My Swiss Gear backpack ripped on the seam where the zipper is for the secondary compartment (the one where I stash my files/notebook). I’m not sure what happened, but this shouldn’t happen. Anyway, I’m going to see if my mother can sew it up and then we can donate it to Goodwill or something. Because I’ve found something better.
Cue my trip to Microcenter to pick up a keyboard for my brother. Well, I took my work laptop with me and started looking for a new briefcase. My laptop is an HP Elitebook 8540w, which is a second-generation of the Elitebook line. The model I have is a workstation CAD laptop and it’s heavy. In the Swiss Gear, everything was heavy. I think the backpack itself was heavy to begin with, and then adding everything I carry (laptop, charger, umbrella, files, notebook, mouse, etc, etc) it got really heavy. Anyway, I wanted something lighter and initially I was looking for a messenger-style or briefcase-style. I think they look more professional. Well, I couldn’t find anything that I liked that was a decent price AND that fit my behemoth of a laptop. What I did find was something that was $100 and it didn’t have all of the features I wanted. I turned around to the backpacks and started loading my laptop into various bags (I’m sure I looked goofy to loss prevention) until I found the Everki Glide Laptop Backpack. I tried it in-store, checked the price (under $80; score!) and decided to buy it by the virtue of my work laptop fitting it in and the pocket looking like it can accommodate a larger laptop (I’ll be upgraded to the 8560W which is slightly larger and heavier; hopefully I’ll have a decent additional battery too so there’s that addon the bag has to fit).
I took it home, cut the tags off, and started loading it. It took everything I was carrying in my LL Bean book pack (from college!) except for my lunch and shoes. It can carry my shoes but not my lunchbox, which is fine.
Anyway, how about a couple photos?
Here it is open and ready to receive my stuff.
Here is all my stuff. The water bottle is substituted because I left my normal 20 oz one at work. I also have an iPod Touch as well as a Nexus 7 and also usually a couple of pens and/or pencils. Those are not shown because they don’t take up a lot of room and they fit in the pen/pencil slots. The Touch was used to take the pictures and the tablet was forgotten, as it was charging at my charging station. Anyway, from the top left:
- Laptop charger.
- Water bottle.
- Plastic bag (holds my shoes; I’m currently wearing boots into work because of all the snow).
- Cloth bag with personal lady items, wipes, and some Shout wipes.
- BigSkinny bi-fold cellphone wallet (I love it).
- Portable mouse.
- Tin with earbuds and charger for the iPod.
- Zippo lighter (I don’t smoke but a lighter comes in handy).
- Small day bag/purse in case we go out to lunch and I don’t want to be stuck shoving all my necessities in my pockets.
- And my laptop. It’s huge.
Here’s the main compartment filled up. My umbrella and charger go on the bottom, the laptop in the sleeve for it, my notebook and tablet in the tablet sleeve, and nothing really in that zipper compartment. I like to have options of where I can stash my stuff. The shoes fit in my plastic Meijer bag and sit right in the center top between all my other things.
Here’s the organizer pouch thing and I have my wallet in there, the tin with the earbuds and charger in the flap pocket as well as the lighter, my small “personal item” bag in the bottom, and my cell phone in the pouch next to the wallet (you can’t see it because it goes all the way down!). If I’d had some pens/pencils I’d put them in the slots next to the flap pocket.
And with these two pictures, you can see how it looks when filled with all those things. My water bottle goes on the outside pocket, as well as my small purse. That outside pocket expands to fit everything you put in it. I wouldn’t stretch it too much, but it does hold a lot of stuff. I do suppose I could put my shoes in there, but I prefer them to be inside the bag.
As you can see. this bag takes a lot of items and I hope it will last for awhile. I’ve had it for about 2 days or so, so we’ll see how it holds up. I’ve been carrying my laptop back and forth because of the snow.
Anyway, what I really like about this bag is that it holds all that stuff, but it’s light! It doesn’t seem to weigh as much as my Swiss Gear ever did. The straps seem to fit my back and shoulders better than the other one did. It carries closer to my body and is easier to walk in. Also, its slimmer than the old one and it fits through the turnstile door a lot better; I have no fear of getting stuck. The interior is orange, so it’s easy to find what you’ve stashed in various pockets. The inside of the Swiss Gear was grey, and seemed to swallow and lose things.
For right now, I’d give this bag a 4/5 for fitting most of my stuff (doesn’t fit my lunchbox), for being lightweight, and for being slim so I can carry my things in less space (and not get stuck in the door!). I really like this bag and it looks different from the other ones everyone else carries, with the black main color and the orange trim. I really like the padding on the back between my back and my laptop, as well as the corner guards that are built into the bag.
I will probably revisit this review in a few weeks to give an update. Right now I really like it and it works.
I’d recommend this to anyone looking to carry a large laptop for work as well as its charger and other things and your files/notebooks.