Mous 25L backpack review: a rugged rucksack that can go the distance

Plenty of compartments for storing your tech

Mous 25L backpack
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

Mous’ 25L backpack might be expensive, but you get what you pay for. It’s jam-packed with features, is incredibly well made, and offers a whopping 17 compartments to help you keep organized. It’s a little heavy – on its own weighing in at 1.8kg – but the well-designed adjustable straps spread the weight well.


  • +

    17 compartments

  • +

    Very secure and protective

  • +

    Well-thought-out features and details


  • -

    Can be a bit sweaty and heavy on the back

  • -

    Anti-tamper lock has a knack to it

  • -


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Mous 25L backpack one-minute review

Mous takes a leap into a brave new world, adding to its line of rugged protective cases and accessories with the Mous 25L backpack, landing firmly on its feet. This premium, well-thought-out backpack offers a host of features alongside brilliant build quality to provide maximum comfort and protection.

It’s fairly expensive at $279.99 / £219.99 / AU$430, and is available from Mous direct or via third-party resellers such as Amazon. However, I’d heavily caveat this drawback with praise for its sophisticated and well-made design. If you’re serious about protecting your kit, or are someone who travels regularly, then it will more than prove its worth. In fact, I’ve been traveling plenty while testing this backpack, and it’s saved my hide (and, I expect, the integrity of my MacBook) multiple times.

This ultra-protective black backpack is made with water-resistant materials including carbonated nylon and PU coating, and even has AquaGuard YKK zips to ensure rain and splashes don’t reach your gear. The design is understated yet chic, especially for a rugged backpack. 

Mous 25L backpack Fidlock lock

(Image credit: Future)

On its front you’ll find the magnetic Fidlock security latch, which serves to prevent thieves from quickly accessing the top of the backpack. There’s a knack to opening it, which, once you become familiar, shouldn’t prove a problem – although on occasion I do still find myself yanking at it for a few seconds.

To the right of the backpack is the first compartment, a zipper that houses a small strap with a split ring to which you can attach your keys, while on the left is a stretchy pouch for a bottle plus another surprisingly deep compartment towards the rear of the backpack.

On the underside of the backpack are two adjustable harnesses for storage, which would easily hold one of the best yoga mats or best travel tripod, and predictably, on the rear of the bag are the two adjustable shoulder straps with an additional sternum strap. These are immensely comfortable and distribute any weight you’re carrying evenly across the back – which is a good thing, because the protective measures built into the backpack mean it weighs in at 1.8kg even while empty.

Mous 25L backpack YKK Zzippers

(Image credit: Future)

Two kissing YKK zippers command the wraparound zip for the main compartment, which opens to reveal a grey interior with a further eight storage compartments; these are ideal for cables, small cases and any accessories. The material used for this lining feels quite thin, and perhaps prone to damage over time – but it doesn’t feel cheap, at least.

Behind the main section are the final storage compartments – a small alcove, and the AiroFoam-laced laptop and tablet compartment, which has three pockets for different devices.

Mous 25L backpack back laptop compartment

(Image credit: Future)

Having used the backpack for three weeks, traveling up and down the UK and to France for a weekend, I’m a complete convert to rugged backpacks. Instead of fearing for my laptop’s life every time I take a knock, or using socks to pad out my tech, I could simply throw my kit into the bag and go.

The compartments offer plenty of clever space-saving features and allowed me to keep all my bits organized. Even with it packed full, I didn’t suffer an achy back from carrying the backpack around.

Without a doubt, I’d say that the Mous 25L is one of the best laptop backpacks around. If you’re serious about your equipment, it’s well worth the expense for the peace of mind it delivers. The fact that it looks and feels so luxurious is a bonus.

Mous 25L backpack: Specs

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Mous 25L backpack specs
MaterialWater-resistant carbonated nylon with PU coating
FeaturesAiroFoam protection, magnetic security lock, moulded air ridges

Should you buy the Mous 25L backpack?

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Mous 25L backpack
ValueWhile it's an expensive backpack, it offers so much protection and attention to detail that I'd say it's pretty good value for money.4 .5 / 5
DesignFrom its stylish casing to its neat compartments and storage, the Mous 25L is a thing of beauty, if not a teeny bit bulky.5 / 5
PerformanceIt's sweaty and a little heavy in itself, but this is compensated by the strong, well designed straps which distribute weight well.4.5 / 5
FeaturesI adored the vast array of compartments and clever protective features, all of which worked wonderfuilly.5 / 5

Buy it if...

You want ultimate protection

With its AiroFoam padding and use of water-resistant materials, this backpack is about as protective as it gets – perfect for travel and outdoor activities.

You go wild for tech organization features

I never thought that the presence of pockets could induce such excitement, but each of the 17 compartments in the Mous 25L backpack is neatly designed with specific use cases in mind.

You want something that will last

Well built using premium materials, the finish here is spectacular – it’s a backpack I envisage using for a long time.

Don't buy it if...

You’re on a budget

This is by no means an affordable backpack, but in my opinion it’s worth the money; but not if you just need something to grab-and-go.

You want a bag that’s lightweight

Without any contents, this backpack weighs in at 1.8kg – and it’s noticeable. The straps are well-designed to reduce strain, but if you’d rather something built with lightness in mind, the Mous 25L isn’t for you.

You get hot easily

All that protective foam right by your back, plus the black casing, means this backpack can be a little uncomfortable and sweaty on a hot day.

Mous 25L backpack: Also consider


Topo Core Pack

This bag has tons of space with plenty of pockets, along with a padded base for extra laptop protection. It also features travel bag attachment loops as well as a waist belt.


Herschel Pop Quiz backpack

This laptop bag is meant for students that includes a padded dedicated laptop compartment with fleece lining, and built in front pocket organizers for school supplies.


AmazonBasics Laptop Bag

For something more simple, this over-the-shoulder laptop bag fits several larger laptops.

How I tested the Mous 25L

Mous 25L backpack rear and straps

(Image credit: Future)
  • I used the Mous backpack for three weeks
  • I made several long-haul journeys, as well as everyday trips, with it
  • I dropped it with my laptop and Nintendo Switch in situ

I used the Mous 25L backpack for almost all of my travel and daily activities for three weeks, including for daily commuting and a few weekend trips away. Inside it I carried all of my most prized tech possessions: my laptop, iPad, Nintendo Switch, alongside other everyday items. 

I tried as many drop tests as I was willing to risk with my own devices, and I’m pleased to say even after a drop from 2 meters, my MacBook Pro survived unscathed. I also splashed the backpack with a glass of water and found the interior remained completely dry.

I’ve been a regular backpack user for 12 years, using everything from Vans to Jansport to Dr. Martens backpacks. This is my first rugged backpack, but it’s started a love affair I imagine will last a lifetime.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed July 2023

Josephine Watson
Managing Editor, Lifestyle

Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.