Boston area laptop bag store?
August 21, 2008 7:24 AM   Subscribe

I need a durable waterproof laptop bag for under $100, and I need to buy it in the Boston area today.

My son is off to college, and for some reason we haven't had the chance to go laptop bag shopping yet. No time to order online plus he would rather see it before we buy one. I would like to go with him today and buy one in the Boston area (preferably north of Boston rather than the city if that is possible).

He wants a messenger style, and it will need to be durable as he is a well known destroyer of bags. It needs to hold a Dell Latitude D630 and a selection of textbooks (one or two at a time I guess). It would be great if it was waterproof to withstand the New England weather. And hopefully around $100, but i would be willing to invest more for one that will last.

So does anyone know of a good brick and mortar we should go check out later? I'll check back if anyone needs more information to help out.
posted by genefinder to Shopping (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If your son's fashion sense runs more towards rugged+sporty rather than black nylon corporate, then you might want to check out the Reading branch of REI.
posted by bl1nk at 7:33 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you're willing to go as far north as Portsmouth, BaileyWorks makes great bags. My wife has had one of their laptop bags for several years and it's held up great, looks great, and was very reasonably priced.
posted by dseaton at 7:48 AM on August 21, 2008

I have a Tumi laptop bag, holds my macbook pro and several books just fine. I'm not much for the "black nylon corporate" usually, but I do adore this one. Their website lists a couple different places.

I also recommend Crumpler bags, though I think the only place that carries them is in Cambridge, Hunt's Photo/Video, and they may be only camera-type bags.

The real shame is that the very best bags ever were made in Cambridge, CourierWare. Now online only, but man, those things are rugged and spacious.
posted by tip120 at 7:57 AM on August 21, 2008

The Timbuk2 latop messenger bag is only $110 on the Timbuk2 website, so probably that much or less locally. These are waterproof and durable -- at least, mine has lasted for many years.

These are widely available through the metro area. The Apple Store used to carry Timbuk2 bags (don't know if they still do). There's a store on Mass Ave in Cambridge, up near Porter Square, that used to carry the full line of Timbuk2 bags.
posted by larsks at 8:01 AM on August 21, 2008

the microcenter on memorial drive (near the BU bridge) has a lot of laptop bags, although they tend towards the boring businessy looking ones.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:23 AM on August 21, 2008

You can also consider getting a regular messenger bag and a neoprene laptop sleeve to keep inside it if you can't find the right "laptop bag."

I love my Timbuk2 bag.
posted by Brittanie at 9:38 AM on August 21, 2008

Building on Brittanie's suggestion, buy a honest-to-gawd courier bag from Courierware on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge (last time I visited) and then pick up a laptop sleeve for it anywhere. The bag will last forever: I got mine in 1994, I think, and the only sign of wear is that the shoulder strap is only beginning to fray (which I will get them to fix when it gets too awful. Someday.). Good people, great products.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:09 AM on August 21, 2008

as tip120 pointed out, the Courierware store on Mass Ave. in Harvard Square no longer exists, and your only option for buying Courierware products is to do so online.

Ace Wheelworks in Davis Square is a bike shop with one of the larger selections of messenger bags in the city; though they tend to sell sturdier, premium bags like Baileyworks and Chrome which will start at or above $100.

In general, while I also prefer the "use a messenger bag with a laptop sleeve" solution; it's relatively tough to find a decent option for this that is both cheap and sturdy. The best, most bombproof messenger bags will start at more than $100, and I would be skeptical of the claims of those who say that they can sell you a durable bag for less money.
posted by bl1nk at 10:32 AM on August 21, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions so far. A couple of good options to check out tonight. Any more??
posted by genefinder at 1:54 PM on August 21, 2008

Response by poster: As a follow up, we went to REI in Reading and bought a Timbuk2 laptop messenger bag and as a bonus, it was 25% off this weekend.
posted by genefinder at 1:20 PM on August 22, 2008

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