May 1, 2010 3:13 PM Subscribe
Beyond JanSport: another "tell me about backpacks that meet my absurdly precise specifications" question. This involves a 17" MacBookPro, a bicycle, unpredictable weather, and my lower back.
posted by escabeche to shopping (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
For years I've been carrying all my stuff, including a 17" MacBookPro, in a basic $40 JanSport. In many ways this backpack has served me very well. But I do find that a) I feel a sort of tingling pain in the small of my back when I carry a lot of weight in the pack, especially if my computer's in there; and b) it's not as waterproof as I'd like; since I commute by bike, I really need to be sure my laptop won't get wet even if it rains on my pack for twenty minutes.
The zipper on my bag is damaged beyond repair so some action must be taken; I can mail the bag to JanSport and get it fixed, or buy a new one. My ideal bag would
* comfortably hold a 17" MacBookPro in a soft case, plus a book or two and a manila folder full of paper, and in a pinch hold bulkier things like lunch or a change of clothes;
* feel good on my back even with the above stuff inside;
* be waterproof enough so that my papers don't get wet after twenty minutes in the rain (the current bag has a flap of fabric that folds over the zipper, but this doesn't quite do it);
* fit under an airplane seat;
* be suitable for carrying on my back while I ride a bike.
I don't need it to be suitable for going hiking, and I don't need a million compartments (one of the four on my current bag has been empty since the day I bought it.)
For my needs, should I be considering an expensive bag like the North Face Surge or the Brain Bag, recommended on some other threads? Or is there something JanSportty that will do the trick? Or should I just get this bag, which has served me well, repaired?