Standard Laptop Daypack - Backpack
Product Review (submitted on July 15, 2010):
I've been through a lot of backpacks in my life and having them rip and fall apart is always a frustration (especially if your laptop takes a ride when a strap breaks). I don't normally buy "high end"/high priced stuff but for Duluth pack products I make an exception because they really are worth the money. You'll easily get a lifetime of use out of it, between the tough construction and lifetime warranty.
The addition of laptop pocket was a really nice update to the classic Duluth Pack backpacks, which is why I choose this over the other ones. As an artist, I've found the padded pocket (or even the space between the pocket and the back of the backpack, when I'm carrying a laptop) is really handy for sketchbooks, it keeps them from getting beat up and dog-eared. The smaller front pocket has spaces for writing utensils and other small items.
The only thing I would change is to add a clip somewhere inside the backpack to attach key rings (so they don't get lost within the bag). Or even a loop you could optionally hook the Trigger Snap Keyfob to, I had a cheap backpack in the past with one and it proved to be a handy feature for travel but it's not a big enough concern to effect my review, just a thought for a future improvement. On that note, you can attach keys to the zipper pulls but it's not as secure as having them inside the bag.
Another noteworthy point is the tough design and double zipper pulls make this nice for backpacking/traveling in foreign countries. I was in Europe a few years ago (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) and the pick-pockets were very good at opening backpacks undetected. Most people place money and other small valuables (cameras, passports, etc.) in the small front pockets which are the easiest to access without being noticed in a crowded place such as a big city or subway station (where you are pushed up against people). With the double zipper pulls you can put luggage locks on the backpack and keep it secure. Another technique I experienced was backpacks being slashed with a knife to remove the contents (again, this could be done undetected), the prey were always those cheap nylon backpacks. I'd like to see someone try and cut open a Duluth Pack! If you aren't convinced come handle one in the store or check out the backpack mauled by a bear the shop has on display.
I've had this backpack for over a year and other Duluth Pack products that are about 20 years old. Duluth Pack has even offered to service packs I was given/inherited, so it's nice to see the warranty stays with the product and you won't have to rely on keeping track of a receipt for years to come. None of these products have let me down and I highly recommend them, whether you're exploring the world, camping, or just hauling stuff to a workplace or school.