Sometimes this site isn't just about technology, but about the peripherals of technology that enable us to work better and play better. We all have backpacks or laptop carrying cases. Those of us who do a lot of walking to work (or during work) tend to favor the backpack. There are lot of nice ones out there. I was actually looking at a nice Sandqvist bag for a while, as I was contemplating my choices.
Although now that I have twins, I don't do the convention circuit much anymore, I still hit a few conferences, I still walk a lot during work hours, I still get caught in the rain on occasion, and I definitely take my laptop on every vacation or road trip. I usually carry water with me, and I hate the idea of buying plastic, one-off water bottles. I also like to keep my stuff organized, rather than just thrown in a bag. I have a pretty nice Baron Fig Squire pen, and I never go far without a notebook.
Several months ago, I came across the Code 10 Backpack. It was a Kickstarter campaign that Kai Brach had listed in his Modern Desk newsletter (now the Offscreen Dispatch). Back then the bag intrigued me, but I passed on the Kickstarter. About two months ago, I decided that I definitely needed a new bag, and because of having to walk back-and-forth about 15-20 minutes between buildings at work, I needed something durable and waterproof (I rarely bring an umbrella to work). I also needed something that kept my notebook, pens, pencils, and any other items (e.g., USB drives) organized and safe. The Code 10 Bag fit the bill. The problem? Bad comments on Instagram, Facebook, and Kickstarter.
In reviewing everything that people were saying about the company, there was a lot of negativity from customers about not receiving their backpacks, but also a lack of communication between the company and customers. This made me almost go in another direction for a durable bag. I decided to email the company, and ask if they had the product in stock. They emailed me back in about 48 hours (I sent my message on a Friday). I had a few other back-and-forth emails with them before I decided to purchase the bag. I told them that the decision was based on their responsiveness, and they admitted in a follow-up that they were experiencing the growing pains a Kickstarter company often does, but they've been trying hard to communicate better, and get products out the door.
After placing my order, I received the bag about a week later.
As I mentioned above, I've had the bag for a few months now, and I have to say that it has lived up to expectations. It's highly durable, filled with trick pockets, waterproof, fits my 17 inch laptop (although not in the laptop sleeve, but I was aware of this when I ordered), and my notebooks, pens, and other items are nicely organized. I've had zero complaints thus far, and for a 1.0 product, this backpack has fantastic quality and craftsmanship. It was about $150 with shipping, but you can be confident that the price tag is representative of the quality of the product. I would highly recommend it to any person in technology who is also very active, whether from work travel, or personal travel where he or she likes to bring electronics along for the ride.