Milwaukee 48-22-8205 Travel Backpack Review

Milwaukee 48-22-8205 Travel Backpack

Perfect Designs are hard to come by

Have you ever had a tool that fits your way of doing work so perfectly that you think the designer must have read your mind when creating it?

I can think of only a few tools that fit that bill.

And the most recent one is the Milwaukee 48-22-8205 travel backpack.


I am a road warrior in my job as a Construction Project Executive. The job requires me to travel between multiple job sites and offices. That is where the Milwaukee 48-22-8205 travel backpack is my constant companion. My daily tools are mostly hi-tech but occasionally include hand tools and samples I need. This backpack is an essential part of my everyday work life.

Before getting the Milwaukee 48-22-8205 travel backpack, I spent several hundred dollars on a TUMI backpack. It lasted well over a decade of hard use. After a hard life of use and abuse, I finally wore holes in it, and the zippers were a pain to close due to missing zipper pulls. I also had missing and misaligned teeth, meaning some compartments were open. Even though it seemed like I was getting rid of my favorite old sweater, it was time to look at something different. And, yes, the price of getting the TUMI repaired/restored was more than the original price.

While I liked the TUMI bag for its high quality, I always felt like it was made for someone else with different needs than I. It is designed with a few oversized compartments and some undersized compartments. None were quite right for my gear. This made organizing things difficult as the things I wanted to go together were too large for a particular pocket and space. But I faithfully used and carried that backpack to job sites and on trips. It was my constant companion for ten years. TUMI made a very high-quality product that lasted me a long time.

That doesn’t mean the TUMI bag met my needs well.

Milwaukee 48-22-8205 Travel Backpack

I knew Milwaukee made several tool and job site backpacks. I knew the designers made them carry hand tools and other items efficiently. Those backpacks carry many hand tools and other things, but I need something else.

I oversee the design and construction of large-scale commercial offices, labs, and residential structures. I move between company offices, client offices, architects’ offices, and job sites. My daily tools are more like those of a high-tech road warrior. My everyday toolkit is a laptop computer, an iPad, a Rocket Notebook, a slew of accessories like portable scanners, laser measurers, a Walbot and power supplies, thumb drives, backup batteries with USB,  a cellular modem, backup hard drives, a gaggle of cables and adapters, coffee thermoses, files, and an occasional assortment of hand tools.

These are the contents that I haul around daily. I also need this assortment and more when traveling away from home.

When I first saw an advertisement for the new Milwaukee 48-22-8205 backpack, I was surprised to know that it was branded as a ‘travel backpack.’ I needed a new one, and I thought this one might be a good candidate for me.

Its feature list caught my eye as a good fit:


  • 23 Total Pockets
  • Tear-resistant 1680D ballistic material
  • Attachment Sleeve to Securely Attach to Vertical Handles
  • Quick-Access Magnetic Pocket
  • Rugged metal zippers
  • Load-Bearing Harness
  • Lifting Handle
  • 2 Water Bottle Pockets
  • Padded and Breathable Straps
  • Laptop Storage Fits up to a 15.6″ Laptop
  • 5” High x 15.5” wide x 9.3” deep
  • 5 lbs. unloaded.

In addition to these features, the quality of the backpack is excellent. I looked at the things that failed on my former bag and found that the 48-22-8205 Travel Backpack looked substantially heavy-duty. Of note, the zippers are a step up in size and heft. The bottom is made of the same tear-resistant ballistic material as the rest of the bag. In summary, this is a well-made, high-quality piece of kit.

Packing my Backpack for Daily Use

At least twice a day, my 48-22-8205 Travel Backpack is loaded up and unloaded. I carry the items I might need on a routine day. And it is a lot of gear. The following picture shows what I stuff into and take out of the 48-22-8205 Travel Backpack. Fully loaded, my backpack weighs over 30#.

My 48-22-8205 Travel Backpack goes out on the road with me and gets tossed around and dragged through the job sites. It lives on concrete floors and construction trailers and generally gets abused daily. It has been knocked off of plan tables and traveled in the holds and cabins of airplanes. I have yet to have anything sustain damage that is on the inside.

What I like about the 48-22-8205 Travel Backpack

It cleans up nicely

I could improve by ensuring the lids are closed on my thermos and travel mugs. As result, I often cleaned up coffee spills, and the black ballistic nylon is an excellent material for the occasional sponge bath. In over a year of use, the 48-22-8205 backpack looks brand new. The interior of the coffee compartment is a grey patterned material that also cleans up easily – although it will show the spills much more than the black outer shell material. Here is a recent spill I need to clean.

It has a well-designed handle and shoulder straps

Putting on and taking off the backpack is easy. I find the handle on the top of the bag is exceptionally well-placed, making it easy to unload from my back . When the backpack swings around, I can easily catch it. The handle is right where I need it, and I cannot recall when I had to unload using just the shoulder strap.

The shoulder straps are comfortable and easy to adjust. Using both straps distributes the weight well and is comfortable for long periods. I often use only one strap when g short distances. The single strap carries the load well and does not slip off one shoulder. The 48-22-8205 backpack fits me to a tee.

It has excellent zippers and zipper pulls

The zippers may seem like a small item, but that is where some backpacks have failed before. These zippers are heavy-duty. The zipper pulls are large, and they are one piece.  Many zipper pulls are cinched or formed around the zipper head; over time, that gap is where they fail. Milwaukee designed the zipper head to be formed around the zipper pull. One would have to break off the top of the zipper head to experience a failure.

I love the quick-access magnet pocket

Before I owned the 48-22-8205 backpack, I didn’t know I needed a quick-access magnet pocket. But now, I would not buy a backpack without this feature. I use this feature expressly for my iPhone. It is the last thing I pack up and the first thing I need to access or unload. During the course of a day, I cannot count the number of times that I reach for and extract my phone from that pocket. It is so convenient that I don’t have to unzip anything. The location is convenient to the point where I don’t have to fuss with anything to get my phone. The magnetic clasp also ensures that my phone won’t fall out.

When I travel, the quick access pocket is where my ID or passport, boarding pass, and phone go. I find this so convenient. I put my wallet into another zippered compartment, and I have to only go to the quick access magnet pocket for what I need to clear TAS security or customs.

Quick-access magnet pocket is a game changer for me.


I recommend the 48-22-8205 Travel Backpack for anyone with similar road-warrior needs. This is an investment at a typical retail price of $300. But my experience with this kit for over a year is that it is worth the investment for its comfort and convenience. I have used this backpack every day since I have had it and found nothing I would change. And I have seen so much that I like about this design.

So all you road warriors –arm yourself with a Milwaukee 48-22-8205 Travel Backpack. You will be glad you did!

Milwaukee Performance Travel Backpack


About the author

Stan Durlacher

Stan has been involved with Design and Construction in the commercial industry since 1975. He is currently the President of Design and Construction for a major St Petersburg, FL developer. Before that, he was a Project Executive for a prominent Boston Construction Manager, building high-rise apartment and office buildings. One of the hallmarks of his career has been innovative problem-solving. As Assistant Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Stan was instrumental in bringing the hydro mill slurry wall machinery and technology to Boston in the 1990s for use on the Central Artery Third Harbor Tunnel Project. Stan has been an avid woodworker since college and brings an innovative point of view to this field. Before Florida, he owned an 1886 farmhouse near Concord, Mass, and his skills and time were never idle for long. His barn and attached spaces serve as his ever-expanding workshop. Stan is a self-avowed tool hound. In 2013, Stan decided to design and build his own CNC router. This machine has become a centerpiece of his woodworking and craft focus. Stan will share many of the ways that this innovative technology has solved many current problems and how CNC will begin to impact the woodworking and home renovation businesses.

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