A backpack? Seriously? Why is there a review of a backpack in the tech section? And from Maingear, no less. They make backpacks?
Well, the answer to the first and third questions is “yes”, and as for the second one, tech enthusiasts and gear heads alike both need a good backpack to carry all their cool sh*t around with them.
So, enter Maingear’s “Classic Backpack”, a companion for what I assume to be their gaming laptops. Regardless of intended purpose, how does Classic Backpack stack up against other bags? What do you get for getting a tech centric backpack anyway? Find out, in our review below.
A unit for review was provided to Culture of Gaming.
Starting off superficially, Maingear’s backpacks are offered in three colors: White, Black, and this sort of slate textured Grey with red accents. The “gamerness” of the bag is kept relatively low also, with only the minimal Maingear logo badged on the front of the bag, as well as Maingear branding on several zipper pulls and tags throughout the bag. But, they’re kept nice and subtle. Already off to a good start.
Moving into the actual wear-ability of the bag itself, it features 4 relatively well sized but very well padded back pads. The feel of them took some getting used to, something I would chock up to the physical size of Classic Bag being smaller than my everyday carry bag (for reference, Razer’s “Tactical Bag”). Furthermore, the shoulder straps, despite being narrower than I’m used to, were quite a bit thicker in terms of padding. So far, A+ for padding. While we’re talking about the back-area, I would like to call attention to the luggage strap, making it easy to carry securely on top of a suitcase while travelling. A nice little detail.
Looks aside, a backpack should be judged based on how well it actually carries stuff around.
There are what I would describe as 4 zipper pockets to the bag, and open as traditional backpack slots. The first, being a relatively tiny pocket located behind what seems to be the very well attached carrying handle. This “accessory” pouch saw great use carrying things that I really just want quick access to on a day to day basis. I personally used to carry my Galaxy Buds and a couple of flash drives, but also found it to work carrying sunglasses.
Moving forward one space, is the main pocket. And wow. The main compartment features several slots for organization, and is designed with the idea of purposeful space, and not necessarily raw storage space. The first slot is designed to hold a laptop up to around 15 inches, the next slot for a roughly 13 inch tablet, and finally before reaching the space area of the slot, is a little vertical pouch that was a perfect place for my Nintendo Switch. Across from those slots, mounted on the opposite wall, is a relatively wide and deep, but thin zipper pouch I used to store several cables.
The Classic Backpack was able to achieve the same usability and storage as my previously used significantly larger backpack, and it’s able to do this due to its efficient layout. I had no problem storing my ultrabook laptop, my 10 inch tablet, my aforementioned Switch, and of course normal supplies as well. Even storing all of the gadgets, I was still able to fit two novel sized books, several notebooks, and the odd textbook if needed that day. Admittedly, things got a bit snug when fully loaded, but it managed just fine.
Moving on to the first front pocket, it’s designed in a similar manner, laying out purposeful slots for everything with two holders for pens, and two holders for…other things? This front pocket is where the first real disappointment of the bag came from. While it was nice to have dedicated areas for pens, something my previous bag from Razer lacked, I couldn’t quite find a purpose for the other two slots. They proved to be either too short or too narrow. Attempting to fit a graphing calculator in there didn’t work, as the top stuck out past being able to close the pocket, and the pockets were too narrow to hold my relatively compact 65W laptop charger. But the organization ends there. I missed the business card slots and dedicated USB drive slots from my Razer bag.
Past that pocket, is the comparatively basic quick drop slot. No organization here, just a reasonable amount of raw storage space. I used it to store things that don’t require the padding of the aforementioned accessory pouch, but still need quick access to. For example, a USB hub.
Ending the main pockets, the backpack is also adorned with two side pockets. The first of which being designated as a water bottle holder. Upon first glance, I didn’t think the pouch would stretch far enough to accomodate a water bottle of any substantial size, but I was proven wrong, and found that the standard girth that most bottles have will fit the slot just fine.
The other side pocket, is the “extra waterproof” portable battery holder with a cable drop through out the bottom, so you don’t have to constantly take it out of the relatively snug pocket, and the cable drop was nothing but convenient. It accommodated my 18000mA battery no problem, and would reckon you could probably get a larger sized one in there no problem.
Speaking of waterproofing, that was one of my initial concerns going to this bag. For being branded as such a tech centric bag, outside of the obviously waterproof battery bank sidepouch, I didn’t see any obvious waterproofing features. A mild concern of mine, considering how much electronics I was walking around with. My previous Razer bag being constructed with nylon, something already relatively water resistant, and for the torrential downpours, what’s effectively a tarp stored around the bottom and wraps around the bag for extra safety.
My fears of waterproofing were abated after I walked thirty minutes through a storm with the Classic Bag, and the insides still being dry. I would still be somewhat cautious with this though, as I really wouldn’t expect it to survive a storm in say a region like Asia, but the relatively mild rain I get in the Southwest United States will be no problem for the Classic Bag.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Classic Backpack were all the little details scattered throughout the design of this bag. As aforementioned, the luggage strap on the back, to kick things off. While still on the back, the two lower back pads have tiny, compact zipper pockets. One of them comes pre-loaded(!) with a Tile device courtesy of Maingear, so you can find your bag if it’s ever lost. The other backpad pocket is blank, and could accommodate say a passport quite easily.
The accessory pouch, and the main pouch, are both incredibly well lined with this really soft felt-like material. Furthermore, there is significant padding, even on the walls between the laptop-tablet slots. This is further compounded by the thick padding present on the bottom, cushioning your devices from getting your bag down.
Speaking of the interior, on my color scheme (the ‘Slate Grey’) the interior is a relatively contrasting red color, making it easier to see items that may have fallen into the depths. While it’s not as contrasty as the fluorescent orange present in other tech centric bags like MOS bags, it’s still better than having a dark interior.
And that brings us to the conclusion. The Classic Backpack from Maingear is well worth the price of admission at $99. Efficiently laid out space and thoughtful details really seal the deal, and is a worthy pickup for someone looking to be able to competently carry all their cool sh*t. It’s relatively durable, plenty portable, and quaintly comfortable.
So credit where credit is due, Maingear. You guys more or less nailed it, and I’ll be interested in seeing additional lines or operational improvements.
You can buy the Classic Backpack on Maingear’s website here.
For more tech news and reviews, check out or tech section here!
- THE GOOD
- Thoughtful Details
- Discreet Styling
- Efficient Use Of Space
- Comfortable and Portable
- THE BAD
- Some Things Are Just Slightly Less Thought Out
The Classic Backpack is a fantastic carrying device for all of your gadgets. What it lacks in raw storage space, it makes up for in organization and efficiency.