North Face Surge: Good backpack for carrying around 17" uMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by midgetsanchez, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. midgetsanchez macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2009
    So I'm a student who'll probably end up carrying his 17" uMBP around daily. I've been looking at reviews for backpacks and came across a couple that I liked:

    1.) The North Face Surge (has GREAT reviews, seems to be the best seller):

    2.) Hurley Word Argyle (Has a nice design, supposedly isn't very high quality though):

    3.) Swissgear Carbon (I think it looks kind of big):

    I'll usually be carrying my MBP and 1-2 spiral notebooks and a folder, so I won't need something excessively large. So far I think I'm going with the North Face Surge(either in Black or Bittersweet Brown) only because of the great reviews. Everyone seems to say it's comfortable and does a great job protecting the laptop compartment(which has it's own separate zipper so it's easy to take out). Does anyone else have any recommendations?
  2. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
  3. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (BB 8900: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    The north face is an amazing bag. Also, crumpler and timbuk2 are known for their messengers but make some awesome backpacks, too. They're worth looking at.
  4. miloquacious macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    I just checked it out last Friday! Looks like a great bag for carrying around my new MBP! :)

    I've seen old NorthFace backpacks all over town - so I know they're durable and last.

  5. NHuskers macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2009
    I was also looking at a North Face backpack for my future 15" MBP. I like the one you posted as well as the North Face recon.
  6. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    You folks are logo crazy. North Face stuff is grossly overpriced and has long
    been owned by corporate label managers and far from their roots as a real outdoor brand.

    Save your money and just buy a decent backpack. Nylon is nylon.
  7. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000


    Nov 14, 2008
    I have the Carbon Backback. Its worked great. Ive had it about a year or so. I use it every day. Great protection. Has like 1000 pockets. Its been through drops, drags, all kinds of stuff and its still basically the same as it was when i bought it. Its very comfortable. And its no bigger than the other backpacks you listed. But on the other hand, you can stuff tons of books and other things in this thing its makes it bigger. But if all you have is a mac and a few notebooks its pretty much so comfortable you forget about it. I have had it weighed down with like 30lbs or more of stuff sometimes. Never had a problem doing that to it either.
  8. Wicked1 macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    I have the Swiss Gear backpack and I bought it at BestBuy for $49.00.

    This is one of the most sturdy, comfortable bags I have ever used and there are plenty of pockets and storage areas. I carry my uMB, two big bottles of water, pens pencils, keys, portable external hard drive, MB adapters cables etc, and even has room for my lunch, also made of durable and breathable nylon. Definately worth 50 bucks for what you get, mine is the red back but they make about 10 different colors.:rolleyes:

    It fits the new unibody MB and MBP, it should fit the MBP 17" as well.
  9. ArtVandalay macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2009
    Im heading to law school, went to the North Face store in LA and got the Recon. I think the surge was a larger sized backpack, while the Recon was the size below it. 35L vs 33L if i remeber, but it was a noticable difference in size. Recon has a good laptop section and its a very comfortable fit with a lot of padding.
  10. wakka092 macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2007
    I have been using this backpack from L.L. Bean:

    It has a really thickly padded laptop pocket that has kept my various notebooks safe. Plus it has room for books, binders, etc. And it's $30 cheaper than that North Face bag, and it also has a lifetime warranty. One of the three book pockets is cramped, but who needs three full sized book pockets?
  11. marzxbarz macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2009
    I use a NF Recon for my 15" unibody and it works great. I would highly recommend a notebook sleeve to go with the backpack, as the zippers may scratch the housing when placing it/taking it out of your backpack.

    NF backpacks are great and hold an unlimited warranty. They're also really stylish and don't scream "I have a computer in here, come rob me!". I'm fine with any backpack, but NF makes some of the greatest looking and well-organized backpacks IMO.
  12. mike1123 macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2007
    I JUST bought the Surge yesterday; how weird! I had the intention of getting it for the 17" uMBP, and I measured the dimensions. It looks like it would just fit depthwise (left to right when in the bag) and is fine for length and height (1"). However, I'm now leaning towards getting the 15" just for the sake of portability, but don't hesitate to buy this backpack; my brother has one and has held up great. Amazing build quality and so many storage pockets. Well worth the cost, IMO.
  13. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2005
    I've been using my same Targus notebook backpack for close to 8 years now. It's still going strong and I only paid $40 for it. GL with your North Face...
  14. kslim macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2009
    Elk Grove
    This is a great bag! Fits my 15" Pbook like a glove.
  15. Dfndr90 macrumors regular


    Nov 27, 2006
    I use the 08 Northface Surge and it is amazing. I travel a ton and it has kept my 15 uMBP very safe and secure. Very comfortable to carry and handles big loads well.
  16. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Maybe so, but that doesn't mean the Surge isn't a great bag - it is. I carried a macbook and way too many law school textbooks in it for a couple of years and it's still in exactly the same shape it was in when I got it. Very durable, very comfortable, lots of space, and lots of separate compartments. A little pricey but an excellent choice.
  17. UrFatMom macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    I have been using the North Face Recon for ages, and it's really comfortable. It has a inner sleeve like the Surge. So I guess the Surge would work just as good!
  18. woodekm macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2008
    I am looking at those EXACT three bags for my 17 MBP.

    I was hoping to see reviews of others that have a 17 MBP that have bought, fit and used these bags.

    Unfornatully, most of the reviews on sites have differing opinions of whether the 17 MBP will actually fit in these (and they may be confusing with other models of bags - I just cant tell). Some dont let you know if it was a 15" or a 17. Its probably the way the Opinions areas are set up.

    I also want a bag that would hold a few clothes (shorts, tee shirts, sandles etc) for very short term travel apposed to only a couple of books.

  19. apersianboyCOM macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2008
    London, UK
  20. wakeborder556 macrumors regular

    May 31, 2008
    Get the surge.

    I've been using mine for a year and nothing has phased it. I carry around my mbp all the time.
  21. NewSc2 macrumors 65816

    Jun 4, 2005
    New York, NY
    Go to the Apple Store. They have an Incase 17" backpack that looks great and isn't that expensive ($60-70?). I bought one for my old 17" Powerbook back in college and it fit my laptop, books, etc.
  22. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
    im tempted to pick up a surge for my 17inch mbp .. i have a crumpler messenger bag but i have been looking for a backpack as well
  23. woodekm macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2008

    I just received my Timbuk2 Messanger bag ( 09 comute bag), and I realize now that I dont need a backpack for travel. This thing holds my 17" MBP in an area/slot, that has serious padding against your back if you were to sling it over your shoulder, like you are supposed to. The best part (if you travel) is that it also has a slot that allows you to slide the case down the handle of a small travel (wheeled) case, and the padding protects the laptop.

    It Def holds enough stuff for a casual weekend (shorts/teeshirts and tpaste, deodrant, etc.) AND your 17" MBP. It is sweet and has Soo many extra pockets for other stuff on the outside (that is covered by a Big a$$ flap).

    Also, the laptop is contained on one side of the handle, and the "other stuff" you carry is on the other, for better balance if you are carrying a weighty laptop. Awsome.

    My only gripe is, is that it isnt a backpack, and getting used to a one sided bag MAY take some getting used to.

    I just wanted a bag I could take my laptop to NYC in (and carry camera, cell phones, and other crap that is of value while on the plane, that might possibly get stolen) and once there, drop off the MBP, and carry this bag downtown to buy stuff while in chinatown/soho etc. Who knows. I may find a fake MBP 21"!!!!!! How sweet would THAT be?:D:D:D

    This Timbuk2 seems perfect so far. A true trip with a one shouldered bag will tell the truth for me. It may be even better. Who knows....Yet.

    Im thrilled, so far. The quality and thought out design IS AMAZING (utilitarian wise).

    SWEET A$$ bag. Bought on eBay for 69.00.

  24. hornshwangler macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007

    Check out Spire. They are hands down the best backpack for a laptop that I've ever owned. I have an older model that is 4 years old that has been my main carry bag since I bought it. Very well made in Boulder Colorado and, though a little pricey, there isn't a better bag made, IMO.

    all the best
  25. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    I have an older version of the Surge, about 2 years old. Its a really nice backpack. I put my MBP and its sleeve right in. Very good back padding and front padding. It's also quite cheap.

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