Backpack for 15" and lots of textbooks

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Feng Shui, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Feng Shui macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2008
    I'm heading off to university next year, and I will need a sturdy bag to hold all the textbooks and my 15" classic MBP. I'm looking for a backpack (no messengers) under $200 that will hold a few textbooks and my MBP.

    I looked around Apple Store, and found interest in Crumpler King Single. Please suggest some suitable bags.

  2. wingnut8 macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2007
  3. bli625 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2009
    Maybe take a look at the Booq XM backpack. It's expensive, but it seems to be a well made/big bag.
  4. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    The Jansport Exchange is a large backpack, and my 15" fits in it just fine. Most of the time I keep the side straps cinched down because I don't carry too many books, but when I need to carry a lot, it is nice to have the capacity. It also has the gel straps, which make it comfortable with heavy loads (but not quite as comfortable as my old non-laptop Jansport because the side of the straps on the Exchange tends to dig into my shoulders a little more).

    I couldn't find it in any stores, so I bought it from ebags doesn't seem to have it any more, but if you search, there are a few places selling it. Here's the first one I found:
    I paid $80 since ebags was having a sale, but $100 is a good price.

    The backpack has held up well so far. The zippers look durable enough, and it is generally well-built. One time when I had too much stuff in it I could hear some threads in the shoulder strap snap as I picked it up, so be careful not to overload it.

    I really like mine, and I highly recommend it.
  5. AmpCoder macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2007
    I personally use the Timbuk2 Hacker bag for my 15" MacBook Pro and textbooks/notebooks. It has the feature of being both a backpack and a messenger bag, so you can switch between the two if you wanted.
  6. Freewayjim macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2008
    Metro Atlanta
    Booq Python Pack if you have $250 laying around (I know that's more than you want to spend but it's really nice) or the Swiss Gear Synergy if you are financially sane (well under $100).

    The Synergy actually has more room for books, best backpack out there dollar for dollar IMO.
  7. Dan in PA macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2009
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    I've got an incase sling bag (the one with the single diagonal strap). It's great if you want just one diagonal strap, but it can be a little awkward. I'll be looking for a different bag with two straps for next semester. The bag itself is of very good quality.
  8. airdonut41 macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2009
    I just ordered a North Face Surge. I like that it has lots of padding for my mbp, but also has space for books and other stuff. Not to mention that it looks good, is very durable, and can be used as an outdoors pack.
  9. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I was terribly disappointed with the Booq boa XM: poor quality (tearing inside, zippers) and also felt that it was very uncomfortable. It has a hard, stiff back that doesn't in any way conform to the natural curves of a human body -- surprising that comfort seems to have been overlooked. I love the design from a functional perspective, but it was definitely not worth the price.

    I've been looking at the axio tekno and fusion -- anybody had experience with those?
  10. molala macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    I have the Crumpler King Single. Although it's cute and has a built-in laptop sleeve with pockets inside, it's not really convenient to get things in and out of it because of the shape/design.

    The laptop sleeve is too big for the bag, I think. Because it's at the rear of the bag where the zipper is positioned, it's in the way and it's hard to get to anything else inside the bag. And although the sleeve is removable, you still pretty much have to unzip the whole bag (zips go all around to bottom) to access anything deep inside it. It's OK if you have a big desk you can open up your backpack on (it opens like a suitcase) most of the time, but that isn't the case when you are at university. Try it out when you are at the Apple Store next time.

    I use this as an overnight bag/grocery shopping bag instead. Personally, I like STM backpacks, better design for access. Also, their waist and chest straps are better positioned. I had to buy an extra chest strap for the Crumpler King Single to make it more comfortable to carry.
  11. sehnsucht77 macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2008
    Got a late 2008 MBP 15" and it is stored inside a Booq M2. I carry my gear in a Chrome Metropolis along with my med school textbooks. works well and I bike commute to school pretty much everyday.
  12. kelpi macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2008
  13. rhcpfan0 macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2009
    Oakley makes excellent backpacks! That's what I've used for the last 8 years!
  14. mike1123 macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2007
    I second the North Face Surge. It's a great backpack with tons of space and pockets; the 15" uMBP should fit with ease in its padded compartment. My brother has had one for a while and it's held up great, so I just bought one for college.
  15. semicharmed macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    New Orleans
    I use a plain old Jansport, it's at least seven, if not eight, years old. I think it's either the Superbreak or the Perfect Score, sometimes with a case for the laptop and sometimes without.
    Case or no depends on how much else I have in the bag, and how heavy/full of sharp corners they are.
    I also have a messenger (a Timbuk2, in the medium size), without a built-in laptop sleeve. One of the things I like about not having a built in laptop compartment is that there's no wasted space if I'm not carrying my laptop around.
    Before I left for school, I definitely thought I would be carrying my laptop every day, and planned on also carrying around textbooks. I just graduated in May, and for the most part, neither my laptop nor my textbooks came to class, although my laptop came with me other places. Obviously, your experience might vary, I know people who carried their laptops everywhere, I know people who carried every textbook for every class with them.
    I definitely got a lot of use out of my Jansport, so I can recommend those if you're just looking for something basic & flexible. The only thing that wasn't ideal was that the model I had was "water-resistant", a downpour could still manage to soak through the fabric, and things would get damp. Don't know if that's a concern for you, but I went to school in New Orleans — unexpected showers were pretty common.
    If you're looking for something a little more well-designed/engineered, I highly, highly recommend the bags Eagle Creek makes, especially the Back Office, although you'll lose some space with the integrated laptop carrier. They're built really well, I use it as my primary "travel bag", since it'll fit underneath airplane seats and means I don't have to empty out my school bag everytime I flew.
  16. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Any Wenger/Victorinox/Swiss Army laptop backpacks works for me.

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