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Computerized Investing > January 12, 2013
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by Joe Lan, CFA

$179.95

A medium-sized hybrid laptop and carry-on bag.

I generally carry two sets of items around with me on weekdays: my laptop and a change of clothing for the gym. Naturally, I am always on the lookout for a lightweight, medium-sized bag with a separate laptop compartment; a bag that I like to call (very imaginatively) a gym-laptop bag. The Skooba Laptop Weekender bag is a very functional bag for this purpose. In addition, this bag is roomy enough to be used as a “carry-all” for a short trip or a weekend getaway.

Design

I appreciate the overall understated look of the bag, which only comes in one design: mostly black with light blue details. It also has decent padding all around to protect the contents, so I would not hesitate to carry electronics in it. The bag’s dimensions are 18 by 12 by 11 inches, which means it is on the small end of the medium-sized travel bags category. The shoulder strap is well-padded and shaped like a bean, which forms a nice contour when carrying it on your shoulder.

The Skooba Laptop Weekender bag has one main compartment in the middle and four additional pockets on each side of the bag. The main compartment in the middle is large enough to hold most personal belongings for a short trip. I can also place a 15.6-inch laptop flat and it fits almost perfectly. However, the main compartment is not overly large, so the bag wouldn’t fare well for a trip longer than just a few days.

A laptop pocket that can hold a laptop of up to 15.6 inches is located on the side of the bag. During my testing, a laptop of that size was very snug and I doubt a larger laptop would fit. There is also some additional padding in this pocket to protect the laptop from everyday bumps that the bag will surely encounter.

On the other side of the laptop pocket, there is another pocket of the same size that looks like it would be a good fit for another laptop. Unfortunately, there is no padding or protection and since the pocket is on the outside of the bag, I would not recommend putting another laptop in that compartment. The shape of the pocket suggests that it is best used for papers, folders and notebooks. In addition, there are some separate compartments that can be used for smaller electronic items such as phones and calculators. There is also a business card slot in this pocket.

The two small pockets on each end can hold small electronic accessories such as chargers, wires, phones and more. It can also be used for toiletries or personal items during trips. A separate compartment is available in the side pocket that is designed to hold a tablet.

Overall

The Skooba Laptop Weekender bag is well-designed—lightweight, portable and sturdy. Personally, I use the bag to carry gym equipment and my laptop for days when I am carrying around both. Although the price tag is on the higher end for a non-leather bag, the excellent functionality and durability makes up for this potential negative.

Pro

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Includes padded laptop compartment
  • Has separate compartments for tablet and other smaller electronic devices

Cons

  • Price

Skooba Laptop Weekender V.3

$179.95 (currently $112 from Amazon.com)

Joe Lan, CFA is a financial analyst at AAII.


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