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TLDR: Backpack is not worth the cost. Buyer beware.
- Comfortable to wear during normal activities
- Sternum strap has a whistle for emergencies
- Bag has a hip-strap to take off the weight from your shoulders/back
- Thick padding on shoulder straps makes it so it doesn't wear you out physically and the 'aerodynamic' back-padding lets your back breathe during activities
- Nice, fleece-lined front upper pocket is the perfect size for a smartphone + wallet (see CONS for water resistance)
- Hip-strap has no padding - just nylon webbing. Can get pretty uncomfortable with heavier packs
- Bag is barely water resistant; 15 minutes of light Pacific NW rain and everything in all three compartments were wet or damp at the very least
- Mesh bottle pockets on the sides are not durable; after about two weeks of somewhat-daily usage, mine is already ripping
And my biggest and final complaint: the bag is designed strangely, the main compartment 'seems' like you have a lot of room, until you actually fill it up. I had a lot of trouble putting a pair of combat boots + socks in the main compartment. It does not have stretching side-panels, so there isn't much room for "a little extra". If you maximize the main compartment, expect to not be able to reach things that fall down into the bottom of the 2nd compartment. This odd design really throws off the whole pack, as I find myself struggling to reach all the way down into the 2nd compartment when I have 75% of the main area full. Frequently I'll give up because of how frustrating it is.
I've not had it for long enough to speak of its lasting durability, but I do expect great things, and will update! If this book bag is able to withstand all that pressure, I'll purchase again and again. Will update
This back is is great for the daily commuter or hiker that wants to bring some extras. I usually use this bag to carry stuff for work. This bag can fit a 15.6in laptop of about 1.5 in thickness, 3-1in binders, a planner, few sheets of paper, and other small office accessories to include laptop charger.
Laptop is protected very well by the built in padding.
Large main pocket that has side bands to collapse if not full.
Durable exterior material with good water resistance.
Nice back and shoulder padding.
Personally I wish the secondary pocket extended down to the full length of the bag, but not a dealbreaker since it does carry a lot itself.
Bag does not stand in its own... has a slant that's designed to protect the laptop side closest to the bottom of the bag...so it can actually be a good thing.
Bottom Line: if you want a comfortable commuter/simple hiking bag that is durable and will hold your laptop with care, this is the bag. If you are trying to cramp your entire life in it, get a hiking bag designed for that.
The new bag - the Borealis - is a lot tougher, and provides more room for storage. Just what I was looking for