The world has moved a long way, with notebooks being more popular than ever. Once you’d be expected to carry your lappie in a boring briefcase-esque bag, but this is no longer the case. Brenthaven’s Sling models typify this move to accommodate a younger, cooler, laptop user.
Available in two models, the Sling I supports notebooks up to 14-inches, whilst the Sling II, tested here, will accommodate a notebook up to 15.4-inches. It takes the messenger bag form, with a single shoulder strap and the main back being held against your back.
Throughout the bag there is plenty of padding and it has been well designed so it sits securely against your back, with no risk of it slipping around to the side. A secure buckle secures the shoulder strap, which is also adequately padded for the sort of loads you might be carrying in a bag of this type.
The main compartment contains a padded section for your laptop, supporting models up to 15.4-inches, however, you should check whether your particular model fits, preferably in-store before you purchase it, as we found that a 15.4-inch Acer notebook didn’t fit. The MacBook Pro fits more neatly, but it is still a bit of a squeeze. That said, the compartment does supply padding on all sides.
The main compartment contains several other zipped compartments to help keep things tidy, but once your notebook is in there is not too much space for anything else – this isn’t a bag you could also carry your sports gear in, but you should be able to fit in most of your computer essentials for a day at college or work.
On the outside of the pack you’ll find additional compartments and pockets, all zipped, meaning there are plenty of places to stash your keys, iPod, phone and anything else you don’t want to lose. The strap also features a Velcro pocket, which we found would accommodate a BlackBerry Curve, or smaller handset, but anything wider might not fit in so easily. There is also a mesh pocket for carrying a water bottle, that neatly zips away if you don’t want to use it.
With a notebook and all the extras in the weight does start to tell a bit, and you might prefer to carry that weight on two shoulders if you are going to be walking any distance, but we found it was comfortable for short trips and on our daily commute. Even with some weight in it does remain secure without too much movement whilst jogging up stairs or running for the bus.
The Sling II is well constructed, with all the zips and stitching feeling nice and secure. The titanium finish has a cool modern look to it too, combined with black and grey detailing, with an contrasting orange lining.
Whilst the capacity isn’t the greatest – you wouldn’t want it to be on one shoulder – there is plenty of space for your mobile computing essentials and any extras you collect whilst out of the house. The ballistic nylon does provide a degree of water resistance, with several external pockets featuring zips that will do a good job of keeping out the rain.
Whilst advertised as suitable for up to 15.4-inch notebooks, if your PC is on the chunky side, then you’ll want to try before you buy; thanks to some slick design from Apple, MacBook Pro users should be fine.