Review: Driibe DAKOTA 3-in-1 Convertible Backpack & Purse

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As a traveler in 2023, I’m often frustrated when it comes to finding a backpack that suits all my different needs. So I was curious when I discovered the Driibe DAKOTA 3-in-1 Convertible Backpack and Purse.

Sometimes you need a daypack to hold your sweaters and water bottles. Other times, I need a laptop bag to carry all my electronics, especially as I run a portable online business.

And sometimes, you just want a simple purse or clutch to take out on a special dinner on the Amalfi coast. 

woman holding driibe black handbag and smiling

I didn’t know it was possible to meet all those purposes in one place until I was introduced to the Driibe Dakota 3-in-1-Backpack Purse, the most versatile women’s travel bag. 

Driibe sent me one to test and review, if I felt it was a worthy share. Once I started using it, I understood how versatile and compact it was, and what an incredible travel bag it was to share with our community. 

Here’s my complete and honest review of the Driibe Dakota Backpack and Purse.

About Driibe

driibe travel purse on table with glass of red wine

Before I get into my full review, I want to quickly introduce you to Driibe.

Driibe was born out of long-term travelers’ frustrations with so many luggage inconveniences and impracticalities. 

The company started in 2018 when its founders realized that there aren’t many bags and clothing designed specifically for travelers on a trip from Switzerland to Sydney. Their first product was the DownUNDER pants, a pant whose length you can adjust as needed.

They have a “+ in 1” product philosophy where all their product lines must be created to preserve the main features and purposes of two or more different products, thus reducing their impact on the environment and bringing greater practicality and convenience to the traveler.

By 2025, they aim to use only recycled materials in their products.

Their mission is to improve the way people travel through smart products that adapt to different situations, help people travel more sustainably by providing clothes and bags crafted with respect for the planet, and for their products to support people in need and help make the world a happier, safer, and healthier place to live.

Not only that but since 2020, they have been donating part of its profits to support victims of domestic violence by donating to shelters and organizations.

And that to me is a company worth supporting! 

Quick Answer: What Did I Think?

woman holding driibe purse

Below I will share my in-depth review, but for those of you who are short on time, here is a quick overview of the highlights.

What I liked about the Driibe Dakota 3-in-1 Convertible Bag was I could easily switch from a daypack to a purse when the need arose, like more space to put in my sweater as the weather warmed up during the day. 

With a simple switch of the bag straps, I could then transform that backpack into a purse. I could also fashion it depending on the occasion, such as keeping it simple with a black strap or dressing it up for an evening with a detachable chain handle.

And I did not have to sacrifice any space or organizational compartments in the process. The compartments magically rearranged themselves in the transformation to have a unique new place that still served me! 

However, the Dakota 3-in-1 backpack purse is on the higher end of travel luggage pricing, but I think you’ll soon understand its value and realize the longevity the bag will have with its high-quality material and craftsmanship

It has a style perfectly suited to our upcoming European summer vacation and my solo trip to Greece to speak at TBEX. 

With luggage, it’s often worth paying higher prices to have something that will last for years. Our Delsey hardcover suitcases have lasted us seven years so far and are still in great shape. 

This is definitely the perfect travel bag for sophisticated travelers who wants more with less.

Let’s jump into a more in-depth review of this unique and innovative convertible backpack purse. 

If you can’t wait to read the rest of this Driibe Dakota bag review and are ready to purchase now, be sure to use the code YTRAVEL10 for a 10% discount. You must purchase via this link to activate it.

Dakota 3-in-1 Backpack and Purse Specifications

driibe handbag on table with coffee
  • Handbag:
    • H 20 x W 29 x D 11 cm
    • (H 7.9 “x W 11.4” x D 4.4 “)
  • Daypack:
    • H 41 x W 29 x D 11 cm
    • (H 16.2 “x W 11.4” x D 4.4 “)
  • Backpack:
    • H 52 x W 29 x D11 cm
    • (H 20.5 “x W 11.4” x D 4.4 “)
  • Laptop pocket dimensions:
    • 37 x 28cm (14.5 “x 11”)
  • Storage Space: up to 12 L
  • Weight: 805g ( 1.77 lbs)
  • Material: Recycled polyester (RPET), DMF free water-based PU leather
  • Included accessories:
    • Detachable weight reducer
    • Detachable backpack handle in leather
    • Chain handbag handle with elegant leather pouch

Review of the Dakota Travel Bag: Key Benefits and Features

You’re going to be blown away by how many features one bag can fit in – there are 27 features altogether. There are two colors, black or sand.

Let me share my favorite features of the bag.

Versatile Convertible Bag

woman and child looking at view of lake
Easy to carry on a hike

The Driibe DAKOTA 3-in-1 convertible design means it can be your go-to bag for any occasion. Whether you’re traveling, commuting, or just running errands, this versatile bag can adapt to your needs. 

It’s a true convertible bag. It doesn’t just change the way you carry it with the different straps, it actually changes its look and shape to suit your purpose. 

  • an elegant handbag, perfect for a dinner out or shopping in the city;
  • a small, stylish daypack, ideal for all daily activities;
  • a spacious travel backpack, perfect for longer trips and hikes.

The adjustable straps and detachable shoulder strap allow you to customize the bag to your needs, ensuring that you’re comfortable no matter how you choose to wear it.

Can you really hike with this backpack purse?

people hiking in forest
Wearing the Driibe convertible backpack as I hike

I was dubious for sure. So, I put it to the test. I was surprised at how well it worked as a backpack. Now the hikes I did with the bag were 2 miles or less and not too intensive. However, it served the purpose really well and meant I did not have to take an adidtional hiking bag.

I don’t think they’d be great for longer hikes, especially if it’s hot, as the (fake) leather part that sits on your back can get sticky. I would definitely take it on shorter hikes like this again if it saved me taking two bags. From one of the hikes, we went straight to breakfast. I loved being able to quickly convert it back into a purse. No one would have ever known it just hiked 2 miles with me!

Spacious Interior with Loads of Compartments

open purse with ltos of storage
lots of space

With 12 liters of storage space, you won’t believe how much you can fit into this bag.

The roomy interior of the DAKOTA backpack purse features two main internal compartments, including a laptop sleeve, and two internal pockets – a zippered pocket, and several slip pockets, allowing you to organize your belongings easily. 

The bag also has two external pockets – a front zippered pocket, perfect for storing your phone or wallet, and a back anti-theft pocket that can be used to store your passport or boarding pass, or other valuable items you want to keep out of reach of suspected pickpockets.

Smart Zippered Pockets

driibe purse zipper pcokets

You don’t truly understand how genius these pockets are until you use this bag and switch between versions without having to move any of your time from one pocket to the different version.

Everything remains accessible yet in a completely different pocket. It’s so cleverly designed. 

You have two pockets, one on the outside, which is great for smartphones and documents, and one on the inside. 

Quick Access Pocket Optimized for Left and Right-Handed Users

hand accessing zipper in bag

One thing that bugs me about daypacks and backpacks is how I have to take the bag completely off my back and bring it to the front to access things I frequently use, like my purse, keys, chargers, or phone. I often carry a small crossbody bag with those items in it in my front to overcome this issue. 

Not with this bag. There is a discreet, extra-zippered elastic pocket under the jacket holder where you can store these important extras.

hand grabbing something out of bag

You don’t have to take the bag all the way off your back. Keep one strap on your shoulder and easily access the pocket from the side. Whether you are left or right-handed, there is a zip to match. 

I was thrilled when I noticed this feature. It’s the little things that make your travel days easier. 

The Jacket Holder

You heard me mention it above and now you’re wondering what it is. 

The backpack version of DAKOTA is equipped with a large front compartment and a jacket holder that can be used to carry or yoga mat. That’s right, it has a yoga mat holder!

It also has two elastic side pockets for storing small items or a waterbottle or umbrella.

Again, this is where you will find that hidden pocket I mentioned before, so you can use it to keep a book or an airport security liquids bag handy.

Luggage Strap with Pocket

luggage strap on bag

The DAKOTA convertible travel bag is equipped with an elegant and discreet luggage strap that allows you to attach it to your suitcase, whether you travel with the handbag or the backpack version.

The luggage strap is equipped with a practical inner pocket where you can store your glasses or your subway ticket. You can take them out even without opening the bag!

Expandable Bottom

There is a large section under the daypack that can be unzippered to transform into a much bigger backpack. 

This expandable bottom is perfect for those transit days when you need to carry more! OR if you’re out hiking and want to carry a picnic lunch. 

You just zip it back up when you don’t need it and no one will ever know it’s there. 

Laptop Pocket with Waterproof Padding

laptop inside bag

It’s rare that people travel without them anymore, so Driibe have padded out a laptop compartment with an additional internal waterproof layer.

I love how slimline this laptop backpack is. I usually use my Tortuga Laptop Bag which has always been fantastic, but it is much bulkier than the Dakota and I couldn’t really use it as a daypack. 

I’m looking forward to taking this bag instead to Europe so I can still travel with my laptop, but then use it later for a day pack when exploring the city, and a purse when I want to glam it up.

Laptop pocket dimensions: 37 x 28cm (14.5 “x 11”)

Detachable handles for different styles and purposes

driibe handbag with gold chain sitting on bar
The Gold Chain evening look

The Dakota bag comes with different essential accessories to give you a variety of looks and support.

  • A detachable weight reducer will help you reduce weight on your shoulders and maintain a correct posture, and reduce pain. 
  • Elegant Detachable leather handle you can add to your backpack for easy pickup!
  • Chain handle for a more glamorous look. You can also use it as a keychain!
  • Detachable shoulder straps to help protect shoulders against a heavy bag. You can put them in a waterproof pitch when not using them and hook it to the bag. 
  • An optional rain cover that’s been tailor-made for this bag

High-Quality, Durable Materials

faux leather backpack purse
Easy to grab. High quality materials

The Daktoa travel bag for women is made of high-quality materials that are sustainably sourced, including water-resistant nylon and durable hardware, ensuring that it can withstand the wear and tear of daily use.

Made with the + in 1 philosophy and sustainable materials, DAKOTA has the lowest environmental impact of any other bag on the market, saving environmentally harmful production cycles, reducing CO2 emissions and the exploitation of natural resources such as water and electricity. 

Driibe does not use animal leather, only premium quality DMF free water-based vegan leather. This way they can create a more ecological and cruelty-free product without compromising on quality.

It also uses global recycled standard RPET for the main backpack material which further adds to the sustainability.

Pros and Cons of the Dakota 3-in-1 travel bag

driibe backpack purse

Of course, no bag is perfect, but the Dakota backpack purse comes close. I feel it has way more pros than cons and is a worthy addition to your travel luggage (and can greatly reduce it).

Here are the key benefits and areas for improvement that I noticed…

Pros

  • Versatility: This bag can be worn in three different ways, making it a great choice for people who like to switch up their look or need a bag that can adapt to different situations.
  • Size: Despite its compact size, this bag has plenty of room for your essentials, including a tablet or small laptop.
  • Style: The DAKOTA backpack purse has a sleek and modern design.
  • Organization: The bag has multiple pockets and compartments, including a front zippered pocket and an interior zippered pocket, to help you stay organized on the go.
  • Made of high-quality and durable materials that conserve and respect the environment. 
  • You could see it as being cost effective as you’re buying one bag to get three – a handbag, a daypack, and a backpack. If you were to buy three high-end bags separately, you would spend a lot more!
  • By purchasing DAKOTA you support victims of domestic violence. A % of products are donated to shelters and organizations that help victims escape violence.

Cons

  • Price: The DAKOTA backpack purse is priced at the higher end of the market for backpack purses, which might not be affordable for everyone. It’s important to consider your budget and what you are getting for it. This is really a personal perspective.
  • The straps may be a bit thin and uncomfortable for heavy loads. It can dig into the shoulders a little if your load is heavy. At times, I’ve wanted the shoulder straps to be a little longer when using it as a purse. 
  • Limited color options. The bag is only available in the Sand version and classic Black version. For some this may be more than enough, as they are very stylish and will match your outfits. Others may want a wider variety of colors. While I have a black one, I like the sand version more for its unique style and color pop. Black is not really my preferred color, but at least I Know it goes with everything. 
  • Zipper can untrack: After using this bag for some time, I’ve noticed the zipper can come off its track, This is the top zipper when used as a backpack, which becomes the bottom zipper when converted into a purse. It can easily be put back on, but it is annoying. It. could be just a fault of my particular bag, rather than an all-over design fault. But if you’r enot paying attention, either all your things will fall out the bottom, or someone can easily snatch something from the top.
  • Water bottle holder not big enough. My water bottle constantly falls out the side pocket – usually if I lean to far in any direction.
  • Possibly not great for hiking. Although you could take this bag hiking, it would not be my bag of choice for that. But it depends. Our 4-week European trip will mostly be city explorations, but we may fit in a hike along the Cinque Terre cliff faces. To save on luggage I only want to take one bag, which will be this Dakota bag. So, in that instance I am more than happy to use the bag as a hiking bag. But if I were doing a five-day hiking adventure in a national park, I’d take something a little more rugged and hiking suitable.

We have a 10% discount code for you. Use YTRAVEL10 when you purchase via this link. 

The Verdict

woman and child sitting on edge of lake

The DAKOTA 3-in-1 backpack purse appeals to women because of its extraordinary versatility and has a stylish look. 

I love how it allows you to travel without additional handbags. I mostly need daypacks for our explorations, but I also LOVE having a dressier handbag.

I don’t want to always feel like a backpacker, especially when I’m in a classy destination like Verona or Paris. The Dakota allows me to do that while saving on packing space. And I can easily switch them over on the go! 

It’s a travel bag for women, with great attention to detail, and designed to be not only stylish and functional but also sustainable. Even with the few cons mentioned above, I’m still happy with the bag and continue to use it as it makes me life easier in more important ways.

Our male readers don’t need to feel left out either. Driibe has a similar versatile 2-in-1 Expandable Travel Backpack for you! (It’s also GREAT for women).

Here is the review for the Driibe travel backpack.

You know when you find a product that magically solves all your problems and travel frustrations and when you see it, it seems so simple and smart and you wonder why on earth no one has done this before… possibly even yourself. 

Well, that is the Dakota 3-in-1 backpack purse. The more you use it, the more you’ll love it, and be more than happy you invested in such a high, quality versatile travel luggage product.

I am a big fan of this innovative company. And can’t wait to see what’s next. 

Don’t forget the code YTRAVEL10 for a 10% discount when you purchase via this link! You can also read more reviews from happy customers.

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