January 23, 2009

My sack

I had to leave my wife's backpack in RVA over thanksgiving, trading for a $10 pack with a bigger central pocket from my dad. It was terrible and smelled like cigars.

I was looking for a new backpack. It needs to carry one laptop, DSLR, water bottle and additional space for misc stuff / books / sketch pad / food. If there are two slots for laptops that would be grand but I recognize that's a niche need and can live without it. When I travel I take a backpack with laptop and travel amenities and a seperate bag for camera and that's a hassle. If I can combine them into one pack it would make everythign easier. I also drive a moped so transporting all my gear in one pack would be a fantastic boone.

I was briefly interested in military backpacks, I figure the military could offer something rugged and they use laptops from time to time, right? I was able to find ALICE and MOLLE style packs locally but they were more oriented to camping than tech, no surprise there. No dice on the ILBE in town. Ruling out the military line puts me in the prosumer grade equpment.
  1. The leader has been this Tenba Gen3 for $172. 
  2. The Tamrac 5549 is in second but it looks like the camera section is camera only, when I'm not carrying the camera I'd like to be able to utilize that space for somethgn else.
  3. Finally the LowePro CompuRover for $250. This is really geared toward professional photographers, it has a mount for a full size tripod.

After I purchased a friend suggested a first responder pack aimed at Fire and EMS. This would be a good option but for the price.

The winner is the Synergy. The price is right, and it has lots of space inside. Two main compartments, the main also having a padded area for laptop. Six pockets accessible from the outside and another two inside along with a few mesh pockets. It has a place for cards which I put my new business cards in it feels like it was actually designed by an engineer, as though they wanted to make a quality item.

I only have a few complaints and if I had design control I would've probably removed one or two pockets but it's not too bad. There is no place to put pens; I like to carry a pen and sharpie but there is no specific place fo these, I fit them into the pocket knife section. The chest strap is non removable, so either you use it or it flaps annoyingly and gets caught.

Now I need to make some protective fittings for the DSLR but there's plenty of space for it and I enjoy crafts.


kevin said...

I have to say, I like your sack. And this post. But TPIWWOP

Greg said...

My current backpack has everything you outlined, including space for a second laptop (even padded), side slots for 2 water bottles, plenty of zipper space, etc. I got it at Office Max for $60 (ish) 2 years ago. Not trying to say it's better, but it gets the job done for under $100. Haven't used the headphone slot yet, but it looks useful--keep your ipod in a small compartment on top and feed the headphones thru this little slot... even in rain, keeps everything dry.

Sandy said...

I wish I'd talked to you about this first, Greg. This pack was less than $100 even with shipping to the islands.

Mine also has a hole for the ear phones and a special place for music player. I'm a little jealous of the 2nd laptop storage but mine has it too, just not as padded. You must post the brand.

Jessie removed the chest strap and it helps immensely.