Thursday, September 16, 2004

Best backpack ever

Occasionally I am so impressed by the design of some normally-mundane object that I just have to tell people about it. I have just purchased a backpack that I now must tell you all about. First, I'll start off by saying that it's a fairly expensive backpack—a little over $100—but I can see already that it was worth the money. I'm just going to list the most awesome things about this backpack; there are many more than I will bother listing.
  • The whole thing is water-resistant. It wouldn't survive being submerged, but it should take quite an aqueous pounding. In addition, it has a compartment on the bottom that contains a built-in stretchy poncho that you can pull out in case it's pouring and you can't find any shelter that will keep it dry indefinitely.
  • The main compartment of the backpack is heavily padded. You could probably put sensitive equipment (i.e. an expensive camera and lenses) in here and kick the backpack without fear.
  • The backpack comes with an absurd number of foam and velcro dividers in two different sizes. You can then adapt the main compartment to fit pretty much whatever kind of expensive equipment you want. It comes pre-configured to hold two SLR cameras and a half dozen extra lenses, plus filters and other accessories, but if you needed to take around a GPS unit, a seismograph, and lots of other crap, it could easily accomodate you. The walls are thick, so regardless of what you put in it, the backpack shouldn't lose its shape.
  • It also features a separate laptop compartment, padded just as well as the main compartment.
  • You can't tell it unless you know where to look, but a heavy-duty sleeve can be extended from the back to hold something big that doesn't fit in the compartment, such as a light tent or a tripod.
  • There are, of course, places for pens, paper, water, food, etc., just like any other backpack. If your water spilled in this compartment, it can't get to the laptop slot or main compartment.
  • It's comfortable, and it's got all of the usual ergonomic and technical features of a good backpack.

I'm extremely pleased with it. The only disappointing things are the price (but it could have been worse) and the fact that it's merely average in appearance. Then again, if you're going to put more than $5,000 worth of stuff in it, maybe it's best not to attract attention.


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