Constantly on the go a Mobile Geeks needs gear that can take a beating and keep in ticking. That doesn’t just apply to our gadgets but to the bags that we carry our gear around in. It’s not unusual for a bag to end up in the trash after just a few weeks of use, so it’s pretty easy to identify when a bag is going to be around for the long haul.
While on the road the duo took a look at what types of laptops they used to keep productive on the road,Sascha’s weapon of choice is the Dell XPS 13 and I (mistakenly) went with the HP Spectre 360, a great all around laptop, but not a good choice for video editing. At the end of the video you can take a look at how I decided to organize the Kontrast Pro while I was on the road in Germany.
If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I’ve reviewed a few Case Logic backpacks in the past, but with the 9 flights in 6 weeks and a lot of video gear to carry around, I wanted something that would protect my gear. I used to just stack my camera’s strategically if I had the time or what usually happened was it all got dumped in and I would just hope for the best. It’s always worked out, but traveling with the Kontrast Pro was definitely leveling up my world of organization.
The Kontrast Pro is essentially divided into 3 sections, the main section, the top which opens up for you DSLR and the front pocket for organizing your accessories. The main section can be configured in any number of ways. It comes with an over abundance of green dividers that you position using Velcro. You really have to decide how you want to set up your gear and make a commitment to keep putting it back in the same place. It’s a blessing and a curse that there are pockets EVERYWHERE! If you’re into photography or video you really will appreciate the care taken in the variety of pocket sizes so you can group together various gear.
The construction of the Kontrast is top notch, the Dura Base is hard plastic and when I’ve been on shoots I never thought twice about where I was going to put it down. It’s water resistant and basically acts as a small table where ever I am. The top opens up like a can, which is where you can slide your DSLR in, the camera is basically sitting in a hammock and the lens hangs down into the main area of the backpack.
The lid has a pocket which I used for everything that I needed to access quickly, what really demonstrates their attention to detail is the ability to open the pocket from the inside and outside, it’s dual access you don’t need to close it to grab something out of it. The top also opens out away from your head, which you wouldn’t think would be something that would matter…but it did on more than one occasion. When I was busy running around and had my camera out, it the top also doubled as mini pocket for my audio equipment and whatever I needed handy.
What I appreciated about the laptop compartment was how there was a second pocket for small gadgets, which I used for papers or my more business related paraphernalia. It was nice being able to separate my creative gear from my work life.
The stretch side pockets doubled as a tripod holder with a clip to keep it secured at the top and the padding on the back made the times it was overloaded manageable. I also used the check strap quite frequently, the bag is pretty big so it’s good to secure it to your body.
The one issue that I had with the bag was when I took off my jacket or sweater, at first I wondered where I would put it since it’s all nicely segmented. You just need to roll your jacket up and stuff it into the open slot and then lay what doesn’t fit across the rest. The bag has enough give and the zippers are really high quality that I was able to fit a ¾ length light fall trench coat in there.
Sascha – The Frequent Flyer Meets His Match
Sascha has a much different minimalist approach to travel, he doesn’t carry much, the bare minimum of productivity. Laptop, headphones, a few phones and some other odds and ends. The Checkpoint Friendly Backpack, it has a very sleek an sophisticated executive look…which too be honest is way fancier than the checkered shirt and cap he’s usually dawning.
The Checkpoint friendly backpack is designed to be exactly that, TSA approved so that you don’t need to take your laptop out of your bag. it folds open so that the laptop section moves away from the main compartment. There is a ton of padding around the laptop, I’ve had pillow top mattress covers that were thinner than what Case Logic has included.
There are nice little leather accents around the bag, the handle at the top being the one that you’re most thankful for. When you grab your bag off the security belt the entire bag just drops together and you can put your shoes on away from the screening area. You don’t need to zip anything shut, you can do that somewhere less hectic.
Of course if you’re an avid traveler you’ll know that there are some airports that just don’t care and want everything out of your bag.
The front pocket has a ton of different pockets which are very soft and nylex lined and there is even some strap management going on to keep things extra tidy.
The shoulder straps and very well padded and there is even a strap built in that will let you attach your bag to your rolling luggage. It’s taken Sascha a while to find a new backpack that he loved as much as this one. His Victorinox backpack lasted him 4 years, and it technically still usable, but it starting to sag and stretch and generally looks a bit tattered. It’s going to be interesting to see how this bag holds up over the years.
This isn’t the first set of Case Logic backpacks we’ve reviewed, we too took a look at the Griffith Park Series, and the reason we’re so keen on reviewing their backpacks is that they come with a 25 year warranty, a rarity in the sea of backpacks that cost just as much but will last you a few years.
Any questions leave them below and as always, we’ll see you on the road!