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11. 10. 2005

Laptop Backpacks

So here at Popgadget there've been many posts about laptop bags. Cute laptop bags, ladylike laptop bags, actual laptops that look like laptop bags... but I'm not really a laptop bag kind of girl. My vision of a great laptop carrying case comes with two straps. You know what I mean - a laptop backpack. Now each person may have their preference, but I have never liked seperate carrying cases for my laptop. I'm the all-in-one kind of girl, finding that keeping track of one bag is more than enough without having to haul extra weight hanging from my shoulder or elbow. Laptop backpacks give me the opportunity to centralize my important belongings all in one place, which makes a big difference when you're doing the kind of frequent, multi-stop international travel that I was doing on a regular basis not so long ago.

gravis_metro.jpg

My current laptop backpack is the Gravis Metro. Unfortunately looks like they're no longer making the army green that I bought, which seems to have more fashion versatility than the colors they are currently marketing. At $70.00 list price, the Metro is clean-lined, durable, and a good value. My favorite feature of this bag is the zippered integrated laptop pocket which is accessible outside of the bag itself. (Very convenient for going through airport security.) I've had this bag for over two years and it still shows very little wear. (All this despite being hauled around Europe to over 30 different cities during that time.)

When it comes time to replace my trusty Metro I'm not sure what I'll do. Maybe buy another one just like it, or possibly try out some of the other laptop backpacks I've been eyeing. Emerald City by Dana Design is one possibility. Though I'm not too keen on the pink hiker silhouette I do like the asymmetry and distinctiveness of the design. Too many of these laptop backpacks are either super-girly or techy-masculine, veering between extremes with nothing inbetween for the girls who want feminine, but not frilly. Emerald City manages a soft feel yet has the serious look of a "guy's" backpack. Unlike the WMS Burton Teaser Pack, which is apparently marketed towards women, yet doesn't contain any of the features I need in a backpack, despite having "women's-specific" shoulder straps.
emerald_city.jpg

Burton's other offerings however look promising. Gravis is a subsidiary of Burton and the two brands really seem to have it covered on the style and function front. The Burton Premium Pack would be great if they offered it in a few more colors than gloomy gray, basic black, and one heinous houndstooth check pattern.

burton_premiumpack.jpg

Alternatively, the Burton Conceal Pack intrigues me. Clean lines, cute, and within the same price range. The modular design sounds like fun (the front zips away revealing an array of cargo pockets) and it has the side-access integrated laptop sleeve that I love so much.

burton_concealpack.jpg

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Comments (7)

I highly recommend the Timbuk2 Detour 2.0. I got one free at the TED conference last year, and I love it. It easily changes from a backpack to a messenger bag, it has tons of room, it's comfortable, and it's affordable. In fact, I don't know why I haven't blogged it yet -- I'll go do that now!

http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/retail/catalog.htm?categoryId=9

mike:

What about Ogio they make some cool street packs right??

Peggy:

I agree about liking a backpack. My problem with the ones you are looking at here is that their websites don't tell me what size laptop will fit in the packs! I have a larger laptop with a 17" screen and need to know whether it will fit before I consider buying any particular bag or pack.

Peggy

anonymous:

Australian based company Crumpler make a whole range of laptop bags (including backpacks) for a range of different sizes. I've got a larger laptop and have been using the "Team Player" backpack for ages. I find all their bags have a great sturdy, functional design that's pretty easy on the eye as well.

USA:
http://www.crumplernyc.com
http://www.crumplerbags.com

AUSTRALIA:
http://www.crumpler.com.au

I agree with the comment about Crumpler backpacks - it's made hauling around my 15" powerbook a whole heck of a lot easier. Though I will note that I'm not a woman, and my wife found that the chest strap that holds the two shoulder straps together is not at all comfortable for her anatomy.

I personally have not found one better than the ones at www.booqbags.com I love the one I have!

You know, I've looked at all the bag companies mentioned in the comments and I just don't like their style. Timbuk2 and Ogio don't do it for me at all as far as fashion goes. Same for the Crumpler and Booqbags. As for the Laptop bags I mentioned in my post, the laptop sleeve is the same size as the dimensions of the backpack, which are mentioned in the product specs. I have two laptops I've hauled with my Gravis Metro, a 12" and a 15". I have room to spare with both, and can imagine a 17" fitting easily. There is also a neoprene cradle inside which keeps the bag from cramming down into the backpack when you're carrying it around and setting it down.

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