Rated 4 out of 5 by PhotoProffessor Very Sturdy Backpack
I ordered the backpack to replace an L.L. Bean backpack I have been traveling with for 4 years. Because I need a Backpack that is light, holds my cameras, etc. plus a computer, and other essential travel gear, the size of this pack works well. I also like the ease of getting to my documents, pens, sunglasses, etc. from the side pockets. The pack fit's is very comfortable as well as being well balanced.
The only flaw I have encountered is the pack is hard to manipulate when going through airport security, primarily internationally. Because there is only a single top entry into the main compartment. So when airport authorities in Germany, Finland, or even US, want to see the cameras, or other gear it is difficult to get to without taking everything out of the pack.
I feel the pack will hold up well do to the hard wear it will endour on the road. It should also double well as a day pack to carry my cameras and daily needs for hikes to some of the remote areas I travel to for photography.
July 1, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Grifffy Great not Perfect
I bought this backpack to replace a travel-battered conventional nylon computer bag. I have used it for two months, including a trip to Asia, proving it superior to that standard-issue case in every way. High grade materials, tough bottom, tight zippers and a lot of flexibility make it versatile. I have not subjected it to very much rain but it looks like a waterproof design. I looked at famous brands from Helsinki, Geneva and those popular ones seen on college campuses. This was the best at a very competitive cost.
But first three quibbles.
As others note, zipping the main compartment takes two hands if a few wrist flicks don?t get it going. Bean could put a little tab or loop right where the zipper meets the back panel: something to grab as you pull the zipper away from its fully open position. Awkwardly pinching the zipper or grabbing cloth to get it started runs counter to the many other well designed features.
The top hand hold between the shoulder straps is too small. My 20-year old Bean Continental Rucksack has a better one. Ends sewn only 2 inches apart make it too narrow. The 3/4 inch web material is folded over so the thinness and that spacing makes it squeeze and cut into fingers when hauling it for more than a few minutes. Sew it in on the outboard edges of the shoulder straps to give it a 7 inch stance and use a wide piece of web. A lot of comparable packs overmold a plastic grip on that web. Think of it as a brief case when grabbing here and design a handle to acknowledge that.
The last issue is a plus and a minus. This is a tall, deep pack. I like that. But it sits about 18? tall making it hard to fit under an airline seat. Some flight attendants might insist you stow it overhead, an issue on full flights. The height also means it doesn't slide easily under my leg. I like to tuck it behind my calf when stuffed into a van or seated in a crowded airport waiting area.
On the plus side, the pack holds more than my old case while offering great organization. The top pouch holds the things I need to grab quickly. The side pouches swallow up all stuff road warriors need. The pen organizer puts a neat row of needed tools at hand. Some say the sides crowd the main compartment, but not me.
The nicely padded laptop sleeve measures about 10 inches wide, right for keeping mid-sized computers off the ground. Sewn onto that, an easy access kangaroo pouch for a glass-faced devices runs about 8? x 9? with a protective fleece liner.
As mentioned this pack has depth. A few points: I use freezer bags to organize lesser-used accessories deep in the bottom. Some stiff foam padding cut to size makes a self-leveling false floor, for a flat surface above the storage space. It protects my file folders and keeps stray items from falling all the way down the well. The depth also helps at the top. With room above the binders and brochures, one can stuff things there on the run.
Lastly, the tall cut helps keep everything close to the back for less fatigue. Others trudging through the airport have packs with tiered pouches like pyramid steps up the back of hunched over travelers. This trim unit curves across the shoulder blades like a jetpack.
The chest buckle does a fine job holding the pack on the pull handle of my roll-aboard. The shoulder straps are wide and comfortable as either a single shoulder sling-over or with both carrying the load.
A great pack in need of a few tweaks.
June 28, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by squarefootgardner My favorite backpack ever
I have owned many packpacks - and borrowed more from my kids. This is the best one I've ever had. In addition to using it every day going to work, I've also used it as my primary luggage for several major trips on 3 continents. I've owned it 8 months.
First, it looks NEAT. It comes out of the packaging looking just like the picture - 3 dimensional. I like that. It is NOT floppy. However, it is also slim on the body so looks sophisticated, which is a plus for work.
It is extremely well designed. This is particularly great if you use it all the time and are organized or systematic. It has two inside pockets - one designed for a computer, the other for a tablet. OR you can carry papers, pads, or books that you don't wanted mussed in either one.
The top flap pocket seems kind of odd until you realize it's a lined pocket for over-the-ear headphones or anything else that is 3 dimensional a bit delicate you don't want to throw into the main compartment. I also throw my keys and cell phone in there when I want to grab them fast. Good for a hat too.
There are two side pockets that look the same on the outside but are fundmentally different. The left one is for organizing pens, cards, etc. It is big enough to fit a large wallet or pocket calendar, a pencil case, etc. There's a mesh pocket for dongles. There is a velcroed ribbon to keep your cards in the card pockets and a nice key fob.
The one on the right is made for larger 3 dimensional things like water bottles or a folding umbrella. The pocket can go IN to take space out of the main compartment while keeping the silhouette smooth. It's also great for things like large hairbrushes you don't want to take up odd space in the main compartment or might be a bit damp or pokey.
There's a flat front pocket for tickets and other flat papers you need fast access to.
Very comfortable shoulder straps with a waist strap you can use or keep out of the way.
If you're going on a trip, you can slip packing cubes into it with a pair of shoes at the bottom and you're set.
Downsides: I like the deep base under the two pockets because it fits larger things like shoes. But you can lose a wallet, keys, or something else small down there. Similarly, the left side pocket is great. But it has 3 pockets that differ in depth. I've lost a pencil bag or my cell phone in the deep one, only finding it when I squeeze and feel it.
It has contrasting gray interior that makes it easier to find things - I hate black on black because I can't find anything. Some old photos show the interior as orange. I would like that better. I own several other pieces of Bean luggage with an orange interior and it is cheery and makes it easier to find stuff.
June 20, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by APerson123 Sizing Info
Reading specs and reviews before purchase I found little info on sizing/fitment of the laptop/tablet sleeves, which would be helpful to many. So...
- Laptop Sleeve: 11" wide, 13" tall (+3" to top of backpack)
- Tablet Sleeve: 8.5" wide, 9" tall (+4" to top of backpack)
The widths are with sleeve flat, so reduced in actual usage due to devices having some depth. The laptop I found to be a "tight fit" measured 22.25" in circumference (top-front-bottom-back). If your laptop measures greater than this it won't fit.
Laptops I tried...
- 13" Apple MBP (plenty of room)
- 15" Apple MBP (plenty of room)
- 12.5" Dell Ultrabook Latitude E7250 (plenty of room)
- 14" Dell Ultrabook Latitude E7450 (plenty of room)
- 15.4" Dell Latitude E6540 w/6-Cell (65wh) Battery (tight fit)
- 15.4" Dell Latitude E6540 w/9-Cell (97wh) Battery (does not fit)
As for other aspects of the backpack...
After first day it seems great overall except I agree with reviews/comments about needing to use two hands to operate top flap zipper and a bump out where the zippers/straps converge that you feel behind your shoulders. I don't think either will keep it from being a good every-day commuter backpack, but they do keep my stars to 4 instead of 5.
June 1, 2015
Rated 2 out of 5 by Skydiverkk Annoying! Don't buy if you pack a lot of stuff.
Although I do love this pack, it really annoys me. What I love about it is the way it feels on my back. It's nice and slim and has great back support. It doesn't flop like most back packs. I love that it's waterproof. However, I hate that there's no easy access to get things on the bottom of the bag. I really have to think about the order in how I pack my bag. I always seem to be having to empty the entire bag just to get to the bottom of it for my wallet. It's very annoying and frustrating!! Most back packs have a U-shaped zipper on the front that opens the whole front of the bag. The zipper on this bag is on the top. What also stinks about this bag is that it's not expandable. Although there's all these side zippers and compartments, anything you put in them bulges into the bag. So, you lose valuable space. After four months of using this bag, I can't take it anymore and just bought a different one. Going back to the old style. I thought I would get used to it but it annoys me every day.
May 1, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by VeryLongTimeShopper Great
Seems to be well built - fits my laptop and iPad with no problem and still have lots of room for other things.
March 18, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by Aretoussa OK, not great
It's an attractive knapsack, so far it seems durable.
The zippers are quite stiff to open/close, you definitely need two hands. Doesn't actually have that much space inside, it's more narrow on the inside than I expected. Would be great for a laptop, but it's not so wonderful for stuffing with gym gear, sneakers, & other daily detritus.
Upshot? It's OK, it serves my purposes, but it's not great.
March 3, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Beanytoo Good size backpack
The quality of this item is pretty good, but wish it could be slightly bigger. I use this for work, and most of my stuff fits into it well, but I could use a bit more room. Lots of convenient pockets and storage places all around and inside the bag itself. Strong fabric and decent zippers too.
February 25, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by collegeGirl4 zipper issues!
Overall a nice professional looking backpack. The two side pockets are nice but I wish they did not take up room on the inside of the bag. The biggest problem I had was with the zipper, had to fuss with it a lot! sending it back and ordered the quad. not as sleek looking, but has no fuss zippers:)
February 13, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by JWSshopper Great bag for business use
I am a 60 year old New York City commuter and international traveler and have used a backpack in lieu of a briefcase for years. Looked to change to a pack with secure padded areas for ipad and surface pro tablet. This pack looked better organized and better looking on line than the Tumi bag which retails for $475, which I had seriously considered. And I am very pleased. My only negative comment is the zippers which I think will hold up fine but wish they were larger scale with bigger pulls. Often can't open and close with one hand and they feel like they could jam. But no problems so far. Very happy and pleased with the substantial savings versus the top of the market alternative. Not a kids bag but a serious business bag.
January 23, 2015