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Travel Gear Review: Boundary Prima System Backpack

May 05, 2018
6 min read
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Salt Lake City-based Boundary is out with what it calls a compact and convenient backpack solution, the Prima System, now available for pre-order at $200 — a great deal for everything that comes with the system. Let’s take a look at some of the features of the Prima System, and you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth a buy.

The Specs

The Boundary Prima System was built to last no matter how you plan to use it — for travel, hiking or as a day bag. The Prima System feature YKK Stormguard Zippers, NYWOLL Padded Electronic Storage, RFID Safehouse Passport pocket, LFT Foam straps and back panel, a removable waist belt, a magnetic key clip, and really cool magnetic closures.

The Prima Pack itself weighs in at 3.8 lbs with dimensions of 21 in x 12 in x 7 in and has a capacity of 25 to 30 liters. It can fit laptops up to 17 inches in a dedicated, padded slot and has a charger pocket with cord exit so you don't need to remove your gear to charge.

The Prima Pack comes with a Modular Verge Case that weighs 1 lb with dimensions of 8 in x 9 in x 6 in and can expand to 12 in x 9 in x 6 in with capacity between 5L and 10L and a removable shoulder strap. This pack is a great option if you want to have a small bag to carry around during the day without the need for the whole backpack.

There's one more component that comes with the pack: Modular Fieldspace. This mainly will help you keep your smaller things organized — think pens, loose paper, a tablet and maybe a few charging cords. The dimension on the front of this are 10.5 in x 21 in x 0.25 in and the back dimensions are 10.5 in x 14.5 in x 0.25 in. The Modular Fieldspace can fit up to a 13-in laptop.

There are also many extras you can get for your Prima System including a media case, travel folder, thermal insert, dry bag, laundry bag, rainfly and more. With all of these extras, it's really easy to turn the Prima System into whatever you need it to be.

The Look

This pack system is much more detailed and complex than it looks; assembled, this is a sleek and compact backpack. The three components (Prima Pack, Modular Verge Case and Modular Fieldspace) each have their own compartments in addition to the extra space for laptops, passports, water bottles and anything else you need to tow around.

The Prima System body is made of durable nylon fabric and comes in either Mojave Tan, Obsidian Black or Stone Gray. I honestly can’t find anything wrong with any of the options. The colors and fabrics are easy on the eyes; the gray and tan options are pleasantly lined with black pockets and zippers, and the soft inside lining is a gorgeous contrast from the outside. They're also not flashy colors that are going to garner too much attention if you do decide to take this bag traveling. Constructed with breathable LFT foam, the straps and back panel were designed with comfort and even weight distribution in mind.

When assembled correctly, the Prima Pack stores the Modular Verge Case in its specially-designed pocket on the side, and the Modular Fieldspace tucks into the back of the pack which also has space for a 17” laptop. The Fieldspace itself has space for an additional 13” laptop or tablet and the Verge Case is designed to hold photography gear; perfect for stowing all of your devices.

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Packing Details

So, what exactly can fit inside the Prima System? The Verge Case is designed to hold 1 DSLR body, one primary lens, one medium zoom lens and one compact tripod. However, the expanded Verge Case can hold a large zoom lens instead of a medium lens. Of course, everyday items can be stowed within the Verge Case such as snacks, headphones and a journal. An optional shoulder strap is also included. If you decide to take the Verge Case out of the Prima Pack, it's a pretty good size for a long weekend trip without any additional bags (as long as you can pack somewhat light).

The Fieldspace can hold either a 13” laptop or tablet, magazines, documents and journals that are either A4 or notebook sized. It also has space for two pens, a mouse, chargers and hard drives.

The Fieldspace and Verge Case fit snugly inside of the Prima Pack, which can also hold a 17” laptop, passport, sunglasses, change of clothes, snacks, extra shoes and more. You can even secure your keys with the magnetic key clip. Storm-proof zippers come in handy not only on a rainy day but on a crowded street; the main body zipper is nearly impossible to break into with the zip-fold-clip system employed on the body of the Prima Pack.

The Takeaway

For security, durability and space efficiency, the Prima System is a go. The storage capacity of this system is impressive considering its size, and its deconstructed modular parts are also useful on their own. With enough pocket space for all of your documents and gadgets as well as enough body space for snacks, photography gear and a jacket, this pack is ideal for day trips, or, depending on your packing prowess, perhaps even a weekend trip.

If I were to change one thing about the Prima System, it would be to make it just a touch bigger so that it would be a super easy solution for five- to seven-day trips away from home. As is, it's just a touch too small to be my only bag on a trip longer than four days.