YANBT (Yet Another Notebook Bag Thread)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mmmcheese, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. mmmcheese macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #1
    I know there have been a lot of notebook bag buying threads, but I think mine is a bit different. I'm not only looking for suggestions on bags, but I have a couple questions and concerns about design as well.

    Currently, I have a Rakgear backpack for my iBook, and although it works ok, I'm not really happy with the design. If I put anything other than the laptop in the bag, the weight of the cargo is completely supported by the laptop. This isn't a big deal if you just have a small binder, or a lunch in the bag, but if you bring a text book and a few other things, there is significant pressure on the machine. In my opinion, the laptop compartment against the back is just plain bad design, and I expect a lot of the wear and tear on the iBook was because of this. To keep the screen from being marked up, I kept the foam insert between the screen and keys all of the time. Both the screen and logic board have been replaced, and this is likely due to flex and compression of the notebook.

    Now, I have ordered an MBP, and while it will fit in the bag, I'm concerned that the metal case will be more likely to warp/bend/dent and that an even thinner design will be more likely to flex (causing internal damage). I am considering buying a new bag, but so far all backpack based solutions seem to put the machine against the back rather than elsewhere in the bag. I have considered messenger style bags, with and without built in compartments (using a sleeve if there isn't one), and this seems like it might be a better solution, at least for protecting the machine. The problem with a messenger bag is that I'm concerned about how it will affect my body. I walk 30 min each way to school every day, which means I need a bag that is comfortable and doesn't put stress on my body in strange ways. It seems to me that a messenger bag would put all the weight on one side, making it hard on my back and neck. At least with a backpack, the weight is distributed evenly.

    What are the personal experiences of people here with bags? Which style is easier on the machine itself? Do you find a messenger style bag hard on your body? Are there hybrid style bags of some sort that I haven't seen yet that have the best of both worlds? What bag do you have, and what are the pros and cons that you personally find with it?

    Finally, price is a consideration, but if I can find a bag that will suit all of my needs, I am willing to make the investment (assuming it is a quality item)...so this is also something to keep in mind. I would also like to avoid having 2 different bags, because this is very difficult to manage when walking, and the more things I have, the likelier it will be that I will forget something somewhere (a sleeve is ok because it can be put inside a bag).

    Anyway, help on this topic would be greatly appreciated...and let the mayhem begin. :D
     
  2. Placeholder macrumors member

    Placeholder

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    Medium Wave by STM

    I spent quite a bit of time looking around for a good MBP bag before I bought. The one that fit my needs was a messenger bag from STM.
    http://www.stmbags.com.au/mediumwave
    It's easy on the body when I walk to work, and there's ample protection for the laptop (it comes with a sleeve). The only downside is that there isn't much room for textbooks and lunches, etc... Chances are you should just stick to a backpack if you're going to be loaded down.
    Just my thoughts though.
    STM also makes a pack they call the convertible. It'll let you switch back and forth between a backpack and messenger. Not sure what it's like though... http://www.stmbags.com.au/largeconvertible
     
  3. mmmcheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #3
    What has caught my eye so far is doing a "build your own" large-sized Timbuk2 messenger bag and one of their 15" sleeves. I'm not sure if the bag is worth the price, or if I actually want a messenger style bag, but it seems to be a pretty good size and layout. It's on my short list if I do get a messenger style bag.
     
  4. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #4
    I was never that impressed with the TimBuk2 bags. Not sure why they are so popular. I see them everywhere on campus and they're falling apart.

    I've had sooo many bags. I used the STM Sports backpack for a while. It was incredibly comfortable, even with a heavy load, but my 15-inch didn't quite fit and the padding was mediocre. They list it as "MB Pro Compatible" so maybe it's improved. It has a raincover option now, which will run you another $20, but how cool is that.

    I had a Brenthaven Fusion, until I realized I had just paid $100 for a bag which relied on cheap plastic to keep it on my shoulder. Promptly returned. Too bad, I liked the styling.

    The best bags I've found are from WaterField Designs. They're on the pricey side, but you couldn't ask for higher-quality construction and value. Each sleeve is custom made - I have one for my 17-inch - and it's a perfect fit. I feel very safe carrying it around. They use durable, synthetic materials and metal hardware, but they like to mix it up with leather, too. You get to customize the color, material, and buckle... not to mention, they have the best customer service I've ever seen.

    But I'm a sucker for fashion. With my new 12-inch I may get another bag from them... but I'm also eyeing one by John Varvatos. Now that is pricey.
     
  5. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #5
    Really? Is this the Fusion MB that you are referring to? Jeez, i was going to buy this bag, because like you, i liked the styling. My old laptop bag came free with my Ti PB (through MacMall), so it is of course ugly and is getting a bit raggedy now.
     
  6. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #6
    I dunno about those bags, but my Timbuk2 Commute bag has been to hell and back, and it looks great still. I've had it a bit over three years, and I love it. It's kept my Tibook dry in heavy rain and taken all the abuse I could shell out. Really a great bag. Make sure you get the waterproof kind, though, it's definitely worth the extra $10.
     
  7. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #7
    It was the very first Fusion, olive colored. Then again I'm kinda harsh, but for all the hype about Brenthaven's "quality" I was disappointed.
     
  8. mmmcheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #8
    The reason my eye was on the Timbuk2 bag wasn't because I had heard much about them, or popularity, but because I liked the shape and layout. That said, I'd like to know what other people think of various bags before I buy anything...which of course was the whole reason why I made this thread. :)

    Oh, and the other thing I don't like about my backpack is that even though they claim it is waterproof/resistant...it isn't really...actually, quite the opposite. The random holes they have in it, and the zipper don't seal it at all...and if the rain is heavy enough, the water gets through the fabric too...needless to say, I keep a garbage bag in my pack in case it rains. Nothing like wrapping a computer in a nice staticy garbage bag! :)
     
  9. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #9
    Well, the Timbuk2 bag I got said it was waterproof, and after biking through the Miami rain, I gotta say - it is. I guess there's no real way for you to test that out before you buy it, but unless you get a dud (somehow), you'll be pleased with the Timbuk2.
     
  10. Moshiiii macrumors 6502a

    Moshiiii

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    #10
    Im about to buy a Timbuk2 backpack for when my mac arrives. Ill post a full review here with pictures, since theres absolutley nothing on the internet for their Backpacks.
     
  11. galstaph macrumors 6502a

    galstaph

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    The Great White North Eh
    #11
    My bag is made by roots (canadian company for those who don't know) it works pretty good (and was cheap at 30$:D ), it is a briefcase style blue with strap rather than backpack. I keep mine in the bag and I also have a sleeve for it (still get scratches though). I also like the crumpler bags, but a little more $$ for those (was my other option)

    I saw some others as well but cannot remember the name of them, looked really really good though
     
  12. mmmcheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #12
    Well reading their FAQ about waterproofness....if that is even a word...shows that they at least thought about it. The bag I have relies on the nylon weave to keep water out...sounds good in theory, but as they say in the FAQ, it's not really that good in practice.

    And I have no idea why they put these random holes (with grommets) in it...maybe it was to make it breathe...not sure why a bag needs to breathe though. Maybe they are related to Homer's "speed holes."
     
  13. mmmcheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #13
    The crumpler site pisses me off....it's amusing for a few seconds until you actually try to use it, then it is just a pain.
     
  14. galstaph macrumors 6502a

    galstaph

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    The Great White North Eh
    #14
    I went to see the crumplers in person... much better than a website IMO
     
  15. macpastor macrumors regular

    macpastor

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    #15
    I want a bag that doesn't scream LAPTOP! Where can you get one of those? I have even looked at cheapo bags at Walmart, just to get something that doesn't look attractive to thieves.
     
  16. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #16
    Yeah. I think they have issues.
     
  17. mmmcheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #17
    What gave it away? The ability to spray poop on their corporate page?
     

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