Spare Camel Backpack

Availability: In stock


Our best commuter or travel backpack. 30L volume easily fits a weeks worth of clothes. Legal carry on size!

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A camel carries a lot... thats why you can never go astray with a spare camel.

Ok, that was a shit intro, but cut us some slack right. Its late, we're tired, and aren't feeling witty... just work with us mmmkay?

Quick Look:

Spare Camel is in stock and ready to ship!
 H: 530mm x W: 300mm x D: 200mm
Volume: 30L (or a slab of beer)
Weight: approx. 1.3kg 
Opening: Clamshell, lay flat design
iGuide: 17 inch laptop in main compartment, 13 or 15 inch laptop in rear pocket, iPad in front pocket
Material: 1000D Cordura Exterior, 300D Polyester Liner

Customise Me For $50!


The Spare Camel is the perfect travel or daily commuter backpack. It's 30L interior easily fits a weeks worth of clothes, or a man's camel load of beer (read: it can fit a carton). The best feature of this bag however is it's ability to open up and lay completely flat giving you quick and easy access to the entire interior. It is kind of like accessing stuff from a suitcase only in backpack form. Two zip pulls mean you can also open from the side or just the top should the need arise. What cannot fit inside the bag is easily strapped to the outside using the four lines of clipping webbing. The Spare Camel is the perfect companion to our Royd Bike Bag; clip it on and ride away from the airport. Oh, and speaking of airports, this pack is carry on compatible. No air hostess will ever give you a dirty look as it fits in all overhead bins or under the seat in front of you.

On the outside of the pack is a small strip of reflective tape (night time safety without being too over the top), as well as a slip pocket perfect for D-locks, or your travel itinerary. Although the bag can fit up to 17 inch laptops, this particular pocket can fit a 13 inch laptop (out of it's sleeve and ready for a TSA check) or iPad. Delving inside the pack you will find four pockets designed specifically to keep everything sorted and easily accessible. This includes our pleated back wall pocket, which is perfect for dirty commuting clothes, as well as two smaller pleated and zippered pockets on the front wall. The fourth pocket is a little zippered stash spot at the top of the pack for valuables such as phone, or for quick access items such as key/swipe pass. How many times have you had to delve through your pack for such a small yet important thing? Not any more! Oh, and the pack now features a covered port for your water bladder tube so you no longer need to run the hose between your zip pulls.

The backpack straps are tapered, contoured and padded with 10mm of high density EVA foam. These are the exact same straps as found on all our backpacks, which have been used and abused for years, and will not dig in or rub your neck. The backpad and framesheet is also the same as used on our Chunky Toad, complete with removable 10mm EVA foam as well as 1.5mm HDPE framesheet. As has been proven over time nothing in your pack will stab you in the back!

All zips are YKK which are the toughest we could get our hands on. Despite this we decided for an extra level of overkill and protected the exterior zips via a generous zip flap. This will reduce the likelihood of dust, dirt and grime gumming up and potentially prematurely destroying your zips.

The Spare Camel will accept our hip belt upgrade


Outer: 1000D Cordura, a highly abrasion resistant material built for a lifetime of abuse
Liner: Weather proof 300D polyester, which gives the bag a soft and lightweight construction.

The Spare Camel is weatherproof. 


1. Black outer, dark grey liner, black webbing and black bartack
2. Brown outer, dark grey liner, black webbing and black bartack.

Harry, 21/10/16
I just thought I'd let you know you're doing a great job mate. I bought my spare camel in 2013 and I haven't stopped using it! Great bag going strong!

Thanks for the great Aussie made products! I'll get one of the wallets as well too. I need a new one.

All the best!
Andy R, 15/08/16
I've been meaning to write you for months to thank you for the magnificent design and craftsmanship on my "Spare Camel" backpack.

It is simply the best backpack I've ever used. I love how it functions equally well for small, medium and very large loads. And it's perfect for airline carry on baggage, with a few days worth of clothes.

Well done!
Ken, 13/05/16
I've had my red custom spare camel for well over a year now and can't imagine being with out it . Comfortable on the road or mountain bike or walking, plenty of space for work and leisure, including my kayak paddle (it can easily be carried with the dual compression straps). Great for carry on luggage plane trips.
Still looks great and has been faultless after being used just about everyday.
I love that fact that I got to speak to the guy that made and designed it as part of the process.
Bespoke excellence from BOGear!
Daniel, 27/04/16
I got to use the spare camel for the first time yesterday. It was strapped to me and I teetered on top of my top heavy bike. Squeezed a 6 pack, a 4 pack, a 5kg watermelon, 5 apples, 6 packs of aeroplane jelly and a pack of asian rice crackers inside. A loaf of bread, 2 extra packs of asian rice crackers and 2 avocados were strapped to the outside thanks to the extra compression straps.

Feels solid as, looking forward to using it in a more normal, carrying laptop and book capacity today :)
David, 29/03/16
Just got my bag, love the word dirtified! Sturdy, pack full of stuff, looking forward to my Japan trip, thanks Dave and everyone who's been a part of it

Love the smell, it's getting ready for me to make it smell rank ;)

The bags so comfortable on my back, I can't take it off
Chris, 3/11/15
I love my Spare Camel Backpack. It has been on two tours of Amsterdam so far and both my wife and I cannot fault it in any way. I use it on my bicycle and motorbike and it does exactly what Dave said it would. It is excellent as carry on luggage on international flights. I also highly recommend the Cellblock M. It is a permanent fixture as it holds my soap and shampoo etc for the gym.

Please do your research on other bags in the market and then just contact Dave and buy one of his excellent products.
Alan, 26/06/15
This is hands down the best backpack I have ever owned; it's comfortable, functional and stylish. I can use it when walking, jogging or cycling (haven't taken it into the water yet lol!).

Materials: Tough and waterproof (work documents and laptops are safe in a downpour) with a reflector strip in the right spot. The external webbing means you can attach more stuff to the outside if the inside fills up.

Interior: A lot of thought has gone into the colour, placement and size of the various pockets on this thing to make it exceptionally easy to be organised. I used to spend a lot of time ferreting around inside my pack at the end of a journey. Not any more.

Plays well with: Get the backpack upgrade bundle and the small things bundle. I just can't emphasise enough how flexible for almost any purpose this pack is and how uncharacteristically organised it makes me.
Andrew, 7/04/15
I’m a dad with two very small kids, so I literally am the camel of the family, carrying loads of random kids gear whenever we head out the door. Living and studying in Japan means I often get around on bike and public transport, so I needed a large-ish bag for a laptop and books, and possibly groceries when I come home. The weather here can be quite extreme too (6 metres of snow a year), so I needed something that could handle bike commutes through rain, sleet and snow. On top of that, I find myself travelling a lot, and so I need something good for overhead compartments in planes.

Enter the Spare Camel! There is so much to like about this bag – and you can tell by the length of this review. I didn’t expect it to become the ‘one bag to rule them all’, but it has – I’ve now packed away my other backpacks and use this for daily use.

CONSTRUCTION: Everything about the bag’s design screams toughness – the fabric, the ITW Nexus buckles and D rings, the seat belt webbing, the PALS webbing... I carried a 10kg bag of rice inside without anything breaking (though, I was a bit worried!). I’ve never owned anything made of 1000D Cordura fabric before, but now that I have, I see that’s its major step up in toughness compared to your regular nylon backpack. Even better is the monster #10 YKK zip on the main part of the bag. No need to worry about the zip failing or catching on the fabric of the storm flap.

WATER RESISTANCE: Both the outer 1000D Cordura and liner have a water resistant backing which make the bag quite water resistant. The bag has been dragged through and buried under snow. At the end of winter here, when the roads are perpetually wet from melting snow, the bag often gets totally covered in water when I ride my bike – because I don’t have a proper mud guard. So far so good – I find I can just get a towel and wipe the bag and it’s immediately dry and good to go.

However, the outer pocket which sits right behind the PALS webbing isn’t completely water resistant – because the zip isn’t covered with a storm flap. One time when it was sleeting down, water managed to enter in through that zip. I had some books in there that got slightly damp. I suspect wet sleet was piling up on my back, and so it presented the worst case scenario for the bag/zip. I dunno, I can’t see what’s happening on my back. However, the rest of the bag contents were fine – i.e. the top external pocket and the main compartment were bone dry. Because of this I make use of a rain cover when I plan to ride my bike through serious rain. But if I’ve caught without it I’d still be relatively confident in the bag’s weather resistance (but I avoid putting paper items in that pocket anymore).

CLAMSHELL OPENING: 98% of the time I open the bag the traditional way – from the top. I didn’t think I’d care much for the clamshell opening, but the 2% of the time that I need to grab something from the bottom of the bag, or the times I’m trying to pack the bag carefully, the clamshell design becomes really useful.

POCKETING: Most backpacks tend to use a secondary compartment that is parallel to the main compartment (e.g. The North Face Surge). This sort of design tends to make ‘secondary items’ fall to the bottom of the secondary compartment, and the bag sticks out further and further away from your back, which messes with your centre of gravity. The Spare Camel’s pocketing essentially does away with a parallel secondary compartment with its internal mesh pockets and tight external pockets. This way the ‘secondary items’ are kept closer to your back, and higher up. I find this makes a big difference in carrying comfort, and in keeping the bag rectangular-ish in shape even when full. Also, the pleating of the mesh pockets is a very useful feature – no super tight pockets than can only store a handful of flat things. You can stick your whole fist in there to hunt around for items.

CELL BLOCK M: I really love hanging a Cell Block M on the inside of the bag for more organisation. Depending on the occasion I use it to store small notebooks, pencil cases, food, a camera, computer mouse – basically stuff I need to access once I’m sitting down at my intended destination or stuff that’s too big for the mesh pockets. I love the fact that the Cell Block is hanging up high in the bag in a location that is normally empty, thus make more efficient use of space. It also helps keep the load of the bag high up as well, which is better for stability and carrying comfort. In many ways the cell block works similar to how traditional ‘cinch top’ rucksacks (e.g. Burton Tinder) have a hanging pocket sitting on the top – which I always thought was useful, but made the bag look funny when empty, since those bags tend to invert into themselves. Of course, it’s great to be able to just attach the Cell Block to the outside of the bag on the PALS webbing if you really need it there.

Tip: Put some paracord zip pulls on the Cell Block – it’s a pain trying to locate the little black metal zips when it’s hanging inside your backpack.

COMFORT: The plastic frame sheet + high density foam is fantastic for comfort on your back, especially when carrying heavy loads or strangely shaped items. The nice wide shoulder straps are also fantastic. Every day I carry about 7-8kg on my back, and it’s been no problem. The bag is also taller than the shoulder straps. i.e. The top of the bag is not the where the shoulder straps meet the bag – it’s a few more centimetres above. Dave tells me this makes the bag stronger. I also think it makes the bag contents sit higher up your back. This feature, along with what I mentioned above about the pocketing, means everything is kept closer to your back and higher up – which is great for stability and comfort when carrying heavy loads.

ATTACHMENT POINTS: The PALS webbing + D rings + straps mean there are attachment points everywhere, so like a car roof rack, you can always add more things on top. I carry a length of paracord with me on the occasion I need to bring something oversized home. And because of the tough 1000D Cordura fabric and bartacks, you won’t be need to worry about the bag ripping apart when lashing something down.

STANDS UP: The rectangular shape of the bag means the bag can stand up on its own (well, depending on how you pack it). When waiting in line for something with the bag, it’s nice to be able to just put it down on the floor.

OPTIONAL WAIST STRAP: I didn’t actually buy this, but I thought it was really a great design point to highlight. Instead of a thin waist strap that dangles around annoying you when you don’t need it, I love the fact that the bag is able to slot in a full size beefy waist strap for the occasions you’ll really be carrying heavy loads for a long time. And then you can remove it when you don’t want it.


The bag does have a few ‘niggles’ I think are worth highlighting. None of them are deal breakers for me, but I thought it would be worth mentioning them.

VERTICAL ZIP: My biggest ‘niggle’ is the use of a vertical zip on the inside mesh pocket. When accessing the bag from the top, it’s not the easiest to push the zip down to open the pocket, and it’s hard to pull things out from the pocket at that angle. There are ways around this (turn the bag sideways, use it like a ‘Napoleon pocket’) but basically I would have really preferred a horizontal zip.

BACK VENTILATION: Another smaller niggle is the lack of back ventilation. Basically, there is none. I haven’t used the bag in a warmer season yet, so I can’t say, but I wonder how it will feel during humid weather. But with that said – I recognise that most backpacks feature back ventilation that doesn’t actually work at all, but just looks like it might work.

LAPTOP PROTECTION: The bag also lacks any real laptop protection. You really must put the laptop into a sleeve which protects the laptops corners and edges. Otherwise when putting the bag on the floor you might hear the unfortunate noise of your laptop kissing the concrete.

STERNUM STRAP: Whilst the sternum strap does the job, it’s not without big faults. Because of the way the sternum strap attaches to the shoulder straps (i.e. all the way around) I often find it twisted around the shoulder strap and buried around my armpit whenever I’m trying to find it. Also, I find it slowly unravels by itself. One time I reached for the sternum strap and it came off completely, much to my surprise. I hadn’t been paying attention to its slow unravelling. So I make sure it’s always attached tightly, which is an unwanted hassle. Other bag manufacturers use a sternum strap which connects to the webbing of the shoulder strap (e.g. Tom Bihn sternum strap) with a plastic buckle – I wonder if that would have been a better solution.


Overall, I got to say I’ve grown to really love this backpack. I need to use a backpack every day, and I know I’ll be doing so for quite some time – and so I searched high and low for a backpack I wouldn’t just like, but love. And I think this is it. I was really hesitant to buy a bag I wasn’t able to actually examine in the flesh, but the super informative videos and photos really helped me ‘see’ the bag.

I’ll add that I loved that fact that I was able to communicate directly with the actual designer of the bag, and I really appreciated Dave’s emails to me explaining different aspects of the bag. And it’s Australian made too, which makes this quite a rarity.

Hope all of this helps prospective buyers out there!
Phil, 20/02/15
Had my Navy and Orange Spare Camel for a fair while now as my every single day motorcycle commute backpack. Rain hail or shine.

Hasn't faltered yet! Haven't found anything inside the bag to get even a little damp despite some decent hammerings of rain.

In combination with the waist and chest straps it make a very stable fit to the torso. No unwanted floating of the pack while cornering is a huge plus.

Quality is great. Not a single indication of wear yet!

As with all my BO Gear I would be happy to buy again for myself or recommend to my friends.
Isaac , 28/11/14
So stoked with the bag Dave.
After using it all week, I'm thinking off stuff I need to carry, just so I don't have to take it off.

Your personal touch + love you put into your business is outstanding and your customer service rivals any other company.

My only regret is not ordering a camel when I first stumbled across your bags 18 months ago.

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spare camel backpack overview

Video 1: Floating Shoulder Strap
We upgraded our shoulder strap design to be more comfortable across a wider variety of shoulder widths, shapes and sizes. It is features "float" and will not cut or uncomfortably dig into your neck.

Video 2: Mesh Interior Pockets
There are three mesh interior pockets in our Spare Camel. Two of them also feature a pleated design. Learn why we chose mesh for this end use, and how the pleated design means you can carry more in each pocket.

Video 3: V2 Upgrades
Never content to be good, we are continually updating our gear. Check out our Version 2 upgrade, featuring zippered external pocket as well as anti-flap straps. 

Video 4: Internal Top Mesh Pocket
We put a sneaky little pocket on the top of our pack. This is perfect for easily breakable items like your sunglasses, or for things you need to access quickly like your swipe pass. This pocket can also be used for secure storage of your iPod so you can listen to music on the go, while knowing it is safe inside your pack.

Video 5: Pleated Internal Pocket
We are pretty chuffed with our pleated pocket design. It is super simple, yet is the best pocket for your laptop if you don't want it bent in half! Learn as we discuss why this pocket is good for your carry!

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