I had a chance to take a laptop bag by Altego™ for a spin and found a lot to like. The Altego brand launched a couple of new bag lines: the Coated Canvas Cyan series and the Channel Stitched Ruby series. There are backpacks, messenger bags, slipcases and sleeves across both style lines. Altego was kind enough to send me a Coated Canvas Cyan backpack.
First thing I did when I got the bag was to explore all of its nooks and crannies, opening up every zipper and flap I could find. The backpack comes with a dedicated, cushioned pocked at the back for your laptop, and it had more than enough room for my 17″ HP laptop. I even managed to squeeze another 15″ laptop in there with it, but I wouldn't recommend it. It's really only meant for 1 laptop. You do need to lift one of the shoulder straps out of the way to maneuver the laptop in and out of the sleeve.
The back of the bag is nicely padded with a waffle pattern so you won't feel any of your laptop poking you in the back, and while I would have liked to see more padding on the straps, I didn't find it dug into my shoulders. My other laptop bag has that problem but after examining them both, I think it's because the straps on the Altego are wider.
How about other compartments? There is only one other main zippered compartment in front of the laptop section that zippers almost all of the way down. I had wished there was one other large compartment, but this one has smaller pockets – a fairly large one that can hold a nice sheaf of papers, 4 approximately 4″x4″ netted pockets, some pen pockets and 1 cushioned pocket that is sized to fit an iPad (although with a shell around your iPad, it's a snug fit). This main pocket is also expandable by about an inch laterally for those days when you really need to pack that bag up for say when you're traveling.
The exterior of the bag, like the name suggests, is a canvas type material and you can tell just by the feel that it has a fair amount of water resistance to it. I had to test it out, so I put the flap under the tap in the sink and turned the water on fully. The water just ran off, with no perceptible water penetration. This was not a scientific test, so don't go tossing your bag in the bathtub!
There are also some nice subtle features to the bag such as the self-closing twist buckle; just push the flap closed over, and it twists 90° and locks in place. There is also a small zippered pouch that sits in front of the bag and underneath the flap, so you can get to it without having to open the whole bag.
What did I found was missing? Wire runs for a music player and/or phone and side net pockets to hold a bottle of water or soda. But those are minor quibbles for a nicely styled bag that comes in black with cyan interior and accents. You can pick up the 17″ Coated Canvas Cyan backpack for as low as $46 on Amazon.com. Their other products are also available there as well as other outlets such as Walmart, Tiger Direct and more.
We would like to thank the good folks at Samsill and Altego for providing the review sample and their patience. Stay tuned, as they also generously donated a couple of messenger bags for Gizmos for Geeks to give away!
(Disclaimer: Gizmos for Geeks received a complimentary review copy of this product.)