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Gear Review

4 5

Built To Last

This is a good pack for a laptop with room for accessories and a a couple books. This pack is not for day hikes. It's really "a briefcase for the back". The Blade 15 is very well constructed; using heavy duty materials and solid stitching. It's also great looking with a nice slim profile. Not bulky at all. This will easily fit a 15" and probably a 17" MacBook but with my 13" I find it slips vertically (or horizontally if laying on it's side) as there is no way to adjust the width. There is a suspended pocket secured by a velcro strap which keeps the computer from flopping side to side-but this doesn't do anything about the width of the computer so whereas as a larger laptop fits well, the 13" has more than three inches to move from side to side (or, if on your back, to slip to the bottom of the pack). I could see this as problem if the pack were dropped as there really isn't that much padding. To prevent this from happening I added some thick foam beneath the suspended pocket and more on both sides. The computer still can slide but there is now added protection which I think this pack needs. It would be nice if Arcteryx added velcro straps to the sides to adjust for smaller laptops.

I really like the design. It has a useful handle on top and one on the side (so you can carry like a briefcase). Unlike most day packs-which open from the top-the Blade 15 has two zippers along the side-one for the laptop and one for papers, books etc. It has an easily accessible front pocket for power supply, mouse and pens. There is also a hidden pocket on the back for wallet or keys.

This pack is not cheap for laptop pack but unlike some packs for half the price-this one will not be falling apart in a year or less. This pack is built to last a lifetime. It's really well made. Arcteryx quality all the way. I love the brown (Totem). Great looking pack. well made, feels good to wear or just sling over my shoulder. I really like the handles which make pulling out of the car convenient.

The only negative is that I don't see any way to prevent my 13" laptop from sliding around inside. even though the computer is technically suspended I don't think it offers shockproof protection against a major drop. I'm glad I had some foam to add as I feel much better about slinging it around now.