9 smart backpacks to haul your stuff
If you’re a backpack traveller, you’re likely to be familiar with the state of turmoil known as “packing”. Either there are aren’t enough pockets to keep all your stuff, or the design of your backpack doesn’t let you organize your things properly. And at airport security checks, it becomes an annoying task to pull out the laptop or tablet.
This is why a smart backpack is essential, one with well-designed compartments, lots of pockets, a robust build that offers adequate protection for gadgets, and maybe even some add-ons, such as a built-in battery pack. Here are nine smart bags you could consider for the next vacation, or even for daily use.
Aer Fit Pack 2
$135 (around Rs8,640; shipping extra)
Made from 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon, this robust bag improves on its predecessor, with larger compartments and more pockets. The material provides enhanced resistance against tears and abrasions, which means the bag will probably last longer than the backpack you have at present. Space is well utilized, and there is focus on better organization—keys, pens, cards, and earphones have dedicated slots. The Aer Fit Pack 2 is water- resistant too. There is a well-padded laptop sleeve and a quick-access pocket on top. The front can be transformed into a pouch to store gym clothes, and a separate ventilated slot accessible from the base can be used to store your footwear (up to size US13).
$199 (shipping extra)
You won’t need a Bluetooth speaker any more if you have this backpack. The Shell has 10-watt built-in speakers that can be paired with your phone. It also comes integrated with a 5,200 mAh battery bank, and can be used for charging phones, tablets, etc. The bag has an IPX5 weather-resistance rating too, which means it can withstand powerful jets of water from all sides. And yes, there is enough space to pack in your laptop, headphones, iPad and more.
LocTote Flak Sack
$129.99 (shipping extra)
LocTote has made what is perhaps the most resilient drawstring backpack ever. It uses tech firm Honeywell’s Spectra fibre technology, also used in bullet-resistant vests and helmets, to make the bag slash-, abrasion-, and tear-proof. The material is 15 times stronger than steel. The Flak Sack also has an RFID blocking pocket that can keep credit cards and passports safe from unauthorized scanning methods that use electromagnetic fields to read data from electronic tags. The bag is water-resistant, and has a coating that makes it stain-proof. There is a reinforced leather strap with a brass combination lock, so thieves will find it hard to pull out your valuables.
Belkin Active Pro Backpack
This is made of nylon rated at 600 denier, so it can take rough use. A secondary padding layer between the outside world and your gadgets offers added protection against impacts. A knapsack-style opening for top-loading makes it easier to put in, or take out, things in a crowded place. You get multiple pockets too, and there is more than enough space for your laptop, iPad, headphones, etc. The design too is rather easy on the eye, and the colour will make it acceptable for office use too.
Swissgear Wenger Ibex 17
This is the bag to get if you prefer utility over style. Made of a polyester and vinyl mix, the Ibex 17 is as rugged and long-lasting as they come. There are multiple small pockets for things such as keys, pens, USB drives, cards and iPod (you can even thread your earphones through the outlet in one pocket). There are two large compartments, one of which can hold a 17-inch laptop. An airflow mesh on the bag’s back padding is very useful if you have to carry it for a stretch. With its utilitarian design, the Ibex is not exactly a looker, but its ruggedness and space offer value for money.
The Delsey Esplanade can hold a 15.6-inch laptop with ease and is available in three eye-catching colours—navy, anthracite and black. The bag is made of polyester that is rated at 600 denier for strength and weight, making this one of the lightest backpacks around. However, it doesn’t compromise on space, and there is one large pocket, along with smaller pockets inside, for safely storing other valuables.
$399 (shipping extra)
Watson claims to have used data to understand how professionals actually use their bags. And what they have eventually made is a backpack that doesn’t have zippers, but a rather neat push-button-to-open mechanism with a discreet theft prevention lock. There are separate compartments for your laptop, iPad and other things. It is made of waterproof ballistic nylon, has a solid interior shell and silicone lining around the edges. The hard-shell structure offers good protection for the gadgets inside.
Roadgods The Ghost
This backpack stands out instantly. Made of water-repellent and abrasion-resistant material, it has unbreakable fibre reinforcement on the inside—so the fabric will not tear or collapse with rough use. The compartments can only be accessed from the side that will be secured to your back, so thieves will find it hard to take out valuables. The Ghost can hold a 15.6-inch laptop and has integrated cable organizers for the earphones and charging cables you may take along.
The Travel backpack is available in two colours: space black and Morandi grey. The black variant is made of military-grade Cordura fabric, which is 10 times stronger than canvas in resisting tears and cuts. The grey variant is a mix of polyester and nylon, and is inspired by Italian painter Morandi’s colour preferences. It has a capacity of 20 litres, and can hold a 15-inch laptop too. There are 12 internal pockets as well as a separate compartment for laptops.
*Prices may vary