What is it? I tested out two of the backpacks from Hylete; the Icon Expandable and the Icon XL Convertible backpack. Hylete calls them, “the last training backpack you’ll ever need.” The XL version has a whole host of feature including converting from a backpack to a duffle bag/suitcase, a shoe locker section, an area for wet/dry storage, a laptop sleeve and a side pocket cooler. The smaller Icon Expandable (think school backpack size) doesn’t feature the size or number of compartments, it does have a lot to offer in terms of storage.
What do I think? Both are incredibly sturdy and strong packs. Here’s the easiest way I can explain the difference between the two. The Icon Expandable is perfect to stow all your stuff for the gym or to use as an everyday backpack. The XL Convertible is a truly versatile pack that I think is perfect for travel. When you have such an advanced bag such as this one that can literally transform from a heavy duty backpack to a high quality duffle bag (complete with it’s own carrying strap which is easy to attach and store when you aren’t using it) there’s really nothing it can’t do.
Why do you need it? Depending on your needs, these both combine flexibility with sturdy comfort for the CrossFit athlete on the go. I think they look cool too.
When should you use it? The Icon Expandable is great for day-to-day use and on the go use. The Icon XL Convertible can be used in the same way but you need to understand that Hylete is serious when they label it an “XL” version. It’s big and so far has been able to tackle anything I’ve used it for (shoes, clothes, drinks to keep cold, towels, jump ropes, lifters, etc . . .).
How do you get it? Hylete gear is sold directly through their site. These are not cheap, but in my opinion worth the price and very comparable to other bags and packs from similar companies. The Icon Expandable sells for $165 and the XL Convertible will set you back $200. There is even a video which displays all of the functions and the design of the bag.