Backpack recommendations for Film Student/Also needs to fit a 17" MBP inside!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by clutchm3, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. clutchm3 macrumors 6502


    Aug 9, 2011
    I'm in the market for a backpack that can accommodate my very unique needs while at a decent price. Very soon (this coming Monday) I begin my new journey as a Film Student. I have just purchased a 17" MBP and a couple of required items I will be bringing with me occasionally (if not everyday) are external hardrives (big ones not mini portable ones), big Sony headphones, different cords/wires, and of course I somehow have to fit BOOKS in this backpack of mine as well. THE MORE COMPARTMENTS THE BETTER!!!

    I have visited many stores but have not really found anything that works yet. I am hoping someone on these forums will point me in the right direction. One bag I saw in another thread was this one ( Only problem I have with it is, I do not see enough compartments for where I can fit my school books in and also where would I fit an external drive in there? Take out the Camera dividers I suppose?

    The backpack will be used for everyday school (trust me it needs to be able to handle the worse with weather/rain) and I prefer to keep it as light as possible. I am not expecting this thing to be skinny either but it would be a +.

    Please let me know any backpacks by linking them here if possible! :) THANK YOU!
  2. Thunder82 macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Personally, I'd stay away from lowepro, I've had two of their bags in the past and both fell apart relatively quickly. If you have the cash, I'd spring for a crumpler. I have the "sinking barge" backpack which I use to lug around my 17", DSLR, and a ton of other stuff.
  3. Ulf1103 macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2011
    Are you insane?
    You want a big backpack, but you chose a very small one?
    The best thing you should do is to buy the level 8 backpack from the apple store.
    (The apple store is offline for the moment so I'll edit it when it's back online...)

    Here's a video on what it looks like on the inside:
  4. clutchm3 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 9, 2011
    Thank you I will check it out. What about the Swiss Gear Ibex?
  5. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Tom Bihn Brain Bag.

    Their stuff is solid, I have one of their messenger bags that has seen 4 years of heavy use and still looks practically like new. They'll sell you a padded sleeve for the laptop that clips into the bag too.
  6. clutchm3 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 9, 2011
    Pretty good any others guys? :)
  7. hammten macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2008
  8. EthanMiller macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2011
  9. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    Hands down - Wenger Pegasus. It's the best bag I've ever owned and fits a 17" MBP (it also has about the best reviews of any bag there is).
  10. -tWv- macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2009
    I have this LLBean backpack and it has worked great for me for the past couple years. It has plenty of room for books and a laptop. I think the best part about it is that pocket on the bottom. You can fit 2-3 textbooks in it depending on the size, I use it all the time.
  11. stlcoptony macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    I would check out We used their backpacks for 6 years of pharmacy school lugging a laptop back and forth. I think they were very durable and protect the notebook very well
  12. Shohan macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2011
    This got longer then I expected to write, but should help your questions about the Ibex specifically.

    I've had the SwissGear Ibex for a couple of months now and like it so far with no real complaints. I bought it from Best Buy who had it for $100, but they price matched NewEgg at $65 when I showed it to them on my phone.

    Here's my break down.

    [1] Overall I like this bag. All the zippers feel quality (though I have no certification in zipper quality assurance. ;)). I haven't really tested it in weather yet except for one time. I chose a bad day to ride my motorcycle and had a 30 minute ride home in the rain from work. Since it was on my back at highway speeds I think most of the rain stayed off of it, but at times it did catch some. When I got home everything was dry inside and I made sure to check the inside along the zippers and seams for any seepage of which there was none. Straps are mesh breathable padding and have a little bit of flex to them under weight, their 'shock absorbing technology', but have a separate nylon strap for reinforcement shoould it 'bottom out.' The back has similar mesh padding with channels supposedly designed to help your back breath preventing sweating. Carrying handle is the popular plastic coated, braided steel cable with a nylon strap and rubber handle piece. The bottom of the bag is some pebbled faux leather looking material which after two months of being set down on all the normal surfaces including concrete it's not marked up at all so happy there. Of note, however, if you do a lot of air travelling, this bag is not TSA friendly. Meaning the laptop section won't unzip and fold flat on a TSA xray. You'd have to still remove the laptop for the scan. Not an issue for me.

    [1] [​IMG] [2] [​IMG]

    [2] In the front pocket I have a bunch of odds and ends stuff. Some mail, a WD Passport HDD, Snow Leopard CD, pens, markers, business cards, hi-lighter, Square Reader, USB MicroSD card reader, Logitech G5, Tums, and the 85W power brick for my 15" MBP. Things fit well enough. The little pockets on the left, where the pens are, holding the business cards are relatively thin. Not much else able to put in those. Mesh pocket is where the Square Reader and USB thumbdrive is so they don't get lost. No where else really to put those safe, and easily accessible.

    [3] [​IMG] [4] [​IMG]

    [3] The next pocket you see some papers, my Kindle, and a small notebook (similar in size to the Kindle). In the mesh pocket behind I keep the longer extension for the MBP power brick. This pocket loses a little bit of space if you load up the front pocket as it extends a bit into the second. Not a big deal.

    [4] The main pocket is pretty large. I've fit a couple of text books in there last semester without issue. Right now you see my little software binder, another notebook, and more papers. The bottom of this pocket has a reinforced flap that you push down to the bottom of the bag helping it to stay upright and expanded. Makes for easy loading since the bag isn't flopping around on you and when empty it'll stand up on it's own. Again if you load up the second pocket it might creep a little into the main pocket. The papers you see are in a separate partition that is expandable up to about two inches. That's kind of nice if you want to organize two sets of things or perhaps separate something for protection from other things in the main pocket. There's also the rubber hole to run headphone cables (pic 7) out of here. This is because there is a metal grommet leading to the next, smaller 'valuables' pouch (pic 5) allowing you to keep say your iDevice in the small pouch and run the cable through the grommet then out the rubber hole. Maybe I'm being paranoid about water/rain, but I would have liked to have seen the rubber headphone hole be a little tighter fitting to help prevent any water from seeping in. As I said, I may just be paranoid about it though.

    [5] [​IMG] [6] [​IMG]

    [5] In the valuables pocket I have my SkullCandy earbuds in their little case which you can't see, iPhone cable, badges for work, and a point and shoot camera. I like this pocket as it's separately padded which is nice, easily accessible from the top of the bag, and has a separate pocket inside for a cell phone or camera as I'm using it for.

    [6] The laptop compartment has lots of padding. The wall between the main pocket and the laptop compartment is padded. Then the sleeve the laptop slides into is padded itself and the back of the backpack is again padded as well. The laptop sleep is pretty big and will support up to a 17" laptop according to the propaganda. You see here my 15" MBP in a Booq Vyper M3 case. The sleeve has a velcro retention strap to prevent the laptop from slipping out works well enough. In this compartment there is also a mesh pocket and a thin pocket that would be good for say folders or something. I have a USB smart card reader in the mesh pocket. One thing I'd like to see differently, but I'm not sure how to change, is that anything large in mesh pocket might interfere with your laptop depending on how high it sits in the sleeve. I had hoped to put the power brick and extension in this pocket, but I didn't care for how the items packed in there.

    [7] [​IMG]

    [7] Finally, on the sides of the bags are two small zippered pockets and mesh water bottle pockets. The zippered pockets are alright. The openings are slanted I guess making it easier to get at smaller things at the bottom. I have a charging brick and micro USB cable from my old Motorola Droid in the pocket shown. These pockets would be alright for little things like this. The water bottle pockets are alright. The mesh doesn't feel like it's going to tear at the littlest thing. I've only used these a couple of times to carry a pop bottle, but you could put anything in those really if you were ok with it being a little bit more exposed. You can also see the headphone port in this pictures. It's on the right hand side of the backpack as you're wearing it.

    Like I said, I like the bag overall. I was originally looking for a messenger bag, but saw this at Best Buy and picked it up. That being said, I may still pick up a messenger bag for when I don't need to carry so much and I think the Speck CorePack Fly is what I'll pick up.

    For your needs I think this would do alright. The second pocket would handle full sized, over-ear headphones fine even if they had their own case. There's plenty of compartments, though, I don't think they would work well if your film classes are going to require you to carry around a bunch of lenses and filters. If so there are better bags out there that are designed for that purpose. They may sacrifice space for larger text books to separate the lenses, etc.
  13. df2gadgetman macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2011
    Thanks for the recommendation! I went ahead and bought the Ogio Phantom Wheeled backpack. I'll be using it to carry 2 laptops while on vacation.

    All the best,
  14. clutchm3 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 9, 2011
    Thank you for this amazing recommendation! Appreciate you writing all of this! I am going to bestbuy right now see if I can pricematch. :)
  15. clutchm3 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 9, 2011
    I went to best buy they would not allow me to price match! :mad::mad: They said it can't be an online retailer
  16. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    So buy it from Newegg.
  17. Shohan macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2011
    Yeah, their policy isn't to price match online only retailers, but I've had luck with it at my local Best Buy. Maybe try again with a different cashier. Or keep trying for different cashiers. All they can say is no. Or try another Best Buy totally if one is close.

    Worst case scenario check out NewEgg or Amazon and grab it from one of them. Since you're a college student Amazon will give you a free year of Amazon Prime which is pretty nice. I ordered my Booq Vyper M3 from Amazon and Prime will give you free shipping or overnight/two day (Can't remember which) for like $3.99.
  18. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    look up incase canvas backpack, this is the 2010 one, the new 2011 ones are different lookng but dont offer as much pockets/features.

    heres a vid i made of it:

    maybe hit that subscriber button?
  19. Ulf1103 macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2011
  20. morikaweb macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2010
    I'm thinking of getting ether the Boa flow M or the Level8 15” & 17” Atlas for school. Problem is I cannot find a movie on the atlas one.

    Does anyone have a movie link? Or better does anyone know where I can see one in person in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada?
  21. eron macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
  22. natejohnstone@g macrumors regular


    Jan 6, 2007

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