Just got done playing with a couple of new backpacks from Mobile Edge. They’re being sold in cooperation with the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which “is commited to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.” A generous 10% of each one sold goes to the charity itself, so let’s see what these souped-up tote bags are made of.
The smaller of the two bags (although by no means tiny) is called the G-Pak, named after Boomer’s son Gunnar. It’ll hold up to a 15.4″ laptop and has pockets for just about everything including a digital audio player pouch with a little rubber pass-through opening for a headphone cord. Mobile Edge pitches it as “the ideal backpack for students and others requiring a sturdy notebook carrying case that’s easy on the back and easy on the eyes.”
Easy on the back, yes. Most definitely. Easy on my eyes? It’s a little loud. Then again, I’m in my late twenties so I’m not the target audience for this bag — it’s geared towards kids.
That being said, the thing’s built like a brick shithouse (that’s good). It’s made of ballistic nylon and the stitching, seams, buckles, and zippers are all top rate. You could drag it behind the school bus and it’d likely be no worse for wear from a structural standpoint. The photos don’t do it justice — you’d really have to touch it. It almost feels like a thick wetsuit-like material.
I hadn’t seen prices until after I’d futzed around with the bags for a bit and I assumed this backpack would be well over $100, thus relegating it to one of our country’s many fine private schools (I went to public school). Happily, it’s a private school bag with a public school price tag of $70. Maybe it’s not for all public schools but it’d be good for public schools in the nice part of town.
Oh, almost forgot. Call it a happy coincidence but the G-Pak perfectly fits a 24-can case of your favorite carbonated beverage.
Boomer Esiason Foundation G-Pak [Mobile Edge]
The Premium Backpack is a bit larger than the G-Pak, holding up to a 17″ laptop and featuring two main compartments, front-side buckles, detachable cell phone holder, and a bunch of other cool enhancements with names like “SafetyCell”, “Cool-Mesh”, “Duraflex”, and “1680 Denier Ballistic Nylon”.
You could pack for an entire weekend in this bag. It strikes a nice balance between being big yet not unwieldy. You’d be able to stow it on an airplane, as Mobile Edge says that it “fits in any overhead or under any seat” and I’d feel perfectly comfortable that my laptop was safely sandwiched in between the little bumpy-soft nubbins that line part of the bag’s interior.
From a purely technical standpoint, the bag is built like a champ. The attention to detail and the materials used are all top-notch. Aesthetically, I’m not crazy about the camouflage motif but that’s purely a subjective criticism on my part. I’d still be quick to use this bag for a long weekend, gladly trading in my current messenger bag and rolling suitcase combo for an all-in-one solution.
It’s priced at $99, which I find to be a hell of a deal for such a nice bag. This thing’s got it all.
Boomer Esiason Foundation Premium Backpack [Mobile Edge]