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Old 28th Dec 2016, 14:42   #1
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A good laptop backpack

Hi all,

My Current swissgear is falling apart at the seams and amazon aren't of much help at the moment. It lasted 18 months and cost me the same as my techair did (that lasted 5 years).

I occasionally carry 2 laptops in the thing and it needs to be able to accommodate 15.6" laptops.

Any recommendations for a bag that can take a lot of abuse or a warranty that isn't worthless?

Hesitant to spend more then £50 again.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 18:41   #2
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The bag I have is a Targus Drifter 2 and it cost me around £60. I bought it to fit 2 laptops and a tablet as I travel a lot with work and wanted to take my personal laptop as well as the work one. My laptop is 17" and the work is 15". I have had it for about a year and a half and it has certainly seen a lot of use (and abuse) so I would say it will last a long time as it hasnt shown any signs of wear yet.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 18:48   #3
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My work bag is a Dicota 23919p can't seem to find it online, my old company did a bulk buy of them probably from Dell

https://www.bto.eu/dicota-challenge-...t-n23919p.html

Has lasted years, took it with me when I left
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 21:18   #4
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I'm currently using a Burton Annex backpack and for my needs it's perfect, plenty of space for my tablet, laptop (I occasionally carry 2 x 15.6" laptops in it without issue) and multiple notepads etc.... I've not had to test the lifetime warranty but I wouldn't expect any problems for a genuine claim tbh.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 00:28   #5
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Carrying two 15.6" laptops every day, not costing more than £50 and not falling apart are not three things you're going to achieve. You get what you pay for... Double your budget, buy something decent like a Crumpler backpack and it'll last you 5+ years.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 01:38   #6
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I've been using the Amazon Basics Bag for coming up on three years now:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/AmazonBasic...dp/B00EEBS9O0/

It's very sturdy, with plenty of pockets for kit. It's a perfect size for 15.6" laptops (use a laptop sleeve for them both if you want the best protection. I carry a single 15.6", a tablet (sometimes two) and a lot of chargers and kit with plenty of space left over. There is no way you'd comfortably get a 17" laptop in it - it would stick out and be vulnerable. For ~£28 its a steal.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 08:04   #7
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I'm currently using a Ruitbag

https://www.riut.co.uk/

I have no idea how to pronounce it.

It's a very good bag - not perfect - but looks discreet (not like other NB bags that shout I AM A BUSINESSMAN WITH A NOTEBOOK IN HERE), very secure and comfortable. I also wanted to support a UK small business and a UK made product when I can.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 10:37   #8
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I have a Crumpler Jackpack Half-Photo, which has room for my laptop and various things in the top half and a camera, flash, and four lenses in the bottom half. Means that I can, at a push, travel for around four days with nothing but carry-on luggage - or bit more if I don't mind reusing clothes.

Naturally, you don't need a photo bag - but I can speak to Crumpler's quality. My only complaint was with the top carry handle, which is thin and uncomfortable; I fixed that with some paracord in a few minutes.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 11:10   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi View Post
I'm currently using a Ruitbag

https://www.riut.co.uk/

I have no idea how to pronounce it. FTFY
Riut, pronounced "riot", stands for Revolution in user thinking. This describes the RiutBag, revolved by 180 degrees, to put all the zips against your back.

It's a very good bag - not perfect - but looks discreet (not like other NB bags that shout I AM A BUSINESSMAN WITH A NOTEBOOK IN HERE), very secure and comfortable. I also wanted to support a UK small business and a UK made product when I can.
Interesting product and site, Props for supporting a UK entrepreneur
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 15:12   #10
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Targus Drifter 2 - avoiding as I'm trying to avoid anything too obviously a laptop bag

Burton Annex - the black one at £65 isn't too far over what I wanted to spend, but not 100% on the materials. This is probably my next buy if the amazon basics fails me.

Unicorn's comment (and crumplers in general): I won't be carrying 2 every day, it's just occasionally. To be fair expecting the same quality for the same price as I paid 6 or 7 years ago is probably a bit silly of me.. but wow.. those crumplers are pretty pricey.

Amazon Basics Bag - Looks like it might do the job, I'll give this a go.

Riut - looks quite nice (even if it is a bit steep). As much as I'd like to get one, the concealed zips are more likely to be a hinderance than a help over 90% of the time.

Thank you for the advice all. I do appreciate it.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 15:15   #11
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Interesting product and site, Props for supporting a UK entrepreneur
I actually bought it on the back of CustomPC custom kit review
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 15:27   #12
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Quote:
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Riut - looks quite nice (even if it is a bit steep). As much as I'd like to get one, the concealed zips are more likely to be a hinderance than a help over 90% of the time.
I do like the idea of those, as there is better security and you don't put the 'strappy' side down to open it.

I always thought that camera backpacks should be like this, as if you're out in the wet or muddy countryside, your straps or the part that is next to you doesn't get wet or dirt on your clothes.
/lightweight
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 23:34   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree View Post
I have a Crumpler Jackpack Half-Photo, which has room for my laptop and various things in the top half and a camera, flash, and four lenses in the bottom half. Means that I can, at a push, travel for around four days with nothing but carry-on luggage - or bit more if I don't mind reusing clothes.
Annd that's going to be my next Crumpler purchase!
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Old 30th Dec 2016, 00:16   #14
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Recently bought a laptop from laptops direct. Got this bag.

Cheap and so far does the job. single laptop only tho.
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Old 30th Dec 2016, 01:06   #15
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I definitely agree with the Crumpler route, their bags are just fantastic quality. Like Gareth I have one for all my photography stuff, which weighs a tonne, the thing is a real trooper.

That said, they have some duds in the ranges too. Unfortunately I don't know the exact models, but a few are simple rubbish from a practicality point of view. My brother has a leather-style shoulder bag with the capacity of a change purse, despite the bag being massive and heavy. It's a far cry from my camera bag (also a shoulder one) which is capacious beyond belief, lightweight and brimming with features.

Similarly my dad picked up a laptop backpack from them a couple years back that now sits unused because again it has next to no capacity. You can fit a laptop and that's about it, not comfortable either.

So basically if you get the right one it's a bag for life, but a more consumer oriented one and you've got a waste of space, money and energy.
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Old 30th Dec 2016, 20:16   #16
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Being unsure if you're getting a dud is the exact reason I'm hesitant to buy a more expensive bag.

On another note - swissgear US have forwarded my query on to the EU people. Still not holding my breath, though it's clear the bag just isn't suitable for my laptop dimensions. If I am given a replacement FoC or even at low cost - I will probably get one and just use it for a different laptop.
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Old 30th Dec 2016, 23:56   #17
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Being unsure if you're getting a dud is the exact reason I'm hesitant to buy a more expensive bag.

On another note - swissgear US have forwarded my query on to the EU people. Still not holding my breath, though it's clear the bag just isn't suitable for my laptop dimensions. If I am given a replacement FoC or even at low cost - I will probably get one and just use it for a different laptop.
Well TBH I think the reason for the dud is just as important. The ones I mentioned were still incredibly well made, their purchase could have been avoided by simply visiting a shop first and taking a closer look. At the end of the day, nothing beats actually trying out a bag in person before buying. They're a bit like shoes, got to get some practical hands on before jumping.
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Old 31st Dec 2016, 04:39   #18
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Bought a Superdry bag donks ago, and it’s protected my 17inch from everything the weather could throw at it… unlike the Superdry jackets which need renaming to Superwet.

looks like this
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Old 3rd Jan 2017, 12:05   #19
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Well TBH I think the reason for the dud is just as important. The ones I mentioned were still incredibly well made, their purchase could have been avoided by simply visiting a shop first and taking a closer look. At the end of the day, nothing beats actually trying out a bag in person before buying. They're a bit like shoes, got to get some practical hands on before jumping.
Agreed that you really need to see a bag to be sure. The swissgear looked ok to me in person. it was only after using it for a while that I figured out there was stress at the corners of the laptop.

The problem with buying things that were good and purchased years ago is that they often end up cutting costs and reducing quality (old timberlands vs new ones.. new ones are awful!)
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Old 5th Jan 2017, 06:35   #20
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Choosing Crumpler gear is all about researching before you buy. My 10 year old bag which I use for my ThinkPad X230 now is a 'Sheep Scarer' and it will only take the laptop in its (also Crumpler) Lamington sleeve, the charger, a few cables and nothing else. When it came time to buy a new 'EDC' backpack for my 15" MBP earlier this year, I wanted something that would hold all the other stuff I need close at hand every day now. I knew that I needed a bigger pack, so I did plenty of hunting around and eventually went with a 'Proper Roady' which at any one time will have in it:
  • The aforementioned 15" MBP in another Crumpler sleeve
  • MBP charger
  • A few thunderbolt and lightning adapters
  • A few 2.5" external hard drives
  • My iPad Air
  • iFixit pro tool kit
  • Fluke laser distance meter
  • Fluke 233 wireless multimeter
  • Fluke LinkRunner network tester along with its assorted accessories
  • Assortment of USB cables
  • Some stationery like pens, sharpies, a notebook etc
  • A 750ml Nalgene water bottle

So it's a much bigger pack, weighs a ton when it's got all that stuff in it but is also 10x more practical than the 'Sheep Scarer' which I bought 10 years ago to carry around and protect one very expensive 12.5" laptop and nothing else.
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