'Stealth' Black Travel Packs Look Sharp, Cost a Lot

Los Angeles-based Ignoble is a two-person boutique shop that produces small runs of pricey, “noir”-inspired travel goods.

The brand makes five pack models, all of which are super stealth and blacked-out.

I got the Cora Classic and Marion Tombs models this winter and took them on a pair of cross-country road trips for a test.

ignoble pack.jpg

Ignoble pack

The packs, which are hand-assembled in small runs, got the job done. Tough nylon construction and plenty of space (the Cora has a 36-liter capacity, the Tombs has 29) made the packs great for travel.

Both have a large main compartment equipped for storing a laptop and more than a few days worth of clothes and goods. The Cora has an adjustable top and draw-sack that makes it better for storing and balancing a large load.

The Marion is a lighter bag that is faster and easier to access given the main compartment’s large wraparound zipper and a handful of zippered external stash pockets.

Ignoble Marion and Cora.jpg

Ignoble Marion Tombs Backpack (left) and Cora Rucksack

When I haven’t been traveling, the packs have both proved more than adequate for daily bike commuting and easy hiking as well.

The packs both passed the test in terms of functionality and looks, but as far as pricing I was a bit floored. $200. For each.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually willing to pay more for made in the USA products, especially when it’s a small shop. But holy smokes. $200 is tough to justify when I could get the same functionality in a pack that might not look as cool, but is less than half the price.

ignoble.jpg

Another Ignoble model, the Lorna Case Backpack, can be carried like a suitcase or worn as a pack

Here’s what one of the company’s owners had to say regarding the price: “The pricing is a function of the low volume of bags produced and the premium production method used to bring the products to market. We’re a tiny company of two making men’s bags that we feel very passionate about, and backing them with a lifetime warranty. They’re boutique products targeted at consumers who appreciate the unique style, utilitarian functionality, and made in the USA pedigree we have to offer.”

There’s no question Ignoble has a very niche audience. For the average traveler, there’s not much reason to drop 200 bucks on a travel bag that’s technically comparable to bags that cost half as much. For someone who digs the stealth look and has some coin to spend on travel bags, Ignoble checks off a few key boxes and might be a fit.

—Patrick Murphy is an assistant editor.

Posted by mzungu - 04/24/2013 10:56 PM

$200? Want to be stealthy, just buy the cheapest bag at the flea market, if you are in Mexico, buy a mexican one when u r in Mexico. or if you are like me, get some black dye and paint it over the brite yellow canvas on my Mountainsmith, and make it look messy…. haven’t got stolen yet…

Posted by I - 04/24/2013 11:14 PM

Thanks for the super terrible comment bro!

Posted by Joe - 04/25/2013 04:06 AM

Glad we have Gear Junkie around to give us the scoop on all the latest overpriced hipster gear from boutique San Francisco and LA outfits!

Posted by Jake Sepulveda - 04/25/2013 02:53 PM

I’ve had a cora for over a year now, and I have yet to see it fail in any capacity. The price-tag has been well worth the 365+ days of use hiking, around town travel, train trips, etc.

Sure it’s black and sleek, but it’s also functional, incredibly well made (here in the US none-the-less), and back by a literal lifetime warranty.

Posted by Pat Guilbeault - 02/28/2014 10:51 PM

Hey Gear Junkie, Did you actually load that backpack full and carry it through an east coast airport? A bag that size needs to have a sternum strap and a waist belt. Maybe they are accessories and you can add them or not. Thanks for the review anyway.

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