Best Vertical Bag for MBP 17" (Again)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dystopian, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. dystopian macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2008
    So I hate to beat a dead horse, and there are a lot of threads out there about the best bags for MBPs, but none of them answered exactly what I needed so unfortunately here I am creating a new post.

    I'm looking for a bag with a number of features:

    1. Capable of storing a 17" MBP and a college textbook(s) and/or notebook(s).
    2. Capable for use other than commuting (overnight clothes, day-hikes, etc).
    3. If not equipped with a well-padded laptop compartment, needs to accommodate a MBP 17" InCase Sleeve (
    4. Preferably a two-strap, traditional backpack (North Face, Mountain Hardwear, etc).

    Exceptions to the parameters would be some Chrome bags and other durable messengers. I'm not interested in canvas, leather, or anything that looks useless for anything other than laptop transportation. The reason I haven't found a suitable North Face is that I'm unsure of they're exact internal dimensions. I made a 17x12 frame out of wood and took it to an outdoors shop and the frame didn't fit in a Mountain Hardwear Enterprise, rumored to be their largest bag.

    So, who has found an traditional backpack for the MBP 17"? Or, perhaps the more accurate question, what did you get as an alternative when you realized the impossibility of finding a traditional two-strap for the 17"?
  2. panoz7 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    Might just be a typo, but the 17" MBP is only 15.4 x 10.4". If your frame was actually 17" x 12" that might be why it didn't fit.

    I also have a 17" MBP and have struggled to find a bag that I like. I'm currently using that incase sleeve you linked to in a Novera messenger bag that I picked up on sale at REI. I'm not at all happy. I'm not sure if it's just not properly adjusted or if what I got is the wrong time of bag for this application. All I know is that my back doesn't like it.

    I'm planning on getting the Keen Alameda messenger bag to replace it. It's probably not what you're looking for but I was really impressed with the 15" version that I tried at REI.
  3. dystopian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2008
    Well you actually make a good point but I was making a frame based on a general idea of the added height and width because of the sleeve. I can't find the sleeve exterior dimensions anywhere. If its less than half an inch added (summing to ~16x~11) on both height and width it might work with the mountain hardwear enterprise, which is definitely my bag of choice.

    Do you think you could measure the exterior dimensions of the incase sleeve? That would be a huge help cause this is going to be a tight fit no matter which route I go.

    edit: curiously enough, we go to the same college. or at least my brother is there and I'm an entering freshmen in mechanical engineering.
  4. panoz7 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    With the laptop in it my sleeve is about 16.25" wide and any where between 11" and 11.5" deep depending on how much you compress it. The bag is widest around the center where the zipper is so it was kind of hard to square up the ruler when it's sitting on the top... the point being those measurement might be off by a bit.

    I was a MAE student before I switched to the design school, and a biomedical engineering major at chapel hill prior to that... the program at state is great, it just wasn't for me. If you're nearby campus you're certainly welcome to stop by and borrow the sleeve for a few hours and take it bag shopping. I'm on campus working in Leazar everyday.
  5. dystopian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2008
    Thanks for the specs It would be a tight (but also secure) fit in the enterprise I believe.

    I need to come to Raleigh to get Office Mac 08 from the bookstore, so I'll private message you if I haven't found anything when I get there.
  6. Angelus macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand
    I was in the same situation as you.
    initially I bought the Incase Slingpack. Fits the 17" MBP perfectly but its pretty slimline and won't take clothes. Also its a single strap solution which is really uncomfortable.

    Recently I bought a digital SLR and wanted a good backpack to carry both. I highly recommend the Crumpler Pretty boy XL backpack. Its well padded with a sleeve for the mbp, a compartment for cameras and a 3rd compartment for everyday stuff. Its much more comfortable than the incase as its a two strap bag and very durable. I know the camera compartment isn't something you wanted but look at the range as they're excellent.
  7. chinarider macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    I have the Targus TXL617 17 XL and love it - My MBP is in an incase sleeve for added protection and it fits just fine. In the same pocket I carry all my other goodies, including mouse, drive, power, etc.

    In the pocket in front of that, I usually have 3 books and papers.

    In the pocket in front of THAT, a change of clothes.

    This thing is a monster and has TONS of room. If you are a small person, it would not be right for you - Probably too big.

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