By Dig Om on Fri, 09/07/2012
I really like the company Incase, I've reviewed their products in the past and have felt like they always make quality merchandise. So I was looking forward to trying out the latest Incase iDevice carrier, simply called the Compact Backpack.
This backpack definitely leans more towards the urban adventurer than the wilderness explorer (I'll also be reviewing some of the better rugged, heavier duty iDevice carrier bags too in the coming weeks so stay tuned.) but for the price and for the quality of craftsmanship for the student, business person or teacher to whom it's targeted, this pack is hard to beat!
The Incase backpack is a feature-rich solution for anyone looking for a secure and protected means by which to tote their iDevice around, with plenty of room for extras. In fact, the bag is listed as being able to accommodate up to a 15" MacBook. The backpack has one heavily padded, internal, rear sleeve designed to carry a laptop, but in my testing, was used for my Lifeproof nüüd encased iPad, and a second sleeve which could be used to carry a caseless iPad or books, notes, discs etc. Forward of the rear sleeves, is a large compartment that can easily store any number of goodies, from a fall jacket to groceries, to heavy school books or your external disc drive, the Compact Backpack, while relatively small, compared to what’s available on the market, will provide ample space for most casual users to comfortably carry whatever they might happen to need for the day.
One of the first things I did when I started using the pack was to get it wet. I literally, put it in the sink and ran water over it. It passed the "30-second water test" wonderfully. Not a drop of liquid made it through the nylon or zippers to reach the inner compartments. So for those of you looking for a bag that you can use through the coming fall and winter seasons (or anyone living in Portland) you can rest assured that this bag, while not advertised as waterproof, has a solid level of water resistance that will keep your personal belongings and electronic gadets dry on those wet rainy days to come.
The inside of the pack is lined with a plush faux-fur material that won't scratch your shiny surfaces and adds an elegant feel to the interior. Also inside on the most forward panel, are little nylon pockets made to hold things like pens and business cards, keys and flashlights, or whatever sundry nick knacks you like to have handy.
The outside of the bag also has the standard extra pockets for your charging cables and miscellaneous accessories. On the front of the pack is a zippered pouch measuring about 6” x 6”, with an additional mini (5” x 6”) pocket situated on the top of the bag near where the padded hand hold strap is. There is also one other discreet zippered pocket off to the right side, where the lower part of the shoulder strap joins the main body of the backpack.
The padding on the back of the bag is well designed to provide lower lumbar cushioned support as well as adequate ventilation between your shoulder blades. The straps also feature the same wicking padding so that moisture will be carried away from your body, keeping you cooler and your clothes drier.
Another good quality of the Incase Compact backpack is the fact that all of the internal seams are well reinforced. This isn't some bag that's all about looks with little substance. No, this bag not only looks good, but as is the case with all of the Incase products I've come across, this pack also provides a reliable and sturdy construction, designed to last not just a school year or a season, but for many years of dedicated use, with proper care.