I think back to the mid 90’s, when 90210 was as hot to the totts as MTV’s Laguna Beach. Teens were trendy, and high school was life. I did notice what was ‘cool’, and how far from it I appeared to be. I tried to mimic the hip by slinging my beige Jansport backpack over one shoulder, while pretending casual, calm, and comfortable.
Backpacks weren’t designed to be worn with one strap in use, and the other strap dangling in the wind. With ½ of the bag’s straps carrying 100% of the load, it is easy to calculate that the stresses on that single strap are double that which it was designed to accommodate. This in tern doubles the amount of pressure applied to your cool and hip single shoulder.
I’ve been called a ‘pansy’ once in a while throughout various events of my life. People like me [read: weaklings] don’t enjoy enduring pain, especially if we don’t have to. So we kept both straps on and covered our heads when the jocks in the school walked by.
The people at incase must have been in the same situation as us back in the uncomfortable or uncool late 90’s. Because today, they present us with the sling pack, a form fit solution to your Apple notebook transporting needs. Incase caters to Apple products exclusively for those who have their heads stuck in the PC world.
The incase slingpack came to me and said, “I am a new twist, on an old idea. And I’ve got some new ideas.” Then Rebecca (my iBook) told me she wanted to take a spin in the sling. Afterwards my therapist told me that objects like laptops and backpacks don’t talk.
At first glance, the slingpack looks thin, sleek, and very modern. It’s has a very simple and subtle appearance. The exterior is a rugged weave of what looks like reflective grey nylon type material. Whether it is reflective or not will be found out later on. The zippers and strap are of high quality, in case paid attention to detail on this design. A glance over reveals 2 pockets, the major and the outside quick access. Small hints of green accent the bag, this is not for those who desire flashy.
Upon further inspection, the strap and the back are lined with a wicking material that allows maximum breathability and suppresses sweating. Comfort was definitely a key design point for this bag. The strap is heavily padded, and there are two pads on the portion of the bag that contacts your back. A nice and thick seatbelt-type nylon strap holds the strap together and attaches to the plastic quick realease buckle.
There are two other external pockets, one is on the strap, used for spare change, DAP’s (digital audio players) like my iPod, or anything that you may want to store and access while not removing the bag. The second pocket is the sneak-a-pocket. It is located in between the back pads. Documents, passports, money, or very important phone numbers can easily be stored and secured in this pocket.
Atop the bag is a sturdy handle, just ‘incase’ you would need to tote the bag around or hold it somewhere other than on your shoulder. I personally use handles like this quite a lot, and find many bag designers fail to pay sufficient attention to this aspect of their product.
Next, I ventured inside the slingpack. Two zipper pockets, two elastic web pouches and of course, the laptop compartment occupy the inside. The laptop area is decorated in a very unconservative green leaf pattern. It’s completely concealed and is, in my opinion, a metaphor for the owner. Quiet on the outside, but if you look inside, there’s a bit of wild to be spoken for.
The two zipper pockets located on the inside lip of the large opening are spacious enough to hold a wallet, iPod, pens/pencils, etc. There was one aspect of these inside zipper pockets that I found to be very impressive, yet so simple. The zipper handles are covered by a small fabric flap when the zipper is closed. This prevents a metal to laptop connection, preserving the exterior of your precious PowerBook/iBook. Rebecca (my iBook) would have loved this feature, if she were tall enough to reach the top of this case. Incase has designed the bag to house up to 17” of portable Apple goodness.
With all of these observations taken into consideration, it was high time to put the bag on, and hit the streets. I adjusted the strap, slinged it, and out the door I went. The bag fit very snug, the sling was surprisingly secure. I couldn’t sprint an 1/8 mile with the bag on, but a quick jog to catch an early bus was no match for the slinger.
I expected the thin bag to only carry laptop essentials, plus a bonus item or two. The fact that the bag is so thin, and it is kept very close to your body, makes for a light feel. The bag can’t carry a ton, but it sure carries the weight well.
1.) Capacity: Just enough for my computer essentials, and a few journals.
2.) One hr Endurance Test: Suhweeeet. No real issue with endurance, I could wear this all day.
3.) Water Test: I drenched the incase, and Rebecca’s stunt double did not see harm’s way. The strap and back were not a comfy wear, as the padding soaked up some water.
4.) Function Vs. Style: Slingpack is heavier on the style than the comfort, but the balance is only off by a smigent.
5.) Female Test: With a model showing off the bag, incase proved to win over the women.
6.) Bonus Test: How does the sling hold up in a quick jog/run? –More secure than I thought. I expected it to fall or slide but with no extra effort I could make a quick dash to the bus and not worry about Rebecca falling to the ground
This bag earns the LD Approved stamp.
Thanks to incase for supporting this review.