laptop backpack advice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by absurdio, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. absurdio macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Okay, I'm sure this has been beaten to death, but I could use your help. As the title of the thread suggests, I'm looking for a bag for my sexy Tibook.

    I've pretty much ruled out the option of messenger bag big enough for just my computer and just laptop sleve on account of my being absent minded as hell and being very likely to leave them someplace i shouldn't. So really, I'd like to just carry one bag around with me. And I'm not sure I entirely trust a sleve. That leaves me with the option of backpack/messenger bag that's also big enough to carry a bunch of books around.

    I'm looking at the spire backpacks, which seem pretty good. Anyone have as Spire backpack that they're dying to tell me about? Hell, anyone have ANY laptop backpack they're dying to tell me about?

    I have plenty of crap I lug around school with me that I don't want to crush my 'book...so the major points i need are a)storage space and b)protection of my laptop from said crap.

    for what it's worth, i've got a 15" Tibook.

    Hope this isn't beating a dead horse too much. Thanks guys.
     
  2. kanker macrumors 6502

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    #2
    I've got a Brenthaven Professional backpack for my 12" PB, and the thing's a tank. It has a well padded sleeve inside a well padded backpack, with plenty of pockets and spaces for whatever you need to carry. It ain't cheap, but neither was my PB, so it was worth it to me. They have them at the Apple online store.
     
  3. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    #3
    I've got a Timbuk2 commute. Fits my powerbook perfectly, with plenty of room for textbooks and notebooks, but the normal accessories, ipod, writing utensils, calculator, with room to spare. It's a quality bag
     
  4. Macpoops macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I got the brenthaven for the 15 inch pb. I love the thing. It's taken alot of abuse with no problems and it still looks great after 2 years. I actually take out the sleeve and use it as a regular backpack day to day
     
  5. filmmaker2002 macrumors regular

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    Milwaukee
    #5
    Ditto that. I tool my Powerbook through Europe for a month with the Brenthaven and will be traveling all over Italy in January with it. AWESOME backpack. it IS built like a tank. Had mine for 2 years and have been through 2 Powerbooks with it, both haven't seen a single dent, and I have dropped my pack a few times while carelessly tossing it in the back of my truck...LOVE IT.
     
  6. absurdio thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Actually, the brenthaven professional 15" backpack was what first inpired me to think that there might be a quality backpack out there. But a couple of things discouraged me: 1) the price tag, and 2) the fact that it seems designed to house the powerbook, power adapter, and a couple of accessories, but wouldn't especially cater to also lugging around binders and books... maybe i'm wrong.

    the first objection has faded somewhat in my mind, since i've sortof come to grips with the realization that any of the higher end bags that'll do what i want are going to be around $150 - $200... but is there really enough room in there?
     
  7. Macpoops macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I have no problem lugging all my books for 4-5 classes along with a mouse, powerbook, adapter, and lacie pocket drive occsionally a wacom tablet too. It all fits. Depending how big each book is it can get alittle tight. But 2 years later i am still finding ample pockets that i either A)forgot about or b just discovered
     
  8. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    Nov 5, 2002
    #8
    i've got a backapck from www.spireusa.com and my pb always feels safe inside it ... even tht time i threw down my mag with it inside on accident
     
  9. kanker macrumors 6502

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    #9
    There should be room for a couple few books and a binder. What you have to ask is does it seem like too much to spend less than $200 on a backpack to put a $2000 machine in? If you can get the ed discount, the thing's (Brenthaven) about $150, $180 without. Regardless, invest in a quality pack to protect your laptop investment. You won't regret it. If you have an Apple store near, call and see if they have one in stock so that you can take a peek.
     
  10. kanker macrumors 6502

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    #10
    It does seem like there's an endless suplly of pockets on that thing- you could lose something for months in there. ;)
     
  11. Macpoops macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I always find it funny when i see someone with a 1500-3000 dollar machine Mac or PC regardless and they got the bargain basement case. If your going to spend the money on something protect it. Am i wrong? I've even seen someone running around with bubble wrap as a case...nothing else but the bubble wrap.


    By the way Kanker. that has happened to me on atleast 1 occasion.
     
  12. FunkyGuitarGirl macrumors member

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    Riverdale, MD
    #12
    If you are into the funky factor, check out Crumpler's back packs....they are very kewl and very utilitarian...I have one of their messenger bags and intend to purchase a back pack as well.

    www.crumplernyc.com
     
  13. phrancpharmD macrumors regular

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    #13
    I second the nomination for Crumpler. I'm hoping for a "Team Player" or "Base Toucher" for Christmas myself. PowerPage did a really nice review of the "Team Player" a few months back and it really impressed me. The style and construction seem top-notch, and they don't look at all like a "laptop" bag, maybe making you less of a potential target. A direct link for the "Team Player" (fits a slim 17" or a bulky 15" laptop) is here.
     
  14. absurdio thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    i've heard a lot of reccomendations for crumpler, actually. but... i'm not so sure.
    granted the site's creative and clever...but, for instance: http://www.crumplerusa.com/images/products/vm010_w_stuff.jpg
    where's the padding?

    this bothers me. again, this leads me to think spireusa might be good. ...though i'm back to considering brenthaven again...*Sigh* oh, indecision...
     
  15. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #15
    I've got a Tom Bihn Monolith for my laptop that I just slide into my Kelty backpack that I bought long ago. My wife has a Tom Bihn ID messenger bag and will soon have the Brian Cell insert for her new 12" iBook. Both those bags are durable, stylish, and offer great protection. YKK zippers throughout. They make backpacks too, the Brain Bag is an excellent choice for up to 2 laptops (or plenty of storage). Good, high quality stuff.
     
  16. phrancpharmD macrumors regular

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    #16
    Good point. I dug up O'Grady's original review, and he doesn't really mention padding at all; neither whether it's enough nor too little. Also, the picture with the bag kind of splayed open in his review seems to show that there might be more padding than is visible in the picture you linked to. I've checked into some of the other bags mentioned and for style and functionality I definitely will go with Crumpler, but I can totally see them not being for everyone. . . happy hunting, and may you love what you end up getting!
    :)
     
  17. absurdio thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    hey, thanks for the link to that review...

    i have to admit, the crumpler bags ARE pretty sexy. but...sex appeal vs. practicality? I give them credit for producing what's certainly a unique product...and probably a sturdy one...but i'm not sure i can overcome my skepticism.

    the thing about the spire bags that i like is that they seem to really be built pretty logically and sturdily...and are pretty huge, to boot. My current backpack (that has nothing to do with my laptop) is 2800 cu. in. which sounds enormous...but is easily enough compressed...and really doesn't look that big. the spire bags...get pretty close to that, size-wize, and are also designed such that my masses of books won't crush my dear powerbook.

    hm. i don't mean to sound like i'm making a big sell for spire by any means...just that so far, they look like my best bet...but "so far" doesn't, by any means, have to be the end of it.

    by the way, thanks for digging up the link to that crumpler review. i appreciate it.
     
  18. phrancpharmD macrumors regular

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    #18
    My pleasure!

    That's a good point about interior volume though. It would be nice to see how many cc's the Crumpler bags are to make your comparison easier.
     
  19. FunkyGuitarGirl macrumors member

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    #19
    I have a Crumpler Wack-O-Phone. These bags are very well cushioned. I do not think you would have a problem with the padding...this is why I recommend the Crumpler bag line...sexy, funky, different and VERY practical.

    Of course, they are not for the meek oof heart...so...

    Enjoy whatever you get!!
     
  20. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #20
    Tom Bihn Brain Bag and Brain Cell for me. Rugged, but decent looking bags. Mine are over 2 years old and still in near perfect shape.
     
  21. ///mdriver macrumors member

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    Nov 28, 2003
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    USA
    #21
    I personally have it narrowed down to three situations for myself.

    Spire Bag

    The 17" Brenthaven Case

    Or Using my North Face backpack with a sleeve.

    Does anyone have a Recon and know if a 17" will fit?
     
  22. absurdio thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    i checked out tom bihn's stuff (thanks, fellas), but it seems like his stuff, for the most part, is too small and impractical for me. I'm going to pretend i'm carrying a llama and a hospital on my back or something, and so probably rule them out...

    the timbuk 2 bags seem pretty respectable, but i've sortof resolved in my head that the backpack is the way to go (rather than messenger bag). actually, the timbuk 2 bags seem very respectable. But if i let myself reconsider messenger bags, I'll never ever ever decide on a bag.

    I might still just get a sleeve and stick it in another backpack (though i'd rather not for fear of losing/crushing).

    This leaves me mostly with the Spire bags and the Brenthaven bag. Both are very tasteful and practical...and I have yet to hear a negative review of either. The spire bags are more capacious, but the brenthaven bags are made specifically for the powerbooks...blaahrr. One day i may even make up my mind.

    An annoyance in the Spire department: the largest of their bags (2200 cu. in.), which i'm very strongly considering, lacks the padded bottom of their other three bags. don't know why, besides to irk me.
    if not that one, i may very well go with the volt xl that ///mdriver linked to.
     
  23. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #23
    I have the 17' Brenthaven, I had a Kipling before that, and you should check out www.kipling.com, they have some funky stuff.

    The Brenthaven is the best protected bag short of a hard-shell, mine gets lugged accross London daily and has been dropped, stepped on, kicked and neglected ina most shameful manner, but is still in great shape.

    The sleeve is very useful for carting the machine around if you don't want the pack as well.

    I recently found my spare car keys in one of the pockets that I'd forgotten about...;)
     
  24. ///mdriver macrumors member

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    USA
    #24
    I just did a complete 180 and ordered a Timbuk2 bag. :p
     
  25. absurdio thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    bah! you did that just to make my descision harder! i know it!
     

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