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Color: Black/Gray|Capacity: 17-Inch|Change
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Showing 1-10 of 2,310 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,454 reviews
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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77 comments| 320 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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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33 comments| 95 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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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33 comments| 109 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 16, 2016
I bought this Targus backpack to replace my previous Targus backpack that - after 11 years - developed an issue with the zipper.

Within a few weeks of receiving the new Targus backpack the fabric around the zipper frayed resulting in two holes. I have never seen anything so poorly made. I am especially disappointed because my last Targus Backpack lasted 11 years!!! AND, you only have a limited time to return for a refund (which I missed). I should have returned this backpack right away - when I first laid eyes on it - knowing that it would 'probably' fall apart.

I am attaching photos
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0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 15, 2013
Summary:
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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55 comments| 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 22, 2014
Would not recommend to anyone, this started falling apart after 6 months, won't buy again i though different about targus product but reality crushed me
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0Comment| 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 18, 2015
I first purchased this bag from a local retailer about 2 years ago. I use it for carrying my Lenove W530 laptop, power supply, papers, cables and some light weight tools for my business. The first backpack failed in less than a year. Targus replaced it BUT - I had to send the backpack to them. Targus does not offer a warranty program where you can give them a credit card number and they will ship you a new backpack when they receive the return credit credit your account. Cost me almost $20 to ship the backpack to Targus. In the meantime I purchased another Targus backpack on Amazon. That bag was defective and I returned it to Amazon at the direction of Targus Customer Support. Soon third backpack began failing in more places than my original. The original had a seam separate on the right strap where it attaches to the top of the bag. My current bag has separated seams in three places - at the top of the bag for the small compartment that is for carrying a wireless mouse and USB sticks, second is on the bottom left side when two different materials meet and third is inside the bag, it is the pouch that holds the laptop. I've purchased Targus products for years and beat some of them to death, slamming them under airline seats, over head bits, tossing them in my car, dropping them and just about anything else you could do to a backpack short of total destruction and they have all meet or exceeded my expectations. I view backpacks as good if I can get two years out out is, three years is excellent. However I am no longer a fan of Targus, which is disappointing to me, since I once truly liked their products. The issue I have is with the quality of their workmanship. Design is top notch as is usefulness. I need backpack I can depend on. My dilemma is do I send this back for warranty? Will Targus replace the backpack a second time or do I go at it with some strong nylon tread and repair the seems myself. I'm leaning towards a self repair. The cost of shipping it back and then waiting for the return is too long to be without a bag. I gave this product three stars because of it's overall design and usefulness but could not give a five star rating because of the quality issues. Hop you find this informative when looking for a serious backpack that lasts.
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on April 27, 2015
This product arrived on time; it had all the bells and whistles promised, but there's ONE GOOD REASON FOR OTHERS TO NOT PURCHASE this backpack: the stitching along the sides of both shoulder straps (uppermost section, where the straps are affixed to the bag). Several days after using the pack (without it being packed to capacity), the stitching started to become undone. Also, the carrying handle (a heavy, somewhat pliable plastic) by approximately the sixth month of use.

Though I should've simply contacted Amazon or the manufacturer, requesting an exchange or a refund, I never got around to it. I've had the pack for about two years now, but have rarely used it. Nonetheless, I'm finally doing something I should've done as soon as I noticed the problem: post a review, a caveat to preclude the likelihood of any other consumer buying this product. It may be that other people, who purchased the same model, haven't had this experience. That's to be taken into account, but I personally know at least one person who also purchased this backpack. Though his problems arose a few weeks after owning it, they were of the same nature.

Aside from the problems I've detailed here, the product (from product seems rather well manufactured.

I've posted photos of the problem stitching, as well as the cracked handle.
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on December 17, 2014
This review is from a student's point of view, not a traveler's. I use the backpack for carrying the following items: 16" laptop incl. a huge power supply brick, a wireless mouse, 2" binder, a couple of notebooks, 1 or 2 textbooks, Ti-89 calculator, 1-liter water bottle, a travel mug, other school supplies, food, and occasionally a retractable umbrella.

Here is what you see in most backpacks - a gazillion pockets that extend all the way down to the bottom of the backpack. That means once you fill up the main compartment tightly, most of the other pockets are rendered pretty much useless because the main compartment is pushing everything out. So you end up with everything stacked on the bottom of the backpack, while the top half of the space is completely wasted. Perfect examples of such wasteful designs are the Targus XL, CityGear, and Matrix backpacks. I hated them as soon as I laid eyes on the pocket design.

And then there is the Drifter II backpack... with a total of three pockets located up high. The biggest one is right above the main compartment and it's a perfect fit for my Ti-89, wireless mouse, and a mini-stapler. The other two are mesh pockets - one in the laptop compartment and one in the main compartment, both of which are useful.

On each side of the backpack there is a tall solid pocket, and another mesh pocket attached to it. On one side I carry my travel mug in the mesh pocket, and on the other side I have a bunch of supplies. The laptop compartment fits my 16" laptop perfectly, as well as some papers, maybe a few letter size manila envelopes. The main compartment holds a 2" D-Ring binder, a couple of notebooks and at least one textbook, and also my 1-liter bottle (the bottle is little wide for the side mesh pockets). My power supply brick goes in the pocket in front of the main compartment. The smaller front-most pocket holds all the smaller school supplies.

I haven't seen a laptop backpack that utilizes space more efficiently! One that comes close is SwissGear Synergy backpack http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NONHYY/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_19. It has the same exact pocket placement but it is smaller.

Here are all the backpacks I've tried, and found inferior to the Drifter II based on pocket design and space:

Carhartt 10032102 Legacy Standard Work Pack, Carhartt Brown
Dakine Campus Backpack, 33-Liter
eBags eTech 2.0 Macroloader Laptop Backpack (Onyx)
eBags TLS Workstation Laptop Backpack - Blue Yonder
High Sierra Swerve Backpack
Oakley Men's Backpack, Black, One Size
OGIO Renegade RSS Day Pack, Large, Black Pindot
Samsonite Luggage Tectonic Backpack
Swiss Gear Maxxum Notebook Backpack
SwissGear SA1923 ScanSmart Backpack
SwissGear PEGASUS
SwissGear Blue Ibex 17" Computer Backpack
SwissGear Synergy
SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack
Targus Demolition Backpack Designed to Fit up to 17.3-Inch Laptop
Targus XL Backpack Designed for 17-Inch Notebooks
Targus RG0322 5.4 Matrix Notebook Backpack
Targus CityGear Chicago Backpack Case for 16-Inch Notebooks
Victorinox Luggage Architecture 3.0 Big Ben 17 Backpack

Feb. 2015 Update

Bad news. After only a few weeks of using the backpack, its shoulder straps started coming apart. More specifically the stitches where the narrow bottom straps are inserted into the wider top straps came apart. After that the shoulder straps seemed to be holding on, and the rest of the stitches never showed signs of weakening. It seems the weight of the backpack is not well distributed between the various stitches, so one of them was bearing most of the load.
I'm currently waiting for a replacement from Targus.

Before I had this backpack, I was carrying the same exact load/weight for several years in an old Targus XL model. It seems the newer models are more about flash than function. Now I'm using a SwissGear Synergy backpack which seems to be holding up very well to the same exact weight even though it is smaller. I wish the Drifter could carry the same load other backpacks can. Other than that it is a great backpack.
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on August 28, 2015
At first I was very happy about this backpack, it's big and fits everything I need. I'm able to put an MSI Dominator GT 72 into the laptop slot just fine, along with my wireless mouse, ps4 controller, and other cords that I need. I also have my school supplies inside, like binders and notebook, calculators, pens/pencils etc. Two water bottles on each side because I spend all day at school (8/9am - 7pm) this thing is FULL! That part brings me to my next point.

The bad part to this backpack is like other people have said, the stitching, and a little more I've found personally irritating. I've been using this backpack for 4 days (beginning of day 5 as of writing this review), and already I've noticed the stitching on the right shoulder strap coming loose.
So I'm becoming worried that this will not even last me the semester before it falls off my back and my laptop breaks inside. There is just so much reinforcement that I didn't expect it to start to fall apart so easily, or so fast. I have this backpack full, and it's heavy, so I need reliable durability...

Another negative is that the straps, no matter how loose or tight I let the backpack be, digs into my arms and armpits. I am soar from just walking around the university campus, and to and from school from home (a 20 minute walk). The tops of the straps are comfortable enough but I'm really hurting from the bottom of the straps where they end and turn into the adjustable part digging into me.

So in short:
Pros:
-Fits everything I need
-17.3" gaming laptop fits nicely
-Tons of compartments for organized people (like me)

Cons:
-Stitching immediately coming unthreaded after only a few days of use (I noticed on day 2 of use)
-Bottom of straps dig into your arms while heavily loaded
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