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I thought it was a little expensive for a backpack. I usually paid £15-20 at the market. I wanted something a little more durable and this had good reviews and a lot of pockets. I was a little concerned at the split between the laptop section and (what I refer to as) the "main carrying section". It seemed the amount of usable space would be reduced. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't. This backpack is well made and has a sturdy feel. I have stuffed it to capacity (and then some) with no problems. Pleased with the purchase.
This is the second Wenger bag I have had, the first lasted me 8 years.
This bag seemed at first to be the same standard I’m used to. But, after owning the bag for around 8 months, the stitching on the handles of the bag has started to undo. I’m unsure if this one will outlive the legacy of my previous Wenger product! Only time will tell.
Other than the stitching, the bag has plenty of space. As a guitar teacher that carries a lot of books around, as well as a plentiful amount of other accessories, I believe I’m more than qualified to say that the space in this bag is more than adequate.
I just wish I’d have noticed the stitching within 6 months of owning the bag, I could have got a replacement then...
I bought this particular model to replace an identical one made by Swiss Gear; I can only assume that they were acquired by Wenger, or have somehow otherwise changed name. That one I purchased in person, and I assumed that I would be buying the same item here on Amazon. While it is largely the same, there are two material changes, on slightly for the better, and one for the much worse:
For the better, a stiffener was added to the bottom of the large main compartment, and this has improved how well the backpack sits upright without toppling over. I had grown used to facing the pack toward the back of a chair when I set it on the seat, as it had a habit of toppling over and falling to the floor with the old pack. I never thought much of that as, well...backpack. But this is a nice little new touch that makes the pack more stable, which gives some more assurance when it is sitting off the ground.
For the MUCH worse, the material on the shoulder straps has been changed to something considerably more slippery. For the huge proportion of users who only use one shoulder strap at a time, this can result in the pack slipping off your shoulder and down your arm, almost always at an inopportune moment. It stays in place with a leather jacket, as there's enough grip, but for any jacket with a synthetic shell it really is a struggle to keep it on one shoulder. This is a daily struggle and a real nuisance, as now I have to cock my arm to actually hold the pack in place so it doesn't slip. This really damages the experience of using what is otherwise a very nice backpack. I've resigned myself to live with it, but I doubt I'd get another one for these reasons.
I want to confirm what others have said about this product: I bought a few over the years and quality seems to have gone down. The main issue for me was the seams on the straps, that started ripping after only a few weeks of usage under medium load. Being the stubborn type I ended up using this anyway, while the backpack slowly degraded under my eyes day after day: I'm now at the point where the top and bottom parts of the padded straps are completely disconnected and only the "shock absorbing" middle strips are keeping them from getting them loose and the backpack unusable. I'm now looking for alternatives from different brands.
I really like the design of this bag. When I received it and opened it up, it looked great. There are pockets everywhere, and it has a really good finish and smart appearance.The whole bag has a definite quality feel to it.
I basically transferred the contents of my old bag to this one, and was immediately struck by how heavy and bulky it was. With my previous backpack, I didn't really notice the weight, but unfortunately with this one it was really noticeable. So much so, that after about 10 minutes of walking with it, my shoulders were aching really badly. It seems to distribute the weight so that your shoulders take the load.
The bag is big as well, and even when it's not even half full, it is quite awkward to fit it into tight spaces on public transport. It definitely also has the 'turtle effect' - whereby you often find yourself clouting someone who happens to be stood nearby, if you turn round with it on your back.
I tried to like carrying it as much as I like the design of it, but sadly, after a few days, I just didn't feel I could go on using it. My shoulders were aching well into each evening, and it was a huge relief to just take it off and put it down rather than lug it around. I had to reluctantly send it back for a refund. There is no doubting the quality of Wenger bags, but this one was just too heavy to comfortably use.
This the second of these bags I've bought, this being for my son. I bought mine many years ago when Wenger first started to make bags and after using it constantly for close on 12 years offshore and onshore daily, it's still in good nick. So much so my son who now also works offshore borrowed it for a time and I had a hell of a go at getting it back.
So, I've bought him this one. I did so because he also bought a SwissGear bag but it seems that the newer ones are simply not made to the same standard as the older ones. A bit cheaper but no where near the quality.
It's easily big enough to take the largest laptop you want to hump around in a dedicated soft pocket. The main compartment is easily big enough to swallow gym gear and a boiler suit at the same time. The best bit is the top pocket which is big enough to jam all sorts of things you use on a daily or travel basis reducing the need to root around in the rest of the bag.
There are a number of other compartments which will allow even the most OCD of us to separate out all of the gubbins such as hard drives and paperwork.
Bottom line is that after more than a decade of use I have not found a better general purpose backpack.
Good looking rucksack, with a real feel of quality about it. I use it for work, there are loads of compartments that easily swallow up my work stuff (laptop, charger, phone, mouse, notepad etc.) as well as personal items (eReader, phone, headphones, scarf and gloves in the winter as well as other various bits and bobs) - with enough space over for my sandwiches. Because you can fit so much stuff in there, the tendency is to have more than you need which can make it heavy (not a fault of the rucksack - more my lazy stuff everything in approach).
Laptop-wise, my 15" wide screen Dell laptop just fits. Anything bigger and you wouldn't be able to zip it up.
Overall - a great rucksack so long as you don't have anything bigger than a 15" laptop.
I've just bought the second of these rucksacks. I got the first one almost five years ago, and in that time it's been in daily use. It's smart enough to take to meetings with CEOs, and tough enough for epic taxi journeys across the Middle East.
My job is a management consultant, so I spend an awful lot of time away from the office. This bag gives me the space to carry everything I need to be productive, anywhere in the world. There's space for a laptop, of course, but also space for power cables, phone chargers, adapter plugs, A4 files and report printouts, pens, Kindle, umbrella... the list goes on and on.
I can fit in a change of clothes for overnight trips if I need to (and still get it on a budget airline as hand baggage), or I can load it up with enough material to run a medium-sized training workshop. After all that, it is still a comfortable carry (and so much easier than a trolley bag when you're moving fast).
And it isn't just a big bag - the space is really well organised with loads of pockets so you can arrange things according to how often you need them. It is truly a mobile office.
The zip on my previous bag finally broke, which was a shame, but after nearly five years of hard daily use I can't complain. I had no hesitation in getting another one straight away. I can't recommend it enough. Once you've used one of these, other bags just seem flimsy and small in comparison.
Just got this bag after looking at Swissgear options to replace my ageing Port aspen backpack. When opened this thing just screams pure quality. Materials are strong and rugged and leaves no doubt that it will last for some time. In my opinion this is definitely worth the extra money over rival brands. If you're in the market for a durable laptop backpack this should be in your shortlist.
I have now been wearing this bag out and about for the last 48 hours in London and one thing about this bag that is quite useful is the "air flow cushioning" which helps your back to say cool. I initially though this was just a bit of a gimmick but after wearing this in the middle of a London summer I can honestly say that it does help considerably, my back does not feel as sweaty as it did when wearing my previous back pack.
We had read a lot of review's before purchase and found them very positive and useful. This bag lives up to all the positive reviews. The top pocket is so so so useful for travelling by train or plane... it's my favourite thing about the bag. It has enough room for an overnight / two night trip and is very comfortable.
UPDATE : One year later and the stitching is coming undone around the top pocket and zip. I have had to restitch the bag twice in two different spots. I would have expected the bag to be more durable. The sewing and stitches on the bag were not designed to withstand normal wear and tear. Another 6 months later and had to do more repairs. All around the same spot on the top. Seems like the stitching cannot handle the rucksack being carried by the top strap.