Essential Laptop Accessories
review © Mark Elliot 2004
images used with permission
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last updated 12 June 2004
The Brenthaven Trek Backpack
Laptop accessories don't get much better than the products that we find from Brenthaven. The Trek backpack is the latest addition to our selection of travel equipment--and it doesn't disappoint. Made of the same super-tough military grade nylon as the Commuter, the Trek features a larger footprint and more innovation. There's thick padding on the bottom of the bag to protect the goodies inside--not to mention another one of Brenthaven's clever removeable laptop sleeves.
As with the Commuter we found the sleeve to be the perfect size--this time a little more normal in that the laptop sits vertically in the bag. This adds height and detracts from the width making a more commonly shaped bag, in our opinion a little more stylish (truth be told preferred style is just that--and everyone has their own preference). There's more than enough room for anything the user might be travelling with in the main compartment. We tend to travel with a lot of electronics gear, luckily for us all of it fits (cords, cases and all) in the main compartment. Four handy pouches with elastic openings are secured to the front of the main compartment and are just large enough to accomodate a jewel case.
Images © 2004 Brenthaven
Another one of those pouches appears at the top of the front compartment designed to hold a generically sized CD player, or in our case an iPod. A specially designed covered opening allows for headphone cords to be trailed out of the bag without fear of losing protection from the elements for the equipment inside. Tons more storage is available with places for anything from pens to business cards--or even a cellphone. A zippered pouch will allow the user to keep a few small items secure, too. Two netted pouches sit at the very front of the bag an allow for even more organization.
Despite all of the organization utilities Brenthaven provides in the front of the bag--there's still plenty of room to put even more stuff! A couple of novels or more travel items easily fit into the space below the organizer. It'd seem that'd be plenty of room for just about everything, but there's more hidden away on the outside of the pack.
Discretely hidden behind a zipper, the user has access to a netted water bottle holder with adjustable elastic tie at the top. It's great because not everyone uses these--and so it tucks away behind a zipper for when the user isn't using it. Mirrored on the other side of the bag is a clip for the users keys - though there's room for something larger than just keys if you can find something to clip. A zippered pocket at the bottom of the bag provides convenient access to something you might need to get at quickly. And finally, one of my favorite features of this bag is the inventive hidden zippered pocket right on the front of the bag. It's about the size of some plane tickets--but is hidden by the design of the bag, and one would only know it was there by being told.
The bag features countoured padded shoulder straps and a padded back--as well as a hip and chest strap for extra convenience. Everything is adjustable and extremely comfortable. A padded handle tops it off--and perhaps the only downfall of the bag (albeit little) is that it's a little snug for finger room. The bright side is that the handle isn't flapping around or bulky.
All in all we're more than happy with the Trek. It satisfies a need for a spacious travel bag good for daily commutes as well as long flights. It has more than enough room for anything a business person needs--and more importantly the user knows their laptop is extremely safe from harm inside. There's not much else we could ask Brenthaven to give us, it seems that from the velcro fastened removeable laptop sleeve to the plentiful organization that they've thought of everything--hands down the best backpack I've ever used.--Mark Elliot
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