REVIEW – What can a backpack add to the general market these days? How about padded compartments for both your 11-15″ laptop as well as your 10-13″ tablet, plus a few other generous pockets? The Solo New York Region backpack offers these features, plus others to arrive at a sweet spot that may just meet your backpack Nirvana. Let’s take a deeper dive.
What is it?
A light-medium weight backpack with three main pockets, a front stash pocket, and two side mesh pockets for quick access. It’s available in Black or Grey with Burgundy interior, or with the Burgundy color outside and Grey interior. I was sent the Grey model for review.
- Fully padded 15.6″ laptop compartment
- Quick access pocket
- Interior organizer section
- Side mesh pockets
- Back strap slide over luggage handle
- Padded back and backpack straps for added comfort
- Smooth nylon fabric
Design and features
This backpack has three main compartments, moving from the closest to your back to the outside. In the rear-most compartment, there is a pocket for your laptop or largest screen, as well as more room for a second slab of glass. Neither has a huge amount of padding, but the separation allows you to have these items in two spaces. I don’t think I’d pack this into a place where it would get banged onto the floor or anything like that, but for your general commute or a carry-on, it’s fine.
The middle section gives you about four inches of space with no organization. Good for a jacket, some books or files, or an organizer like my Freudian Slip with pockets to hold smaller items at various levels. Below, note I’ve got a Joby Gorilla tripod and a Hedgehog umbrella in there as well.
The next main compartment only has a single zipper, rather than the double zips on the other two, but there is great organization for your Kindle, pens, cards, keys, or your need-to-access meds and dongles. I fit my iPad Pro 10.5 here with plenty of room.
On the outermost face, with a single vertical zipper, there is a pocket that can hold two hands-full of anything you need. I use this for my phone, gloves, boarding passes, and other travel items that I need to be separated from the rest of my stuff. Moleskine, passport, charger, cables, etc. fit fine.
On the back under the padded straps, there is a padded mesh covering that allows your back to breathe during long times of carrying the bag, as well as a strap that allows you to pass it over your roll-aboard luggage handle for moving more easily going to and from your gate.
There are stretchy mesh pockets on each lower corner for drinks, earbuds, or anything else you want to be able to grab quickly. A full hand-width grab handle and a lower-center rear loop for your cycle light or a second handle for moving the bag rounds out the feature set.
What I like
- Good organization throughout
- Quality Materials and workmanship
- Nothing I didn’t need
What needs to be improved
- For a medium-weight backpack, this is just about perfection
Comfortable straps and good distribution of pockets within the various compartments provide enough organization without making the available space seem too small to use. Double zippers on all of the main compartments allow ease of access to whatever you have stored there.