer pockets, slim integrated laptop sleeve, comfortable straps and shape for more petite builds). I get that you ... Read Moreare going for gender-neutral, but you could still keep the old design without specifying gender! Personally I find it offensive that the design had to be made more masculine to qualify as gender neutral. I know plenty of folks of all genders that would have preferred the original (as evidenced by other low reviews). Please bring back the old design!
Response from PatagoniaJuly 5, 2022
Hi Andrea, thank you so much for sharing this feedback! Please know it will be shared with our product design team. We're sorry this redesign doesn't meet your needs, and we'll reach out to you about returning this pack.
Great for vacations
My daughter bought the same bag when we spent a week in Disney World last summer. It was perfect!!! It held everything we needed for our long days: sunscreen, wipes, sunglasses, hats, snacks, etc. The side pockets were big enough for our large stainless steel water bottles and had straps to secure them. I decided I had to have one for any spur of t... Read Morehe trip I might take! Mine had a bit of an upgrade-a padded, removable tablet/laptop sleeve. This is a wonderful bag that will serve me well!
Perfect every day back pack
Got this back pack for my bicycle/train commute and as purse substitute for the weekend. Love the outside pocket that zips vertical open down the middle. It makes it easy to grab your wallet, your phone, or mask. Would have liked an interior pocket in the main compartment to hold keys/badges. Between my home, train, and work Ive got 3 sets of keys ... Read Moreand 5 access cards.
Perfect bag for work!
I work as a nurse and carry a lot with me on my 12-hr shifts. This bag can comfortably carry my lunch and snacks, water bottle, coffee tumbler, rain jacket, umbrella, iPad, and other essentials that I carry with me on a daily basis. The material is sturdy, well-built, and has good strap padding/insulation. I think it is roomy enough to carry 2-3 da... Read Moreys worth of clothes too if youre looking to travel. I was looking for a bag to replace my old beloved Osprey and this is perfect. I love this bag so much and highly recommend it!
Perfect day pack for city or dog walks
Long trail walks with the dogs and you know ~ collapsible dog bowl, water, keys, wallet, hat + room for small purchases, it adds up quickly. This doesnt feel (or look) too big at all. Also a great walking around the city for the afternoon pack! Patagonias packs are simply the comfiest (hands down) with sturdy zippers. Worth the lil bit extr... Read Morea price. Simple design, I got the black Just buy it.
I owned the old 26 liter design and took a look at the new one in a store. I find it to be a horrible redesign for the following reasons: -No internal organization pockets. -Padded separator at the back of the bag (useful for any flat items) removed in favor of a removable sleeve, which simultaneously reduced useful compartments from 2 down to 1. ... Read More-New side pockets are large but flat; the old design had pockets with a lot of space in them without needing to be stretched, which was incredibly useful for quick access items. -New straps don't get narrow at the bottom like the old design, the straps of which stayed to the side of the chest, out of the way. The old design was quite fantastic. A nice size and shape, with very versatile pockets and compartments. It could have used better internal organization, but that's about all. The redesign does not compare, and I hope to see the old design return in the future.
I picked up this backpack from rei today as a replacement for my old nike one. Im a huge fan of the look of front zipper and it was comfortable so I bought it. When I checked out the inside later I found the single interior pocket. Theres pretty much 0 options for small item storage. Going to return.
Response from PatagoniaMay 13, 2022
Hey Ryan, thank you for the feedback. The Refugio redesign has a front pocket, a tech caddy pocket along the back, two water bottle pockets on the sides and the main compartment area, so there are a couple options for items that need quick access. With that said, if you're unhappy with the product you're definitely welcome to return it. Maybe something like our [Arbor Lid Pack 28L](https://www.patagonia.com/product/arbor-lid-pack-28-liters/48545.html?dwvar_48545_color=BSAR&cgid=luggage-backpacks) would be more suitable for your needs.
Good backpack that could be improved
I was seeking a unicorn backpack, which is a casual hiking 25-28L daypack that has a zippered padded laptop pocket. There only a few backpacks that fit the bill since most backpacks fall into commuter/travel or hiking daypack categories, and either lack a separate zippered laptop pocket (hiking day pack) or are a commuter pack without features usef... Read Moreul in a day hiking pack (no water bottle sleeves, sternum strap). The re-designed Refugio 26L seemed to like it could be exactly what I wanted and on the whole, I think it's a decent pack. Roomier than the 26L volume implies, nicely padded shoulder straps, good construction. I agree with other reviewers that the removable laptop sleeve is too niche a feature, and Patagonia would have been better off just padding the pocket and adding an organization pocket or two in the main compartment. I like the large zippered pocket in the front, but a smaller pocket for storing keys, wallet, cellphone is missing. I also think that the shoulder straps are set a bit too close together. They can rub on the neck. Although lengthening the straps helps to ease the problem, that doesn't help people who have a shorter torso length. Adding an inch of distance between the straps would help. I find this to be a versatile pack that can be a city hauler but also sufficient to carry your things on a causal hike. It's just missing a few things for it to truly be a unicorn.
Response from PatagoniaMay 10, 2022
Hey Mo, thank you for sharing your feedback with us. You're correct that the way a daypack is designed will be different than something made for technical use. The cool thing about the removable tech caddy and how you'd like to use this bag, is that it allows you to remove your laptop for those days that you want to take the bag on the trail; which gives it some added versatility. The only other pack we can think of that might work for you is our [Black Hole Pack 25L](https://www.patagonia.com/product/black-hole-pack-25-liters/49297.html?dwvar_49297_color=APBL&cgid=luggage). It has a padded laptop sleeve that is integrated into the pack, along with smaller organization pockets, a sternum strap and water bottle pockets. Perhaps it could be your unicorn pack, check it out!
Design changed to make worse
I found this pack in REI to replace my old one, and thought was great, though they didnt have in a decent color. I now discover they had the *old design*, and now can only have the new design, minus all the pockets. Why change the design in such a negative way?
A Better Computer Pack
I chose this pack for my work computer pack. The computer sleeve and separate zipper pocket are very nice. The main compartment is huge and the outer zipper compartment expands to hold all my smalls. Straps are comfortable and the construction seems sturdy. Only thing Id like is a smaller compartment for keys, ear buds etc. Over all its very ... Read Moregreat.
This new version of Refugio 26 L is awful. It used to be designed for women but Patagonia has decided we aren't important. The old version had a strap design that lifted the pack for women's shorter torsos. It was the most comfortable pack I've ever worn. This one is unisex, which always means a male default. And then they also take ... Read Moreaway the organizer pockets! Who thought any of this was a good idea?
Response from PatagoniaApril 12, 2022
Hey Nancy, thank you for sharing your feedback with us. We've removed the gendered language from our Daypack product line this season since people come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, we did not want to exclude folks with shorter torso's if the pack was specified for women. The Refugio 26L will fit most people, but we do also have our [Atom Tote Pack 20L](https://www.patagonia.com/product/atom-tote-pack-20-liters/48125.html?dwvar_48125_color=CNYT&cgid=root) for those with shorter stature. The straps on the Refugio are still adjustable to change how it sits on the body. The tablet and laptop sleeve inside of the pack has been changed to a removeable tech caddy to make it easy to remove when your tech items are not needed. We hope this helps to give some clarity into why we've made these design changes. As always, if you're not happy with the product you're welcome to return it either in store or by sending it back to our warehouse.
Great improvement over previous version!
My thoughts on this bag compared to the previous version: Patagonia Refugio 28L (Previous version) - Slightly fiddly front pocket, doesn't store much especially when other compartments are full - The long front pocket doesn't have anything to stop the contents falling out at the base if you unzip it all the way - Shoulder straps are unco... Read Moremfortable, and slippery if you wear on one shoulder + Stretchy water bottle pockets! + Nice construction Patagonia Refugio (2022) 26L (This version) + Front pocket much improved - there is a strip of material inside to stop the contents falling out at the base if you unzip it all the way + Shoulder straps improved - more padded and not slippery + New carry handle better quality and position + Still has loops at front corners and at the base to attach clips or bungee cord, etc + Love the organiser insert + Stretchy water bottle pockets! + Nice construction Overall, this new version is a great improvement!
Needs internal pockets
Nice backpack but there are no internal pockets for holding small things like keys, a wallet or pen. The laptop sleeve is okay but prefer older backpack versions where the sleeve is just an area separated within the pack by a padded sheet. Even when not carrying a laptop, the laptop area is useful for keep notebooks or other flat items separate fro... Read Morem main pack area.
Response from PatagoniaMarch 31, 2022
Thank you for sending this feedback, Andrea. It's very helpful to our product design team in planning future product revisions. Please let our Customer Service Team know if you would like to return or exchange it. Our number is (800) 638-6464.
Disappointed with the update
I had owned this backpack before and it was the greatest backpack Ive had. Then my car was broken into and it was stolen. So I buy it online and pick it up in store without looking at it because everything seemed to be the same and I was leaving to go out of town. Only to get home and realize there is no organization pockets anymore. They have opte... Read Mored to have a removable laptop sleeve that has one pocket and thats it. I am so disappointed in this change and had to return it. Testing out other brands just hasnt compared to my old Refugio. Patagonia, please bring back the original design. This backpack is officially useless now.
Response from PatagoniaMarch 28, 2022
Thank you for this feedback on the revisions, Kaitlyn. We're sorry they missed the mark for you! This kind of feedback is extremely useful to our product design team. We hope we can get you set up with something that will work much better for you in the future!
Overall great but with one recommendation
This backpack checks all the boxes but one. I'm using this pack for international travel and so am looking at it through that lens. Let's start with the good stuff; you can fit a surprising amount in this pack, it's nice looking and should hold up well over time, the water bottle pockets easily swallow my 32 oz. Nalgenes, it has a se... Read Moreparate laptop compartment for easy grabbing at coffee shops and airports, and the front pocket is great to quickly stash snacks or a sweatshirt. The one big change that I'd like to see is adding a smaller quick grab pocket somewhere on this pack. Patagonia decided to go with a removable laptop compartment sleeve that has a small pocket on it for organization. The problem is, it's not that easy to get to when the pack is fully loaded, and, if you don't need the sleeve, you lose the one organizing pocket in the whole pack. I felt like the laptop sleeve was overkill for me but if you don't use it, you lose the only smaller storage pocket for quick grab items like headphones, charging cable, Kindle, etc. You can use the front pocket for that but it's easy to get lost because of the size and lack of organization and it would be real easy for someone to unzip it and grab stuff out without you really knowing it, so I wouldn't feel great about putting anything expensive up there. And so, in summary, I think this pack does a fine job of giving you a lightweight versatile pack that swallows gear and has a lot of practical use but would love to see a smaller organization pocket built into the pack like previous versions.
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