Rated 5 out of 5 by CivilEngineerProf Best pack but not your kid's bookbag
Excellent pack, very well made. Fell in love with it. Sturdy and holds up well to severe use of both university and field research. Looks good at start and better with wear; I often get nice comments from colleagues. Statement accessory in my gear; seems to demonstrate my commitment to quality in all my work.
Heavier than nylon but appropriate for heavyweight canvas/leather; weight of pack won't matter when carrying loads of gear or books. Nicely water resistant (haven't submerged it to know if truly waterproof). Extra touches really appreciated, especially quality of leather trim, shape of front pockets, utility of drawstring closure, neatness of inner cloth lining, and strength of shoulder straps.
I use this pack every day to carry books, a computer, files, electronics and cold weather gear, moving from classroom to field research site. Utility and security of this pack is excellent. Dropping it down on a stream bank or beneath a bridge, I have no worries about the pack withstanding the moisture or being cleanable afterwards. Mud easy to remove. The pack may seem pricy, but it has outlasted the equivalent of three ordinary bookbag/packs.
One note: to be sure of laptop protection, I use a neoprene sleeve over my computer when in the backpack - much more useful a combination than a dedicated computer backpack that is ugly and doesn't withstand outdoor conditions.
Not a great pack for 3 inch ring binders, but then what pack is? Very common for me to have a 6-inch stack of files/books plus my laptop plus a couple of ziplocks with small electronics, all in the main compartment.
Shoulder straps very strong but narrow - shape fits the look, but could perhaps become bothersome if hauling a long distance in warm (no coat) conditions.
December 10, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by JuneJulyandAugust Tried and True: Review of waxed cotton rucksack
Bought this pack as a classy alternative to a Camel pack to take on a fast paced walking tour of Washington DC and Virginia for 9 days. I was skeptical because it was reported as heavy and causing sweaty backs but bought it anyway, even though my husband advised against it due to ergonomics. I LOVE this pack! And would buy it again in a heart beat! It fit perfectly under airplane seats. I could pack heavy or light and never had back pain (I hike and walk a lot so am in shape somewhat); the ergonomics were great adjusted so the bottom hit the small of my lower back. I seriously thought I was going to feel this but didn't. I could swing it over just one shoulder easily for quick on and offs if I needed to or hold it easily by the loop on top in tight situations. Both back pockets were very secure in crowded areas, and the main compartment is spacious and easily secured too. I was able to shove a rain jacket, umbrella, first aide kit, lots of snacks, water, wallet, magazine and later a very large hardbound book, large camera and personal items in it and still had room/wasn't over packed. The waxed cotton held up AMAZINGLY to rain storms. One storm I was unable to use an umbrella in the torrential downpour (flooded streets in seconds) and my pack was wet in areas. The water mostly sat on top. I thought I could expect things to be wet inside, but they weren't. It did not go through and dried out very quickly. I'm sold.
June 14, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Darcelle Clips getting loose.
Got my bag as a gift 5 years ago. Love the bag but the old fashioned clips kept coming loose and nearly cost me a Canon zoom lens of $3000 that fell out due to the clips. Had it modified at a leather shop that took the clips out and I am just using the tie down straps that work so much better. My bag has travelled all over the world since with out further problems. Nice bag with minor problems.
May 9, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by RGKID144 LL Bean does it again!
I recently married and moved from a NY suburb to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, NY. I'm a full time ELA teacher, Cross Country Coach, and tutor 4 days a week ALL OVER the island.
When I first moved to Manhattan the everyday hustle and bustle on trains and walking around was very tiresome. Without the right bag, it can be very burdensome. I was using a one strap over the shoulder bag which served it's purpose, but would give me intense shoulder and back pain. Not to mention I needed to shift and fidget the bag constantly to alleviate pain. I began looking into getting a bookbag type bag with two straps to remedy the pain while walking around. The issue was that I wanted a bag that would be big enough to hold materials from teaching, coaching, etc, but I also wanted it to look nice. I stumbled on this LL Bean ruck, and have never been happier. It's very large and can hold just about anything I need it to. The two pockets in the front are stellar for holding my small everyday things like pens, medications, chargers, etc. and the ruck sack is really just stellar. It is big enough to hold anything you may need to.
The leather and look of the bag is superb and beautifully crafted with the classic LL Bean touch. The leather has aged to perfection over the 4 months I have had it so far, and it continues to look even better as the days go on. Perhaps the best part about this bag which stands apart from any other bag I've encountered is it's weather proof ability. The ruck drawstring and interior lining make it near impossible to penetrate. I have been caught in monster NYC rain storms without any type of umbrella. Although my clothes were ruined, my important documents and paperwork were held to perfection in my ruck.
The only slight drawback is that my back sweats sometimes when walking with the ruck for extended periods of time. This is not a major hindrance though.
May 5, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by TallestManOnEarth Handsome but inconvenient
This bag is beautifully crafted and very attractive. I receive compliments on it regularly. However, it is quite heavy with nothing in it.
When wearing it around, unless you have a jacket on and it's cold outside your back will almost surely be covered in sweat, which is uncomfortable and doesn't do the leather any favors. Further, the small zip pocket on the inside that is against your back is poorly protected, anything you put in there (i.e. keys, lip balm, wallet) will press up against your back and be very uncomfortable. It doesn't come with waist straps as you can see, and for the weight it really doesn't make it worth it, also doesn't do your back any favors.
It's a nice backpack, but it's unreasonably heavy, very expensive and lacks in pockets. I'm conflicted about giving it a 2-star rating, but I think it deserves it. This one is getting sent back.
August 20, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by TravelAdventurer Beautiful leather and craftsmanship
I bought this backpack to take to London for the Olympics last year. My initial impression was that it was quite heavy. Now, one year later, after trips to the US, Europe and South America with the backpack, my opinion has changed slightly. It is REALLY REALLY heavy! I think it is an ok bag for around town, but as part of your luggage scheme, it is heavy even for superman! But, it is beautiful.
July 30, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by Ichabode Does not work
the spring loaded fasteners do not work come open all the time dumping my jacket on the ground. Even when I don't a jacket placed under the top flap the spring loaded catches come open when I pick it up or when I'm carrying it over my shoulder. Have to be careful how I carry it and how I pack it because I may be picking some of the contents up off the ground, had to pickup broken glass a few times when soda bottles fell out of bag and smashed on the floor.
Then during the first week of everyday use for work the stitching let go on the shoulder straps so the fabric ripped out on one side of the strap. Strap still works but looks cheap, and it wasn't cheap! I should of sent it back but I was just to lazy.
Just ordered a dufflle type bag from L.L.Bean hope the quality of this bag is better
May 5, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by FUSSAYANKEE Too Heavy
Granted, it's well built with leather and can hold a whole lot of items.
But this bags weighs too much even before putting anything in it. The shoulder straps do not easily adjust. and it would be nice if it had a pocket for a water bottle. My bag is less than a year old I hardly use it and would gladly sell it for half the price
April 27, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by sprucehead Waxed Canvas Rucksack: Easy-release: easy to LOSE!
The three easy-release buckles are also easy to lose! I've owned this pack for two weeks and have already lost two of the tabs. When you release the three-inch tab from its holder BE CAREFUL not to ALSO unbuckle it from the old-fashioned buckle, because if you do, you may easily walk off later without checking and inadvertenttly leave the three-inch tab behind. LL Bean Customer Service is sending me a whole new rucksack, which is princely of them, but I do think this is a design flaw.
March 20, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by cristinarosa heavy and bulky
I was hopeful when I saw this backpack ... alas, I am disappointed. First, it's quite heavy. Second, it's bulky - I keep hitting the door when I'm leaving the house and it's on my back. Third, the front straps hide the quick-release mechanism - so you have to fumble a bit to open and close the pack.
on the other hand, the overall quality of the pack is good - the leather is high-quality and attractive, and it's really well made.
I'm conflicted about returning it - on the one hand, it doesn't suit me well. But on the other hand, I can't find a comparable leather pack from a company with a good return policy like LLB's.
January 16, 2013