Review: BUILT Laptop Backpack (Hey, guys love bags too!)

BUILT Laptop Backpack

Women love designer handbags, guys like me love gadget bags. My latest acquisition is the BUILT laptop backpack:

Made from lightweight neoprene and breathable air mesh, our new ultra-slim backpack streamlines the transport of your laptop and accessories. The main compartment accommodates and protects laptops from 12–17″ with room to spare for books, folders or other essentials. Two additional smaller compartments provide storage options for your other necessities; one conveniently located directly on the shoulder strap for easy access. With two sizes available to fit most people, an adjustable sternum strap helps tailor to your shape.

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I like the design which appears to be organic and minimal in form. However, it’s always risky buying something this flexible, since you’ll never know how it conforms and presents itself on your body. Asking friends for their opinion, some think it’s gay, others think it’s interesting especially if worn in the front, in which case it might come in useful as a bulletproof vest (har har!).

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So far so good, the top zipper reveals a giant space for your laptop, while the side zipper reveals a space for lots of accessories. The entire rear region is basically like a giant thick sack. The lower portion of the left shoulder strap also has a slot big enough for my iPhone. The only downside is how tight it can get lengthwise for my 17″ MacBook Pro (as seen in the photos). The trick is to lift the bag up and shake it a little so the material stretches enough for you to close the top zipper.

It’s usually $79.99, but I got mine “large” from at 67.99 using discount code: BUILT15. And oh, it’s machine washable and said to be waterproof, so I’ll let you know when it rains.

133 thoughts on “Review: BUILT Laptop Backpack (Hey, guys love bags too!)

  1. @Alex: On wearable computing, this setup reminds me of a scuba wetsuit made for dryland. Thing is for any backpack with an operating notebook / UMPC, ventilation will always be a problem. My Sony UX UMPC nearly melted when I did my first lifecast outdoors… it got that freakin’ hot. I think we should start our own line of functionally designed cyberpunk clothing / bags. No matter how niche, it could be a doable business in today’s long tail world. 😉

    @NTT: I too thought it appeared that way, but quite the contrary. I mentioned (but didn’t picture) that the “sack” has two spaces, with plenty of room for most of my accessories, including Apple power adapter, mouse, Cricket laptop stand, earphone, as well as books or magazines. The whole back section is split with the laptop closer to your back, then the entire further back section for accessories accessible by the side zipper. Being constructed of neoprene means it expands as needed. The key thing I like about the design is how lightweight and minimal it is, yet having enough room to stash all kinds of things. One of my discerning geek friends is also thinking of getting one having seen it. 🙂

  2. Since I walk to work and school having something like this seems great to keep my MBP from weighing my shoulders down. However, I think I would like it more if this were a part of a larger bag. I can imagine it like a Camelbak, with the heavy part flush against your back but more bag on top of it for extra accessories and such. Kind of defeats the minimal nature of this bag, but perhaps is a place for the company to go with this “line”. Irregardless, I like the concept.

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  3. it really look sleek but is it comfortable? Look small and too tight for comfort from the pictures.

  4. Video of the BUILT Laptop Backback {seesmic_video:{“url_thumbnail”:{“value”:””}”title”:{“value”:”Video of the BUILT Laptop Backback “}”videoUri”:{“value”:””}}}

  5. Thanks so much for the review the video definitely made me decide to get this bag. Thanks Kevin!

  6. Hi Kevin
    Great review and video. I only have one quuestion. Is this bag an enough protection to our preciuos 17″ MBP?

  7. If offers some mildly thick padding, but not enough if you decide to drop the entire backpack on the floor. Overall it will protect from usual bumps against chairs and table.

  8. Thanks for the review! Now, I’m a cycling commuter, with about one hour of bicycle riding to work, and the same to get home in the evening. Would this backpack be comfortable to wear for two hours every day? Thanks

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