Rated5out of5bydmlogsfromSolid, sturdy bag for work and playI use this product daily as my commuter bag to work. I carry laptops, lunch, and all sorts of gear. I've used it both commuting by bus and by bike. It has a decently large capacity. The several notebook sleeves are handy for keeping organized. The laptop compartment can be accessed from the main compartment or a side zipper. The side zipper is convenient, but my larger 15" laptop doesn't quite fit through it. It's comfortable, even reasonably with weight. The only flaw I've found is that the main organizers for small items are in the top compartment. I'll load this up on occasion and the bag can feel top heavy/torqued. All in all this is a solid bag. Feels very sturdy and well constructed.
Date published: 2013-06-14
Rated5out of5bycitizenreifromfeels like it is designed for meSearched long and hard for a backpack that would be comfy, sleek and simple, and offer just enough protection and compartments for electronics, etc. I work out of my bag, I bike, walk and bus around the city often and like to be able to head to the gym or happy hour on a dime. I also have a weak back, and my messenger bag was killing me, so a versatile backpack that could hold 15-20 lbs was what I was looking for. It's a tall order, but this one comes very close to meeting all requirements.
The look is versatile and sleek. I have the all black, and it can look good in meetings, cafes, trips and vacations. It also doesn't look noisy with extra straps, colors and compartments. I almost went with the Fluid 26, but partly did not because it didn't have the same elegance. 9/10.
The main compartment feels like it is built for me, and the separate pockets work though I realize it's not for everybody. Laptop in the back, notebooks next, pencil bag on 1 side, newspaper/random stuff on the other, a few smaller books in the middle and things I need to quickly access in the front. Sunglasses slide in its own compartment on the top, and then there is plenty of room for jackets, lunch, clothes, groceries, etc. 13" macbook air fits easily even with a Thule sleeve, and I don't carry binders or huge books, so this works great for me. Side pocket works great. Gets a little tight, and hard to see down to the bottom. Another issue is that when packing this bag to capacity, you have to dig into the compartment to find pockets and gaps where to stuff clothes and things to balance the bulk.
Side pockets for Nalgene and other bottles seem to work fine, but have to tighten the straps. Would have liked elastic there for extra security, but it works.
The top compartment was the clincher for me and my needs. It fits my macbook charger and cord (mesh bag), extra batteries, post-its. Great combination of velcro pockets. The top gets heavy with all this stuff, but it hangs over the bag almost like a flap, which maintains the slim profile of the bag. I noticed some people complaining that the top sags down, but it feels like it is by design. When it hangs that way, I can unzip/zip both compartments from the top pretty easily, and it lays out like a filing cabinet. I can unzip the top compartment completely and it folds down like a toiletry bag -- everything in plain view. 9/10
Comfort is good, not great. The bag is slightly on the heavier side. By comparison, the MHW Fluid 26 was lighter, more comfortable, and had much better hip support to distribute the weight. But again, considering the tradeoffs, this bag is a step up from other city/commuter bags out there. I chose the Paladin because the pros above outweighed this con. If I had more weight to carry for longer periods of time, I would have gone with something with a frame/hip support. 7.5/10.
Otherwise we'll see. I just got this bag, and am testing it out. The mesh backing seems a little cheap and I'm wondering if it will rip/snag easily but so far so good. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2013-05-07
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