The WaterFly Smart Backpack

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The WaterFly backpack is a versatile folding backpack, which you can wear as a regular backpack, a shoulder bag, or a waist bag. It also comes with a small waist bag and an arm bag. Attach those two small bags to the backpack for extra space or wear them separately. But let me start this WaterFly backpack review with my first impressions on this transformer backpack.

At first I was skeptical. Very skeptical, to be honest. This backpack looks odd was what I thought.

But online is online, and when I saw it in real life I realized that it’s actually a pretty cool backpack. It’s an inexpensive bag but it doesn’t feel cheap. The material is durable, the seams seem straight and sturdy. The “main backpack” and two small bags are well made and seem sturdy, and they are water resistant (not waterproof!). The buckles are made of sturdy plastic, and the shoulder straps are lightly padded.

It’s not a regular daypack / backpack (such as the Osprey Daylite, for instance). It’s a packable daypack. Which means it can be easily folded and put away in your main luggage.

Let’s now look inside the WaterFly smart backpack!

WATERFLY Backpack Review: A Transformer Backpack

The Backpack

The WaterFly backpack

The “main backpack” has several compartments and pockets:

  • Top compartment which can hold a couple of books and my cardigan with some room to spare. My 12” MacBook with its cover fits in the top compartment as well.
  • A rather roomy bottom compartment that turns into the main compartment when the bag is in the hand bag mode.
  • Zippered front pocket.
  • Two mesh side pockets.

There’s a strap at the back of the pack, so you can “piggyback” the WaterFly backpack to your suitcase.

The bottom part of the shoulder straps buckles can be detached. The buckles can be hidden in special zippered pockets at the bottom of the bag. Attach the fanny pack (put through the two wide straps at the bottom) and attach the shoulder straps to fanny pack buckles. In that you’ll get a couple of concealed pockets.

As the backpack is designed to be packable it doesn’t have heavy padding on its shoulder straps. So don’t try to put in too much of stuff. Your shoulders and back will not like it.

Buy it from the website of WaterFly. Get 15% off with waterflyoff15.

The Shoulder Bag

The WaterFly Shoulder Bag
The detachable crossbody strap is included
How to Turn WaterFly Backpack into a Shoulder Bag
Hide away the detachable shoulder straps. Roll and fold the top of the bag. Then close the zipper.

The WaterFly backpack can be worn as a shoulder bag.

And it’s really easy to convert it to the shoulder bag mode. Follow these steps:

  1. Detach the shoulder straps.
  2. Put them in the main compartment.
  3. Roll the top of the bag (main compartment part).
  4. Close the zipper which is located at the middle of the pack.
  5. Flatten the top of the handbag.
  6. Hide the shoulder strap buckles in designated zippered pockets.

The luggage strap at the back now serves as top handle. Now bottom compartment of the backpack is the main compartment of the shoulder bag.

For extra storage attach the arm bag. The little buckles are not concealed. 

A detachable shoulder strap is included. In my opinion, it’s too narrow for a shoulder bag. But as the bag is not so big, you can’t really pack it heavy. So the narrow strap can’t cut into your skin.

The Large Waist Bag

The WaterFly Large Waist Bag

The Back of the Large WaterFly Waist Bag
The WaterFly pack in the waist bag mode. Put the small fanny pack through the loops at the back of the bag and put its waist belt around your waist.

The WaterFly backpack also can be transformed into a large waist bag – fanny pack.

Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Detach the shoulder straps.
  2. Put them in the main compartment.
  3. Roll the top of the bag (main compartment part).
  4. Close the zipper which is located at the middle of the pack.
  5. Flatten the top of the handbag.
  6. Hide the shoulder strap buckles in designated zippered pockets.
  7. Put the small waist bag through the two loops at the back.
  8. Use the straps of the small waist bag and put it around your waist.

The Small Waist Bag (Fanny Pack)

The WaterFly Fanny Pack

The waist bag from the set is rather small and compact, and is perfect for carrying your essentials.

I’ve had several fanny packs but all of them have been larger than this one. Actually I prefer this fanny pack as it’s not bulky and it looks better on my small frame. And I don’t carry much with me, so this is the perfect fanny pack for me.

The WaterFly fanny pack has several pockets:

  • The main compartment. A large smartphone will fit there. I can put my iPhone SE, a pack of Kleenex and a small wallet. Passport without a cover can fit in the main compartment, too.
  • A concealed, zippered back pocket for money and credit cards. A small smartphone, like the iPhone SE also fits.
  • A small Velcro pocket at the front. It’s really small, not even a lip balm will fit. I tried to put my earbuds in there, and they fit.
  • A small front zippered pocket for small items like lip balm, chewing gum, etc.

The Arm Bag

The WaterFly Arm Bag
The shoulder strap is included. So you can wear this small bag also as a crossbody bag.

The little sports arm bag can be worn separately, or it can be connected to the backpack when it’s both in backpack or in shoulder bag mode. Use the little buckles at the bottom of the bag to connect the small arm bag to the larger bag.

The small arm bag has a padded back panel with a mesh … which looks moisture wicking. The bag features a durable elastic band with a Velcro closure. There are two zippered compartments. My passport (without a cover) fits the largest pocket. I would guess that a large smartphone will fit, too. My little iPhone SE with its cover fits in the smallest pocket. Unfortunately, the zipper of the smallest pocket seems a bit stiff.

A narrow shoulder strap is included. So, you can wear this little arm bag across your body, too. Though the elastic band then gets in your way and sticks out, and you can’t hide it since the little bag doesn’t have designated pocket for its storage.

WaterFly 4 in 1: Pros

  • Inexpensive;
  • Versatile;
  • Can be worn as one bag, or the bags can be used separately;
  • 4 bags in one set.

WaterFly 4 in 1: Cons

Can’t be packed into itself like the other packable daypacks we have reviewed. Only the bottom part can be folded and packed away.


Backpack: 17.7” x 10.2” x 3.9” (45 x 26 x 10 cm).

Shoulder bag / large waist bag: 10.2” x 7” x 3.9” (26 x 18 x 10 cm).

Fanny pack: 9.8” x 3.9 x 2” (25 x 10 x 5 cm).

Arm bag: 7” x 4.3” x 2” (18 x 11 x 5 cm).

Buy WaterFly Transformer Backpack

Buy it from the website of WaterFly.

Get 15% off with waterflyoff15.

More Photos:

Attaching Fanny Pack to WaterFly Backpack
Attaching the fanny pack to the WaterFly backpack. The shoulder straps are detached, and the shoulder strap buckles are hidden in special zippered pockets.
WaterFly Backpack and Fanny Pack
The WaterFly backpack with the WaterFly fanny pack attached to it, in order to have more “secret pockets”.
The WaterFly backpack with a Arm Bag
The WaterFly backpack with the arm bag attached to it.
The WaterFly waist bag with a Arm Bag
The WaterFly waist bag with the arm bag attached to it.
Hiding the Shoulder Strap Buckles
Hiding the shoulder strap buckles.
The WaterFly Smart Backpack and a Water Bottle
You can also put the fanny pack around the backpack.

Disclosure: Although the backpack was provided by WATERFLY, my opinions shared are my own.

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