Schlepping the laptop around can be a chore if you don’t have the right bag. The ubiquitous laptop bags are not my style–I typically prefer a backpack-style even though some think they are an executive fashion faux pas. I’ll be the first to admit that I could care less what everyone else thinks–if it works and is comfortable, I say go for it.
Osprey has expanded into the daypack and laptop bag market with Swiss-like precision–choosing to deliver a targeted lineup that wouldn’t alienate their core set of customers. The new Osprey Flapjack pack is part commuter bag and part backpack, but with all the outdoor flair that Osprey owners love.
About the Osprey Flapjack
When someone like Osprey builds a courier or laptop bag, they apply their years of experience building bomber backpacks to the problems at hand. The Osprey Flapjack has a number of great features:
- Padded laptop sleeve for up to 15.4″ laptop (easily fits my 15″ MacBook Pro)
- Drawcord top for weather protection
- Reflective materials for safety
- Headphone cord keepers
- Flap cover to stash jackets, etc.
- Ribbed shoulder straps and back padding
- Multiple strap colors to accessorize (ooo la la)
- Colors: Pepper, Khaki, Black (tested)
- Size: 1500 cu. in.
- MSRP: $89
Osprey Flapjack Laptop Bag Review
New for Fall 2009, this laptop bag is medium-sized and is suitable for day-in/out schlepping of your laptop and various essentials you wish to haul around with you to and from work or school. While it’s not a huge pack and doesn’t have a ton of organization pockets, overall fit is spot-on with some unique Osprey style thrown in for kicks.
An all-day schlep is just as comfortable as a quick haul from the car to the office–thanks to the ergonomic shoulder straps. The padded laptop sleeve pocket can accommodate a 15″ MacBook Pro with ease (similar PC options should fit just fine). I found that pulling the laptop out of the bag was easy most of the time with an occasional catch on the corner from the rounded lid opening.
The main compartment is large and can fit plenty of books, clothes or shoes, but it can be somewhat of a black hole when looking for smaller items that have been left on the bottom. The addition of the single outside pocket is nice, but that pocket is also a black-hole experience (even moreso). I lost my wallet in that pocket as it tucked underneath the padded laptop sleeve. After emptying the contents, I was able to find it, but it was a scare as I sat in the airport waiting for my flight.
One other small gripe with the sternum strap is that it is located too high up on the straps and doesn’t allow for micro-adjustments. There are three slots for the strap and all three are too high. I use the lowest one when schlepping long distances, but would prefer it at least an inch lower.
As far as comfort while loaded, the pack is surprisingly comfortable under load–even though the back panel consists of only a flimsy sheet of plastic. But, the ribbed back panel cushioning allows a bit of airflow and aids in overall comfort. The anatomical shoulder straps curve in just the right places to distribute the load.
One really nice thing about the Flapjack is the addition of a waistbelt. For some reason, many bags in this category lack that all-important feature. Though I didn’t use it often, when I did, I truly appreciated it.
- Ribbed straps and back panel make for a comfortable fit
- Commuter-bag style flap-top panel adds to versatility
- Good size and ample external carrying capability on-the-fly
- Internal organizer pockets keep things straight
- Large padded laptop sleeve can carry about any laptop on the market
- Great to have a waistbelt option
- Main compartment can be somewhat of a black hole as items get stuck at the bottom and underneath the padded laptop sleeve’s bottom
- Sternum strap is too high with only three set adjustments instead of a sliding adjustment
- The side-accessible pocket is only moderately-useful
- Should have a zippered sleeve pocket on the lid exterior above the bird logo for papers (plane tickets), keys a wallet, etc.
The Bottom Line: Osprey Flapjack
A great mix of backpack and commuter bag, the Osprey Flapjack laptop bag allows you to schlep your laptop and plenty of other items in comfort and style.
Buy Now: Find Osprey Packs at Backcountry.com
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Thanks for this. Two questions: is that material on the back pretty good at maintaining airflow on the back, or at least better than the pretty worthless “airmesh” material most packs use?
Second, just to be clear from photos and what-not, that there are no external pockets for a water bottle?
The back panel consists of a lightweight plastic sheet inserted between two layers of foam. Then, on the outside (the part that touches your back), there are parallel ribbed panels that aid in airflow. It’s nothing like the Deuter Airstripes design or anything, but at least it’s better than a flat mesh panel.
As far as pockets go, there is now a single, zippered external pocket on the side, but unfortunately nothing to hold a water bottle.
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Loved reading this review. Guess the newest Flap series that Osprey has put out has gotten some cosmetic as well as functional updates.
Do you think you’re gonna make the switch? Maybe time to consider an updated post?
I’ll have to take a look at it. Thanks for the tip!