TL Pack by Black Ember: Review

Sleek, weatherproof, versatile modular backpack from Black Ember in San Francisco

Black Ember makes versatile, weatherproof, technical backpacks that you can redesign to fit your daily needs. This is the TL Pack, equipped with eight hooks and magnetic snaps on the front to fit the smaller accessory pouches that Black Ember has designed to be diverse, functional and reliable.

In the past few weeks I have taken this bag to London and Verona, on planes, trains and automobiles and it has been the perfect travel companion. The smaller pouches were quickly designated with individual functions. The military pouch would sit on the front strap, holding my cell phone, battery reserve, business cards and pen. The Large Admin pouch would hold my hard drive, LAV mic setup, and other general camera gear. And lastly, the hard case would hold headphones, memory cards, and my sunglasses. It was absolutely perfect.

The main body of the bag has a compartment for a laptop and a tablet, as well as two other small multi-function pockets attached to the back wall. There is a rigid back to this pack, which helps it keep its form when you stuff it full of wonky items like cameras and books. The zippers are all coated, keeping the back weatherproof and ensuring that you're set up for whatever kind of conditions you may run into.

Black Ember modular backpack
Black Ember TL Pack, Military Pouch, Hard Case, and Large Admin pouchBlack Ember

All of the bags from Black Ember are designed with an emphasis on appearance, as well as functionality. Never have I been stopped so many times to answer questions about a backpack, but it is a new and exciting type of bag, and people love it. The range of technical fabrics used on the bags is pretty diverse but every part has a function, and every function has been well thought out.

For more information on the TL Pack and other bags from Black Ember, check out their website


  • Reinforced zipper welts with YKK urethane coated zippers
  • Removable 3D Shoulder harness with removable track-style sternum straps. Compatible with any dual mag-lock pouch.
  • Airflow dimensional-mesh backpanel
  • One Leather Handle (can be attached to the side or the top of the pack)
  • Multiple bonded and bar-tacked hypalon attach points for attaching handle and strap accessories
  • All critical weight bearing points reinforced with box stitching or bar-tacks


  • Padded internal laptop sleeve: designed to accommodate most contemporary 15" laptops including the MacBook Pro. Fits laptops up to 16 x 10.25 inches or 406 x 260 millimeters
  • Padded internal tablet sleeve
  • Two slip-in storage pockets
  • Quick release key strap


Dimensional inches: 19 x 11 x 6 (Height x Width x Depth)
Dimensional millimeters: 480 x 280 x 153 (Height x Width x Depth)
Liters: 20