This is another of Côte&Ciel’s premium accessories. The Flat backpack is made of waxed and coated “techno-canvas” with cotton lining, supports up to a 15″ Macbook Pro (or comparable laptop), a Pentax K-30 with 135mm lens and lens hood — a pretty big DSLR, along with your tablet of choice, a few cables, and a lip balm or similarly sized items, like SD cards or wallets. I’ve had The Flat backpack with me for a few days now and had the chance to take it out in a heavy New York City storm. It was comfortable, repelled water easily, got plenty of looks (or maybe it’s because I’m handsome?) and because the design is more of an “open-wide” enclosure rather than the traditional “zipper splits the whole thing”, it makes the backpack more streamlined, pretty much to its namesake — thus keeping it flat.
Price as Reviewed: €189.00 at Côte&Ciel
The Flat Backpack Gallery
However, there was only one thing that raised some suspicion. When The Flat is exposed to water for a long period of time (say, walking from Union Square to Astor Place), there are visible white streaks that appear where the water previously resided. A Côte&Ciel contact of mine told me that this is perfectly normal and can easily be remedied by applying — wait for it – body lotion with Eucerit. Turns out, it works. And this doesn’t take away from the bag’s score in my opinion, as you the best products usually require some sort of maintenance, one way or another, and the lotion isn’t too bad.
The only real con is the price: €189.00 or roughly $240 US Dollars. That’s a lot of dough.
But, it’s lightweight, durable, can swallow up gear through zippers on the sides and under the front flap, and doesn’t strain your shoulder muscles or back thanks to lots of cushioning — and looks good all the while doing it. Heck with the high price, we’re giving it a high score.