I've been using a Victorinox backpack for many years whenever I've had to travel. I can't find a link to it since it's no longer being made, but it is very well made, TSA friendly, side-loading laptop compartment, allows for good organization and can hold a good amount of items). It is not a light backpack and is pretty heavy when loaded up. Especially when traveling with the family which increases the number of electronics, I definitely started to feel the weight.
I started to look for a new travel backpack with all the same goodness but lighter and can hook on to the trolley handle of my luggage. I've also gotten to like backpacks that can stand on its own so that would be a bonus feature.
Initially, the Everki Versa caught my eye as it fit many of my criteria, but I was concerned that it might be too small and it wasn't light at 4.01 lbs. Instead, I chose the Everki Atlas which is larger then the Versa but is lighter.
The video above goes over the its key features so I'll just give my impression of the Atlas after taking it out on a 1 week business trip.
- The construction and materials seems solid and comparable to the Victorinox.
- Organizationally, it is very similar to the Victorinox with the pockets and compartment (the Atlas have a few more internal pockets).
- A feature that I liked in the Victorinox is a divider in the main compartment to help separate paper/magazine from the rest of the item and the Atlas has it as well.
- The water bottle pocket is a good size whereas it was a tight fit with the Victorinox.
- When fully loaded, it didn't feel as heavy as the Victorinox since the backpack is better balanced.
- Hooking it on the trolley handle meant I didn't have to carry it all the time.
- The quick access magazine pocket is convenient but I worry that if it was raining that water will collect in the pocket.
- Opening up the backpack to go through TSA screening means unzipping that compartment. This is the same as most TSA backpacks, but I found the Victorinox's method which uses velcro and clip to be faster to open up.
- I like the side loading compartment on the Victorinox which makes it easy to get the laptop out without taking off the backpack. Top loading makes it a bit easier to access the laptop while on a plane, though.
Here are a few things that I think would make the backpack even better:
- Rain cover or something to prevent water from going into the magazine pouch.
- Hard case compartment is something that might be nice but honestly I'm not sure about it.
- Hole to run a cable through for headphones or charger.
- Pocket on the shoulder strap for holding transit tickets/cards.
- The tuck-in strap of the Versa looks like a nice feature. The Atlas is not too bad because it has a chest strap that helps keeps the shoulder strap from flopping around.