I usually do not use laptop bags. They reduce a lot of my freedom of movement (cannot use both hands if I wanted, for example), I feel like they’re a bad fit, etc. So I always wear a laptop backpack.
A year ago I got a backpack at my friend Patrick’s recommendation, who works at Walmart. It cost me about $30 and still survives, although it started to fall apart after some 6 months (a handle’s almost torn).
A month ago however, I was just at the point of dumping my raggy backpack when I was approached by Bill Croft from Rangermade.us and he gave me the opportunity to test a backpack from 5.11, a tactical backpack from all things. But you know what? I totally liked it.
Rangermade is about tactical military gear. They have a page with detailed reviews to determine the best tactical backpack at http://www.rangermade.us/the-best-tactical-backpack-in-2014/
I chose the RUSH 12, which seemed the best for what I wanted. A pocket where I can keep the laptop safely and also add more stuff besides it, if necessary. And it passed the test with flying colors, that I can tell.
In more detail -
- It has Kevlar material (as I said yesterday, it’s really cool in the everyday situations that you walk among bullets );
- has a section in the back for your laptop, that opens separately (the previous backpack had the pocket in the main compartment which was a little out of hand);
- looks very good (red on the inside it’s even more interesting);
- has a lot of pockets (it is also a disadvantage, see below);
- the inside space is large enough to fit running shoes and sports equipment or a sweatshirt and a jacket;
- After two weeks I had no problems to throw my backpack with the laptop in it in the trunk of the car or on the floor at the airport. The backpack is solid, and it shows. In addition, I dragged it against a wall (unintentionally, of course:D) and it still resisted (did not tear, no nothing).
- too many pockets: should have seen my panic in the airport when I no longer found my passport because I had forgotten in which pocket I’d put it;
- relatively large (not really, though) and squarish (it’s the inner structure that makes it so safe for a laptop and also makes it rigid);
- heavy, for the same reasons. If you have an 8 pound laptop, add the 4 pounds of the backpack and you won’t not enjoy the weight all that much. My laptop is a 5-pounder, so it’s ok.
- It’s kinda expensive. $150, that’s not little money for a backpack.
Yes, it looks very good. Yes, it’s solid. No, it’s not cheap. You’ll find cheaper at Walmart, but not as good, I’ll tell you this from experience.