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VINE VOICEon June 23, 2014
Color: Blue|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
For many years, I carried a sturdy laptop bag with all my IT devices in it. It has served me quite well but I had concerns about back problems with it being just an over the shoulder bag with all the weight on one size. I wanted to try a backup for this needs and I have to say, the Five Start Ergo Backpack earns its five stars. :)

I was initially afraid of not having as much storage but no worries at all. You have a small zipper pouch on the front and inside, it is divided so you can put smaller stuff on the pouch. Then, there is a much smaller zipper compartment above that and it is perfect for jump drives, a stylus and other smaller devices or connectors. VERY NICE. The main pouch contains a mildly padded area for your main device (in my case, Surface Pro 3) and it fits perfect. It also contains a Velcro strap to keep it a little more secure. The main pouch is also very deep so perfect for power cords, game controllers or as second laptop/tablet.

The backpack is also quite comfortable and easy to put on and remove. High marks for the nice padding on the straps.

I absolutely love this backpack.
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Color: Blue|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I’ve been looking for a new backpack for the past couple of months and when I had the opportunity to try the FIVE STAR ERGO SIDEKICK BACKPACK I decided to examine it. This backpack is designed so that you can transport a laptop if you would like. Currently, I don’t have a laptop computer. However, I have used this backpack to carry around a portable DVD player and it did a good job at protecting it. The shoulders feel soft and provide a great deal of comfort even when transporting a portable DVD player, some DVDs, several books, notebooks, pens, a banana, a sandwich, and a water bottle. I can’t vouch for the long term durability of the backpack as I’ve only had it a couple of weeks. However, it seems to be made from relatively durable materials and has held up well during the excursions I have used it so far. I also really like the colors: the backpack is mostly black, but is highlighted by a bright color of blue on the sides and down the middle. Overall, so far, I have found FIVE STAR ERGO SIDEKICK BACKPACK to be a lightweight, but durable backpack that has met my immediate needs.
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on August 27, 2015
We have had this bag for 5 school days and the right strap is torn and frayed. I have a 10 year old daughter who is very gentle on her things and this is unexpected. We have backpacks from previous years that are still in great condition, that only cost $10.

It is utterly ridiculous that this bag is ruined after 5 days. We bought this bag to accomodate the use of a 5 Star binder (trapper keeper type) because it is too big for her other backpacks, but I am not sure this is the right option.
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on October 18, 2014
So far so good! This backpack is large for my 10 year old, but it holds her netbook, books & gym clothes. We like that the straps cover the zipper, so nothing will fall out if it isn't zipped properly and no one can unzip it while it is on her back.
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VINE VOICEon July 3, 2014
Color: Blue|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This backpack is a good option for someone who routinely carries a lighter load. It's made of a lightweight nylon material that is sturdier than it appears to be at first glance. There's a cushioned compartment for a laptop or tablet, a handy zippered pouch for a phone, several interior compartments to stow smaller items and an exterior mesh pocket that holds a water bottle securely. The wide straps are adjustable and padded for comfort. Structurally it's well put together - the seams are nicely sewn and the zippers are sturdy.

This pack is sufficient for my purposes. I normally haul around a tablet, my work out clothes, a water bottle and a book, as well as some smaller items. It may sound like a lot, but the weight rarely goes over 5 pounds. This pack is perfect for that, and I consider it a good value in the $30 price range.

Now if you're someone like my son, who routinely lugs around 25+ pounds of books and assorted stuff, then I'd probably steer you towards a more heavyweight bag (and a heftier price tag). And realistically, no matter how "ergonomic" the design, loading yourself down like a pack mule descending the Grand Canyon is going to wear on your back.
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on October 2, 2014
Overall this is a decent backpack but only a month after purchasing the should straps have torn and frayed where sewn together. I had hoped this was a fluke and wanted to try a replacement but it only has a one month return window and it just expired.
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VINE VOICEon July 8, 2014
Color: Blue|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This backpack is great but a little different than what I'm used to. It seems to be well made and will hopefully last a while. My 15" laptop fits in the laptop sleeve inside great. There seems to be enough padding to protect it. I also really like the smart phone pocket in the front middle. I have perfect easy access to it without having to rummage around larger pockets. I know it won't get scratched since it fits in there perfectly.

The shoulder straps are the part that are a little different and I'm not sure I like them. They actually go over the zipper enclosure of the largest pocket of the backpack. This means that in order to open the backpack and remove items, I have to somewhat flip the straps and move them out of the way. I'll see if the system grows on me, but I'm not sure it will.
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on June 19, 2014
Color: Blue|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
At first glance, the Five Star (no, calling it Five Star isn't enough to make it a five-star product. Nice try! ;) Sidekick Backpack looks flimsy. That's not quite true, as a closer look will tell you. The seams are well-sewn and things seem well-put-together in general. I am worried that with use, some of the edges will start to fray, but that has not happened yet.
There's ample room for your things, unless you're an outlier. For the everyday laptop user, you won't find too much to complain about in terms of space. There's a side pocket for bottles and the front pouch is roomy. I'm not too happy with the design of the handle, however. Seems like a lot of work to answer a question no one was asking. The blue straps pass over the main section of the bag so that the points of pressure, carrying the bag is much higher and back than a conventional strap. It makes it awkward to hold and maneuver the bag. The padded section for carrying a laptop is a little skimpy and the material covering the bag seems cheap.
An adequate 3 stars.

*Update: I have now used the backpack a few more times and I am unhappy with its usability, starting with its strap design, which made little sense in the first place, but now I've found actually impedes use. Storage both in the main compartment and in the front pouch is sloppy and that feeling of cheap manufacturing, it's spot on. Down to one star.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon June 17, 2014
Color: Blue|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The backpack is approximately 19 inches tall by 13 inches wide, is lightweight yet well padded, and attractive. Several family members of varying sizes and I were able to adjust the backpack so that it fit comfortably. It has 3 outside zippered pouches:

The first one is about half the height of the backpack (about a foot wide by 8 inches tall), and contains a couple of small stitched compartments that would hold an upright pen, a zippered compartment that would hold keys and change, and a 9 inch wide by 6 inch tall pocket open at the top.

The second zippered pouch on the outside is about 4 inches wide by 8 inches deep. I'm not what you'd put in this one, maybe a drink or your cell phone.

Finally there is the zipper that runs the from the base of one side of the backpack to the base on the other side, going over the top. Inside is a large pocket 12 inches wide by 12 inches tall, with elastic at the top. There is a strap from the very top of the backpack that secures this inside pouch with via a patch of Velcro on the strap and pocket. You could secure a laptop or tablet inside this pocket.
There is a handle attached to the top of the two backstraps, which is handy for picking it up. There is also a loop on the upper back for hanging the backpack up.

One "feature" I don't understand is that the backstraps are attached in front of the largest zippered pouch. In my opinion, this makes it difficult to easily open the rear zippered compartment enough to extract large objects (books, laptop, etc.) In other backpacks I've owned, the straps are secured behind all of the zippered pouches. All I can think of is that it might secure the contents more tightly to you in the event you're jogging or biking.

Overall, this is a lightweight, sturdy, attractive backpack. Four stars.
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Color: Blue|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This unique design is not an improvement to the classic backpack. You place items inside the main pouch (under the wide padded arms) and flip the arms over the zipped-up pack. Yes, it's good that it looks secure, but what about the traditional small compartment that's still exposed? An even smaller zipper pocket is above that (it's just the right size for popular smart phones).

However, my main concern is that the design poorly distributes weight for medium-heavy and heavy loads. There's a ribboned loop on the front of each arm strap for one to pull down in order to help relieve the weight. They can only do so much and then you're stuck with constantly puling at your pack. My teen son especially dislikes the fit/ feel.

There's only padding for the wearer's back and arms. There's a laptop compartment that we can't use anymore because padding (on the bottom "floor" of pack) doesn't exist=no protection when setting bag down. I could also feel my lightweight (15 inch) laptop's bottom keep hitting the small of my back (below the back padding) when walking.

The overall look and feel of this backpack is cheap and the design makes it a burden to wear for any good length of time when carrying (a weighed) 5 lbs. or more. Unfortunately, this weight is nothing close to what most students have to cary these days...

I give it an extra star for the smart phone pocket and bottle holder.
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