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Color: Black/Gray|Size: 16-Inch|Change
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on June 25, 2013
I just received the Targus Drifter II Backpack. The Targus Drifter II feels like it might be of a lower quality construction, but I'll update this review after I've had the chance to use it on the road.

My previous backpack is the SwissGear Computer Backpack, which I love, since I'm an IT guy and I travel a lot for work. I need storage for the laptop, it's charger, mouse, Nexus 7 and it's charger, a backup power battery for the nexus and my phone, medicines (vitamins, ibuprofen, peptobismol, etc), pens, usb 2.5" hard drive, flash drives,

The reason I bought the Targus Drifter II was to find a similar backpack, with the same amount of pockets but that doesn't make me look like a turtle. The Drifter is considerately slimmer in profile (See my side by side comparison, in the customer images).

The Targus Drifter II Backpack is an almost identical copy of the SwissGear Computer Backpack. It has exactly the same pockets (minor difference in organizational layout in 2nd zippered compartment from the front), and does have 1 additional pocket, almost hidden in the lumbar region that touches your back when you wear the pack.

Pocket 1 - small zipper in the very front, good for small items, like earbuds, flash drives, business cards, gum

Pocket 2 - 2nd Zipper from the front, small pocket with organizing pockets and pouches inside

Pocket 3 - 3rd zipper from front, thin pocket, good for a tablet, or a small notepad.

Pocket 4 - 4th zipper from the front, the work horse of the pockets, it is divided into 2 section and has a zippered mesh pocket that lives here (I keep meds here), this is where I keep my spare hat, water bottles, bandana. If I had a larger laptop power supply (brick) it would also go here. You could stuff a couple days worth of rolled up clothing in here if needed.

Pocket 5 - 5th zipper from front. My quick stash pocket. This is a great spot for items you need to stow or grab quickly. I use this in the TSA security line to stash my wallet, phone and watch before going through the metal detector, so I can grab them quickly after I make it through.

Pocket 6 - 6th zipper from front. Laptop sleeve and small zippered mesh (this zippered mesh is great for Macbook air power supply and a wireless mouse, plus a few other smaller items.

Pocket 7 - lumbar pocket. Haven't figure this one out yet, but will find it out next time I'm at airport.

Side pockets (2) - spacious, I keep chargers and usb cables here for phone and nexus 7 tablet. Also battery backup for phone and tablet, mifi router, playing cards

outer mesh side pockets (2), corporate badge, sunscreen / umbrella, harmonica

This is a great bag and I hope that my concerns about ruggedness and quality prove to be unfounded. I will update if any issues or cool findings develop!
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on September 6, 2011
First I pretty much live out of my backpack, so its used all the time. I mostly use either a bicycle or a motorcycle to get myself around with the backpack holding everything I need. At a minimum I usually have a laptop and a change of clothes with me among other personal and work things in the backpack. I also occasionally travel and like being able to also fit everything I need for the trip in the pack so I don't need to hassle with checking in bags. So I want something that can work as a duffle bag, briefcase, laptop case and small suitcase.

I really liked my previous backpack which was a Rosewill RBG-1701BP. After more than a year of solid use it started fraying around the shoulder straps and worse developed a hole in the bottom corner of the main compartment. I would have just rebought the Rosewill, but unfortunately it doesn't appear to be available anymore. So started the search for a replacement. Basically it was going to be a comparison against the Rosewill. Out of all the backpacks I considered the Targus Drifter II measured the best. Here is what was important to me and how the Targus measured up.

- I'm 6'3" and want the bottom of the pack to ride more on my lower back, not the middle of my back so I wanted something at least 21". The Targus meets the length requirement, however when fully loaded up it didn't ride as comfortable as the Rosewill. Basically the weight road differently on my lower back than the Rosewill. I believe the reason is because of 2 things that Rosewill did a little different in their design. One is the way Rosewill layed out their back pads with the side pads going the length of the backpack. The Targus has shoulder pads with a big pad across the bottom. The second and more important reason is Rosewill adds structure stiffness within the back part of the backpack which causes the weight to be more evenly distributed along the side pads which again went along the entire length of the backpack. It also built a stiffness into the front of the backpack. This is also really nice when standing the backpack up. The Rosewill stands on its own. The Targus will fall over if nothing is inside to keep it up. This would be my first suggestion to Targus for feature improvement. By the way the Rosewill stiffness added no noticable weight to its backpack.

- From a pocket perspective, they are pretty much comparable. Both provide extra padding for the laptop which I like although the laptop pocket is padded a tad better on the Rosewill. Targus does have one extra purse like pocket that I really like because of its convenience right at the top of the pack that Rosewill didn't have. A definite point for the Targus side.

- The shoulder straps on the Rosewill were thicker with more padding which made them more comfortable than the Targus shoulder straps, however that is one area that also started fraying on the Rosewill. The Targus straps aren't that bad and over time I've become use to them.

- Last obviously durability was important. I definitely didn't want a flimsy nylon bag. The materials used by Targus looks and feels durable. I like the water resistant bottom. Something that was missing from the Rosewill. So far I've been happy with how its holding up for the couple of months I've had it. We'll see how it wears over time.

** This is an update after using the backpack for a few months. The lack of stiffness in the bag has turned out to be a bigger inconvenience than I thought it would be. The bag folds over on itself with out a laptop in it which is annoying enough I would actually downgrade it a star. I would now not just recommend it as an improvement for me, but a requirement. The bag really needs some sort of rib support along the length of the back. Outside of that the bag is still wearing good.
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on December 13, 2014
The straps started breaking down after a couple of weeks and some of the inside pockets began to tear. If you're going to carry a moderate number of books & a laptop around frequently, I'd recommend getting something sturdier.
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on May 15, 2013
The design of this backpack is EXCELLENT. There are an ample number of pockets in different sizes and configurations to hold all of your stuff. The pack is very comfortable and great for commuters and people who walk and carry a lot of things. However, I have concerns about the durability and quality of the materials. The strap on my pack has begun to fail after only 3-months.

I work in IT in downtown Chicago and walk to work every day; this backpack holds all of my equipment, parts, laptop, iPad, and keeps everything organized well. The design looks very good, especially in person. The straps are very comfortable and the backpack feels sturdy. The pockets are very well designed with plenty of locations to store different items. My 15" MacBook Pro Retina fits perfectly in the laptop pouch with room for a slightly larger computer (I have the 16" variant). The back panel is comfortable and rests at just the right spot on my lower back (I am 5'10"). The straps are springy and curved in a way that distributes the weight very well on my shoulders, and this pack has been much more comfortable carrying a lot of weight than with other backpacks I have used. The carrying handle is wire reinforced plastic strap that should hold up quite well. The bottom is made of a nice stain & water resistant material (this is very important for me since I take public transit and often set my backpack on the floor).

The back panel has divided padded sections which allow a good airflow, however, the one at the top may be irritating for some people. When I first got it, I noticed the pad pressing on the lower part of my neck, but once I got used to it it wasn't a big deal. Not necessarily irritating, but different. The side water bottle pockets are made of a stretchy neoprene material that holds well enough, but I feel they aren't deep enough. Tall bottles and an umbrella tend to feel unsecured and wobble more than my liking. If they were deeper this would be much less of an issue.
So I've had this backpack for about 3 months and the stitching in one of the shoulder straps has already come apart. The trim on the strap has come off about 3 inches, and connection between the elastic top part and the fabric lower half is about 1/3 frayed. This is a pretty serious problem since the entire strap is likely to fail eventually. I regularly carry a lot of weight in my bag so I don't know if this is a design problem or just an individual failure. My last Targus bag lasted for well over 5 years with almost identical usage patterns. I will be contacting Targus and will update my review based on their response and the performance of a new bag.
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on September 22, 2011
I am currently going to school and also need a laptop bag... This backpack is AMAZING the only thing it does not have is a spot for the kitchen sink and an mp3 player pouch on the strap. It has several pockets and a hidden one inside the lower back cushion. Airflow is GREAT and while it does take some getting used to you only feel a portion of the weight!!! I would buy this thing for much more than i did!!! If you need to carry books and a laptop this is the bag! if you need just the laptop and accessories than look elsewhere. If you need more i would go with the XL. Currently I have 3 textbooks, 3 notebooks, A Wacom tablet (in it's case), a 15.6" laptop, several accessories, a change of clothes and a hoodie in mine and it's still comfortable!!! The only time i notice the weight is when getting on/off my bike or when putting on/removing the backpack!!!
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on April 26, 2015
I bought this bag a little over a year ago now (as a work bag so it gets a lot of use) and there is enough wear and tear (more tear than wear) that I now need to replace it. If I knew how to sew or knew someone that could I could no doubt get my bag repaired with ease and use it for several more years but I don’t so that’s not an option for me. I don’t want to get too long winded with this review but I’ll try and hit all the main points.
#1 Large freaking bag. Tons of usable space. Great use of mini inner pockets (usually at the top of main pockets) to take advantage of those wasted upper areas that usually just holds air. Best combination of laptop compartment, main compartment, front compartments that I’ve found in any bag thus far.
#2 Comfortable to carry. Good straps (although that’s where the ‘tear’ eventually took place). The elastic actually really helps to keep them from ‘digging’ into your shoulders. The handle is tough and well anchored. I have used the handle to move my bag around, fully loaded, and for over a year it’s held nicely, just a little cracking in the plastic. For future improvements on this I’d suggest going to a more malleable rubber with cable reinforcement or a sturdier metal handle.
#3 It looks good. At the least it is not an ugly bag.
#4 My only con is the middle pocket. The pocket between the main compartment and the front ‘pen’ pocket. I’ve found this pocket to be fairly worthless since it directly competes for the space used by the main compartment. It would almost serve better to cut the material out between the two pockets and use the zipper as a smaller access for the main compartment…or just do what I have and not use it. Either way.

I guess if you want to add to the con pile I’ll talk about the wear and tear. So, on my bag the stitching on the shoulder straps is giving up the goose. The fabric is fine and if I can find someone that knows how to do it I’ll see if they’ll stitch this bad boy up again. One of the metal eye hole grommets has popped out, big deal. The picture of the circle of melt is due to a stovetop accident….don’t ask. It didn’t go all the way through and that was about 2 months after I got the back so it’s still plenty sturdy.

All that said, I took some pictures to try and give a good idea of all the freaking pockets this bag has and some idea of where the wear and tear is likely to occur over time. Oh, and one picture to the Drifter II next to the Oakley Kitchen Sink and all the stuff I put in each to compare. I ultimately sent the Oakley back and ordered another Drifter II. Enjoy!
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VINE VOICEon July 29, 2011
Color: Black/Gray|Capacity: 17-Inch|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This backpack will be my preferred (over my trusty attache) business travel bag with or without my need for a computer. Why, because you can easily fit a lot of "stuff" in it and carry it without inducing back strain.

I am a backpacker and have hiked extensively in the back country as well as climbed several 14,000 ft. peaks. I provide this as background since I am very familiar with backpacks.

The Targus Drifter, first and foremost, is sturdy yet lightweight, comparable to any great backpack. And the Drifter has many areas for storage, including water or drink bottles (those you would buy while traveling not the large bottles used in the back country). It also has a great ergonomically designed shoulder strap and an optional "lifting" strap (for use when having to remove your backpack for security, etc.)

My plan is to use this immediately as an alternative to my attache which does not hold my computer securely. Until now, I have had to use a separate bag for my computer and this has been getting more difficult with increasing airline restrictions on carry-on bags.

My 17 inch computer fits snugly and securely in the pack due to a padded compartment.

Great for students, those who travel extensively and need their laptop or iPad, and for those who want to wander into the wilderness with their computer.
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on January 26, 2012
So this backpack was my second choice as I already used the first one, Swiss Gear Ibex 17-Inch Notebook Backpack.

I thought this backpack was great as it has lots of storage area. It has cushions at the bottom of the backpack to protects everything inside from water, or any liquid that can enter from the bottom of the Targus Drifter II Backpack Designed for 17-Inch Laptop. The skin on the outside is water-resistant, 2 or even 4 water bottle holder, 2 outside and 2 zipper covered. (This can hold other stuff like AC Power cables as it is very roomy. The strap cushion is stuffed but not as much as I would like. There is enough room to hold multiple of items, books, laptop, another holder inside to keep ipad or even another laptop inside the main area. The top zipper area inside's that is under the handle is microfiber or similar material enforced.

Also the height of this backpack is similar to a double-edge sword. The height makes it harder to open and close. Also keeps it unbalanced and the tops of the backpack flops over.

The cons of this backpack are
The cushion inside for the laptop aren't as thick as I would like unlike the Swiss Gear Ibex 17-Inch notebook Backpack.
The "Designed for 17-Inch Laptop" or "Room to Fit All" does not fit all, my 15.3-Inch HP wiggles as the strap inside does not reach the inside of the sticky material for the strap.
The cushion for the backpack, the area where you would wear for this backpack, isn't as thick as you would like. Which also is a problem because the adjust clips always readjust itself when I would wear this backpack.
The backpack zippers are also a problem, sometime it would get jammed because the backpack is too tall so you would actually need to unzip it straight or stay aligned with the pathway.
This backpack also does not stay up straight with or without a spine (Laptop/ or any books inside). First day I left it on my desk, the backpack flipped and rolled over... My laptop was inside and would not start for a few hours. Safely for the laptop
isn't as well as the Swiss Gear Ibex 17-Inch Notebook Backpack.

I'm going to repurchase the Swiss Gear Ibex 17-Inch Notebook Backpack, as I had to return it once. Still was one of the best backpack I have ever used as a student, or even for technology.

Swiss Gear Ibex 17-Inch Notebook Backpack: 15 x 9.8 x 18.9 inches ; 3.8 pounds
Targus Drifter II Backpack Designed for 17-Inch Laptop: 14.6 x 7.9 x 20.1 inches ; 2.8 pounds

Update 2/24/2015: I graduated with school of 168 credit hours so you guys know I used this back everyday, I'm still using this Targus bag and the only problem that is visible is the edge of the right strap (the one i grab all the time) stitches are loosen, the strap itself is still connected tot he body of the bag, everything works as intended or as well as the original day as I got this back. Updating my review to 4 star.
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on January 25, 2013
The backpack shoulder strap has lost it's stitching and is coming apart.
It's way too expensive for the low quality. expected better from Targus
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on January 28, 2012
This backpack fits my Asus Laptop G745SX-BBK8 perfectly. I order the Case Logic 17" Laptop Backpack based on reviews that it would fit a 17.3 screen, but it did not (by 2 or 3 inches). I returned it and ordered this bag which was heavier than I wanted but the laptop does fit. It has lots of compartments, more than I needed, but if you want a backpack to carry everything, this is it. I will give the dimensions of my laptop for those who are wondering like I did if theirs will fit: 17.3" Display; Product Height 2.4"; Product Width 16.5"; Product Depth 12.8".
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