Ten backpacks for tech-heads
Carry on computing
Product Round-up Whether its kids heading back to school, businessmen smartening up for the autumn slugfest, or campers scraping out the remnants of various summer picnics, there are punters aplenty on the hunt for new travel apparel this month.
And while the traditional shoulder-strap design for laptop bags still adorns the city streets, those with any aspirations to look cool or thwart thieves had better opt for a backpack. Who cares if it invades the personal space of other traveller and sends small children flying with a quick about turn? Your gear needs protection, right?
Here's a look at what's out there and a handful of different designs. I don't have quite as much to pack in my bag as our man with the bananaguard, but I don't want to look like a Mutant Turtle either with a massive bulge on my back. With that in mind, let's offload some baggage.
Acme Made Union Pack
This minimalist backpack from San Francisco-based outfit Acme Made, is unlikely to satisfy teenage fashion cravings, but it's certainly compact enough for everyday use. Made from Acme's exclusive "Bombshell technical fabric" – which is apparently used for protective shelters and truck tarps – the bag definitely appears to provide suitable protection in treacherous conditions.
It'll fit laptops of up to 16in, which slot into the main pocket in a sleeve at the back. There are gaps at the side and bottom of this sleeve, though, so all it'd take is one accidentally-popped Walkers pack and you'd be left with a crummy notebook in need of de-crisping. Other than that, and the chunky plastic zips, it's hard to fault Acme Made's Union Pack, which appeals as one of the more subtle in the roundup. The pocket on the front, lined with felt for smartphone comfort, and the similarly soft tablet sleeve inside, are nice touches too.
Unfortunately, whether due to pricey rugged material, or high-esteem within the field of tech-protection, the Union Pack is rather pricey.
Reg Rating 70%
More info Acme Made
Booq Mamba Daypack
The first thing to strike me with the Booq Mamba Daypack is its sturdy shape retainability, a result of the thick side walling. This means it does stick out a bit more than others, but it's unlikely to bump into commuter faces that much when travelling on packed trains.
The natural-fibre fabric provides a stonewashed appearance, but the Daypack does look like it could get tatty quicker than your average bag. Still, coated in waterproof dye and complemented with YKK zippers, it's well constructed and shouldn't give the bag bullies much scope to pick on little Johnny in the playground.
Inside you'll find a nylon-lined encompassing sleeve for up to 15in laptops, alongside a smaller slot for tablets, a couple for mobile phones and cables, and a spacious void for anything else. A roomy pocket on the front completes the rout.
The back and shoulder straps are lined with airmesh padding, which helps towards minimising sweat patches on sticky days. It's a comfortable fit, and while the design won't appeal to everyone, the price shouldn't be overly off-putting.
Reg Rating 75%
More info Booq