Sorry the reviews on this travel gear blog haven't been so frequent lately but I've been, well, traveling. I took a week of vacation recently where my other half brought along this very cool Keen Hybrid Transport bag.
Keen is known for its hiking boots and stylish active footwear, but the company is also putting out some innovative and eco-friendly bags. This one is built to be a laptop bag that doesn't look like a laptop bag, but it also works well as your carry-on and sightseeing daypack if you're not traveling on business. The section where your laptop would go is padded on the bottom and side, plus there's a mostly hidden rubber part on the bottom of the bag to protect it more and offer some shock absorption.
According to my tester, this fantastic bag looks great and performs like a champ. She shoved everything short of the kitchen sink into it and walked around airports without any strain on her shoulder from the nicely padded strap. A series of zippered pockets and flaps are set up to keep your pens, phone, music player, camera, and loose change all separate, while the spacious main compartment holds plenty of books or other items. There's a waterproofed pocket on the inside that would also provide insulation and a hidden zipper pocket on the outside for whatever you need to keep handy.
As a bonus, it's made from recycled polyester, plastic, and aluminum. I've never seen garbage look so good.
Apart from regular solo biz trips, this could also be a good bag for a working mother, with the laptop in its flap and all the sippy cup/snack gear at the ready.
It's made in China, but in this case that doesn't mean it's cheaply made. The design, construction, and stitching all say, "This bag will last." The Keen Hybrid Twenty-Six bag comes in four color combinations and lists for $80.
Search for Keen Twenty-Six at Shopzilla