on February 10, 2013
I'm in college and I needed a backpack that could carry my laptop, my notebook, my pencil case, a textbook, a water bottle and other things that girls like to carry (like a lot of things), that look nice, resistant and comfortable. This backpack isn't big compare to others Swissgear backpack, but it's roomy. The straps could be a little bit more comfortable, but in general it's a great bag, I recommend.
on November 11, 2011
This is a very reasonably priced backpack. I got it to replace another SwissGear laptop pack that was 5-years old.
- Padded laptop pocket, which is in separate compartment. This compartment has mesh pockets to store other electronic gear.
- Main compartment has an audio-player pocket near the top, and the pack's upper wall has a hole for threading through your headphone cable. There's a flap covering the hole, but it looks like rain could get in if it rains very hard - never had this happen though.
- Durable outside side pockets (for things like water bottles). These seem a lot more durable that my previous pack, where the pocket mesh gradually detached from the elastic.
- I like how there isn't a firm sheet of plastic inside the back wall. My previous SwissGear had this, and the (sharp) edge of the sheet eventually started cutting through the bottom of the wall.
- This one is major - the so-called air-flow design does absolutely nothing. When my back is sweaty, I feel the whole back of the backpack pressing against me. No air flowing permitted. My previous SwissGear was far better, because it had two semi-firm foam protrusions running along the height of the pack; these protrusions lined up with my shoulder-blades, and would keep the middle vertical line of my back clear for the air to flow. Don't advertise airflow if it doesn't work!
- compartments are sometimes hard to zip because the pack's material is somewhat limp.
You probably shouldn't lift the pack by its top handle unless the two zippers on either side of the handle are closed. This seems to put strain on the strip of material the handle is on. If the zippers are closed, the rest of the pack can support the weight.
I bought this in June 2011 for less than 35 USD, but now in November, the price is almost twice as high.
So, just what exactly can you load this sharp looking, black with red trim SwissGear backpack up with? Let's break it down compartment by compartment....
First, the outside of the backpack has a small slot that could fit a cell phone, an iPod or perhaps some business cards; I think that the idea for this compartment is that it be used while the backpack is sitting next to you on the train, plane or bus. If you put anything in here of value while you're carrying the backpack, you're a pickpocketer's dream come true. The outside of the backpack also has a mesh slot for water bottles on both of the lower sides. There's a little slot on the backpack strap that is intended for you to slip an arm of your sunglasses through, but that seems like it's inviting a broken (or stolen) pair of glasses.
Small compartment with zipper, outside front - Just big enough for your glasses or sunglasses with case; I use it for stowing Purell, Chapstick & gum.
Medium sized compartment with zipper (moving from front to back) - Includes: 1) a space large enough for a hardcover book; 2) an open flap that could fit a short stack of 4" x 6" napkins (or whatever); 3) a small slot that could fit an iPod or cell phone; 4) a business card holder; 5) three pen/pencil holders; 6) a small netted business card flap (where I stow some earbuds).
Large compartment with zipper - large enough to vertically hold several 8" x 11" folders/documents/items. Includes another cell phone / iPod holder that hangs near the top of the pocket with a small throughway slot to the outside of the backpack that you can thread your headphones through in order to wear the backpack and connect to your media device that is securely within the pack.
Laptop compartment with zipper - this large compartment has a separator dividing the compartment into two halves. One half of the compartment should fit any 15" laptop; the other half is large enough to fit a second laptop...not that many people will do that, but I'm just trying to give a visual on the size of this compartment. The compartment also has two mesh relatively large slots designed to hold miscellaneous computer gear like an AC adapter, Ethernet cables and the like. When you're not transporting your laptop, this compartment alone would probably hold most of your stuff.
Other than the above, two adjustable shoulder straps are comfortable and they make for an entirely comfortable fitting backpack whether using both straps over the shoulder or one. There is also a pretty sturdy fabric handle at the top of the backpack, but if you're packed with a laptop and other weighty stuff, I'd suggest using both straps over the shoulders.
So load the SwissGear up with things and knickknacks too. Anything that you might need should fit inside for you. Backpack backpack.
on November 1, 2012
Initially, I really liked this bag. Nice and roomy, yet still fits under the airline seat. However, after using this bag on a regular occasion for the last year, I have noticed a tendency of the zippers to work their way open a couple of inches, or more. This could allow items to fall out of the bag. And it seems the full the bag, the more the zippers have a tendency to open. So the bag is good, but be careful with the zippers.
on March 14, 2010
This backpack, in one word, is AWESOME! It's durable, stylish, and holds everything I need and as a college student, that's important. It holds most 15" laptops, comes with 2 large compartments (one holds the laptop with 2 mesh slots for laptop accessories and has space for a textbook or something and the other is an open space to fill with binders and things of the sort and has a little mp3 player holder). Also, the durable straps don't cut into your neck and shoulders and the 2 outer water bottle holders are a great accessory. The backpack also isn't a turtle-shell/suitcase-on-your-back meaning that it isn't big or overwhelming, it's the perfect size! Plus, the front compartment for gadgets, keys, phones, and supplies are sufficient and roomy. The other front mini-compartment is great if I need extra space for a mouse or even a snugly space for a snack. I must say it is absolutely a great buy for anyone!
on October 4, 2011
* Material quality. Tough enough but still flexible. The back breathes well in hot weather. Minimal swampiness.
* Appearance. Sharp looking.
* Design & storage. Plenty o' space and pockets.
* Sunglasses tab on left shoulder strap.
* Computer pouch padding. I happen to use it for an iPad2, but there's plenty of space and padding to protect a lappy, too.
Not so much:
* Side mesh pockets love to grab anything Velcro. Grr.
* Virtually no form whatsoever. Lack of internal support means this thing is a limp sack when there's not much inside. Will NOT stand up. Period.
on August 25, 2013
I purchased this backpack for my daughter for middle school because she admired (and was going to "borrow with no intent of returning") my Swiss backpack that I had purchased several years ago (3-4 to be sorta exact). It is very stylish and sleek, doesn't show dirt/wear, and the price was perfect! I know my old backpack (red with black piping the opposite of this one which is black with red piping) is durable and has shown no sign of age, wear or tear. This one has a total of four zippered compartments (a small front zippered compartment and three larger ones) with an inside sleeve for laptop/tablet in the very back compartment; two small side mesh pockets and a small pocket in the front. My daughter LOVES this bag! She uses it every day for school and stuffs and I mean stuffs it full of her books, notebooks, pencils, pens etc.Time will tell if her bag is as durable as mine :) Would I purchase this backpack again? In a heart beat!
Ok, here's an update :) it's been a year and a half now (just about) and this back pack is holding up VERY well! My daughter is done with it for this 2014-15 school year and it still looks new! I AM impressed! This is a well made product! YES, I would buy it again--as a matter of fact I did purchase another one for my son (not from Amazon, but same backpack). He used it 2014-2015 school year and just finished with his. It too looks great/held up well. Like I said in 2013--awesome well made backpack! Well worth every penny :)
on February 11, 2016
The most important quality regarding backpacks in my mind is durability. Specifically the straps and the materials. I have owned this backpack for over 2 years now and I can honestly say this backpack has passed the test. My previous 3 backpacks have broken straps while this one has lasted much longer. Even with consistent heavy loads from camping trips or school days the straps are still in great condition. The amount of storage space as a side note should also be addressed. There are 3 primary zippered pockets on the front and they all have difference purposes due to size variations. Some of the zippered pockets also have sub pockets within the primary pockets giving you some additional organizational control if you seek that. Overall this is simply the best backpack around in this price range
on August 22, 2014
Awesome backpack! Very sturdy, as Swiss Gear products are known to be. The organizational capabilities of this small backpack (I think of it as a day pack) are outstanding.
I'm a photographer, and will be using this to carry my extra gear while hiking around Thailand. The fact that it easily fits my laptop, tablet, compact camera system and cell phone, plus has plenty of room for a change of clothes, cords, cables, extra batteries, etc, makes it a perfect choice for me.
My 13" travel laptop fits beautifully in the padded, sleeved compartment, with room to spare. My Galaxy tablet fits perfectly in the larger or the two front pockets. This pocket is not fully padded, but there is thick padding down the front edges (vertically). I keep my tablet in a case, and with this padding, I am very confident it will be well protected.
The shoulder straps are great. They are formed in a way that keep them squarely on your shoulders, rather than constantly trying to slip off like cheaper products. I can wear it loose or tight, and they stay put.
I normally buy backpacks with a cross belt in front between the shoulder straps. With the way the straps on this bag are designed, it's not needed. This pack doesn't move on my back at all. I can run with it and it barely slips. A little tug on the quick-action shoulder straps and it's rock solid. The back is made with breathable mesh, and it sure helps to keep from sweating up a storm!
The main cargo area is large enough to carry any trinkets you might pick up, or a small amount of groceries, which is just right for an urban explorer or traveler.
This is not an "armored" carrying device for your laptop. The padding is perfectly sufficient for urban use, and some relatively mild outdoor exploration or hiking. If you are rock climbing, you'll want specialized gear. I would not trust this to protect your laptop in a serious fall, for example.
on November 26, 2013
Bought this for my son whois in HS. it was too small for him. It doesn't hold his laptop, 3 binders (1/2" each) and other stuff that he has to carry. Finally, the zipper separated after merely 3 months of use. It's probably a good size for a grade school kid.