Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Bikes: 2011 Cannondale Supersix 5, heavily upgraded 2000 Trek XO-1, Specialized Carve Expert 2013, 89 Trek 330 FG conversion, unknown 80s Basso road frame frankenbike
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I use a Osprey Stratos 24, but at $80 it's not especially cost effective. The big feature over less expensive packs is that it has a frame and the pack is suspended off your back with a mesh that is both comfortable and very cool. It's also got an integrated rain cover. It's a little small sometimes, but there are larger versions. I bought it because I do a lot of work as an outdoor educator and thus use a daypack a lot. There are lots of options out there and I'm not saying Osprey is the best, although they do have pretty much the best warranty (they will fix it, no matter what, forever).
I do think there's a real advantage to a pack with both waist and sternum straps because they help stabilize the pack while riding.
My experience is that dedicated laptop compartments are not very useful. Instead, I recommend you keep using your current Tom Binh thing, or possibly a thinner neoprene sleeve. I use the inexpensive neoprene incase sleeve for my Macbook and while I don't baby it and it shows, it works fine for me.