The Black Ember Citadel R2 Backpack - Sleek, Minimal And Water Resistant
Coming from a brand well-known for their exceptional use of high-quality materials, superior waterproofing, and technical carry solutions, the Black Ember Citadel R2 Backpack is a 25L all-rounder perfect for a great variety of situations. Black Ember has always thrived at the intersection of urban lifestyle and technical knowhow, and the Citadel R2 Backpack serves as a great reminder of that reputation.
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Sleek with its black matte finish and classic boxy shape, the Black Ember Citadel R2 Backpack is a stunning offering from the California-based company, who once again have proven incredibly efficient with their use of the company’s proprietary high-performance textile - a Microhex HTX, which is a fully waterproof, high tenacity, 3-layer material that’s durable and tactile.
Super-durable, the pack uses YKK Aquaguard zippers and bonded seam construction to double down on waterproofing, giving the bag an IPX6 waterproof rating and ensuring your gear is protected from the elements at all times.
Tracking the outside of the shell reveals numerous attachment points that have been cleverly designed so separately sold modular carry solutions can be attached to further the bag’s function. This includes different pouches for tech-centric lifestyles, or a DSLR pack for photographers always on the move.
Aircraft-grade anodized aluminium and woojin hardware are found around the exterior of the bag, rounding out the extra sense of ruggedness that’ll give you peace of mind no matter how much work you put this pack through.
Black Ember has put a lot of thought into designing the back panel for extra breathability and sweat wicking, to help keep the Shadow Backpack comfortable. With two layers of EVA foam, this channel maintains easier, better airflow to manage on those longer haul days. Comfort is furthered by the magnetic and easy to use sternum strap that is very elastic and can contour to the movements of your body and hug your back while the airflow back-panel keeps it cool and dry on those warmer days.
This comfortable carry is furthered by the Citadel’s 3D shoulder-straps, which can be easily and quickly stowed away for seamless briefcase carry. The haul handle on the top of the backpack can easily be detached and reattached to the side of the bag, on a dedicated panel, to completely transform the bag into briefcase mode.
Key to the back panel is a hidden zippered compartment that is perfect for important travel documents or any other flat item which you wouldn’t want others to have easy access to while you’re on the move. Given that the compartment is completely obscured while your carrying the Citadel on your back, the clever inclusion from Black Ember adds greatly to the pack’s superior sense of security.
Almost splitting the front-face in two sections is a quick-access zippered compartment with two counterpulls for better control over the opening. There are holes that allow you to loop through the laser-cut hypalon zipperpulls to essentially lock the bag to deter thievery, a clever feature which is also found on other Black Ember products like the Black Ember Shadow Backpack.
Inside this front-facing compartment you will find a small area to one side with two slip pockets for small cargo, while the other side of the bag also offers dimension to store something like a tote bag or a cap. This is also where you will find the magnetic key leash.
The Citadel is a clamshell style pack, so the main compartment can be unzipped with a full 360-degree opening to completely spread out with full visibility. Although there is also a top-loader zipper behind the main compartment opening, allowing you quick and easy access to the laptop pocket and other essentials in the main part of the bag, avoiding the need to completely open it up.
Once inside the main compartment, you will see two sides that essentially mirror one another, with a few tiny differences to distinguish them. One side has a zippered mesh compartment and two large, deep slip pockets for various types of cargo. Behind that is a another slip sleeve that is deep enough to reach the bottom of the pack, perfect for bigger documents, papers, and folders.
Move to the opposite side and you will find a detachable internal compression divider which has its own suspended, padded tablet sleeve, fitting a device up to 10-inches in size. Behind that is a similar zippered mesh compartment and two deep slip pockets. The difference here is the laptop sleeve that sits behind the slip pockets, protective with a fleece lining and big enough to fit a 15-inch laptop that will be protected from any sudden drops thanks to the suspension above the base of the bag.
With a logical layout, designed for quick and easy access while still offering a generous amount of space for a great range of cargo, the Black Ember Citadel R2 is just as perfect for the daily commute as it is for longer journeys. Black Ember has once again proven how proficient they are at working with these high-quality, primarily laser-cut materials to produce carry solutions that are as attractive as they are highly functional.