» What it is: A day-pack-size backpack that looks like 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 is that it fits easily under an airplane seat and still leaves enough foot room, so it’s right there with all your flight goodies, and you 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 you can keep keys, MP3 player, etc., all the things you are 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. Even with a laptop and charger, it still leaves plenty of room for socks, underwear or any other spillover from your carry-on. After some merciless handling this bag shows no signs of wear. It’s been on the floors of planes, trains, airports; any smudges wipe off with a damp cloth.
» The bad: One shoulder strap seemed to ride a little off-center initially; over time it seems to have straightened out.
» Cost: $99.99, but one online retailer had it for $89 with free shipping
» Available from: newegg.com, shoebuy.com, luggagepros.com and others
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