Côte & Ciel Nile Rucksack Review

My review of the Nile rucksack has been a work in progress for the past few months. I finally told myself to sit down and type this out, so here we go.

I've had the Nile since August 2014, so i've had the chance to use it in various situations. I bought the Nile to replace my Incase ICON backpack, which i've had since 2006. I originally got the ICON to hold my first Mac, the 17'' Macbook Pro, which was replaced in 2012 with my 13'' Macbook Air.

The main fabric used for the bag is a water resistant, coated polyester, it has a certain waxy feel to it. I've managed to scuff it up in a few spots, but overall, it's held up pretty well to my rough handling of it at times. 

The two main buckles are covered in calf leather. Unbuckling the two buckles gives you full access to the main compartment of the bag. After using the bag for a while now, i've learned you can pull most items out of the main compartment without having to undo the two buckles.

Since you have to undo the two buckles and zipper to get to the main compartment, it doesn't give you quick full access to whatever is in the main compartment. This isn't a big issue to me, since i use the Nile as a standard backpack first and light camera bag second. If i need an actual camera bag, i'll use my Lowepro 400AW or Incase Ari bag.

The main compartment can hold a decent amount of gear. 

My two main loadouts are:

I'll normally toss in a sweater or rain shell with either loadout.

The main compartment is big enough to hold enough clothes for either a day trip or light weekend trip.

The laptop compartment holds my 13'' Macbook Air (it can hold a laptops up to 15''), charger, various MBA dongles and 1-2 hard drives. It also has various pockets to hold items like pens or small hard drives (my slim WD portable hard drives fit). 

There is a zippered pouch in the laptop and main compartment.

It can hold everything listed above and more, before it looks overloaded.

Next to the main compartment zipper is the zipper for the compartment holding the concealed rain hood.

The hood is made from an ultra light rip-stop fabric. It's a nice fallback option to keep your head dry if you're caught in the rain and you didn't pack a rain shell, or if you just simply want to keep the sun off your head. I'll admit, i've never once used the rain hood since purchasing it last August.

The shoulder straps at first were a bit stiff and uncomfortable, but with some time and usage, they're fairly comfy now. The two straps meet at the top with the pull handle before connecting to the main part of the backpack. Most backpacks have their pull handles on the main body but that's not possible with the top-loading design of the Nile. I've read some reviews about people who didn't like how close the pull handle was to their neck, but i haven't had any issues with it.

The Nile rucksack is definitely one of the most unique items i've ever purchased. The futuristic look of it catches your eye. Most people who've asked about the Nile are generally curious about it due to its unique look.

With that said, the Nile isn't for everyone, the price is a bit on the high side for a backpack ($325). The high price does translate to a very unique and well made backpack.

If you like the Nile, but aren't completely sold on it, Côte & Ciel offers a range of other backpacks. Their Isar Rucksack is a popular choice, i almost purchased the Isar before discovering the Nile.

If you stumbled upon this review in your search about the Nile, feel free to contact me if you have any questions about it.



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