Review by Pope Galang
I miss those old ‘Jansport’ or ‘Eastpak’ bags we used to lug around back when I was in High School. Those bags were sturdy and had an uber-simple design and no frills. No side mesh compartments for water bottles, no pockets on the strap for easy access to your trusty pager or Micro-Tac, no built-in laptop sleeves (portable computers were not “de rigueur” back then), no fancy pockets for your portable Discman. These bags just had 2 compartments: a big one for your books, Trapper Keeper and other large items, and a small one in front for everything else.
Pagers are now smartphones, Discmans are now iPods, and laptops are now so common that your friendly neighborhood pawnshop will accept them as collateral for a loan. With its sturdy and simple design, the Crumpler Private Zoo backpack is this generation’s ‘Jansport’ or ‘Eastpak’. The bag is compact and simple – aside from the main compartment, there is only one other pocket on the outside. Inside the main chamber, there is not a lot of space – just enough for a laptop and a few other things (i.e. some documents, a book, a couple of sandwiches) – with special emphasis on “few”.
The built in-interior laptop sleeve stretches to accommodate even the thickest mobile computers – I was able to fit my (very) thick 15 inch work laptop and my wife’s iPad in the sleeve comfortably. Heavy padding at the back, sides, and bottom keeps your stuff protected. Big, comfortable, and heavily padded straps make carrying this bag easy, even for long walks. Straps can be easily adjusted – no more fussing around with latches and hooks – just pull to tighten. Construction and materials are very sturdy, with Crumpler’s legendary ’til death do us part’ warranty. The reflectorized material at the bottom keeps you visible when walking along at night, useful when you’re on your way home after some serious overtime.
The Crumpler Private Zoo bag is available for P3950 in a multitude of colors and patterns. I got the black/gunmetal color combination – classic, clean and discreet – just the way I like it.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a simple, uncomplicated, and sturdy laptop bag, the Crumpler Private Zoo backpack is definitely worth adding to your shortlist.
Want a Crumpler Private Zoo backpack for yourself? Find out how to win one here.
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