I’m a bit of a pack rat when it comes to technology. I refuse to throw out cables or connectors and I like having my tech with me at all times. One thing that is critical to me is ensuring that I have a mobile version of my tech horde when I go to work or travel. But this isn’t a trivial matter. There is a lot of stuff that I “need” to bring along. It needs to be organized and protected as well. This is where a good backpack comes in. For the past couple of months, I have been testing out the Mobile Edge Premium Backpack and thus far, it’s been comfortable, convenient and incredibly functional.
I love backpacks and messenger bags. I have a long history testing out different ones and over the years, I have come to find certain features that are essential. However, how you carry your stuff is very personal. Some people like small and lightweight bags while others enjoy large packs with many compartments. I tend to fall into the latter category but it also depends on the travel destination and the required “equipment.” Many years ago, I thought that messenger bags were all the rage and I had some very nice ones that I would load up with all of my gear. However, over the years I found some limitations to that. For starters, the more gadgets I had that I wanted to bring with me (think laptops and tablets), a messenger bag simply wasn’t suited for it. Also, and this is a big one, I was starting to get concerned about weight distribution and ensuring that I wasn’t going to strain my back, especially as the weight of the bag increase. So I moved to having to shoulder straps and the weight better distributed using a backpack.
For many years, I used a custom backpack but eventually found that I wanted to have more compartments and a bit better distributed weight and comfort so I moved to a different bag. This one eventually, after a lot of use, started to fall apart with seams splitting and inside pockets tearing apart so it completely lost its value to me. So I started looking for a new bag with some pretty specific criteria. And this is how I came across Mobile Edge.
What to look for in a backpack
It’s important to really think about what you need and want in a backpack as well as think about how it will be used. Will it be for traveling or commuting to work? Does it need to handle large electronics or small ones? Should it have many pockets or just a few? It’s quite a personal choice. Here’s what I was looking for:
- Multiple Laptops – I wanted a bag that could carry at least 2 laptops
- Other electronics – I needed to carry a tablet
- Pockets – I wanted multiple pockets to hold a variety of gadget-related components (cables, plugs, connectors, etc.)
- Weather-proof – I wanted to be sure the contents of my backpack could handle some rainfall
- Protection – I needed my primary laptop to have extra protection
- Comfort – The bag had to be comfortable and distribute the weight well
- Good construction – As the backpack would get a lot of use and abuse, it needed to be well-made and put together
- Good looks – It had to look nice
- Easy to use design – It had to be easy to open and remove items (think airport screening)
When I eventually discovered the Mobile Edge Premium Backpack, I was pretty excited. It seemed to match a lot of criteria I had in mind. And now, after a few months of usage (I needed to fully test it out for a while to form a good opinion), I’m quite pleased with the end result.
It’s important to remember, however, to try out a backpack. While it is convenient to buy something online, it’s best to go to a store and test out a variety of packs, or if you know someone who has a nice pack, find out who makes it.
What makes the Mobile Edge Premium Backpack a winner
Let’s step though some of my requirements and see how the Mobile Edge Premium Backpack did. But first, here’s a list of things that I load up into the backpack daily:
- 15” laptop
- 13” laptop
- 2 charging cables
- Multiple, and I mean MANY, cables and connectors (I pack these in ziplock bags for convenience)
- Multiple USB thumb drives
- Small flashlight
- Pocket knife
- Business cards
- Folders & files
- Portable hard drives
- Computer mouse
- Video & Audio recorders
And that’s just the basics. Sometimes I will add more things, especially if this is going to be a carry-on bag or go with me on some sort of a trip.
The Mobile Edge Premium Backpack is great for handling laptops, especially your primary one. There is a dedicated internal sleeve to protect it. This pack can handle laptops up to 17.3 inches and fully surround it with protection.
Using what they call SafeyCell, the computer sleeve is padded with sort of a bubble-wrap made out of fabric. It’s designed to absorb bumps and compress internally so that the bubbles take changes internally instead of the more fragile laptop.
There is a strap with velcro that holds the laptop in place as well.
I also put a second laptop next to the computer sleeve.
I do carry a small tablet as well. Luckily there is a dedicated compartment for tablets. But speaking of compartments, it’s important, especially for me, to have many different pockets and containment areas within a backpack. I counted all of the pockets and found this:
- 2 main areas – one that has the laptop/tablet storage, one that is more for papers/pens/business/cards
- 2 external side zippered compartments
- 1 external centered zippered compartment
- 2 mesh pockets inside the pen/paper/business stuff main area
- Headphone pocket (which I use to carry a large computer mouse)
- 1 zippered external pocket on the main back which could be used for magazines or travel tickets
There are plenty of areas to put all sorts of items.
Pockets & Construction
As I mentioned, there are many pockets, internally and externally. I have found uses for each and every one (with the exception of the zippered external ticket pocket). The Mobile Edge Premium Backpack did satisfy my need to compartmentalize a lot of my various gear.
The pockets are constructed quite well. Seams appear to be well stitched. The zippers are upgraded from the standard so that they are stronger. Each zipper has a cord attached to it for easier opening and closing. For the main compartments, there are two zippers.
Oh, there is a detachable cell phone pocket. I still have it attached but I don’t use it. I would use it if it supported some of the larger cell phone sizes. I made a recommendation to Mobile Edge to make one that is larger (e.g., for an iPhone 6 Plus) and then I would definitely use it.
Weatherproofing & Protection
There is nothing worse than commuting in the rain. And even worse is worrying if the contents of your backpack are staying dry and protected from the elements.
The Mobile Edge Premium Backpack is made with 1680 Denier Ballistic Nylon. This type of Ballistic Nylon is quite strong yet light-weight. It will offer good protection as well as some weather resistance.
Oh, and there is reflective stitching added to the pack to make you potentially more visible at night.
This is probably one of the most important things, especially when you load up a backpack. If possible, if you are testing out a pack, load it up with some weight and see how the weight is distributed. Take a look at the shoulder straps and look for ones that are well padded. Are there chest and waist straps (sometimes referred to as compression straps)? These can help the pack stay secured and distribute the weight more evenly.
The Mobile Edge Premium Backpack has all of these. While I wished that the waist strap were padded (it isn’t), it wasn’t a deal breaker for me because I seldom use the waist strap. There is also a nice carry handle.
This backpack has a ventilated back panel, they call it the Cool-Mesh ventilated back panel. So, the back is not only padded which is great, the mesh allows for a little bit of air to circulate so that your back stays a little bit cooler.
I found that if you cinch up the straps to have the backpack ride high on your back, it is much more comfortable with added weight. I used the pack multiple days at a tradeshow carrying around a lot of equipment and my shoulders and back felt great after the show.
Overall Thoughts of the Mobile Edge Premium Backpack
The Mobile Edge Premium Backpack does pretty much everything I expected it to do. To top it off, it has a Lifetime warranty for construction (it doesn’t cover usage) which means that if the construction fails, they will help you out. It only weighs about 4.1 pounds empty (I’m sure mine must weight over 15 pounds loaded up.
I chose the black with red stitching design but it also comes with silver, blue, and yellow stitching highlights. There is even a “tactical” design which is camouflaged.
The retail price for the Mobile Edge Premium Backpack is $99.99 which I think is a very good price for a design and construction of this caliber. You might want to see the price on Amazon – currently it’s listed at about $58 which is a steal for this pack.
Remember, getting a backpack to meet your needs is a very personal experience. Weigh out your definite requirements and optional ones as well. If you can, test a backpack out (especially with weight). And don’t just buy based on price, you should look at construction, warranty and features. For me, I’m hoping the Mobile Edge Premium Backpack will serve me for many years!
Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. More information can be found in my About page.
HTD says: The Mobile Edge Premium Backpack fulfills all of my required gadget-heavy necessities while providing comfort. It’s good design makes it core to my gadget-lugging travels!