Top positive review
This bag is awesome...Just Buy it...
5 April 2017
This bag is awesome.
You want more? Ok, here goes my 4 week-ish review of the Norsens Lightweight Laptop Backpack.
I'd been looking for a backpack to lug all my stuff on my daily 2-hour journey across London. Said stuff includes a 15 inch laptop, a 18 by 12 cm bowl packed with food, 6 apples and/or oranges, a couple of sandwiches [don't judge me, it's a 12 hour shift]. Look at the picture named Daily Haul.
Since I also carry a bunch of extra bits, everything from novels to magazines. Needless to say, 'slim' profile backpacks available didn't meet this requirement. For someone who used to carrying a slim Tech21 backpack and just a laptop (another job with shorter hours), this arrangement just wasn't working.
After lugging all this around in a Nike duffel bag for a few months and developing awful shoulder pain, I hopped on Amazon to research my options.
First off, the Norsens isn't the cheapest here, but something about this made me give it a shot. When I first received it, I was pretty sceptical, because it was so light and just looked like every other 'slim' backpack.
However, on its very first day, I loaded it with a laptop and 6 650ml containers containing food, and it took it like a champ!
Fearing for the weight, I slung it across my back.
I shouldn't have worried, it felt like I was carrying …. nothing.
I do not know the voodoo that has gone into its construction, but no matter how much you load the bag, it just doesn't feel heavy. I'm 6 foot 1 and with the bag fully loaded like I do daily, it doesn't sag, droop or pull my shoulders down.
I've got to point this out, the extra padding in the lower back is just genius. With that support, I can stand on hour-long train journeys, and as long as I can rest my back (yes, on the bag) on the doors, I'm …. comfortable.
The wide straps, once pulled tight, just lock the bag in place, regardless of how much weight you are carrying.
The zips are sturdy and don't just slide across like a Lulu Guinness purse. The sturdiness ensures that you feel any pull on the zip, which is bad news for anyone hoping to unzip your backpack on a packed train. You WILL feel the pull.
The material is water resistant. How do I know? I keep a few teabags (you never know when the site's supply will run out on you) in the small zipped compartment at the top, and despite having being caught in many of London's showers, they have stayed bone dry. I have so much faith in the material that I chucked my powerbank in there, Yes, it's roomy enough to hold a powerbank the size of a Samsung S5, with ease [Look at the picture titled Teabag-Powerbank Holder]
The laptop compartment has a shock absorbing material lining it on the inside. On the other side of that (the part that actually rests on your back), there's extra padding as well. You'd think all this padding would add weight to the bag, but no, it remains ludicrously light.
There's a roomy laptop compartment with 2 spaces i.e. space for a laptop and a separate space for a large tablet (not iPad Pro-large though; that's ridiculously large.) Then there is the rest of that main space. For context, it's still large enough for my lunch container, measuring 18 by 12 cm to sit at the bottom of the bag, on its bottom. [The picture titled Fully Loaded and Open bag]
I have it wrapped in cling film in this picture as I'm testing carrying it on its side, so I can stuff more crap that I 'might' need.
A typical day has me sitting the bowl at the bottom of the bag first, then sliding my laptop into the main laptop compartment. Because of the size of my bowl, there is a tiny gap that's the height of the bowl, between the laptop and the bottom of the bag. It takes the tiniest push to get it go all the way down, but even if I didn't push it to the bottom, there is still enough room to protect the laptop.
Mouse pad and mouse go in the 'tablet' space, then the rest of my dinner piles on to the main bowl. And it can take quite a bit.
Moving on to the slightly-smaller-but-just-as-roomy compartment in front, my daily copies of the Metro and Evening Standard, my water bottle standing upright, any snacks my roving eye spies at the local Tesco, my dopp bag and more.
All this packed in and this bag still feels weightless (all things considered)....[Picture titled Fully loaded and zipped Bag]
Now, this bag may not be for everyone.
If you only carry a light Macbook Air on your 10 minute Uber rides, this is way too much bag for you.
But if like me, you load up a ton of crap (on the off chance that you might actually read that original copy of Lord of the Rings today), travel over two hours on the Tube, every day, and would rather not have to worry about your laptop, this is your bag.
The combination padlock included is a bonus. I don't know where I'd use that, but it's still a nice touch. The small compartments on either side are surprisingly roomy; I carry a phone charger, small beard brush AND hand sanitizer in one and you can't tell there's anything in there.
Yes, the bag juts out a little once fully loaded, but you know you have enough in there to surmount Everest (j/k, don't attempt climbing Everest with just a laptop and a dinner of rice/chicken; it will end badly.)
Few products are without sin (can't think of one now). For this bag, I wasn't so sure about the colour. I didn't want a light gray bag, so chose the black. What I got wasn't really black-black, more of a darkish grey/washed black bag. But the colors work, especially with the orange zip peeking out here and there, it just works.
Another thing, I personally do not like the branding slapped on the front of the bag. I've been chipping away at the rubber TIGERNU label stuck on (I could have sworn I paid for a Norsens bag), but my Stanley knife has failed to remove this 'monstrosity'.
As much as I detest being a walking advertisement, I simply cannot fault this bag as it simply works for what I need it to do. It's been my daily driver since the day I received it and I'm still loving it. Not a ding or scratch, despite braving 4-hour daily commutes on the London Underground, it still looks as good as the day I got it.
If you need a tough and roomy but light backpack, this is for you.
If not, shop around; Amazon has a ton of options.
NOTE: This is not a paid or discount-incentivized review. I paid in full for this product, and I'm writing this review to help others who may need a workhorse that looks cool A.F.