Bag Week Review: Ogio Squadron RSS

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I consider myself a pretty understated guy when it comes to attire, so when Ogio offered to send me the Squadron RSS in Celebrity White, I surprised myself my taking a chance on it. A white bag? This was strange new territory for me, but hey — what better time to be adventurous than during Bag Week?

Ogio Squadron RSS

Type: Backpack
Dimensions:19.5″h x 13.5″w x 7″d
Pockets: Laptop compartment (up to 15″ with RSS, up to 17″ without), main cargo compartment, 7 zippered pockets
Features: RSS laptop cradle, pockets for nearly all your gadgets
MSRP: $134.99
Product Page


Style:

I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m not a fan of the color scheme. The Squadron RSS’s Celebrity variant mixes a whole lot of white and black with a few hints of brownish-gold, and the whole thing just seems a bit strange to me. That’s not to say I think it’s an ugly bag; color notwithstanding, it’s actually quite a looker.

The front of the bag is where most of the character is: the frontmost pocket sports some nifty diamond-shaped stitching, and two metallic snap buckles sit above and below it. I can’t quite figure out what the buckles are meant for, although looking at them, they’d probably hold a skateboard pretty well. Ogio’s sense of character carries over into the cargo compartments and pockets themselves. Looking closely at the lining reveals a PCB-esque pattern woven into it, and Ogio went with some large metal zippers to round out the package.

All things considered the Squadron RSS is a handsome bag, if just a bit ostentatious. I’m not a fan of the color scheme, but Ogio offers a more traditional black body that more subdued folk like me may take a shine to.

Utility:

I was pleasantly surprised by the how much bigger the Squadron felt than my EcoSmart, even though it’s actually about an inch thinner. The bag is only split into two major cargo compartments, with one for the laptop and one for everything else. The laptop compartment is actually sort of a hoot because it features what Ogio calls RSS — the reactive suspension system.

Essentially, it’s a laptop cradle with two parts: a stretchy foam inner pocket nestled inside a harder plastic frame. The idea is that no matter how often you drop the bag, that hard frame will take the beating instead of your computer.The only downside is that it makes for a tight squeeze in the laptop compartment. Getting my 15-inch MacBook Pro in there was a a bit of a challenge, but the added protection seemed worth the hassle.

The main cargo compartment fit my full load of daily gear: my iPad, micro four-thirds camera, a few lenses, and some notebooks. There was plenty of room left over for en extra shirt or pair of jeans, so it would make a respectable weekend backpack too. Ogio also went to great lengths to cram as many pockets as possible into this thing, each with a helpful icon suggesting what to put in it. By my count, there are seven zippered pockets peppered around the bag, including a tiny one on the left strap.

Speaking of straps, they’re solid but a little thin. A foamy mesh lines the top and bottom of the bag’s rear, and the everything together makes for a very comfortable schlep session.

Who’s it for?

The Squadron RSS is versatile enough to fit in a bunch of different situations, but it would make a great companion for students on the run. Oh, and weekend warriors who would like to take a laptop and a change of clothes somewhere overnight. It’s not the cheapest bag in the world at $135 and it’s got a few quirks, but it’s a pleasant surprise in terms of space and comfort and I can think of far worse bags to spend the money on.

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