Help me find a new laptop bag, mefi
June 5, 2013 6:19 AM   Subscribe

I have a much-loved camera bag. I love the fabric, the way it feels to wear it and the fact that even when full it doesn't feel terribly heavy. I'd love to find a laptop bag that isn't a camera bag that's of a similar design and material, and has just-as-good durability.

The camera bag is a Think Tank Retrospective 10. It is, without any shadow of a doubt, the best camera shoulder bag that I've ever owned. It carries a DSLR, several lenses and accessories, along with an iPad and a moleskine notebook. When I don't need the camera, I can take the inserts out and just carry the iPad, notebooks, etc. in it. The only problem is that I can't carry a laptop in it when I need to.

I need a bag that will take a 13" MBP with room left over for notebooks, cables and paraphernalia, and for a small camera like a Fuji x100. I'm looking for something that's the same kind of tough canvas, doesn't scream "I have bags of money! Rob me!" and has a really comfortable strap that I can sling across my body. Bonus points if the strap can be made extra-long - I have an enormous ribcage and it makes most messenger bags sit uncomfortably high on my hip.

Budget-wise I'd like to spend < £100 on such an item, though I could stretch to £150 for the right bag.
posted by gmb to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've got this guy. Hand-stitched in Pittsburgh by a small outfit, water-resistant lining, super soft and nigh indestructable material, rugged as hell, lots of pockets and nooks without being obnoxious about it, super long shoulder strap. It's one of those things that looks ordinary, but once you pick it up and start using it, you notice the quality of it immediately... much attention was paid to the small details.

You will need a laptop sleeve, tho... one isn't sewn into the bag. I've been using a $10 waterproof one I found at an overstock retailer for my MacBook Pro 15". It holds that and a Kindle and an iPad and a phone and chargers for everyone and a document folio and some magazines and a few tools and there's room left and it doesn't even look particularly full.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:42 AM on June 5, 2013 [6 favorites]

The Retrospect 40 from Think Tank is their proposed solution. I agree with you that the Think Tank bags are the bee's knees.

Otherwise, consider the recently redesigned Crumpler bags. They no longer have quite so much of a noticeable logo, and they hold a ton.
posted by blob at 7:13 AM on June 5, 2013

San Francisco has Rickshaw Bagworks; their laptop bags go for $160 US.
posted by madcaptenor at 9:42 AM on June 5, 2013

The STM Scout is what you need. It's sized for a 13" Macbook, made very well (at least my older model is. The pockets are well-placed and the whole bag is very thoughtfully designed. It's easily the best bag I've ever owned, and I've had it for about 3 years.
posted by 4th number at 10:54 AM on June 5, 2013

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