EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated July 2019 with a one year progress report.
When I graduated from college, one of the first things to go was my backpack. Backpacks were, after all, the kind of thing students used, and I was no longer a student. Instead, I opted for a quality messenger bag, and over the years I’ve replaced that messenger bag with … other messenger bags.
But, in recent years, I’ve noticed two things. One: messenger bags, while sort of cool looking, aren’t an ideal carrying device. They can slide around on the shoulder and make carrying other things besides the messenger bag difficult. They also aren’t always great for the back or shoulder when they’re full of stuff.
Two: I’ve seen a small but growing number of professionals begin to gravitate back toward backpacks. Mostly younger professionals, sometimes wearing ties, walking around with their work gear in, not a messenger bag, but an old-school backpack.
I decided it was time to give the backpack route a shot.
The Adventuridge Premier Backpack, an Aldi Special Buy (ALDI Find), retails for $19.99. It usually comes out in mid-July, alongside some of the early back-to-college fare, with the implication that this is a backpack for higher learning, as opposed to the more grade-school orientation of the Adventuridge Essentials Backpack. Indeed, the backpack’s styling and function seem to cater to the older student, with its darker colors and more serious print.
Here’s a quick rundown of the features:
- “Heavy-duty EZ-grip” rubber handle on top
- “Rugged” main zipper compartment
- A fleece-lined and padded media pocket, for laptops or tablets
- An interior organizer
- A water-resistant bottom
- Multifunction expandable side mesh pockets
- Reflective detailing on straps to make it more visible at night
The bag is backed by a 2-year warranty.
There were a few designs available, some of them more sporty, and others with more of a refined look. I opted for something that, to me, looked more refined, because part of my plan was to hopefully use it as a work bag. There are a few small differences in pocket location among the different designs, so it’s not a bad idea to look through them and decide which one is the best configuration for you.
All of the designs, however, have one important feature in common: the padded media pocket. This was especially important for me because I use a laptop with a 15.6″ monitor for work, and having something that the laptop could successfully fit in was a crucial consideration. I even brought a tape measure with me to Aldi to make sure the laptop could fit into the slot.
Beyond that, I found a lot to like about this backpack. The exterior feels rugged. The bottom is waterproof and feels nicely reinforced. The pockets come in a variety of sizes, useful for holding things both small and large. The shoulder straps and the back are both nicely padded. The handle at the top is soft. And the organizer pocket has lots of spaces for loose items.
I tested the backpack out during a 3-day conference and found it to be just what I needed. It was rugged but comfortable, and it had ample space for everything I needed. My laptop fit in perfectly, as did everything else.
UPDATE (July 2019): After a year of daily use the bag has held up quite well. Both the interior and exterior are in good shape, and I’m hopeful it will continue to do the job for a long time to come.
The Adventuridge Premier Backpack is a nifty choice for those people who want a less academic backpack. From the nicely sized, fleece-lined, padded media pocket to the organizer pocket, this comfortable bag can carry a laptop, a tablet, and a lot of other things you might need. And it even has a 2-year warranty.