If you’re on this post, chances are you are trying to decide whether the Metro Backpack by Monos Travel is worth the money. Well, since I was in the market to upgrade my travel system from “just a basic backpack + suitcase combo”, I actually bought one for myself.
Since I already own a Monos Carry-On Pro, I decided to order the Metro Backpack to go with it and complete my travel system!
Long story short, I love my new minimalist backpack!
You’re probably wondering if it’s the right bag for you too. With so many brands and options out there, how do you pick just one?
Well, this review is hopefully going to give you some clarity on whether the Monos Metro Backpack is the bag for you.
This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful and free content. Thanks a lot!
Monos Travel: Brand Overview
There are plenty of options for suitcases and bags these days, so what exactly makes Monos stand out from the crowd?
Monos, a luggage company based in Vancouver, Canada has a really admirable mission statement.
The Monos team started with a specific set of criteria they needed to meet–design, quality, and affordability. Monos found that other luggage brands in the market fulfilled one or even two of these, but not all three together. Thus, the Monos luggage was created–there was a gap that needed filling!
Monos claims to give travelers what the luggage market was lacking – premium, minimalist luggage, built with only the finest quality materials and components – all at a fair price.
They are also Climate Neutral Certified, which means the company has net-zero carbon emissions — the first luggage brand to do so.
Alongside their staple luggage products, they’ve also expanded to selling bags, packing cubes, water bottles, clothing, and a ton of other goodies meant to elevate your travel lifestyle.
Monos Metro Backpack: Staple Features
First off, I’d like to mention that when you buy the Metro Backpack, you’re actually getting a 2-for-1 special. The bag consists of the Metro Backpack (the main bag) and the Metro Classic Kit (the detachable zippered pouch in the front of the bag).
Metro Backpack Features
- The nylon finish is made with premium nylon twill and features simple vegan leather accents
- Backpack is water and scratch-resistant
- Magnetic snaps underneath the main zipper compartment allow for easier packing and unpacking
- 15-inch laptop compartment (I’ve found that my 16-inch laptop fits just fine too!)
- Small, hidden back pocket with magnetic snap closure for your phone, passport, wallet or small valuables
- Privacy compartment made with waterproof fabric for gym clothes or a wet rain jacket
- Includes a zippered pouch, two interior pockets, and large sleeve lined with soft PET felt for extra organization
- Built-in trolley sleeve to secure your backpack to a suitcase handle while traveling
- Adjustable shoulder straps to make sure your pack is custom fit to you
- Exterior measurements: 11.5″ × 16.5″ × 6″
- Weight: 2.4 lb (nylon) / 3 lb (vegan leather)
- Volume: 18L
Metro Classic Kit Features
- Locks onto the main bag easily with its new-and-improved QuickSnap™ feature
- Made with water-resistant ultra-microfibre vegan leather
- Zippered pocket with translucent window
- Two other pockets (great for things like passport, powerbank, or wallet)
- Removable carabiner for keys or fobs
Monos Metro Backpack: Review
Now we get to the fun part–taking a peek at an actual Metro Backpack in action! I was so excited to take my new bag for a spin on its first trip.
Let’s start with some pros and cons I discovered along the way.
- Backpack can fit way more than it looks like it can, but doesn’t look or feel overwhelmingly large to carry.
- Comes in 7 gorgeous earth-tone colors (Juniper Green, Oxford Blue, and Saddle Tan are so easy on the eyes. The black = classic!)
- Love the hidden zipper on the bottom that opens up to become a trolley sleeve for the suitcase handle.
- Slips seamlessly on-and-off the suitcase handle.
- The removable metro kit is a unique feature, great for storing small things and accessing them quickly. I also love how it’s been improved recently — the backpack looks a lot better when the metro kit is detached now.
- Pricey for a backpack bag, almost the cost of a Monos Carry-On luggage.
- If traveling without the front pouch, the exposed snaps aren’t visually appealing.
Metro Backpack Review
Upon receiving my Metro Backpack, I found that my unboxing experience was so pleasant! The backpack arrived nicely packed inside a dust bag (great for storing it when not in use), carefully nestled inside a cardboard box.
The first thing I noticed was how sleek and simple the backpack looked and felt. This really felt like a James Bond backpack, if James Bond used backpacks!
First off, the exterior of this bag is made with water-resistant nylon twill meaning you won’t need to be worried trying to protect it from the elements when you’re out and about.
The next thing I noticed was the sheer amount of “secret” pockets and not-so-secret pockets. There were so many cool pockets on this backpack that not a lot of backpacks of the past have.
With the compartment closest to your back, you’re able to keep your laptop protected but ready to grab at a moment’s notice by carrying it in its own dedicated compartment. The great thing about this? You can access it without needing to open the whole backpack and exposing it to the world.
If you don’t have TSA Precheck and have the need to take out your laptop at airport security checkpoints, I could see this being a really cool feature for you!
But it gets cooler. If you need a quick place to stow your phone, passport, or wallet while traveling, you can use the hidden back pocket with a quick-access magnetic closure.
Seriously, it’s hidden in plain sight! I had to read through the full list of backpack features to actually discover this pocket was there!
This bag is so simple yet functional. It’s compact enough to use for daily commutes, yet roomy enough to use on short weekend trips. Yes, you read that right–if you are a minimalist packer, you can actually fit about 1-3 days’ worth of stuff in there.
The backpack’s roomy interior (meant to hold up to 18 liters of stuff) is designed to keep all your essentials organized, with its many functional pockets at your service.
I like how it opens up wide like a clamshell. What that means is no more digging for things at the bottom of your bag in the dark! Not to mention, all of the compartments make organizing really easy.
Maybe I’m a backpack noob, but I’ve never owned a pack like this, so I was really pleasantly surprised by this feature!
But perhaps my favorite feature of the entire bag is how it’s built to be a frequent traveler’s best friend. I’m talking about the built-in trolley sleeve on the back of the backpack.
This simple little sleeve was built to fit securely around the handle of any Monos suitcase for seamless pairing. Since I have a Monos carry-on suitcase, I was able to test this out and guess what? Perfect fit!
From there, you have the built-in Metro Classic Kit! This little pouch (equally as gorgeous as the pack itself) is held on with Monos’ QuickSnap™ Modular Kit System, allowing the Metro Kit to be easily added or removed to suit your needs.
The front removable pouch is great for my keys, chargers, chapstick, sunglasses, and other small electronics.
While it did take me an entire minute at first to figure out how this snapping system worked, once I learned it, it was a breeze snapping the pouch on and off! It’s really quite secure, so you won’t have to worry about it falling off and getting lost in transit.
More recently, they’ve actually made some really aesthetically pleasing improvements to how the front pouch clips into the main backpack!
This is the old version of the QuickSnap feature:
And this is the new version of the QuickSnap. Both the pouch and the main backpack look so much better now that the bolt-looking buttons are gone!
What Does The Monos Metro Backpack Fit?
Obviously, with all the great pockets this backpack has, it is a no-brainer for things like school and work.
In order to understand how useful this backpack would be for traveling purposes though (which I tend to do a lot of), I packed up 2 days’ worth of stuff to simulate a typical weekend trip that I’d take.
Here’s what I was able to fit into the bag with NO bulging, extreme stuffing, or struggling to get it zipped up:
- 2 days’ worth of clothes packed in one of my medium-sized Monos packing cubes.
- 1 laptop and iPad in its own compartment
- 1 extra pair of shoes/sandals
- Small bag of toiletries
- Makeup bag
- Eyeglasses case
- Earbuds (my over-the-ear headphones wouldn’t fit with this amount of other stuff)
- Water bottle
I was able to pack all of this with more room to spare for a packable puffy jacket or light cardigan.
Can I pause here and just say how impressed I was with how much this backpack can actually fit? The Monos Metro Backpack is SO much roomier than meets the eye!
All of the items I threw into the bag were placed in the main backpack compartments. That means that there’s still a ton of room in the detachable case to throw things like travel documents, extra toiletries, wallet, keys, and more.
Needless to say, I was truly impressed.
Bottom Line: Is The Monos Metro Backpack Worth The Money?
Hands-down, I love my new Metro Backpack. I love the quality, feel, functionality–literally everything about it. The Metro Backpack is beautiful, functional, and so well thought-out.
After researching tons of other backpacks on the market, this was just the bag I was looking for and I’m so happy with my decision.
But is it worth the money? I’m not so sure I can confidently say that it’s right for everyone.
Why? Because the Metro Backpack is not cheap. The $200+ price point can be hard to swallow for some, especially if you’re considering buying some of their other bags too.
For example, the Monos Metro Duffel and the Monos Carry-On are practically the same price, give or take a few bucks.
I personally would go with the carry-on and duffel over the backpack–but maybe I’m biased because 1) I don’t go to school anymore and 2) I primarily work from home these days and don’t need to move around as much with a backpack anymore.
Having said that, there is value in choosing the backpack over the other pieces because at least with a backpack, you’re likely to use it way more in your everyday life. If that sounds like you, that in itself can justify the cost!
Pricing aside, I firmly believe that all of the Metro Backpack’s features are awesome. If you’re willing to shell out that kind of money, then you really can’t go wrong with this backpack.
Other than the price, there’s not a single thing that I can think of that would make me choose another backpack over this one.
Here are a few reasons why.
It’s so roomy and so functional
Despite how minimalistic it looks, this bag actually has a ton of useful pockets and zippered compartments. Losing stuff inside of the bag is also hard to do because the bag opens up completely like a clamshell!
The detachable zippered pouch is an awesome addition that most other weekenders do not have. You basically get another container to pack your travel necessities in, plus you can have easy access to it whenever you need it!
I also love, love, love the fact that you can easily slide the bag over your luggage handle, making it super easy to get around while in transit.
I’ve typically just traveled with my Monos Carry-On Pro in one hand and a basic backpack placed on my back. Whenever I’d try to take a break by placing the backpack on the carry-on, it’d be a whole balancing act because the backpack would want to flop or tip over every other second. Annoying!
But with the Metro Backpack, I no longer need to lug around unnecessary weight on my back–I can stick everything into the pack, attach it to the carry-on handle, and let my carry-on do all the heavy lifting. This is truly THE game-changer for me personally.
It’s sturdy and will last for years to come.
Once you get this backpack, I really don’t think you’ll need another backpack for another 10 years or more.
It’s a really high-quality backpack!
Good for the environment
If you were debating between the Monos Metro Backpack compared to another brand’s backpack, here’s where I think Monos gets extra points compared to other brands on the market–Monos is actually trying to do good for the environment.
Monos’ Metro bags use only vegan materials, including felt made from recycled plastic bottles. Despite these eco-friendly materials, the bag does not feel cheap at all.
It feels like a truly high-quality bag, and you’ll just have the added pleasure of knowing that you’re supporting a brand that cares for the environment!
(Plus who can deny the fact that they look SO good…)
Benefits Of Buying The Monos Metro Backpack
When you purchase a Metro Backpack, you get a lot more than just the bag. Did you also know that every Monos bag from the Metro line comes with a 2-year limited warranty, free shipping, and Wayfarer Rewards?
2-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY
All Monos bags purchased directly from Monos.com is backed by a 2-year limited warranty.
The warranty only extends to the original owner of the item and is not transferable. This warranty extends to defective materials or components, but not to accidental damage or normal wear and tear.
Upon making your purchase, don’t forget to sign up for Wayfarer Rewards! As a Wayfarer, you get access to exclusive rewards and savings.
So how does it all work? Well, you’ll basically earn Monos Miles every time you shop. Once you have points, you can then redeem them as cash for your next purchase.
For example, for my very first Carry-On Pro luggage purchase, I earned 509 points. Already with just that purchase alone, I was able to redeem this for $25 USD off my next purchase!
From there, I was encouraged to complete a few extra steps to earn additional Monos Miles. This included following Monos Travel on social media, entering my birthdate, and more. Just a few actions later, I was up to a total of 900 Monos Miles–enough for $45 off my next purchase!
By leaving a review, you can also be rewarded with 100 points. And once my birthdate rolls around, I’ll have another 200 Monos Miles in the bag.
I ended up using $55 worth of my Monos Miles on a large set of their compressible packing cubes and essentially got them for half price!
And with my more recent purchase of the Metro Backpack, I now have more Monos Miles to go towards something else in the future… Love this perk–love how they reward you for being loyal, too!
A few extra things to know: You are able to redeem as many Monos Miles as you wish, in increments of 100. However, do note that the redemption of Monos Miles cannot be combined with any other promotional coupons. They expire within 1 year of earning them.
Wayfarer Rewards can also grant you VIP status. Everyone starts at Silver. Once you spend enough to get to Gold Status, you unlock extra perks such as early access to sales and 15% off new product launches.
Monos Metro Backpack: My Final Thoughts
Ultimately, I’d recommend the Monos Metro Backpack to anyone who’s eyeing it and has the money to buy it.
If you’re looking for a stylish and functional backpack to just replace your existing work/school backpack (i.e. look more professional and carry all of the things), this is it.
If you’re looking for something to pair with a rolling suitcase, this is also the perfect bag for that, thanks to the genius trolley sleeve!
I love this backpack so much that I now own it in two colors! Can’t get enough of it.
It’s my go-to backpack at all times, no matter if it’s transiting through airports (carrying my laptop, clothing, extra shoes, and toiletries) or exploring a new city (carrying my camera, water bottle, snacks, and an extra jacket).
Pro Tip: Ready to buy? Keep an eye out for their discount sales–they happen every once in a while! Having said that, I’ve noticed that the sales typically apply to suitcases and not the Metro Collection. You can also try using ‘CLAIM5‘ for 5% off!
If the Metro Collection does happen to be on sale, don’t wait to buy and take advantage of the sale while you can!!
Monos Metro Duffel or Metro Backpack?
If you’re debating between the Metro Duffel or the Metro Backpack, the one you choose will ultimately depend on what you need the bag for.
Are you going to be primarily taking long weekend trips? Do you need to pack books and laptops or clothes and shoes? Will you need to do a lot of commuting on foot or are you mostly getting around by car?
If you’re going to be taking weekend trips where you’ll need to pack lots of travel necessities like clothing and shoes along with books and electronics, I’d recommend the Metro Duffel.
If you’re mostly going to use your Monos bag for school, work, or business, and plan to do a lot of commuting on foot, the hands-free Metro Backpack would be a better option.
But let’s say you want both, and are really torn on which to get. Here’s my opinion. While I love both of these items (they’re both crafted to be the most functional things ever), just based on size and price, I’d choose the Metro Duffel over the Metro Backpack.
For just $10 more, you’d be able to fit way more with the duffel (22L) than you’d be able to with the backpack (18L).
The duffel also doesn’t look like a duffel. What that means is you can actually use it to carry your electronics and whatnot to work, and it won’t look like you’re going on vacation or anything. It’s that sleek and well-sized!
And with that, we’re at the end of my Monos Metro Backpack review!
Ultimately, if you’re looking to upgrade your gear, Monos is a great brand to go with.
To this day, I personally own their carry-on suitcase, packing cubes, duffel bag, and now two backpacks! I’ve never had any issues with the gear I’ve owned thus far, and I love traveling with all my Monos travel gear.
I think you will love yours too!
Looking for more travel packing tips? Read More:
4 thoughts on “Monos Metro Backpack Review: Is It Actually Worth The Price?”
Thank you for that thorough review and the photos also. I am wanting to get the metro backpack but am wondering why they didn’t create a sleeve on the outside of the bag to hold your water bottle. Was that a con for you? Did you have any problems with your water bottle leaking inside the backpack?
Hi Amanda! I did not have issues with leaky bottles–and I think if you have a leakproof bottle, that won’t be an issue. On flights, I am more concerned with leaving the bottle in the backpack since the air pressure increases the chances of leakage. I tend to just leave my water bottle out on flights instead of inside the backpack. Hope that helps!
My question is regarding the backpack and weight distribution. I’m older and afraid of any backpacks causing problems with my back or lower extremities. Did you have any problems with your back after your trip. Please excuse the personal question. If I decide on this backpack, any recommendations on proper usage. ? Thank you.
Hi Rita, so far, I haven’t had back problems with the use of my backpack. During transit, I’ve been leveraging the awesome feature that the pack has, where it can slip on the suitcase handle. I haven’t had to carry it on my back for prolonged periods of time when it’s completely full of stuff thanks to the sleeve! I get what you mean about back pain though — it’s why I try not to wear it when full!
And when I’m traveling around with the pack after I’ve checked into a hotel, I usually empty it out and only take what I need (it ends up being a lot lighter with just things like a water bottle, camera, wallet, light jacket — so no back pain then).