I bought this bag as a deal, with the hopes of having my first backpack as a comfortable experience whilst bagging me some style points (knee slap for the pun). After what would be 2 hectic months kicking off 2017, I can definitely say this made the transition from a messenger to a rucksack seamless.
A E S T H E T I C S
From the outside, the Case Logic DLBP-114 14-inch backpack looks clean, compact and minimal as quilted padding on the front and on the straps accentuates the overall simplicity whilst providing some more cushioning. The heavy-duty zips for the main and front areas are rugged and the likeliness of it breaking on you is extremely rare. From my experiences with your average harsh British weather, rain hasn’t seeped in and wet my books yet (physical reading books > kindle/e-reader), so that’s a huuuuuuuuuge plus.
You get two pockets on the side which just about fit a phone, snack or a 3DS for the gamers. And yes, I’ve tried cramming in water bottles but no, it doesn’t work. This is probably the huge downside of this bag. But on the bright side, there’s a really smart strap-management system with velcro to fasten any excess strap bits left, securing it safely after adjusting the straps to your heart’s content.
In terms of design, it boasts a good look despite the tacky logo on the strap that I just had to cut off. The material itself is PVC free – making it environmentally friendly, no harmful chemicals released – which is always a yaaasss from me.
THE NITTY GRITTY
Well it can fit any normal 14-inch laptop, with extremely thick padding for the laptop compartment that allows space for books or a tablet to fit in. You can put a lot in here, and the outer section seems like it can hold much, but it’s bigger in the inside, so you can throw in a pencil case or a jumper.
I feel like that’s the theme of this bag: smaller on the outside, bigger on the inside. Just like the TARDIS.
The front section has a nice few pen slots and compartments perfects for keys and travel cards, with lots of room underneath for snacks. There’s also a zipper compartment that fits an iPad Mini quite snug. There’s a lot of options to suit your general style, so experimentation is the best way to handle this bag.
For the few months of using this backpack, I’ve noticed how light it is, it keeps a low profile and is a joy to carry. And I haven’t had to worry about its durability because I feel a sense of rigidity within the structure of this bag. I’ve also realised that I’ve had to change the way I pack things because if it’s out of my sight, it’s in someone else’s. This means that the top microfibre pouch, although pretty cool, was used as decoy otherwise it would just be bait.
It fits nicely for me so it isn’t dragging around and smacking my butt rhythmically whenever I walk.
I feel like the side pouches are a little too small for anything similar to a water bottle, but is perfect for the “littler” things, like a cereal bar or a 3DS. I would’ve liked a water bottle pouch but it would probably stick out like a sore thumb.
Speaking of things sticking out like a sore thumb, the decision of putting the Case Logic logo on the strap itself is disgraceful. Whoever declared that in HQ has to be fired. I had to cut that and the tag that pokes out of the main compartment which gets the zippers stuck. It is a real pain but it’s nothing that a knife and a little bit of rage can’t fix.
Another downside would be that the bag does deflate if you don’t fill up the bottom part enough. The backpack is made so it expands adequately to whatever you put within, but putting a little can give your bag a rather “meh” look. That’s literally the only way I can explain it; basically it just ruins the aesthetics.
This bag has to be filled up to the brim if you want its full potential, but the issue here is that you can only put so much before it stops expanding.
The main pros are its slim profile yet good compartmentalisation, but you can only fill so much.
I think that the Case Logic Backpack is a great backpack. It’s light, compact and perfect for a light commute. For work, I think this will definitely serve “the bare necessities” whilst looking stylish af. However, let it be known that this is only for packing light. You’ve been warned.