bag recommendation for a bad back and lots of walking

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sir42, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2003
    NY, NY
    I live in NYC and have a 30 minute walk to and from the office each day. I love to bring my 15" MBP with me, but on days when I do my back really suffers. I've tried a few different bags and I can't quite find one that helps mitigate the back pain.

    I usually use a Crumpler Sinking Barge but I bought a BBP bag a couple of weeks ago based on their claims of being more ergonomic, but sadly I found that to be just as painful.

    If anyone has any recommendations both my back and I would be quite grateful. I wouldn't be opposed to a rolling solution, but I would need a case that could handle the shocks and bumps of nyc sidewalks.

  2. macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    I see that no one's replied yet, so I'm going to even though I'm not an expert on bad backs :) I'm sorry you have one btw! I hope it gets better in time; if a backpack doesn't make it easier to carry stuff, it must be painful indeed :(

    Anyway, one thing I thought you might be able to do would be to shop for a backpack that fits you properly; they do fittings at some of the better camping/backpacking gear places. The ones I'm thinking of are quite serious about stuff like anatomy, repartition of weights, the physics that go into a backpack design, etc. Once you got your nice pack, you just get a nice sleeve for your lappie and it goes in the bag. In fact, before you go for the fitting, you could start by making a good cull of everything you don't always need to eliminate more weight, then take all that's left (including the MBP)with you, so the fitter has an idea of the sort of weight and bulk you'll be using the pack for.

    This is my two cents' worth though. I hope somebody comes up with better ideas now the thread's been bumped!
  3. macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    You may want to try the stores that specialize in your situation:,, and

    They sell mostly furniture, but they may be able to point you in the right direction.
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2003
    NY, NY
    Well I just ordered the STM (radtech) Evolution, which looks light weight and the laptop compartment is not snug against the back, which I'm hoping will help. Here goes!
  5. macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2004
    To be honest, the farther away from your back the laptop will be the heavier it will be on your back.

    The best solution I see in your case, is to either leave the MBP at home and just take the important data on a mobile harddrive to work or to invest into a Macbook Air. The MBP is really more a desktop-replacement machine. I think if you already have backproblems, lugging around a relatively heavy machine like that 2xday is not going to help things.

    The AIR is on the other hand so much lighter that it should be fine.
  6. macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location
    I own the sinking barge as well, but I also find that it kills my shoulders. There's something about the way the straps are angled...

    My recommendation is to get as small a backpack as you can find that will fit your laptop. Make sure it fits close to your back, and use the chest strap and waist strap to keep the weight close to your body.

    All bags that are really "thick" and stick out a lot are NOT good for your back. The more you put into those types of bags (eg: Sinking Barge), the more it throws off your centre of balance, and the more your back has to compensate for the weight. Again, get a smaller, "flatter" backpack with minimal width.
  7. macrumors regular


    Nov 4, 2007
    Hey There! i share your problem, i have really bad shoulders. could you let me know how this bag works for you? And if there is a decent amount of room for other stuff than your laptop?
  8. macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2009
    Get A roller!

    No question.
    I am a photographer and fractured my spine a few years ago. Even carrying the smallest bag gives me grief over a day, which in my job, is everyday. I have long been on a quest for the ultimate bag, and also went the way of crumpler, which seemed fine and well padded at the time, but in use I realised the bag was heavy even empty.....
    A roller is the best option. If you select one with inline skate wheels it should have no problem with even the broken pavements of NYC.
    Choose a bag where the wheels are right on the corners, to prevent spinning, and likewise I recommend a handle with two struts, as the single column style often spin and twist your wrist. A business man style is a good bet, even if you may look a touch suity - and make sure the handle is tall enough so you can pull it without having to tip your body at all. I am 6'2" so that is always an issue.
    I would recommend a brand called Hedgren if you can Get them in the US - build quality is second to none, or Ogio, who specialise in sporty bags designed by those who use them - snowboarders know how to put stuff through its paces.
    And try and do Pilates - it's the best for strengthening your core muscles.

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