While I really love some of the more stylish, canvas and exotic materials and styles used by the likes of good Aussie makers STM and Toffee, sometimes all you need is a big, solid, useful, basic black, Mac Truck like laptop bag. Enter Belkin.
Active Pro Messenger Bag (F8N903btBLK) has turned out to be far more useful than I expected – for starters it is cavernous, has lots of pockets, and it opens at the top. The zipper cuts it in half to open like an accordion.
How do you review a bag? Stuff it full and see how comfortable and convenient it feels.
While its primary role it to protect anything up to a 15.6” notebook, it also has a dedicated tablet compartment that will fit a 10-11” tablet — not quite a Surface Pro 2017 — as well.
Adjacent to that is the accordion opening and it is perfect for files and papers. Then there is a zippered accessories pouch.
On the front are a 30cm wide zippered compartment with a couple of passport sized vertical pockets and a “hidden” zippered side pocket that is perfect for a smartphone.
On the back is a Velcro secured 43cm wide x 22cm deep pocket perfect for stuffing books in.
And it all goes with the padded shoulder strap that looks like it could lift said Mac Truck. Oh, and the bottom is water resistant so you can put it down and the reflective strips are subtle grey instead of yellow, but work really well.
The cost is $79.95 and a range of functional Belkin bags is available at most major retailers or online.