Mobile Edge Backpack Review
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Also: wBW Motorcycle Backpack Reviews
Mobile Edge may not be a familiar name to motorcyclists.
But they've been a popular manufacturer of laptop backpacks, laptop slip cases, briefcases, messenger bags and all sorts of other carrying devices.
I first became aware of Mobile Edge products when I purchased a laptop sleeve for my brand new laptop computer.
Even with my 20% off coupon, the manufacturer wanted something like $80.00 for a notebook case.
So I started looking around and stumbled on to a selection of Mobile Edge products at a local computer store.
The Mobile Edge Slipsuit was $29.99 and I was really impressed by the way it was made -- much higher quality than the other computer bags they had in the store.
Anyway, I was looking through the Mobile Edge website a few weeks ago and learned that they just released the new Mobile Edge SecurePack laptop backpack for motorcycles, which really piqued my interest.
I ordered it and got one of the first available and I'm really pleased.
I had been looking for a good motorcycle laptop backpack but most of the products seemed to be either cheaply made or not really designed with motorcycling in mind.
The Mobile Edge SecurePack is not only a very high quality item but it also has a couple of very unique features that make it perfect for motorcycling and also for simply trudging back and forth to work.
The biggest selling feature of the SecurePack and the reason it's named is that the contents can only be accessed when the pack is not being worn. So there's basically no way that anything can fall out when you're on the bike, which adds a certain comfort factor to wearing it.
The reason for this is in the way the SecurePack works; it only opens from the back side (the side towards the wearer's back), so it can't open up if it's being worn. But think about that for a minute: this also makes the pack very secure for wearing to work if you walk through crowded public transport stations like, for example, the D.C. Metro (not that anyone would think of stealing in a Metro station, right?!).
I've always been paranoid about having something of value stored behind me when I'm on my motorcycle and I'm just as concerned about someone grabbing my MP3 player or keys or something out of one of the backpack pockets without my knowledge if I'm in a crowd, but this is basically impossible with the SecurePack.
However, since I ordered my SecurePack laptop backpack online, I wasn't really sure how much it would hold or how it would fit. Its teardrop shape led me to believe that maybe it wouldn't hold much, but I have to say, I'm very surprised, because it holds way more than I imagined, yet the shape and the wide, padded shoulder straps distribute the weight evenly, making it easy to wear.
This photo shows a pretty good load inside my SecurePack. It swallowed both my new dv2000t laptop and an older Dell D410 laptop; two CD-ROM disks in their jewel cases; a flashlight; a cell phone; an instruction manual for my GPS; a USB cable; a couple of pens; a book and a ready to return DVD and, believe it or not, a can of saddle soap (don't ask).
Oh, and my iRiver MP3 player is in the back, in a special pocket at the top of the backpack that's designed to hold media players. That pocket has a hidden zipper and a small exit hole for earplugs, which works great.
The photo above shows the Mobile Edge SecurePack opened, so you're looking down into the back and the area at the bottom of the photo is the side of the pack that is closest to the wearer's back.
Inside, you can see the lower pocket with the wide Velcro strap is holding the dv2000t. This is a special padded pocket designed to hold a laptop. It's 14" deep and 12" across but you can probably fit about a 16" wide laptop in there -- Mobile Edge claims a 17" wide (diagonal) screen laptop will fit.
This pocket easily swallows the HP, which is what I would call a medium sized laptop -- it has a 15.4" HD format screen.
Just above the HP is another vertical pocket and you can see the Dell D410 in there. This is one of the smallest laptops available and it has a 12.1" screen (this is a great computer to use when traveling, by the way!). This section also includes a full-length mesh pocket that closes with a horizontal zipper. Above these two pockets you can see the main pocket with the rest of my, uh, junk.
The main pocket is about 18" deep, measured up to the top of the inside of the backpack. The back side of the second sleeve (seen in the above photo with the pens inserted into the horizontal pen holders) has some built-in pockets for various items.
Besides the three pen holders, there are two smaller 3.5" by 4" deep pockets. these are made from what feels like a type of neoprene stretchy material and they each have a Velcro strip to keep them closed.
There's also a longer mesh pocket on one side, this one is about 10" deep and 4" wide. It has an elastic strip sewn across the top to keep the contents tightly held.
Way at the bottom of this side is a covered CD-ROM pocket. Unfortunately, it will only hold a single CD in a jewel case, but there's plenty of room elsewhere to store more. The back side of the pack has two removable rectangular cases that look just like toilet kits. They are attached to the back wall by Velcro strips; that is, the wall of the backpack is the "loop" part and the strips on the small bags are the "hook" part.
The back of the Mobile Edge SecurePack has a sort of "speed hump" pocket on top to hold an MP3 player, iPod, CD player, etc. This can be opened with a hidden zipper that's pretty near impossible to open when the pack is being worn.
It's easy to run the earbud speakers out of the pocket and this is a great place to store an MP3 player to use when riding the motorcycle. In fact, I've discovered that this is one of the best features of the SecurePack, because it locates my MP3 player out of the way and the earbud wires are behind me and out of the wind.
There are two more mesh pockets, one on either shoulder strap. These are indicated by the red arrows in the photo below. The orange arrow points to the nicely padded shoulder straps and the padded carrying handle in the center, which is slightly hard to see in this photo. The carrying handle makes it easy to carry the backpack when it's not being worn.
Also, you can see the nicely padded back and the adjustments for the shoulder straps at the waist and shoulders.
The SecurePack has an easy-to-use adjustable waistband that snaps around the front. This helps ensure that the backpack will stay in place when riding. The belt could be slightly longer; although it fits me, I think it could become tight on anyone with over a 38" waist or so, especially if wearing a thick motorcycle jacket with a liner and/or sweater underneath.
By the way, one other nice feature of the SecurePack is that there are no exposed zippers anywhere to scratch the paint. The zipper pulls are made from a mostly hard plastic, but the pulls usually remain underneath the fabric.
The SecurePack is currently available in either the gray/yellow color shown here or a camoflauge version. I wish they made one in brighter colors, like orange or red or something. But at least the yellow piping helps provide some visibility. Also, the edging that can be seen around the outside of the pack that looks like it has little dots on it is highly reflective.
The fabric used in the Mobile Edge SecurePack is said to be "water resistant" but the backpack is not waterproof. And the backpack carries a lifetime replacement warranty.
I really like the SecurePack and I use it all the time, on and off the bike. It feels comfortable to wear and it holds way more junk that I really should be carrying on the bike. As long as I keep it light, the backpack is just about unnoticeable when I'm riding with it and I'd like to think that its shape helps -- or at least doesn't hurt -- the aerodynamics.
The pack is robust and it weighs 3.0 lbs. empty, so it doesn't take long to get it up to 10 pounds or so when loaded with a laptop and other gear. Overall, this is a high-quality item; better, I think, than any of the other motorcycle backpacks I've seen and I think it's well worth the asking price.
|wBW Review: Mobile Edge SecurePack Laptop Backpack|
|Manufacturer: Mobile Edge||List Price (2007): $79.99|
|Colors: Black/yellow. Camouflage/Orange.||Made In: Unknown|
|Review Date: April 2007|