Searching for an attractive laptop/gym bag.
June 1, 2009 7:55 AM   Subscribe

This public transit commuting young woman needs a bag that will fit her 15 inch Macbook Pro as well as gym clothes/sneakers.

This public transit commuting young woman needs a bag that will fit her 15 inch Macbook Pro as well as gym supplies. Duffel bags are out of the question. Would prefer it not to be a backpack.
posted by metamush to Shopping (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I prefer messenger style bags because they allow you to quickly shift the bag from the back to the front without having to remove it. This is handy in public transit settings where you may find yourself needing to shift your bag out of people's way, etc.

My personal favorites are Timbuk2, only because my bag has been through hell and back and still works well after five years of hard use. They have other styles as well and laptop options.
posted by wfrgms at 7:59 AM on June 1, 2009

I love this bag. Can't recommend Timbuk2 enough. This particular bag might be a bit small, but they have similar ones that are larger.
posted by lunasol at 8:03 AM on June 1, 2009

I'll also recommend Timbuk2. Not that there aren't plenty of other good companies, but I once carried my laptop through very heavy rain in one, with no umbrella, and it emerged bone-dry, and if that doesn't make me loyal nothing will.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:03 AM on June 1, 2009

Yakpak has some great messenger bags and totes. I've bought several bags from them, and have been pleased with how well they hold up. I have a small snug laptop case for my 13" Mac, and then put it in a larger tote. Brooklyn Industries has some great totes too. I've also been happy with their quality.
posted by kimdog at 8:06 AM on June 1, 2009

The chrome soma is great.
posted by umbĂș at 8:07 AM on June 1, 2009

I love my Nanda bag. The front pocket for laptops is padded and large enough for your machine, so you can fill the inside with your gym stuff.

The short shoulder strap works for me, but could be a little restrictive compared to messenger bags that you can sling across your body.
posted by juliplease at 8:38 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]

Nthing Timbuk2. I have a classic medium messenger that I've loved [and abused] for years. Everything gets stuffed into it - laptop, lunch, shoes, change of clothes, library books, etc. The waterproof aspect that Tomorrowful mentioned is tried and true. Love mine.
posted by alynnk at 8:38 AM on June 1, 2009

On the messenger bag front, I have an older version of the OGIO Hip Hip and I love it. It is the best computer bag I've ever owned. Running shoes would collapse and fit in there with a change of clothes. When I travel I routinely take several big books and a laptop power supply and other things in there and it fits fine.
posted by mmascolino at 9:16 AM on June 1, 2009

"The Considerable Embarrassment" by Crumpler.

Best. Bag. Ever.
posted by cgomez at 9:23 AM on June 1, 2009

If you haven't visited eBags yet, it's time. I bought a messenger bag from them a year ago and it's held up fabulously. A billion compartments, waterbottle holder, mp3 player pocket, plenty of room for both laptop & gym clothes, plus my planner and all regular purse contents. And it's the eBags generic brand as well, so I think I only paid $45 or something at the time (on sale). Over a year later there are no rips, torn seams, or broken zippers, and the durable exterior fabric has done its work to resist staining, as well. Caveat: it's not specifically designed as a laptop bag, so I put my computer in a BuiltNY sleeve before throwing it in my bag. Oh, and I also see a chiropractor to counteract the damage I do to my body by hauling that much weight around all the time. :-)
posted by philotes at 9:23 AM on June 1, 2009

In Case has a lot of good options. I know you said no backpacks, but their nylon backpack works for carrying up to a 17" laptop in the reinforced compartment, while the front compartment expands enough to accommodate a change of clothes, running shoes, and a water bottle.
posted by lunalaguna at 9:36 AM on June 1, 2009

I think Timbuk2 bags are hideous.

I'll recommend Freitag. The Cooper or Bob should suit your purposes, as well as numerous of their "messenger" style bags. I have a Bob, Surfside 6, Dexter, Bonanza, Dragnet, and a laptop sleeve. They're all superb products. I have a 13" Macbook and it fits in my Bob, Dragnet, and the Surfside 6. I believe the 15" will go in some if you orient it vertically.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:08 AM on June 1, 2009

Response by poster: i agree with youshouldseetheother guy that timbuk2 bags can be quite ugly. keep the suggestions coming! my main priority is being able to fit a laptop and sneakers, or a laptop and my DSLR in there without being squished.
posted by metamush at 10:28 AM on June 1, 2009

I bought a Brenthaven bag when Apple released the first Powerbook G4 and the bag outlasted the computer; it's now carrying my Macbook Pro. There's a separate (removable) sleeve for the laptop and enough space to carry a DSLR or a pair of sneakers (both of which I've done) or just about anything else.

I thought about upgrading it when I got the Macbook Pro, but couldn't find anything remotely on par. Of course, it's made of black ballistic nylon so that may not qualify as "attractive." But I love it.
posted by Jeff Howard at 11:19 AM on June 1, 2009

I've been happy with the flora major from Sherpani. I got mine from REI a few years ago. It fit my macbook, gym shoes/clothes, water bottle, lunch and assorted other crap fairly easily. I really like the extra little pockets for keeping things like keys or bus pass at the ready.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:31 AM on June 1, 2009

I have this bag from Mobile Edge and I love it. Padded protection for my Macbook Pro and plenty of space for cables and books and so forth. May be a tad too narrow to fit shoes or a DSLR comfortably though.
posted by peacheater at 12:02 PM on June 1, 2009

Response by poster: wow. freitag bags are pricey. i can't drop 500 bucks.
posted by metamush at 1:32 PM on June 1, 2009

This bag has been wonderful. The amount you can put in it is just astonishing. It isn't even the largest bag in the series.
posted by jet_silver at 2:14 PM on June 1, 2009

Response by poster: Alright I think I've narrowed it down to a few finalists. Any further input is welcome

The Manhattan Portage laptop messenger bag.

The Mamba Saddle

The Pinder Giddy Up.
(would be nice if it had a shoulder strap too)

The considerable, or dreadful, embarassment by crumpler. can't tell which size i would need to fit sneaks in there. Maybe cgomez knows.
posted by metamush at 2:52 PM on June 1, 2009

The 'Considerable Embarrassment' fits my 15" MacBook Pro perfectly along with a MagSafe adapter and books on the day to day. There's a front isolated zipper section that can fit a pair of running shoes just fine and an inside section that can fit some workout clothes. If the shoes are larger than usual or you don't want a really snug fit, the 'Dreadful Embarrassment' might be a better choice. It's designed for 17" machines, but would provide that extra bit of room.
posted by cgomez at 1:59 AM on June 2, 2009

wow. freitag bags are pricey. i can't drop 500 bucks.

$500!? Which bag are you looking at?

All of these will fit your laptop: Dragnet ($210), Nightclub ($180), Lois ($210), and Bob ($190). And those prices are in Swiss Francs, which are worth less than US$.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:24 PM on June 4, 2009

« Older Hip to be square   |   Long distance pet care Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.