By Terry Gardner, Special to Tribune Newspapers
8:33 PM EST, February 19, 2013
Name: Pelican ProGear U140 Urban Elite Tablet Backpack
What it is: a carry-on backpack with a built-in crush-proof, watertight case for a tablet, including a push-button latch. A front pouch easily stows ID and small valuables, while the midsection holds a laptop as large as 15 inches. The backpack has a padded back with a zippered storage cavity hidden in its lumbar padding. The bottle pocket can be zipped up when not in use. The bag measures 191/2 inches high and 131/2 inches wide; it weighs less than 7 pounds.
The good: This backpack was my favorite piece of luggage on a trip around Australia, where I was constantly on the go, schlepping my MacBook Pro, my iPad, my SLR, two lenses and my point-and-shoot Canon G10 everywhere. I squeezed my laptop, lenses and cameras into the main compartment, my iPad in the special waterproof case, and my wallet, passport and backup batteries in the front pocket. To further test its protectiveness, I put a small china plate in the tablet compartment and a china bowl in the main compartment then dropped the bag one story outside my apartment building. Both plates were unharmed and the bag was unscathed. Pelican tested the watertight tablet case by submerging it in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. I partially replicated that by holding the bag underwater in my bathtub face first up to its back straps for 60 seconds. The tablet compartment stayed dry, but the main compartment partially flooded and the front compartment got damp, so the bag should still be kept in a dry area on a boat.
The bad: A waist strap would help ensure that my hips are carrying most of the load rather than my back.
Available from: bhphotovideo.com, adorama.com and amazon.com
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