154 City Pack by GRAMS28: Functional Luxury in a Bag

Mark Bibby Jackson casts his backpack to one side and tries out the 154 City Pack by GRAMS28, which the designers claim combines luxury with functionality.


Mark Bibby Jackson casts his backpack to one side and tries out the 154 City Pack by GRAMS28, which the designers claim combines luxury with functionality.

In truth I have never been someone noted for my sartorial elegance. Strictly jeans and trainers since the womb, the idea of a bag is something loose slung around my neck and sliding down my back to which I attach my water bottle. Consequently, I find the 154 City Pack by GRAMS28 puzzling. Is this really me?

However, reading through the supporting literature I am assured by the designer’s leading question – why do luxury bags have to be non-functional?

Unsurprisingly given the earlier paragraph, this is not a question I have ever asked myself, but for the more fashion conscious of you perhaps it is something to which you can relate.

Thus, I started examining my new bag.

154 City Pack


What is clear is that a lot of effort has been given to the design of the 154 City Pack as you can see from the illustration above.

I must admit being a trite bamboozled, as often I am, by all the compartments before I saw the pouch designed for sunglasses. As a traveller who wears his unused sunnies on the back of his head upside down – that way they never fall off, though that might be due to the size of my head – discovering a pouch where I can hide my glasses secure from scratches was a real boon.

There is also a very handy mesh pocket for my iPhone cable, which should ensure it remains tangle-free for as long as I can be bothered to roll it up. Other compartments allow safe storage of your iPhone, wallet and iPad – or in my vernacular – book. There are also front and back pockets, which provide swift access to anything you might regularly need while the zips hopefully deter would-be pickpockets.

So, that is a bug tick for functionality, how about the design.

Just one look at the bag persuades even a non-aesthete such as me that this is a very swish bag.

The exterior is made from full-grain Italian leather, which apparently is from the top layer of the cowhide, making it more durable, while the interior is lined with a thick fabric which is also soft to touch. Also, vital for those of us with failing eyesight who often find ourselves in dark places, it is light camel in colour, rather than black. Thus avoiding the “I’m sure it’s in here somewhere” scenario. GRAMS28

GRAMS28 in Numbers

Founded by Benjamin Chan, GRAMS28 takes its name from the film 21 Grams, which has the premise that the soul weighs 21 grams. This is added to the seven days of week that you can use your bag to create the brand GRAMS28.

The other number of importance are the ten numbers debossed on each product which provide details of the style number, material provider and material type as well as craftspeople behind every creation. GRAMS28 is clearly a company that believes in full transparency. It also partners directly with tanneries that abide by certified standards in Italy.

It might be too soon for me to abandon my backpack on longer travels and hikes, but the 154 City Pack is an excellent bag for city jaunts.

154 City Pack by GRAMS28

This sling bag is designed to fit an iPad Pro 11 with magic keyboard. It retails at $299. For more information click here.

GRAMS28 kindly provided Mark with a review sample of the 154 City Pack. All images provided by the company.

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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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