Last week, while on a cruise along the Mississippi River with American Cruise Lines, I brought my laptop along to get some blogging done (which, oddly enough, I managed to do — the results will start showing up next week, as I chronicle my time aboard the Queen of the Mississippi).
But first, I wanted to put in a plug for a very good backpack I carried my 15-inch laptop in, along with my rather bulky laptop charger cord and what must have been dozens of sheets of random papers, notebooks, manuscripts, and — as I traveled and accumulated stuff — sightseeing brochures, cruise dinner menus, receipts, used airplane boarding passes, etc.
And that was just in the top-loading zippered main compartment. (The inner area contains extra padding to keep the laptop safe, though with all my papers I may not have needed it).
On the front of the pack were three zipped compartments of various sizes, into which I stuffed keys, phone chargers, business cards, Kleenex, pens, and anything I couldn’t find a pants or jacket pocket for (which, at any given time, could be anything). The top zip is lined with soft material in case you want to store your phone or glasses there.
In fact, I was still discovering little compartments and zippered pockets well into the trip, including a see-through inside one that I had overlooked earlier — good for airplane boarding passes that I still needed to use and otherwise might not find.
On the sides are spaces for water bottles or a collapsible umbrella (and I needed both). The fabric is water resistant, and there’s a detachable rain cover as well, handy in a New Orleans downpour.
The point is, I got a lot into this pack, and my laptop fit inside like a glove (it’s made to fit 13-16 inch screens). The pack was soft to the touch and lightweight, yet sturdy. Its padded shoulder straps were comfortable, too, though I often just carried the pack by its top loop. Or, when I also had my wheeled suitcase with me, I was able to slide the pack down over the handle, secured by a strap, and wheel them together.
It’s called The Drifter medium laptop backpack, it’s dark grey with a hint of purple (they call it “graphite,” and it also comes in red and olive), and it’s made by a company called STM. You can read more about it on the STM website.
I’ve gone through a lot of lightweight backpacks over the years, and this is the best I’ve come across. Highly recommended — even if you aren’t carrying a laptop.