At the risk of sounding like a complete geek, I'm concerned about finding a good backpack. I've basically used a purse and carried my books throughout high school, so I'm unsure of what I need. Do most students use backpacks? Are there any recommendable brands? What size is best? Please help!
This one is designed specifically to protect your laptop and I can attest to its durability and looks. It fits up to a 17" Mac Book Pro. It generally sells for $120.00 at REI, but this is last year's model on clearance. It's a great pack!
Customer service was awesome. My older son had questions about the size of a particular backpack, as he wanted to carry his laptop in it. The rep offered to go to the warehouse and measure it. Then, she called me back with the details! Got a good deal, too.
EBags Macro Loader Laptop Backpack is what we got son when he started in Fall 2010. Still using it. Great separate protective sleep for his laptop. Also fits much needed umbrella in the back slots as well. Just checked eBags site and it's actually less than 60 bucks right now. Pretty sure I paid about 80 for it when I bought it two years ago. Mech eng major with pretty big, heavy books, and fit everything just fine.
Yes, get a backpack! Especially if you have a bunch of classes in a row. Make sure it's durable, has a big enough laptop sleeve inside (if you are going to carry a laptop), and that it can hold all of your books for your busiest day of classes. Waterproof is also a good idea, as is a pocket for an umbrella. I used a backpack I bought at Costco for a couple of years (after the national merit one disintegrated), but I will need to invest in a new one this year. You don't need a super expensive one though.
Mom2CK - Does the waterproofing spray work well? D is planning to use the LLBean Quadpack that she used in high school (she likes it and it's in great shape), but it's not waterproof. I'm sure no spray will make it waterproof, but if we can find something that makes it more water resistant that'd be a step in the right direction.
We used a spray we got from the shoe dept at Penney's for both the backpack and son's "boat shoes". Both have held up fine. When the can ran out, I went to Advanced Auto Parts by campus and got a can of Scotch Guard. Son rarely wears his "boat shoes", so can't attest to how they've held up, but the backpack has held up just fine. Knock wood.
I don't know if the national merits get one anymore, considering they are giving out iPads, not laptops like they did for my class. The one I got three years ago was decent. Plenty of people I know are still using it, but I thought it was kinda small (for my books at least).
Walmart has a couple different kinds of waterproofing sprays. I think one might be originally designed for camping/tents or something..another one is for shoes. They seem to work pretty well. They are more like "water-resistant" than water-proof.
I have also used Scotch Guard..also available at Walmart. I'm not home, so I can't look to see what the other one is that I have.
LL Bean has some water resistant models as well.
Last edited by mom2collegekids; 06-18-2012 at 12:53 PM.
Whatever you get, make sure it is waterproof NOT water-resistant, since very heavy rains and winds can infiltrate a pack that is not waterproof. An investment in a good pack could save your computer and texts.
I second what robot said. My son's computer fried in the spring due to getting wet in his backpack during a horrendous downpour. It was in a weatherproof backpack but he was caught walking and it only took a small amount of time before the inside of the pack was wet and the computer died. We bought a rainfly for the pack from ebay hoping it helps the next time. And of course, I new computer(: