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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2013
    Posts
    20
    15-inch MacBook Pro Retina Backpack
    I've spent hours on the internet and in a variety of stores to research the perfect backpack for my new 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina. My search ended today.

    I bought a North Face Surge II (female design) in black at The North Face store. It comes in a non-female design too which basically doesn't have a label. Nobody would ever know you bought the female designed bag - if you look at it, you'd never notice. I'd have to hold this one next to a non-female bag to see the difference in strap design. It's supposed to have more shoulder strap cushion but why wouldn't a guy appreciate the cushion on the shoulder straps too?

    I had a difficult time finding the right size for the laptop because I put a green-ish teal colored Incase (hard cover case) on the base and cover which I picked up at the Apple store, and I like to protect my electronics with extra padding when I carry them in a bag so I bought the black neoprene Incase zipped case at the Apple store. The space needed to fit the entire neoprene filled case was larger than a typical 15-inch backpack. I don't like to stress the corners of the computer by having to push and stretch the fabric around to get the unit to fit. Of course, if I didn't use these other cases I wouldn't have had a problem finding a backpack, but it's personal preference.

    When I put the setup inside the laptop space, it slides in and out easily because the backpack has a zipper that opens across the top of the bag and continues along the side. I supposed you could say the design is for a right handed person if the bag is facing you. As an extra safety precaution, this backpack comes with a bubble-pack like roll inserted inside the bottom of the case so the laptop lands on top of the roll when you slide it into the bag. If you set your bag on the floor and forget there's a computer inside, the laptop could hit the floor quite hard on its side but not with this backpack. It's well protected and there's still a little space above the laptop as well.

    If anyone is interested enough to ask for photos, I'll come back to this thread and post. I'm not sure anyone is even bothering to read this far but if you're considering a setup and having a tough time get one of these and you won't regret it.
    15-inch MacBook Pro Retina
    768GB SDD, 16GB RAM, 2.8GHz Intel i7 Quad Core
    AirPort Time Capsule 3TB
    iPad Retina, 64GB & iPhone 5, 64GB

  2. #2

    iggibar's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location
    Cleveland
    Posts
    4,079
    Specs:
    4.1 Mac Pro. 15" MBP. 13" MBP. 17" PB. PM G5. iPhone 6S+ 64gb Gold. Apple Watch 42mm.
    I've tried many backpacks, and have finally found the perfect one for carrying books and my 15" MBP. It's the Swiss Gear Synergy with shock absorbing technology, made for 15" notebooks, and has good routing for headphones. You almost don't feel the weight because of all the great padding and support due to the extra wide shoulder straps. I got it at BestBuy because it was on sale, but I believe you can find it at other places cheaper. Because I'm ocd sometimes with preventing damage, I also have a 15" neoprene zipper sleeve that sits inside the backpack's notebook compartment. The sleeve is always inside that compartment, and whenever I need my computer to go with me, I just put it inside the sleeve, and zip it up. I carry heavy books all the time, and am not a bit worried about my computer getting damaged. It's a good backpack, and is the same one I showed pictures of with the charger.
    ďIf you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.Ē Marcus Aurelius

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2013
    Posts
    20
    Oh yeah, Swiss Gear makes a lot of really great backpacks. I haven't personally found one that fits the laptop with neoprene case but I also wanted to go with another North Face model because I have 2 Swiss Gear backpacks already - one is quite a bit smaller than the other but the larger of the 2 won't fit the neoprene case in it very well. It's smashed into the bag on the corners and doesn't have the foam roll on the bottom of the backpack so soft landings are questionable if I were to forget when I went to put the bag on the floor. The 3 Best Buy stores near me didn't have anything close unfortunately. I guess they don't realize what a market there is out there for these things.

    ****'s Sporting Goods store had about 2 hundred backpacks in stock a week ago and many of them were North Face. I went back just days later and they were down to four 4-post stands for the backpacks that were made to carry laptops and other miscellaneous items (versus the camping gear type). I couldn't believe they were nearly wiped out! And ids don't go back to school for a few more weeks in many places. :-/

    Anyway, I'm glad you found something that fit your needs. These things are difficult to find sometimes so that's why I began this thread. Maybe others will pile on with things they've found that worked too. I did a forum search and the info wasn't what I was looking for. Thanks for contributing!
    15-inch MacBook Pro Retina
    768GB SDD, 16GB RAM, 2.8GHz Intel i7 Quad Core
    AirPort Time Capsule 3TB
    iPad Retina, 64GB & iPhone 5, 64GB

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jun 03, 2013
    Location
    Aberdeen
    Posts
    10
    Specs:
    15" MBPr Early 2013, OSX 10.8.4, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPod touch, Apple TV, Airport Express
    I also use a Swiss Gear bag, its the Swissgear GA-7343-06 Cobalt 15.6 Inch Laptop Backpack, fits my 15" MBPr easily and plenty room for a lot more stuff.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2013
    Posts
    20
    I have the red and grey version which is potentially the same thing based on the pics. With the neoprene cover over the plastic case, there's not enough room for my linking (room around the neoprene case). The corners are stressed so I wanted to go a little bigger. Swiss Gear makes some of the greatest bags though. I love 'em!
    15-inch MacBook Pro Retina
    768GB SDD, 16GB RAM, 2.8GHz Intel i7 Quad Core
    AirPort Time Capsule 3TB
    iPad Retina, 64GB & iPhone 5, 64GB

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jun 03, 2013
    Location
    Aberdeen
    Posts
    10
    Specs:
    15" MBPr Early 2013, OSX 10.8.4, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPod touch, Apple TV, Airport Express
    Ah thats a shame about that, but I can understand why you want to use the cover too.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2013
    Posts
    20
    Yeah, I thought so too but I found a WVV charity where they're collecting gently used or new backpacks and comfort foods. I think I'll donate a couple of things to them and was considering to add my 2 Swiss Gear backpacks because The North Face bag that I just bought has all the space I'll ever need so it definitely won't go to waste.
    15-inch MacBook Pro Retina
    768GB SDD, 16GB RAM, 2.8GHz Intel i7 Quad Core
    AirPort Time Capsule 3TB
    iPad Retina, 64GB & iPhone 5, 64GB

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jun 03, 2013
    Location
    Aberdeen
    Posts
    10
    Specs:
    15" MBPr Early 2013, OSX 10.8.4, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPod touch, Apple TV, Airport Express
    Thats a good idea, I will maybe have a look at the North face bags, you can never have too many bags

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