ECBC, based in Southern California, designs some of the best computer-oriented backpacks and messenger bags I have come across of late. Dan Curtiss, the creative genius behind these top quality bags, has designed for REI, Samsonite and Mountainsmith, among other popular brands. ECBC bears testament to his attention to detail and rugged, durable design quality.
The ECBC Lance Daypack ($150.00) is an outstanding backpack, and is the perfect hybrid of heavy-duty construction and fashionable style. It displays meticulous attention to detail, and its fabrication is worthy of a top-notch outdoor outfitter or sporting goods store. If ever there was an all-purpose laptop and tablet backpack, this would be the one.
I've done a lot of backpacking and camping throughout the years and I have an eye for the rugged qualities one might expect to see in outdoor adventure gear. When I came across the ECBC booth at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, I was instantly mesmerized. Looking at the ECBC product line, I suppose most folks would be impressed with its style and elegance. However, my eye was immediately drawn to its bags’ amazing construction, with reinforced stitching and sturdy fabrics.
Not knowing who the designer was behind these deceptively durable bags, I had to stop at the booth to take a closer look. Once I asked some questions and learned about the experienced travel-bag designer, Dan Curtiss’ involvement, then it all made sense. His industry experience shows in every nuance and stitch of the Lance daypack and throughout the entire ECBC product line.
One of the major differences between computer cases is the quality of materials used. ECBC’s Lance is constructed of 1680 denier and 840 denier high-density Ballistic nylon, which is a thick, tough, and extremely durable synthetic fabric. Denier refers to the weight of the fabric, and the higher the number the more resistant it is to abrasion and tearing. The Lance daypack is literally on par with gear that's designed for roughing it outdoors, definitely not your average MacBook backpack.
The Lance weighs 3.4 pounds and measures 19.4 inches high, 12.13 inches wide and 9.23 inches deep. It boasts tear resistant and water repellant exterior fabrics, and has a lightweight, rip proof interior lining. This pack also has a TSA compliant laptop compartment as well as a secure and padded internal iPad pocket. The laptop compartment is uniquely adjustable (using a foam insert to take up extra space, for use with a smaller computer) and fits a wide range of lap top sizes, from the 13-inch MacBook Air to the larger 15-inch MacBook Pro, and can accommodate up to a 17-inch laptop.
Additional features of this exemplary pack include a fleece lined iPhone/sunglasses pocket, an adjustable sternum strap to help redistribute weight off of your shoulders, a padded, tuck away waist belt to offer extra support for heavy loads, and two handy hidden water bottle pockets on the sides.
As far as I’m concerned, ECBC is already a contender for best MacBook/iPad backpack of the year. The quality is unrivaled and the attention to detail is much appreciated.