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on January 13, 2009
I got this backpack few weeks ago and its pretty good so far. For some reasons this one (which is red) is cheaper then the black one, even though they are the same backpack expect for the color differences. I'm guessing because more people are into black color backpack. Anyways, I'm just going to put the bad and the good about this backpack.

GOOD
-This can fit a 15.4" laptop, anything bigger than 15.4 will not fit.
-Well made, it will last for a long time.
-Lot's of small protected pocket for Ipod, PSP, HardDrive..etc.
-Feels good when its placed on your back, it's design to have air flow between your back and the backpack. This way you will not have a wet spot on your back.
-Cheap

Bad
-It's kinda small in size, you can fit a laptop and few binders and maybe 2 books. That is about it, there are spaces but its more for small items. There are bigger version of SwissGear backpack, but it cost more.

Overall, this is a great backpack for it's price. If I would buy another one in the future I would still chose SwissGear.

Hope this help, thanks for reading. :)
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on October 1, 2008
I just got this bag and when I ordered I was torn between this one and the bigger version of it. It took a while for delivery but, I finally got it today. It is very nice. The material looks and feels very sturdy and there's a lot more room then I thought there was: FYI the laptop area fits my 15.4" laptop (the capability of the screen size to fit this bag was not specified anywhere; and believe me I looked everywhere online). Anyway, there is still room to add a book in the laptop compartment which is the last one (has a lot of padding here). There is another compartment, the middle one, which can fit about 3 folder sized items, and yet another deep compartment in the front with nice zipper/pocket areas. the padding is really comfortable on the straps and the back with "air" circulation noted which I assume is a good thing. Also, note the adjustable straps you see in the picture on each side of the bag; they are extremely useful because when you don't have this bag stuffed with things just tighten it up and it appears to be a smaller bag (which is good for me, since I frequently just carry my laptop). Worth the $35 I paid despite the delayed but free shipping. I think if I would have gotten the bigger version of this bag it would have been too big for my needs. (btw I am replacing a Targus laptop backpack which lasted only about 6 months and now it has a hole that is tearing on a daily basis at the bottom- so if anything I don't recommend targus backpack which I paid $30 for and the material was poor compared to this one and also it is much smaller then this one). This construction feels much stronger and durable then the Targus and I only paid $5 dollars more. Also seems more practical and convenient with the compartments and pockets.
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on September 16, 2008
I was going to buy a rolling laptop bag, but found this on sale and got it instead. Made my trip so easy! Plenty of room for my laptop and accessories. Plus tons of padding and pockets. I was able to carry extra books, electronics, etc. Sitting in an airplane seat it fit nicely under the seat in front of me and I was able to get to all my toys during the flight. I have used about 6 other laptop bags during travel, but this was definitely the most comfortable, roomy, and easiest to use.
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on December 1, 2012
For the most part, the look and overall quality of the materials is pretty good. My one gripe about the materials is the bottom could've been made with something sturdier like on some of the higher end Swissguard packs. The bottom of this one is made from the same canvas material as the rest of the bag. But the problem is it'll eventually fray and wear out if people aren't careful about dragging it around.

My biggest problem with the bag is that it is too small for my 15.6 screen laptop which has a 1080p HD screen (an HP DV6T; physical dimensions are 14 and seven eighth's by 10 inches). Please see several pics I uploaded in the customer images section.

Don't be misguided by Amazon advertising claim as "fitting most 15.6 laptops". Many of the newer laptops sold nowadays come with a 16:9 screen and the option for full HD. If the physical outer length of your laptop is close to 15 inches (such as my DV6T), then this bag is not for you. The top corners of mine are right up against the edges of the bag zippers, with no protection at all. And the velcro elastic closure latch has to be stretched to almost the breaking point just to close over the laptop.

If you have a 15.6 laptop and are considering this bag, first take out the tape measure. If the physical outer length is 13-14 inches, the laptop should be able to fit in okay. Anything bigger, I'd recommend considering another backpack.

I bought this during Black Friday because of the great price, but am returning.
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on December 12, 2008
I'm a 5'4" female and this bag is the perfect size for me (as in it's not too big for someone smaller - the bag also works well on my 6'2" husband). It's not huge like some other computer bags that make you feel like a turtle when you put it on. Still, it has plenty of space. I keep my 14.1" laptop in the bag, along with my lunch, a water bottle, 3 notebooks and text book and there's still a little bit of room to spare. The quality of the materials and workmanship are fantastic and very best part is the amazing back and shoulder strap padding and the distribution of weight. In my old backpack, the weight of all the aforementioned stuff really felt heavy. Somehow, in the construction of this magical bag, they managed to distribute the weight so it feels like quite light! I've had the bag for a couple of months now and no complaints. And I have a feeling this one will be lasting me awhile! Definitely recommended.
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on February 7, 2009
I took a chance when I ordered this bag here on Amazon and boy did it pay off. I own a Dell Studio 1537 Laptop (15.4 in screen) and was a little worried about the fit of it into this backpack/ bag because the last bag I owned claimed to fit a laptop of my size and it didn't. Turns out, this bag was the perfect solution to my problem. Even though the the laptop fits really snug in its compartment, it's not so bad as to where you cant easily insert and remove it. The laptop compartment is well padded and even has breathable mesh on the wearers side to ventilate any heat that may be present. Other features include a: mobile phone pocket/ water bottle pockets/ a slot to route headphone cords to an mp3 player so the wearer and listen to their tunes on the go/ multiple organizing slots for pens, pecils, credit cards/ passports/ i.d's/ etc/ even a sunglass holder on one of the straps. Speaking of the straps. The straps are padded for extra comfort. In adition to all of the named compartments, this bag has multiple slots for any little knick knack or gadget you can think of. If I really wanted to, I could probably carry my laptop, psp, ipod touch, digital camera, all the peripherals, a portable hardrive and still have room for 2 to 3 text books. This bag is a must have for any college student or person with a lot of electronic gadgets on the go. I would highly recommend this purchase and if for some reason this bag was ruined I'd replace it in a heartbeat.
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on September 14, 2013
Not even a month of use and already falling apart. Bought one of these in red last year lasted the whole school year before the arm straps ripped away from the upper body of the pack. This one isn't even a month old and the straps are already shredded. This pack is only used on school days haul books so, it has been used about 12 times since purchase and this is what it looks like now. I don't think it will make it to the Thanksgiving Break. Too bad because its one of the lightest large backpacks I've found, with good size pockets and easy to close zippers.
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on January 13, 2014
Bought this during the Amazon Deal Of the Day for a very good price. The bag itself is spacious and sufficient to carry a 13" laptop, its charger, all related accessories and a bunch of documents too without feeling stretched and loaded.

However, it seems the shoulder strap I use the most isn't able to take this load as it's coming off at the seams after a few months of usage which is a shame considering this is a Swiss Gear bag and not a no-name brand.
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on July 3, 2013
I have been a SwissGear product loyalist for a great many years until this most recent purchase. The product arrived nicely packaged and promptly delivered and all that. But, after only 3 short months of very mild usage (i.e. transporting my laptop and a few books and papers back and forth about 2 blocks from my home to my office every day), the zipper on the central compartment has failed terribly. I had similar issues with the last SwissGear bag that I purchased. However, I did at least manage to get 3 years of usage out of that bag before the zippers began to fail. I did not complain to SwissGear about that bag (perhaps I should have), but rather chalked it up to bad luck on an aging product. But, I am definitely reaching out to SwissGear now to complain about what is clearly a gross lapse in manufacturing quality control/quality assurance, and to demand a replacement bag. In the meantime, I wanted to warn prospective buyers to beware of what appears to be a trend of diminishing quality in SwissGear products (at least within this product line). As a longtime SwissGear fan, I am very disappointed in these recent premature product failures. Buyer definitely beware on this bag!
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on March 9, 2013
Pros:
Fairly light
Padding feels like it protects my laptop adequately
The mesh pockets attached to the laptop slot are perfectly sized for my Nexus 7
Has enough space for my computer, tablet, notebook, textbook, pens/pencils
The handle on top feels sturdy

Cons:
-My biggest complaint is one that other reviewers have mentioned, which is that the stitches by the top of the shoulder straps where the gray/silver fabric is located basically fell apart. Not only does this look unattractive, but the threads snag on things, and there is a plastic strip that ends in a point that, while not sharp enough to cause harm, is still uncomfortable to be pricked by should I happen to grab the shoulder strap the carelessly. I've added a photo of the faulty seam on the strap to the customer photos for this bag.
- The black strings on the bottom front seem to have a weak plastic or other such material inside, covered by a thin black fabric tube. Nothing wrong with that, but the core material seems to harden and become very brittle, and as a result, the string is sort of a mess of little fragments held together by that black fabric. It does not look nearly as neat as the product shot, and the string has stretched out, hanging out slightly below the bottom of the bag.
- Not enough space to hold my camera. This isn't really a camera bag, so I'm not sure I can really fault it for this, but as a word of caution for occasional shutterbugs like me, there isn't a convenient pocket for cameras bigger than a compact. Mirrorless ILC's or DSLR's make for an uncomfortable fit.
- Dan mentioned something below that I agree with, which is that the front pocket is sort of difficult to use. It doesn't really open wide enough to let you see what you're doing.

Conclusion:
I've had this bag since the fall of 2011, so about a year and a half now. There aren't any tears or anything quite so serious, but the damage that I have seen so far is much more than I would have liked to see. This was my first Swiss Gear backpack, and I'm not terribly impressed. While the features and materials quality seem fine (really, it's a fine backpack, no complaints about daily use), the stitching has proven itself unsatisfactory (I can't excuse something like the shoulder strap coming apart). I had hoped to wear this bag for all 4 years of college, but it's looking like I'll only get half of that time out of it.

Update 10/28/13:
Shortly before the beginning of the summer, the strap's stitching came undone almost completely, detaching the weight-bearing fabric from the bag. The only thing keeping the strap from coming off was the fabric covering each edge of the strap, and I would not trust that to hold/protect the contents of my bag. I replaced it with a used (but in great condition) $40 Kata DR-467i Digital Rucksack I found on eBay, and it's been great so far, for a little over half of what the Swissgear cost me.
Updated rating: 2/5, because I can overlook cosmetic problems to an extent, but structural failure after only two years is not cool.
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