Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Targus Grove Convertible Messenger/Backpack Laptop Case
I've been using a simple laptop backpack from eBags for over two years now and it has been with me to nine countries on three continents. While I like the way a messenger bag looks, when I carry one I feel like I have a big sign on my back that says "Please steal my laptop!"
This convertible bag from Targus is a different story. It's built to be carried vertically instead of horizontally, which in itself is a radical leap away from the standard groupthink. Plus it's versatile: you can carry it with the handle, with the shoulder strap, or as a backpack by pulling out the hidden straps. With the third option, it just looks like a daypack that's a little different, not an obvious laptop carrier.
The "ecosmart" claims touted in the packaging tags seem like a stretch though. Okay, it's PVC-free, nickel-free (why does that matter?) and the plastic parts are supposedly recyclable--but who is going to take apart their bag 10 years from now and figure out who has the right bins to accept some random plastic buckles? Better for the landfill I suppose, but all the fossil fuel used to get the bag from a factory in China to your store or door negates any of the other efforts it seems.
Nevertheless, this is a rugged, multi-functional bag with plenty of room for gadgets and cords. It has an expandable pocket for a water bottle. This Grove Convertible bag won't hold a 17-inch laptop though--that would make it too wide to look good if you ask me. For now it only comes in one color combo: inoffensive brown and black, with an orange interior. It lists for $80 at the Targus site. As I write this though, it's going for $60 at Amazon.
So far I've just used this around town, but I'm taking it on a two-week trip this summer to put it through a real workout. More on that later.
Not quite your style? Search Briefcases and Laptop Bags at eBags.com