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Old 02-14-12, 02:09 PM   #1
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Need a new backpack for school

Hey All,

Up till now I've been using a jansport backpack while biking. I use it in conjunction with my Tom Binh Brain Cell for laptop protection.

I'll be needing a new one son since this one is running out o time (4years+ of use).

Since you'll ride bikes more than I do, I was wondering what is recommended in terms of backpacks (or messenger bags?) that can carry laptops too.

Keep in mind, I'll be needing some space since I'll be riding to and from campus with the days worth of materials most of the time.

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Old 02-14-12, 02:41 PM   #2
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I have both and IMO a backpack is much better than a messenger bag as it stays put in the center of your back and evenly distributes the weight. In warm weather it can get hot and sweaty under the backpack. There are versions that have ventilated back pads that help with this to some extent. Check the following for some examples:

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Old 02-14-12, 04:29 PM   #3
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I have a couple of Jansport Big Student backpacks. They seem to work fine and their multiple pockets have worked well for carrying laptops.
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Old 02-14-12, 08:43 PM   #4
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I use a The North Face Surge backpack that has a computer compartment. I haven't riden on the bike with it but I travel with it and use it for work every day for the last few years and it still in great shape.
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Old 02-14-12, 08:52 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 02-16-12, 12:22 AM   #6
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Jansport makes some really good backpacks. I thought along with Cutco cutlery and Zippo lighters, they're one of the few products that actually have a life time guarantee. That being said I love my Wingnut adventure pack. I don't even use my Ortlieb panniers. Biking specific backpacks really do have useful features. Maybe Jansport makes a biking backpack?
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Old 02-16-12, 12:41 AM   #7
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How big is the laptop?
What else besides the laptop that you need to lug around with you?
Do you need it to be waterproof, or merely water resistant?
How much you willing to spend?
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Old 02-16-12, 05:10 PM   #8
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Since you have a Tom Binh already, I guess money is no object. Check his website and see if he's come out with something that works with your present needs.
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