Backpack for school

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by njsa04playa, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hey i am in highschool and need a new backpack. i had a smaller ogio one that broke and am looking for a bigger durable one that is suitable for highschool and then college. I want it to be "stylish" not just a single solid color necessarily, and have a pocket for my mbp 13 although that is not the primary purpose of buying the backpack. I carry loads of textbooks and binders and need a large backpack.

    When i say large i mean that the backpack isnt extra tall or wide, but the length... from the front of the backpack to the backpack is far and can hold a lot of books.

    Thanks

    And preferably under 90, although if its really worth it it can be over.
     
  2. macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    Check out the LLBean backpacks. Free shipping and a lifetime warranty.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

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    #3
    Incipio has some I think... there are at least 3 threads around here that have tons of lists for them, don't know where they are though. I suggest doing a quick search and see if you can find anything :)
     
  4. macrumors 68040

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    #4
    It is now possible to use the iPad to carry all of your textbooks and notes. I got rid of dozens of binders, hundreds of manilla file folders, all of my books, etc. and put it all into my iPad. If I were a high school student now, I would definitely be protecting my back and enjoying a paperless life.
     
  5. macrumors 68030

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    #5
    I'd check out Swiss Gear bags. Made by the Swiss army knife company. The padding is excellent and will reduce back pain, and my particular one had a great padded compartment for my old Powerbook.
     
  6. macrumors 68020

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    #6
    You're suggesting he buy an iPad when he already has a MBP? And I agree with the paperless idea with studying and whatnot, however, when you're in the library and you have 2-3+ pages of a text book open, your'e reading, annotating, and typing notes from that, it's kind of.... well irrational to think of changing all of that by buying a 500 dollar device.

    It's good for some, however I don't think that "some" consider what all you can't do with it. You're trading functionality/customizability with portability. There are pros and cons of each.
     
  7. palpatine, Aug 12, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

    macrumors 68040

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    #7
    Yes. I am suggesting he buy an iPad when he already has an MBP. I have an MBP as well. In fact, I would always recommend the iPad as a supplement, rather than a replacement for a computer. That said, I get about 90% of my work done on the iPad.

    Is it irrational? I wonder.

    1. I have a bad back (not terrible, but something I am careful about), at least in part (I think) from carrying around a lot of books on my back for most of my life (I am a bit of a bookworm). I have known many others over the years who had slight scoliosis aggravated by heavy backpacks, and even worse, some people have permanent back problems that leave them disabled some days of the year. Of course, you don't notice this when you are young, and textbook manufacturers don't care. The OP is talking about carrying binders and books on his back in a way that I think could potentially cause harm. This is a well-known issue. Here is something from 2004 in the UK.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...njury-due-to-overladen-schoolbags-571588.html

    2. As a high school student (and now a graduate student) I don't remember many days when I wasn't reading several hours a day. I easily went through a few books every week (loved History and English), and the iPad is pretty much perfect for that. I set it on a stand and take notes by hand. If you want to annotate the files, you can, but it isn't necessary if you take good notes (a skill worth developing earlier rather than later). Of course, I scan those notes into PDFs, upload them to Evernote, and have all of those "binders" inside my iPad as well. In short, I think the iPad could be doing a lot more work than just 2-3 pages.

    Books are great, and I spend a lot of time every day in the library with them (I am a researcher). But, I also think that students should take advantage of the revolutionary technologies available to them. I bought a brand new iPad 1 for about 350 dollars a few months ago. Surely the poster could find a used or refurbished one for the price of a couple of the backpacks he is looking at. I think it is well worth it.

    EDIT: OP has samsung tablet. assuming it is a decent sized one (10.1?), then he already has the ereader. i have created a few threads explaining how to go digital and how to shift work to the ipad if the op is interested. i used to think the ipad was useless for content creation, but i have completely changed my mind over the last few months.
     
  8. macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #8
    Actually it depends on what books are required. Not all textbooks are offered in electronic format.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

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    #9
    You can digitize books yourself. Speed varies according to materials and equipment used, but I digitized 15 books (scanning + optical character recognition for searching), a bunch of notes, and miscellaneous handouts two days ago.

    There are basically four options: office scanner (kinkos?), digital camera + tripod, scansnap (tear off spine), and e-books.

    E-books are the easiest (but rarely available), office scanners are pretty fast + accurate ( but not always accessible), digital cameras depend a lot on lighting and equipment (but can work very fast), and scansnap is probably the least desirable (but can produce high quality). See the threads i started for explanations about digitizing stuff and using the ipad ( in my profile ) if you want to know more.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

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    #10
    Clarification: I'm not knocking either/or

    It depends on how you work and what you do. As I stated before, I like actual paper in front of me. i'll type and print my notes.

    If you're working with math, you obviously have to use pen/paper. Scanning the documents and bringing them with you is great, however you can't really WORK with an iPad with that material.

    It just doesn't work. On the other hand, if you're in humanities, writing, english, language, etc., an iPad is great and I fully endorse it. However, I'm simply stating that it isn't always green on the other side.

    I'm not bashing you; just because I see the flaws and will present them so everyone can get a better understanding of what they're dealing with doesn't mean you're wrong either.

    From what I see (here in Florida anyway) my uni (FAMU) and my friends (UF/UCF) are starting to offer books in loose leaf paper format. That way, bind them at home and bring what you need in a folder. Saves time, effort, weight, and solves all the problems people are binging up.

    You can simply scan it if you want, however, if you don't , you can just bring the papers you need. Of course if you have a physical book, scanning is the best thing there. Just know that taking notes, editing notes, and working on pre-written material that has to do with math or equations (Calc 1 and Chem 1/2 taken here), the iPad just isn't viable.
     
  11. macrumors regular

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    #11
    I've been using North Face On Sight pack and have no complaints. It has many different compartments, had plenty of room for books and other stuff, and can hold a big water bottle on the side. Also, it's endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). I know it's a bit out of your price range, though.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12

    Our school does not let us have iPads or laptops or even phones out during class. I also have a family iPad accessible which I am using to type this right now. I'm not really worried about my back (I'm a big kid 5'10 and 150 lbs) I don't mind carrying a lot of stuff around, I did it last year and if anything it just made my back stronger. The books I use we get to use from the school and are very expensive ($90+) and the thought of digitizing everything does seem very appealing but my high school just isn't there yet, I plan to do this in college.

    My galaxy tab is much smaller than the iPad and I can hold it in one hand. And it runs android so i use the family iPad much more than this. We aren't allowed to bring laptops into class, and when we do work on the computer there are school computers ( they used to be able to bring laptops but since the school I go to is a magna school some kids hacked into the school network and screwed with things.


    So back to the main point I am just interested in some backpacks... Wuld messenger bags hold more books? And where should ibuy these backpacks to get the best deal
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    How much is it and ... Does it look cool? Haha
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    I really like the BBP Industries backpack that a buddy of mine has. It's great for carrying a computer, although I don't think it has less carrying capacity than the North Face one listed above. It's about $90, but a quick Google search can get you a 10% off coupon code. Currently, the Grey Plaid version is about $50 which I think is a steal. The bag has a lifetime warranty and they have great customer service. Here's a video review for the backpack.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I like how that bag seems but a problem would be the capacity... only 1400 cu whereas the one im replacing has 1500cu and i need much more space than that one offered.
     
  16. macrumors regular

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    #16
  17. macrumors regular

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    #17
    Definitely a sleek and good looking backpack, but the lack of capacity was only and the biggest reason why I didn't go for it.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #18
    I'll just re-iterate my recommendation that you go with the smallest backpack you can get away with that is well-designed (any North Face will probably do--I have the Surge). Of course you don't have a problem with the weight now. You are young!

    I was a state/regional level competitive swimmer in high school (varsity), and a regional/national level rower in university. I still swim every day, walk long distances, do yoga, bike, etc. Physically, I am in rather good shape. But, all of the muscle in the world will not help you with a herniated disc. I've seen so many friends and acquaintances literally crippled and brought to their knees by the onslaught of a flare-up. And, some of them are only in the twenties :(

    Sorry to hear about your school's policies. Although I strongly disagree with Young Spade about some things, because I have experienced none of the problems he describes using the iPad (handwritten notes integrate beautifully with it), I liked the idea about bringing just parts of a textbook to school. He reminded me that I saw some undergraduates doing that last year. Definitely the way to go if you have to carry around dead tree books.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19

    How will i get a herniated disc by carrying heavy books? Isnt muscle what supports the spine? im not trying to be rude im seriously just wondering.

    And the books we have are just standard school textbooks with spines and everything.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
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    #20
    no worries. i only mention herniated discs as one potential problem. curvature of the spine, disc compression, and other issues can occur as well. you'll find that a lot of very physically fit people have back problems, because it doesn't have a whole lot to do with muscle strength. the vertebrae, particularly in the lumbar region, are quite fragile in many respects. of course, musculature will help, particularly in the case of tramautic events like being tackled, getting rear-ended, etc. but, i wouldn't depend on it to protect you.

    i think you will be hard-pressed to find a doctor who recommends carrying heavy loads on your back, many studies have been done (especially with children) to determine the effects of heavy loads, and school districts have been moving towards imposing restrictions. the best advice is to talk to your doctor, but these days that can cost more than your backpack, so googling should be sufficient. Here is a page with an obvious bias, but you get the picture.
    http://www.airpacks.com/documents/facts_about_backpacks_and_injury.pdf

    for me it is a lot simpler. looking around at friends, family, and acquaintances i can find plenty of people with debilitating back problems. obviously, heavy backpacks are not the only causes, but it is a well-known risk, and something i would recommend keeping in mind when you think about your next purchase. for myself (as i said) i pretty much stay away from loads or backpacks entirely, but i would strongly recommend against carrying a heavy load (light loads should be fine) in a mailbag / over the shoulder bag. that is a whole other mess.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Okay, do you have any large backpacks that are good for backs while remaining stylish and high capacity?
     
  22. macrumors 68040

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    #22
    Well, my point was to go with smaller backpacks with lower capacity.

    As I mentioned earlier, I think North Face backpacks are probably one of the safest bets. They are designed for hikers, who tend to carry heavy loads, so they distribute loads well. They also have a nice strap for across your midsection to help take the stress off your lumbar region. And, they have a bunch of other features you can read about there :)

    I have had a Surge backpack for 6 years and it has been on countless trips, domestic and abroad. I am still using it, but it is nearing the end of its life cyce. It looks quite stylish (no longer available in quite this design or color, but some of the current models look pretty good) and it close to your price range. I have the 13"MBP as well and it easily fits into it.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    yes but i need the largest capacity, its not like having a smaller capacity backpack will make me bring less things, ill just have to carry the books in my hands and i do not enjoy doing that.
     
  24. macrumors 68040

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    #24
    If you say so. I assume there are smaller young men, and young women with much smaller frames at your school who somehow must manage with smaller backpacks / less capacity. I understand if you are determined to get the largest capacity backpack and carry as much as you can to school each day. That is your decision. But, I am trying to suggest alternatives.

    For example, photocopy all of your textbooks and just bring the pages you need for class that day. In fact, if you digitize your stuff (as I suggested above) you can keep your textbooks at school and you also get the added benefit of creating searchable files, which will help you not only now, but in the future as well.

    Leave the binders behind and organize yourself in a way that you can just bring the sections of notes / handouts you need for the classes that day.

    Or, leave your notes in your locker with your textbooks. Bring a digital camera to school, photograph notes and handouts for the day (maybe a 5 minute process at most), and you can put all of that in your computer at home to read on an iPad or other e-reader.

    In other words, I recommend you think outside the box (or the backpack in this case) and work smarter, not harder :)
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    I have my backpack on my back less than 1 hr in the whole day between in between classes and 30 sec to and from the bus stop.

    You should see some of the ppl here, they have the largest backpack and on the tinniest person.

    And i have enough crap going on in my life between juggling 2 soccer teams in the fall, golfing, and 3+ hours of homework/studying every night, and a decent social life that i dont have time to take pictures and set everything up on my computer, ive tried it in small doses before and its just too much work for a small benefit.
     

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