Lowepro RidgeLine 250 AW Daypack REVIEW
A great bag for every occasion.
As a project manager, I find myself having to work at odd hours — sometimes sacrificing my nights and weekends to daytime work. As such, I tend to carry everything, but the kitchen sink to and from work every day. I always have my personal laptop (13-in MacBook Pro), my iPad Air 2, many different cables, a power supply, and a spare battery just in case of emergencies. On top of that, I sometimes have cause to also carry my Lenovo PC laptop, which is quite a bit heavier than the MBP.
Needless to say, sometimes my carry-all bags get quite heavy. For many years I carried my belongings in a rolling laptop case. While it was a nice option at the time, my commuting needs have changed and a backpack is much more versatile. Unfortunately, with the amount of stuff I carry around with me, I need something that distributes weight well and has a lot of pockets for organization. I have found that with the Lowepro RidgeLine BP 250 AW Daypack.
A daypack — defined as a small backpack, used for day hikes or for carrying books — doesn’t really accurately describe the RidgeLine 250. While it was inspired by daily hikers and school bags, it really provides so much more. First, the bag is made from heavy-duty polyester that is PU coated, which makes it water-resistant. I had the opportunity to test out just how water-resistant on several occasions. I am located in the mid-west and if you’ve ever seen the movie Twister, you know exactly how unpredictable the weather in this part of the world can be. During the spring months, it’s not unusual for us to have heavy downpours at a moment’s notice. And my regular walk from my parking spot to my office building is about a quarter of a mile. After the first rain storm I experienced with the RidgeLine, I knew my belongings were safe. While I was drenched head-to-toe, my computer and all its accessories were bone dry inside the pack. Even though I wasn’t using it at the time, RidgeLine 250 does come with an all-weather AW cover, which helps to protect the pack from rain, snow, dust, sand.
The second feature I adore about the RidgeLine 250 is its organizational compartments. There are two main sections for storage and then several smaller pockets. The largest section features one of the two CradleFit compartments for a laptop. This part of the backpack is large enough to fit a second full size laptop (the aforementioned Lenovo) as well as paperwork. The smaller storage section is still large enough for multiple accessories — I use it mainly for cables and batteries — and includes the second CradleFit compartment for a standard 10″ tablet. This is where my iPad Air 2 calls home. Typically, I carry my iPad inside a keyboard case, but I recently found a silicone bumper case that allows it to fit into the space in the RidgeLine much easier. I think the pocket is big enough for a larger case, but it’s padded enough to safely store and transport a tablet, so you may not need to worry about it.
The design of RidgeLine is simple and clean. It does come in three colors — black, blue, or camo. The black version — the one that I have — has orange accent pieces, which match the brand colors of Lowepro. The grab handle on the top of the backpack seems quite narrow and doesn’t look like it would be for decoration only. However, I frequently use it when pulling the bag onto a desk or into a chair for packing. I’ve not felt that the handle has faltered in any way. The pack is definitely designed with the users’ comfort in mind. Not only does the bag provide a wonderfully balanced core — distributing weight evenly — and well appointed cubbies for storage, but it also has a very breathable air-mesh back panel. This is incredibly helpful especially if you are wearing it for longer periods of time.
The Lowepro RidgeLine 250 AW Daypack is great for any type of use. Whether your are a professional or outdoor enthusiast, this backpack will get you where you want to go.
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Originally published at macsources.com on May 17, 2016.