DAKINE 101 Laptop Backpack Review

July 27, 2008

A few months ago I was on a search for a new backpack to carry my laptop back and forth to the office. Messenger bags are nice, but they just don't do it for me. I prefer the ability to put the whole shebang on my back and huff around if need be--especially when traveling for business. My previous pack suffered an untimely demise--I forgot about a bottle of milk in a side pocket for a few days and the chunky, curdled mess oozed into most of the compartments. Yeah, it smelled. And, even after multiple washes, it still smelled stanky. Looking at the laptop-compatible packs from many manufacturers, the DAKINE 101 had nearly everything I needed in a business-friendly/campus-friendly backpack. Tops on that list was a side-loading padded laptop sleeve. Nothing is more annoying than a laptop bag that doesn't have that feature. I don't want to have to unzip my entire bag just to access the laptop. Not only does the DAKINE 101 backpack have a side-load laptop sleeve, but it's also got lots of other cool pockets and storage options to keep all your electronics cozy and safe. Here's the quick rundown: Side water bottle pocket (works great with Nalgene bottles) Organizer pocket with removable MP3 player holder, cell phone pocket and other misc pockets Side-access laptop sleeve Zippered back panel security sleeve (to keep all yer loot) Dri-Mesh back panel and shoulder straps Fleece-lined sunglass pocket Rolling access side pocket (great for accessing stuff on-the-fly 2000 cu. in. MSRP: $75 DAKINE 101 Backpack Review After a few months, this pack fits the bill. It's not perfect, but for the money, it's a solid laptop bag. For starters, the side-access sleeve works great for both my Apple Macbook and Macbook Pro 15" laptops. It will also work great for those with clunky PC laptops up to 14.5-inches x 10.75-inches x 1.75-inches. I dig the size of the large compartment--it's perfect to haul all my cycling gear, water bottles and leftovers (lunchtime staple) to the office. There's even a smaller pocket that fits my bike shoes perfectly. The pack fits fairly comfortably, but, I'll be honest, the zippered security pocket on the back panel makes things a little uncomfortable if you're going to wear this pack for a long time. Just don't shove anything that's too thick in there and you'll be fine. Good Side-entry padded laptop storage sleeve Large compartment to carry shoes, leftovers and enough clothes for a 2-3 day trip Smaller compartments with organizing pockets galore Subtle styling in black or brown keeps things low-key Love the sunglasses pocket... awesome for travel Best suited for short hauls between classes Bad Back panel and straps aren't comfortable for all-day hauls I wish it had a removable waist belt Be careful to zip up the laptop sleeve... I've forgotten and my laptop has gone for a ride... uggh Included iPod case design was already outdated when I bought the pack I dig this pack overall and find it to be a versatile and functional laptop backpack. It's perfect for both office and campus duty. With all you kids heading back to school next month, this one should be tops on your school backpack list. Buy Now: Find the DAKINE 101 Backpack

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