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Crumpler’s Dederang Heist laptop briefcase: Reviewed

I often need my laptop. But I hate carrying big bags so, as a compromise, I’ve always gone around with a Hedgren shoulder bag that happens to be a skin-tight fit for my netbook. It never fails: mall guards generally gasp when they realize I actually have a computer in that tiny bag.

Meanwhile, I’d see my sister bringing a huge bag everywhere, and I’d taunt her because of it.

In short, I’ve always been allergic to lugging a huge bag with me. So when I first held the Crumpler Dederang Heist in my hands, I felt the allergy thing kicking in. This is, after all, a bag that was designed to fit a 15” laptop, so my poor 10.1” Eee PC was destined to drown in it. Standing 11.4” high and and 15.75” wide, it’s what our reader Talkintech would call a “bayong bag” (how’s that for a shout-out, Bernie?).

No way would I stick with it.

Or so I thought.

Going big time

You know what? After I got this bag, I haven’t used my Hedgren in ages. And I don’t miss it at all. This Crumpler rocks because it’s just so spacious. It’s as if I’ve just traded up from a studio condo to a two-storey house, and it will be tough for me to go back to my tiny ways without feeling a tad deprived.

(As I write this, one song comes to mind: “Bulilit, bulilit sanay sa masikip…”)

With the Dederang, you get one capacious main compartment that is partitioned into a sleeve area, where you can securely drop your laptop, and a utility area for files, folders, books and what have you. Here you’ll also find four really deep pockets for your accessories and doodads. This main compartment is zipped up with Crumpler’s trademarked zipper. It’s a seamless heavy-duty zipper that, when zipped, is as flush as a Ziploc seal. Nice.

There’s also another zipper compartment for your frequently accessed items such as your wallet or your phone. Or at least that’s the idea. In practice, the level of effort required to access this compartment is just the same as that for the main compartment. No biggie, really, just that I fail to see what makes this a “quick access” compartment. My idea of a quick-access pouch is something that is located midway down a bag’s exoskeleton, possibly held together by Velcro or a mag-lock.

Here’s why it’s an issue for me: unzipping the big quick access compartment while the bag’s pinned under your arm can be quite an effort. Taking out your wallet at a stall can lead to some serious fumbling. It doesn’t have to be that way, Crumpler. Give me a side-mounted pouch anytime. Still, as an extra compartment, it’s pretty useful.

Built for keeps

Construction-wise, hey it’s a Crumpler. You can’t ask for more. Materials and build quality are topnotch. This is the kind of bag that’s built for a lifetime of use. Have to run to your car through a hard rainfall? Fear not, this bag can take it and keep everything secure.

It’s darn comfortable too. Neoprene padding means the strap won’t feel like a mandolin slicing down on your skin. You can load this up and you can keep going where other bags would already have worn you down. The shoulder strap is detachable. Without it, the bag can almost pass off for a serious business attaché.

Everything’s big here

I’m missing out on something though. Pen holders. Yeah, those little loops for you to latch your pens onto. This bag has none of those. Yes every single pocket is capacious enough to hold an entire collection of pens, but I still want my pens where I could easily see them, rather than go fishing for them.

I also wouldn’t mind having a smaller zippered compartment or two, just so I have the confidence that my smaller stuff aren’t bouncing about and getting lost inside this cavernous bag.

All in all though, I love this bag. Yes, I know I’m using a “briefcase” as a tote, but that’s my standard use case. And yes, my Eee PC may look puny inside it, but that just gives me even more space to put in ever more stuff. Big notebooks, little notebooks, file folders, a sketch pad, you name it. I’ve gone over to the dark side, carrying lots of things with me anywhere I go.

In short, I’ve turned into my sister. Lord help me.

Crumpler Dederang Heist
SRP Php 5,450

Likes

  • You can stuff your entire desk in here, and then some
  • The next best thing to indestructible
  • Comfy handles and straps

Dislikes

  • Call me old fashioned but what, no pen holders?
  • No small zipped compartments for small items
  • Quick access compartment not so quick to access
Art

Art

Art is a long-time editor for a number of technology publications. He is a Palanca-winning writer (he got lucky) whose day job is to try to be as serious as possible while being a management consultant and lecturer. His favorite noodles: chapchae.

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    • talkintech|

      Drat! My online persona has just been revealed!

      Is there a smaller bag in the new crumpled line? I’m in the market for a Murse that can fit my netbook or iPad + a few manly-man essentials ;)


    • minanget|

      . .i think this one is good for guys. . cause you know, gals bring more things than men. .


    • techie|

      How much does it cost?


      • @techie
        I just got the price now. The SRP is P5,450. Updated post already. :)


    • bad_boy|

      I bet this is PhP6k +. No shoulder strap? That would make lugging a 15in laptop a pain in the shoulders, neck, biceps etc.

      talkintech= Bernie J?

      It’s actually easy to make mall guards gasp. You just need one (preferably) uncooked saba.


    • Hi guys, updated the review with the price. Php 5,450


    • sneaky|

      looks elegant. im hoping to see some laptop bags that doesn’t really look like one. I like bags that can fit below a car seat so I can leave it even in public parking area.


    • azeroth|

      at first look i thought i wont like it, yet its design is good enough to impress me.


    • sparkymarks|

      this! i think i’ve found my new laptop bag! =D


    • I personally prefer small bags than huge ones. Im more of a minimalist thats why I prefer this great Crumpler bag. Being a mom and a virtual assistant I tend to mix mom things within my lappy bag which isn’t a good a idea and small lappy bags like this will “restrict” me from putting in mommy things which I think will work best :) Though it would’ve been even nice if they would add a shoulder strap into it.


      • Guys, my apologies if it wasn’t so clear in the article and photos. Yes there is a shoulder strap on this bag. A shoulder strap with clip ends in fact. So it’s detachable, but it’s there for all your shouldering needs. :)


    • NemOry|

      I just know that bags are also being reviewed, this site is a versatile reviewer, others are specific. . .I like TECHNOODLING..


    • extreme_aljii|

      Awesome! Technoodling’s 12 days of Christmas Giveaway!


    • msuniverse|

      This bag is cool! I’ve been searching for a bag that could carry my big laptop and here it is. It’s cool plus it seems to keep things in order! :D


    • This would be perfect if it looks more fashionable. It kinda doesn’t fit my “kikay” personality.


    • hehemarv|

      Its an all in one bag for the techie people. But it is expensive..


    • starriesun|

      This bag is perfect for my friend who recently bought his Macbook Air. I would definitely recommend this to him.


    • longgee|

      Nice bag! i will try to see if it will suit me :p Question though, does it come in different colors?


    • @longgee No, unfortunately the Heists come only in black. I guess it’s in the spirit of appearing businesslike. :)


    • I’m sure this is expensive! But I really like the details and the pockets inside. You can put a lot of things like your phone and hd disk. Cool!


    • This is the best gift for the missus!


    • techieman|

      wahahaha…. Talkintech is popular here I really didnt know…. as what you have like.. the price is reasonable for it has several compartments and easy to carry… hey your like I ike too pen holders!! hehehe


    • Lea|

      I think this bag is appropriate for guys. But for gals like me, the bag lacks aesthetic appeal. But for durability and practical purposes, this bag tops the list. Actually, my Sony Vaio (with 15.5″ LCD display) will still fit perfectly in this bag. And I agree with the reviewer, I would also like a pen holder (LOL). It’s more convenient for me. I hate fishing for them at the bottom of the compartments. A detachable shoulder strap is a nice addition, though.


    • Lea|

      I’m posting my comment again because my previous comment did not appear on this thread after more than 30 minutes…
      I think this laptop bag is more appropriate for guys. For gals like me, I think this bag lacks aesthetic appeal. But for durability and practical purposes, this bag tops the list. I believe that my Sony Vaio laptop which has a 15.5″ LCD display would still fit in this bag. Also, I agree with the reviewer, I, too, want a pen holder (hehe). It’s more convenient for me: no fishing for pens at the bottom of the compartments. The detachable shoulder strap is a nice additional feature.


    • Earl Cuesta|

      My friends, so far, have given me good reviews of Crumpler bags. Since I usually carry a lot of docs, the Dederang heist looks ok for a laptop, documents, and some other smaller gadgets.


    • cokeycyn|

      I love all things Crumpler. I love its great construction, and I love its quirky-but-so-tech-savvy designs. At first glance of the Heist, I couldn’t help but think … where’s the Crump in this Crumpler?? and then you opened it up for a bright orange interior, and then I realized the Crumpler quirk was hiding inside. Cute, but also a bit too hidden for me. I’m sure this will allow “serious” office folk to finally fulfill their secret desire to own a Crumpler …. But call ME old-fashioned: I’d seriously buy this if only it were orange and red stripes!! :D


    • mc9402|

      To the author of this review:
      Do you think that the SRP of the briefcase suits with its convenience/features?

      Hopefully, in the future… a comparative review will be written about all of trending laptop briefcases :)


      • @mc9402
        My take: Crumpler is not for everybody. For the budget-conscious, there are certainly lots of other bags out there that can fit the bill, albeit without the panache that Crumpler has. So for this market, I cannot say that the briefcase SRP is worth it.

        But if you’re the target market of brands such as Samsonite, Hedgren, Fossil, and others, then by all means, Crumpler’s Heist is definitely a bag to consider. Build quality, features and comfort make this very well worth it, especially if you consider that it’s built to last lifetimes. :)


    • ryq|

      i love the designs of crumpler bags especially this one but they are too expensive.


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