Christmas 2018 | Frequent travelers are well versed with a state of turmoil known as ‘packing’. There are either aren’t enough pockets to keep all your stuff that you need to carry around all day, and at times, the backpacks aren’t designed in a way that your stuff can be better organized. And if you travel a lot, the problems compound themselves at airport security, where it becomes a task to pull out the laptop or tablet every single time. This is why smart backpacks are becoming essential for most of us. The ingredients of a smart backpack include well designed compartments, lots of pockets, robust build with adequate protection for the gadgets inside and maybe even some add-ons such as built-in battery packs etc. If you are convinced about upgrading your existing backpack with something smarter and more stylish, here are 9 smart bags to consider. And since it is Christmas, you might even find some great deals too.
The Explorer backpack follows up from the Travel backpack that OnePlus had earlier. This is available in two colours—Slate Black and Morandi Green. Both variants aren’t the same though, and you need to look carefully to figure out the differences. The Slate Black variant of the OnePlus Explorer is made of the military grade Cordura fabric, a material that is up to 10 times stronger than canvas when it comes to resisting tears and cuts. The Morandi Green variant is made of high-quality polyester and is inspired by Italian painter Morandi’s colour preferences. Travelers would perhaps be most appreciative of the fact that the compartment for the 15-inch laptop can be accessed from the side, and you don’t need to open the entire backpack to take that out—very relevant at airport security checks, for instance. The shoulder straps are made of Kevlar, which adds a considerable amount of robustness. There are 8 internal pockets to store your stuff, and it is actually impressive how much stuff can be packed inside the Explorer and yet be segregated and separated neatly. The design is impressive, and so is the padding all around.
LocTote Flak Sack Sport
$99 (around Rs6,900; shipping extra)
The LocTote Flak Sack Sport is one of the most resilient drawstring backpacks you will ever be able to buy. It uses Honeywell’s Spectra fiber technology, which is also used in bullet-resistant vests and helmets, for instance. The use of this technology to prepare the materials in use in the Flak Sack Sport make the bag slash, abrasion and tear proof. Now this is something that most backpacks cannot really claim, can they? One of the complaints about its predecessor, the Flak Sack was that the bag itself felt heavy, even before you put stuff in it—the new Sport is 25 percent lighter than its predecessor. The bag has a 200 Denier Urethane Coated Nylon coating, which makes this water resistant as well. Guess what, spill a drink on this, and it is stain resistant too. LocTote will also bundle a solid brass combination lock, for additional security, and a bit of the old world charm. The strength of the Flak Sack Sport comes from a material that is 15 times stronger than steel. Yes, steel.
Aer Fit Pack 2
$135 (shipping extra)
The Fit Pack 2 is one very sophisticated backpack which will surprise you with the amount of space available inside. It is made from 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon, and the biggest advantage of using this material is that it provides enhanced resistance against tear and abrasion. The compartments can potentially hold a lot of volume of stuff, including your laptop and a lot more. There are smaller pockets all through as well, for better organization of papers, pens, keys, and accessories such as earphones, cards etc. The Aer Fit Pack 2 is water resistant too, which means your gadgets are safe even if you get caught out in the rain. There is a well-padded laptop sleeve and a quick access pocket on top, among others. The front can be transformed into a pouch for storing your gym clothes and there is a separate ventilated slot accessible from the base that can be used to store your gym footwear (up to size US13) if you plan to do a workout after office. Aer Fit Pack 2 is available in multiple colour options now—Black, Gray and Navy.
Belkin Active Pro
This is a backpack with a knapsack style opening at the top, which makes it safer to open while traveling. The Belkin Active Pro backpack is made of nylon rated at 600-denier, which makes this rather capable of being able to handle rough usage. There is a secondary padding layer that sits between the outside world and your gadgets, to further protect against impacts. You get multiple pockets too, and there is more than enough space for your laptop (this can hold even a large 15.6-inch laptop), iPad, headphones and other accessories. The design too is rather easy on the eye, and the colour makes it as acceptable in an office as it would when you’re out with a group of friends.
$449 (shipping extra)
Watson claims to have used data to understand how professionals actually use their bags. One data they received was that people find zips in backpacks cumbersome, which is why the Pack has evolved with no zippers at all. There is a push-button-to-open mechanism, with a discreet theft prevention lock too. This is to go with the hard-shell exteriors. The lid mechanism works with gas filled hydraulics—called access arms. The backpack is made from 1050 Denier ballistic nylon and the straps have memory foam. This has a capacity of 19 litres. The Watson backpack isn’t afraid of getting drenched too, thanks to the waterproof ballistic nylon, solid interior shell and silicone lining around the edges.