The Travel Tester

I’m Nienke Krook, a Dutch travel blogger living in London. As a kid, I really grew up as a ‘Travel Tester’, because my grandfather was a travel writer who covered topics such as lightweight travel, survival in the wild and camping with the family. Our holidays were always filled with a wide variety of peculiar tents, backpacks and other travel gear that we got from him.

What kind of bags do you review?

My bag obsession started when we moved to London and we often travelled back to The Netherlands to see family over the weekend. I was looking for the best ‘weekender bag’ that was spacious, but could still be used as carry-on on a budget airline. Also for my work as a professional travel blogger, I’m always in search for a good day pack that fits my camera equipment and other essential items that I can easily reach while taking photos, videos and notes for my next stories.

I often have companies approaching me with their latest bags and I’m happy to review them. My boyfriend does think we have more than plenty at home now, but of course I disagree!

How do you review the bags?

I like to follow a certain formula when reviewing my bags, which I call the ‘5 senses’ test. I describe what the bag LOOKS like (features/pockets/colour), how it FEELS (fabric/weight/comfort), what it SOUNDS like (zippers/locks that open , but also the promise of the brand), what it SMELLS like (actual smell/chemicals used etc., but also if I feel the bag has potential and ‘smells’ like a success or something like that) and even what it TASTES like (I had to include all 5 senses, so yes, I lick the bag too, haha).

Then I conclude the review with the answer on the question if this bag makes me happy and links to where to buy the bag. I usually take the bag out on one specific trip, but if I like it, I will keep using it over and over again for a specific goal.

What are your favorite bags?

One of the first bags I ever reviewed was the Standard Luggage 3-in-1 carry-on bag and I LOVE it. It’s so big and yet fits easily as carry-on and it’s perfect when travelling to places with lots of uneven terrain. I used to bring it onto Ryanair from London to The Netherlands a lot, but since they just changed their rule that they take all bags to check-in now (you can’t bring a bag on board anymore), I’ve found that I switched back to my trolley suitcase + little backpack again, because I want to keep my laptop and other loose items with me, so it’s become a hassle to repack every single time.

Other bags we reviewed and often use are the Flowfold Denizen (my boyfriend often brings it too work as it’s lightweight and big enough to fit his gym outfit & trainers) and the Jack Wolfskin Royal Oak (I hate the closing, but I find the bag really stylish and comfortable and it fits my laptop, so I do use it a lot)

How do people use your reviews?

If there is one thing I get a lot of reader feedback on, it’s the backpack reviews, so I can’t wait to do more. I think buying a good backpack is a real investment for a lot of people, so when you have a website where people actually test these bags out and let you know what they liked and disliked, it makes the choice on where to spend your money on so much easier to make. I have one big review on the 50-80 L Quechua backpacks, which is a comparison between all their backpacks and people love it. I can help the reader make a better choice, and I make a little back in affiliate money, which is a win-win for everyone.

Featured The Travel Tester Reviews

The Travel Tester people

Jack Wolfskin Royal Oak

Review posted 2 November 2017 - Read full review

The Travel Tester people

Flowfold Denizen

Review posted 13 September 2017 by Nienke Krook - Read full review

The Travel Tester people

Fjallraven Kanken

Review posted 24 September 2015 by Nienke Krook

The Travel Tester people

Quechua Forclaz

Review posted 21 March 2013 by Nienke Krook - Read full review

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