Sunday, April 28, 2019

eBags Professional Slim Long Term Review

I've been using the eBags Professional Slim as my every day carry (EDC) backpack for about a year and a half.  It is a well thought-out, high-quality and great value backpack that is great for techies and urban professionals.  I've not had any problems with it the 1.5 years that I've been using it for work and I would recommend it to others.  However, I am planning to change to another backpack soon for reasons not related to the backpack itself.

The eBags Professional Slim is designed with the urban tech worker in mind.  The front organization compartment will organize and store all the necessary accessories that one might need to have with them for work.  It has plenty of spacious pockets for cables, power banks, pens/pencils, business cards and mobile peripherals.  There is also a pocket on the front that is gives easy access for notebooks and papers.  The bottom hard-shell "garage" allows you to store bulkier items such as power adapters for laptops.  The garage is one reason that I got the backpack as it protects those items as well as providing separating from other items so there's not a tangle of wires in the main compartment.

The laptop compartment is generous and good for both large and small laptops.  This is not a TSA-friendly compartment as it doesn't open up flat.  There is also a separate tablet/notebook pocket with a soft velvet-like interior which I've found to be surprisingly useful.

On the exterior there are some d-rings so you can hook stuff on and a couple of zippered pockets on the side that can be opened to hold water bottles.

Because of the all the organization available, I sometimes find myself not using the main compartment at all.  I often put papers in the laptop compartment since it also have paper pockets and everything else is loaded into the other parts of the backpack.

This is good because I don't like the main compartment that much.  The zipper only opens on two sides instead of three so I find it can be awkward to access items.  While it is spacious enough for books, paper, if the item is too think it makes the backpack look bulky.  The reason is that the Professional Slim is designed to be used both like a backpack and also like a brief case.  For the techie crowd, I'm not sure how much it matters to have something that looks like a brief case that isn't a brief case.  For the slim, even with the shoulder straps tucked away, it still looks like a backpack to me.

I mentioned that I'm planning to switch to another backpack.  The reason is that I'd like to try alternative ways to commute besides driving.  This might including biking, walking, public transit, etc. which means the backpack will get more exposure to the elements.  It also means that I'll need to bring an extra pair of clothes to change into at the office.  In trying to put the clothes and gym items, the Slim starts to feel and look very full.  When the main compartment is full and not packed in a more rectangular form getting other items from other parts of the backpack becomes tighter and more awkward.  If it wasn't for this reason, the Slim would a fine EDC backpack.

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