The 'EUME massager backpack' as the name suggests is a backpack that has the insanely cool feature of having a massager built into its fabric. Being a fitness enthusiast myself who works long hours during the day, incessant back pain has become more of a part and parcel of my life than just a one-off occurrence. So, I jumped at the opportunity to review it as — A) I would be able to get unlimited free back massages, and — B) who in their right mind would say no to a new backpack that’s absolutely littered with pockets ranging from a slot for a laptop to another one to store your daily clothes?
The EUME (pronounced as You-Me) backpack is a world’s first-of-its-kind as it features built-in massaging vibrator motors, and by incorporating this tech in it the brand has not in any way compromised on design and style. By fitting motors neatly in the back — near the shoulders and lower back — EUME ensured that they haven't compromised on the style quotient and no one will presume that this backpack has such a unique trait.
It comes in various colours, and in for review, I have the understated dark grey/black combination. The model I have received is the EUME GenX 26L (signature edition) that retails for around Rs 4,499 on Amazon. If you feel that this option is a bit expensive, then you can opt for a slightly cheaper model that’s priced at Rs 3,999. The 26-litre model is known as the ‘Classic Pack’ while there are two others which are dubbed as Daily Pack and Travel Pack. The Daily Pack is rated at 27L while the Travel Pack can fit a capacity up to 42L.
The EUME bag comes with a weatherproof design that makes it possible to carry around during light showers. Since it does have a motor for the vibrations, I recommend not carrying it out during torrential rains as it could ruin the bag’s primary function — the massager.
While I found the bag big enough to carry all my daily goods, it does come with a compact design, that’s also lightweight making lugging it around a non-bother. It comes with a neat 180-degree opening that’s convenient for accessing all the items easily. The storage space in here is ideal for your regular office commute or short business trips. I found that the Classic Pack was more than sufficient to fit all my daily essentials which include an emergency change of clothes, my 15-inch MacBook Pro, my iPad, my diary, a one-litre water bottle and some knick-knacks that I carry with me daily.
The backpack has four vibrator motors, and each pair is placed to concentrate on an area of the body, respectively. Two are present on the upper side which does their job on the shoulder blades, while the other two work on the lower back.
Moving on, the shoulder straps are adjustable and for the massager to work at its optimum, one should adjust it accordingly to hit the desired spots on your upper back/shoulders and lower back. Apart from the shoulder adjustments, there is also a strap that runs down the centre to further tweak where you would like the massaging units to be placed. Overall, I feel that a lot of thought was put into the design and finish and the folks over at EUME haven’t rushed with the production but instead launched a product that is well refined.
To start off, the backpack comes with an anti-theft design. This doesn’t mean that its immune to theft, but rather, the zippers are concealed making them a bit difficult for thieves to access easily. There is a secret pocket too where valuables can be safely stored. This makes adding your important items like credit cards, smartphones, passport and cash completely secure. At the front, there are also two quick-access pockets with the anti-theft system that can be used to hold some easy-to-access items like lower denomination bills or small change. At the back, in between the motors for the massagers, are air channels that allow airflow to reduce the amount of sweat accumulation. This can be especially useful during especially humid days or even for that matter commuting in a cramped Mumbai local.
So how does this massager get its power? While EUME has thrown in all the motors to ensure that I get the steady vibrations, it's up to you to power the backpack. It doesn’t have any built-in battery but depends on an external power bank to keep it powered. You need to use a minimum recommended 10000mAh power bank, which is placed in a small pocket inside the backpack. The backpack has a twin cable to attach the power bank, one thicker than the other.
The power bank needs to be attached to a thicker USB cable inside in order for the massagers to work. the other cable is to charge your power bank externally as well as charge your smartphone or other devices when you simultaneously need it. Hence, you would have to ensure that your power bank has two USB ports in order to power the backpack and your devices together. The backpack has a USB Type A and micro USB female connectors that are on the outer end, towards the right side. Type A is for power output to other devices, while the micro USB is for power input which allows you to charge the power bank without the need to take it out of the backpack. Neat right?
After you have got it all set up, a simple press on the power button located on the right shoulder strap will get the massager into action. This power button is a multi-function button — press it once, the shoulder blades massager gets activated, twice and the lower back/hip massager starts working, press thrice and both the top and bottom massagers work simultaneously. Pressing the button for the fourth time will power down all the motors.
While the massager works well as stated on paper, I did notice that it does drain the power bank rather quickly. While I didn’t use it continuously for 10 hours, the brand states that with one hour of usage it drains about 1000mAh from the power bank. So charging a smartphone alongside the use of the massager will deplete it at a much quicker rate. So I had to ensure that the power bank is topped up almost every time I reach my destination so that I don't run out of juice when I need it most.
EUME states that it should be kept away from direct flowing water. The obvious question now is "how do I wash it?" While it's great that it's weatherproof, keeping it clean should also be of added importance because of dirt or muck does land on it. Cleaning it is necessary. It is obvious that I will take the necessary precautions to clean it as carefully as possible, but the ‘What if I ruin it’ question arises. Well, You could get the backpack dry cleaned for sure, but you would have to inform your cleaner to be extremely careful from his side too. EUME should have made the backplate removable where the vibrator motors and all the electronics and cables could come apart and the bag could be washed easily.
The EUME backpack is mentioned as ‘TSA approved,’ which means it can pass through airport scanners without any hassles, even as in-cabin luggage. TSA approval means that it can pass through US checks without being flagged. While the brand does state that it has passed through airport security checks in India (as for their surveys) without any alarms, given the possibility of Indian security personnel’s not being updated about the technology in the backpack, you would be flagged down. This would probably delay your check and you could end up losing your flight too. EUME does not provide any certificate with the bag that could help you get past the security zone as the motors are embedded within the fabric of the bag which could raise an alarm with non-tech savvy security guards. This will most likely result in having to forego the bag. This actually does cause me a fair amount of concern, as I haven’t flown out with it as yet. However, though I am curious to take it along someday, I am equally reluctant to give it a shot. I could end up losing my flight or the bag. A word of caution/advice: leave ample time in hands during security checks if you plan flying with this bag. We shall update this article if we happen to encounter any such mishappenings.
The EUME Massager backpack comes at a starting price of Rs 4,499 and as a regular backpack itself, it’s an amazing purchase. Throw in the massager and getting free massages any and every time you need makes this an alluring option. This backpack though targeted at the wider market is not ideally meant for them as you don’t get an in-built battery. If EUME had thrown a 10000mAh power bank in with it, we would have recommended it wholeheartedly. With that being said, if getting bogged down by your daily commute is a worry, then this backpack is something that you should purchase as it ticks all the right boxes. However, do note that washing this backpack could be your only quiz.