By Ross Werland, Tribune Newspapers
8:03 PM EST, January 22, 2013
Name: ECBC Harpoon Daypack B7101
What it is: A day-pack-size backpack that I think you could beat with a sledgehammer and not damage; just don't do that with any equipment inside. This is the ultimate "personal bag" for someone who travels with just a carry-on and personal bag. It measures 18.4 by 12.13 by 5.25 inches and weighs a mere 2.2 pounds. It's made with water-resistant, high-density "ballistic nylon," plus protective foam to shield a laptop as large as 17 inches.
The good: Most important to me is that it fits easily under an airplane seat and still leaves enough foot room, so it's right there with all my flight goodies, and I don't have to bother others to get into the overhead bin. It's not a huge bag, but it holds plenty, plus it has that "holy of holies" small pocket on top where I keep my keys, MP3 player, etc., all the things I'm most afraid of losing. It has two main compartments plus a third zippered compartment on the outside that is perfect for boarding passes, passports and other things you don't want floating around in a large space. There also are zippered interior pockets. Two exterior expandable pockets can hold bottles or a compact umbrella. My laptop and charger leave plenty of room for socks, underwear or any other spillover from my carry-on. I have been merciless with this bag, and it shows no signs of wear. It's been on the floors of planes, trains, airports; any smudges wipe off with a damp cloth. The shoulder straps are tough enough that you can do the one-strap convenience posture over one shoulder without having to worry about ripping the stitching.
The bad: One shoulder strap seemed to ride a little off-center initially; over time, it seems to have straightened out, or maybe I should quit doing the one-shoulder convenience posture!
Cost: $99.99, but one online retailer had it for $89 with free shipping.
Available from: newegg.com, luggagepros.com, shoebuy.com, others.
Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC