I have tried for three years to like the Command TSA-Friendly Messenger Bag from Timbuk2, which I (used to) use most days for work. It has a lot going for it, but the metallic hook and loop closing system just bugs me. Plus, it’s kind of bulky, and I’d rather have a backpack.
Within one day of using Baron Fig’s new Canvas Classic Backpack, I’d found a new bag, and haven’t changed since.
Baron Fig really nailed its goal of “minimal design focus[ing] on the basic essentials.” It’s got:
- a padded pocket for a laptop and/or iPad (I easily fit both at once)
- a big main pouch
- two side pockets for water bottles, granola bars, apples, coffee mugs, etc. (and they’re not too small to actually hold a good-sized travel mug!)
- a couple little pouches inside for notebooks, etc.
- two external pockets, for easy access to pens, wallet, phone, etc.
Check it out:
The zippers are high quality and easy to grab without looking.
Bonus: the branding on the back is minimal and not obtrusive.
I didn’t realize this until recently re-watching Season 1 of Stranger Things, but the backpack could be straight out of 1984 Hawkins, Indiana! Compare.
I was concerned at first that lack of padding on the shoulder straps would either make it uncomfortable or not able to handle heavy loads. No concerns here after a fair amount of use. (Although I still might like to see padded straps on future iterations… I’m guessing those were skipped this time to keep things simple and lower cost.)
The straps are easy to adjust for a good fit. And this is one of my biggest water bottles, fitting just fine in the side pocket:
Quality-wise, everything looks great, except I just the other day (after using this for two weeks) noticed a fabric flaw. I’m not sure if this is wear (pilling?) or if it was like this when it came.
What’s in my backpack right now?
- an iPad
- a laptop would be, but I’m writing on it at the moment
- a laptop charger
- this book (review forthcoming)
- this thought-provoking book (review forthcoming)
- this running training journal (review forthcoming)
- this notebook cover and notebooks
- some Baron Fig pens and pen sheaths
- a Blackwing pencil
- pencil sharpener
- cough drops
- a running magazine
And, somehow, it all fits really well without compromising the light and slim profile of the backpack.
I love it, especially in the blue slate color. Baron Fig has really knocked it out of the park with this backpack.
The backpack is $68. You can find it here.
AND… if you shop at Baron Fig (for anything!) through this affiliate link, you get $10 off a purchase of $20 or more, which would apply to this backpack.
Thanks to Baron Fig for sending the backpack so I could review it! This did not influence the objectivity of this review. This review will also be cross-posted at Words on the Goods.