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Gabriele (Denmark)

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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars re-reviewe after a year's use, 11 May 2012
I bought the Swissgear GA-7343-06 backpack ca. 18 months ago. It may be worth summarizing my experience. Unfortunately, these are warnings. Perhaps the designers also read such feedback, and take notice.
I use the backpack daily, and have taken it to the field and around the world (literally). I usually have it packed - it can accommodate a hefty portable computer, binoculars and a camera, plus a few books, and the many small pocketrs hold cards, passport, batteries, etc.. These are the positive sides.
Alas, the list of negatives is longer. It is not rainproof, and several features actually channel water into the backpack. This is annoying. At least the document holder pockets should be made waterproof. There are a few other imperfections:
1. the straps connect to the backpack through an elastic section, ca. 10 cm long. This is claimed to increase comfort. I doubt it - even less so as they lose elasticity pretty quickly (my backpack was washed only once, in lukewarm water, no detergent), and unevenly. My left shoulder strap has totally lost elastcity, while the right has not. This is a needless and annoying feature. The straps are otherwise OK, they do not need this elastic part.
2. The elastic edges of the two side pockets have lost all elasticity, and I constantly lose things, as they tend to fall out of the pockets. Needless to say, VERY annoying.
3. The long zip of the computer pocket section is totally exposed, and is vulnearable to damage. I had to have it replaced due to the following accident: when falling from a car seat or chair, the backpack tends to make a neat and predictable turn-on-its-head maneuver and lands on its head (this happened just too many times), scattering things from its pockets. During one of these sommersaults, the corner of my computer just broke an eye of the zip, and this was it - I had to replace the zip. It was pure luck that -after several unsuccessful tries - a friend found a repairman (in Hungary) who could procure an original zip, and replaced it. This is not possible at all in some countries (e.g. Denmark). Solution: a protective flap over the zip, inside and out. And redesign the backpack to change its point or gravity.

All in all, I am afraid I have to advise against buying this backpack. It is not cheap, and while made of durable material, there are several features that make sure that before long, you have to buy another one. So - this is more of a fashion or prestige item (remember the 15 Swiss-flag buttons) than a really durable piece of equipment.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 12, 2016 11:56 AM GMT

Swissgear GA-7303-06F00 15.4-inch Maxxum Laptop Backpack (Blue)
Swissgear GA-7303-06F00 15.4-inch Maxxum Laptop Backpack (Blue)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a baroque backpack, 26 Feb. 2010
Just got my Maxxum and it looks different in reality than on screen. Request no. 1- in order to avoid customer disappointment, do NOT provide misleading photos. Actually, I spent a lot of time contemplating what to order and I felt rather frustrated because of the rather selective documentation of the different designs. Only one of the reivews mentioned that a camera etc. fit into this bakcpack, so I decided on this one. From the photos, though, I never realised that this backpack has a gap-like pocket just above the grey funnel-shaped patch. It is rather big and to me, seems rather useless - it cannot be zipped up, is rather big, and will sure as hell collect rainwater in its pocket - New Zelanders, beware, this is not a backpack designed for you! This is an Arizona city dweller's backpack: spacious but for dry weather. And if I had realised this, I would not have ordered it. Now I will see if it still works for me. My first request is that I want to be able to lurch around my laptop, camera and binoculars. These fit into this backpack and there is some space left.
The no. of pockets and pocket-lets (I mean small pocket and sub-subpockets) is an overkill - pockets should serve as useful things to store items in, not serve as a puzzle (what to put here? and where on earth did I put THAT!?). And the 15 (counted) logos - I am not loath of the Swiss and their fine flag but this is a little too many.
Back strap - the cross-stiching is a bit odd, I have to find out how this feels on long treks.
Overall, the style seems to be a bit baroque and it easily interferes with the use - the design should really be pared down, using some thinking what is this packpack intended to serve? Right now it seems it cannot decide if it wants to be the Swiss National Bank Vault with infinite number of pockets, or the Desert Backpack with Ample Space or the Challenge (I bet you can never again remove all items you put in, because you cannot remember all the small holes and sub-subpockets)?

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