Backpacks under $150 for MBP

laurenashley

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 24, 2013
225
65
Bloomington, IN
I was browsing through the cases and bags thread for this MBP, but there were way too many pages and half of them were sleeves or cases.
I am a college student at IU, and need a backpack to keep my MBP and (hopefully soon iPad) other tech accessories so I don't have a backpack that seems like an endless pit of cords and folders and pens and everything else you can imagine. I am becoming super protective of my devices so I need a backpack that can keep everything organized! Also, I am looking for a backpack that is NOT leather, or really just something a 20 year old girl can wear everywhere. I've looked at Incase's backpacks and like them but I can't seem to find any others that I like to compare! Also, I cannot afford to spend $150+ on a backpack, being a college student living paycheck to paycheck.

Thanks in advance!
 

Badrottie

Suspended
May 8, 2011
4,317
333
Los Angeles
Hi I have a JanSport blue backpack I can throw in my 15 inches rmbp and iPad with textbooks and other stuff. It doesn't hurt them. I paid for 30 dollars. :apple:
 

kazmac

macrumors G3
Mar 24, 2010
8,755
6,762
Any place but here or there....
how about this Coocoon backpack?

I purchased this Coocoon backpack from Apple recently and it was almost a keeper.

It has a front compartment you can store tech items in and a nice protective main section for your MBP and iPad. There is not much space for anything else, but as far as keeping your MBP secure, it's a great knapsack. I used it with the iPads I was testing :p recently and it was an utter joy.

I had to return mine because the zipper on the left side of the compartment section would not close properly. I loved it for commuting and being so compact and light, but since I no longer have any portable device beyond my phone, I decided not to exchange.

That said, if I ever get a Mac laptop, I would purchase another one of these in a heartbeat.
 

Rileyx2

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2012
34
0
This thread should probably have gone in the "Buying Tips & Advice" section, but here is a reply.

I have used a Timbuk2 "Q" for the last 3 years and it is the best laptop bag I have owned. Link to "Q" on Amazon.

The bag itself is not too big and the separate laptop compartment is really handy (although I usually have my MacBook in a sleeve before I put it in the compartment). The main pocket is fairly large and can hold a bunch of folders/notebooks/et cetera, and the smaller pockets hold quite a bit.

Timbuk2 has MANY other packs if you are looking for something different.
 

laurenashley

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 24, 2013
225
65
Bloomington, IN
I purchased this Coocoon backpack from Apple recently and it was almost a keeper.

It has a front compartment you can store tech items in and a nice protective main section for your MBP and iPad. There is not much space for anything else, but as far as keeping your MBP secure, it's a great knapsack. I used it with the iPads I was testing :p recently and it was an utter joy.

I had to return mine because the zipper on the left side of the compartment section would not close properly. I loved it for commuting and being so compact and light, but since I no longer have any portable device beyond my phone, I decided not to exchange.

That said, if I ever get a Mac laptop, I would purchase another one of these in a heartbeat.
I was looking at the backpacks on Apple's website and this is definitely the best value I can find on their site! I love that grid system and may get it! Did the straps seem to support well? I'd hate to buy a backpack and have sore shoulders every night from lugging a heavy bag! I know the MBP isn't the lightest but I;d hope there was good support!

----------

I just found another on the Apple store I didn't really like but I looked on the original website and I found this bag on sale and I was wondering if anyone has any experience with these bags? They seem good, but I don't know if they will be very protective.
 

Chevelle

macrumors regular
Sep 9, 2010
138
5
For the toughest, most bulletproof backpacks I know of check out Goruck. They are used in the military and with contractors and stuff. Pretty cool company. They make a few different sizes and styles. I like this one. Has a main compartment and a laptop compartment.

http://goruck.com/en/sk16

 

glenthompson

macrumors 68020
Apr 27, 2011
2,121
222
Florida
I'm a fan of the Targus and Brenthaven backpacks. Durable, good protection, and lot of pockets to organize accessories. Cost is up around $100 but you might find deals on eBay or check your local thrift shop. I took a bunch of old computer cases to our local Goodwill so I expect that other locations might have some too.
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,951
595

laurenashley

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 24, 2013
225
65
Bloomington, IN
Thanks for the recommendations everyone! I think I am leaning towards the Herschel backpacks because I like the combination of good style and good protection! I just can't lug around a huge backpack all the time so the big ones are a bit too much for me! Thanks again!!!
 

Wishbrah

macrumors regular
Oct 20, 2013
235
8
If you are going to carry textbooks along with your laptop, you need something 30L or larger in capacity.

I chose the Surge II by North Face due to a few factors. Large capacity, all nylon construction, lifetime warranty, lots of pockets to stay organized, padded laptop compartment (bottom and sides padded....the side facing your textbooks is padded, and the side facing your back has a firm plastic insert for support/protection). Also has an external water bottle pocket. I don't have a tablet but it had a sleeve for one in the dedicated laptop compartment.

It looks like a hiking backpack...and it does look good...but it would look out of place in a business environment. Only con.
 

pscl

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2013
393
61
I got the same... I can recommend this!!!!
This Backpack have an extra Notebook-Sleeve (for 15inch Notebooks)...
I travel around with this, and my rMBP 13inch, my iPad, Documents etc... Really nice ;-)
and it has such a nice wearing comfort!! awesome!
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,761
5,259
I am very happy with my Jack Wolfskin J-Pack XT - decent size, convenient, good looking and perfect weather protection. I don't use any sleeve for my rMBP and have been motorcycling with it on my back in heavy rain - it survived well so far :)
 

tenganis

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2013
43
0
I purchased this Coocoon backpack from Apple recently and it was almost a keeper.

It has a front compartment you can store tech items in and a nice protective main section for your MBP and iPad. There is not much space for anything else, but as far as keeping your MBP secure, it's a great knapsack. I used it with the iPads I was testing :p recently and it was an utter joy.

I had to return mine because the zipper on the left side of the compartment section would not close properly. I loved it for commuting and being so compact and light, but since I no longer have any portable device beyond my phone, I decided not to exchange.

That said, if I ever get a Mac laptop, I would purchase another one of these in a heartbeat.
I just got the Cocoon Slim Backpack for Christmas. So far, I absolutely love it, the grid-it system really keeps all accessories in place. Overall a great backpack, but not for you if you want to carry a lot of books/binders because the main pocket is super thin.
 

fatlardo

macrumors 6502
Mar 15, 2011
309
21
My favorite one is Ogio renegade, lots of compartments, only down side the water bottle holder kinda small. I also like the Thule Crossover, but a bit on the smaller overall for me..just a tiny bit. But I have both of these. Someone mentioned the Targus City backpack. I have the older super duper big 17 and its been like a tank for me. But really big.
 

kazmac

macrumors G3
Mar 24, 2010
8,755
6,762
Any place but here or there....
very good support yes

I was looking at the backpacks on Apple's website and this is definitely the best value I can find on their site! I love that grid system and may get it! Did the straps seem to support well? I'd hate to buy a backpack and have sore shoulders every night from lugging a heavy bag! I know the MBP isn't the lightest but I;d hope there was good support!

As a somewhat petit woman, I can say this has very good support, my shoulders never felt tired. Never felt like the knapsack was overbearing.

As another poster said there is very little room in the main area of the knapsack for books etc., really just room for your MBP and an iPad but the grid system and protection for your portables are great. And its slim form factor is fantastic.

----------

I just got the Cocoon Slim Backpack for Christmas. So far, I absolutely love it, the grid-it system really keeps all accessories in place. Overall a great backpack, but not for you if you want to carry a lot of books/binders because the main pocket is super thin.
Yes, that's very true. The main pocket/compartment is super thin.

----------

My favorite one is Ogio renegade, lots of compartments, only down side the water bottle holder kinda small. I also like the Thule Crossover, but a bit on the smaller overall for me..just a tiny bit. But I have both of these. Someone mentioned the Targus City backpack. I have the older super duper big 17 and its been like a tank for me. But really big.
Thule are very well crafted, rugged backpacks. I do not have the Crossbody but the general $100 one. It drags me down a little bit, but for larger capacity it's very good. Can't do cross body backpacks/purses, but I've seen a lot of people with Thule crossovers so I bet they are as good if not better than the one I have.
 

laurenashley

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 24, 2013
225
65
Bloomington, IN
Since I like the Cocoon's grid system, but need a little more space I think I might get the Herschel and get one of the grid systems separate since Cocoon sells them! I am going to wait to see if the bag has enough compartments for all my stuff but it will definitely be in the back of my head until then! :)
 

dfrenz

macrumors newbie
Dec 28, 2013
1
0
Hey look at costco .com. They have brenthaven for 75.00. I picked one up
It seams great:)
 

TimCook

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2013
41
0
Australia
If you are after reliability and quality I would highly recommend Thule
This is their biggest bag:

http://store.apple.com/au/product/HD963VC/A/thule-crossover-21-liter-backpack?fnode=50

And this one looks pretty nice and is more compact (if you want a bag for looks then this is a decent choice):

http://store.apple.com/au/product/H...te-compact-strut-city-backpack-black?fnode=50


I would probably now recommend Incase: Their gear tends to be rather flimsy - even though it is generally very fashionable, its often not very good in terms of actual protection for your device

For me, keeping my MBP safe in a bag that will last a decade is the way to go

Really comes down to what you want though :)
 

jlc1978

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2009
2,695
1,038
For the toughest, most bulletproof backpacks I know of check out Goruck. They are used in the military and with contractors and stuff. Pretty cool company. They make a few different sizes and styles. I like this one. Has a main compartment and a laptop compartment.
The heck with the ruck - that looks like a 68 or 69 SS Camaro. 396?
 

ecschwarz

macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2010
1,303
254
I'd recommend anything by Tom Bihn - besides being able to customize the products to your liking, they're darn near indestructible and are just well made and well-supported. http://www.tombihn.com

The backpacks may be a bit out of your price range ($160), but they have plenty of other options, too. I got an ID messenger bag after a friend spoke highly and ten years later (and plenty of college classes), it still looks like new. It's actually been the constant item after I've upgraded and replaced portable Macs.

The Ristretto is another favorite in the Mac blogger world, http://toolsandtoys.net/tom-bihn-ristretto-vertical-messenger-bag-ipad-macbook-air/ and will fit your machine and budget.
 

mpantone

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2009
450
0
Hi I have a JanSport blue backpack I can throw in my 15 inches rmbp and iPad with textbooks and other stuff. It doesn't hurt them. I paid for 30 dollars.
I've always favored generic JanSport daypacks as well.

My notebook computers always have a sleeve. Padded notebook computer pockets in backpacks are too bulky and hog up space when you don't have a computer in the bag. Plus, my current computer (11" MacBook Air) is decidedly so thin that a computer pocket in regular bags is too big anyhow.

I generally think of computer bags as poorly designed and much less flexible in terms of overall utility, particularly when one isn't carrying the computer around. Also, many of these computer bags/backpacks are hideous and expensive to boot.

From a price-performance perspective, it makes far more sense buying a cheap daypack which will do the job just as well as a pricey computer bag.

I'd rather spend my money on something else.
 
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