Until now Speck has been mostly known for its various cases, either the See Thru hard shell for the Apple line of Macbooks and iMac, or a variety of different types cases for the iPhone and iPod. So I guess it was only a natural progression for them to dip their fingers in to the backpacks and notebook sleeve arena. Earlier this year at CES we reported about Speck making this leap. So what could Speck do that a million other companies have tried before and yet manage to still be different? Well the first thing would be provide the consumer with superior quality as well as a fashion forward product. Speck does indeed do this with its AftPack Notebook Backpack and TuckPack Notebook Carrying Sleeve.
The AftPack Notebook Backpack
Designed for the student as well as the on the go professional, the AftPack Notebook Backpack is durable as well as trendy. It carries notebooks up to 17″ as well as a boatload of other goodies that you can easily stuff incto this bag. There is a headphone cord-pass through, a detachable key leash, and interior pockets for loose change or other small items. The interior is made of a extra plush and padded teal colored microfiber meant to keep your laptop safe from the elements outside and inside your bag.
When it comes to quality, the AftPack Backpack is impeccably made. The stitching inside the bag is sublime and you can tell that whomever designed and created this backpack – did it with love. There are the small details that only a genuine bag lover would notice. There is a velcro enclosure to hold your laptop in place and even a secret pocket to keep some extra cash in. The fact alone that you can quickly access your laptop through the quick access back panel saves you time. If you are on the the go and need a place to store a bottle of water, the AftPack supports that too. There are rubber ‘feet’ on the bottom of the bag to protect the material from coming into contact with a dirty floor or endure dragging.
For those who need to lug around their whole office. The front compartment is concealed with a flap and a buckle for extra security, as well as velcro, that too when opened, reveals a teal colored interior with two pockets and another compartment. The body of the bag has of course the laptop area as well as another netted pocket for your MP3 player or whatever ails you.
The exterior of the bag is made as well as the interior is made, and it’s available in either Speakeasy Black Pin Stripe or Coffee house brown plaid. The material is durable and can easily endure trips to class as well as it would endure flight travel. Personally, this bag is ideal for bloggers who are always running from meeting to meeting and need to report on the latest happenings. So being able to lug around all your equipment in a well made bag that also looks professional yet hip, is very appealing. The backpack on its own is pretty lightweight on your back and not too bulky as well. The AftPack Backpack retails for $99.95 and is worth every penny.
TuckPack Notebook Sleeve
What could be the little bro of the AftPack Backpack, the TuckPack Sleeve is perfect for those on the go who are looking to pack light but still looking to be professional. The TuckPack Sleeve is a notebook sleeve and simplistic messenger bag all in one. It is designed to protect your laptop with its interior plush lining with that same teal color that the AftPack Backpack is sporting. The interior stitching resembles a quilt and its light puffy texture help prevent impact to your laptops.
The slim design will only hold laptops up to 13″ which means it’s also perfect for netbooks. The thin front inner pocket makes it easy to grab for letter size documents and the extra padded notebook compartment once again protects your laptop and keeps it separate from other items you may stuff in the bag. The exterior of the TuckPack is well made with attention to detail just like the AftPack. The secure velcro closure also keeps the flap down and your laptop protected from the outside elements.
The cool factor with the TuckPack is the included shoulder strap. That is not something you usually get with notebook sleeves – it transforms this durable sleeve into a slim messenger bag. You can easily snap the buckles in to the sleeve and you’ll have transformed the case into something easy to transport. If you’re not in the mood to use the shoulder strap – just unsnap it easily from the sleeve. I was able to clip and unclip the shoulder strap buckles within seconds. There is no fear that the strap will break away from the sleeve, the clasps that hold the sleeve are made extremely well and are stitched into the lining of the TuckPack. The strap itself is padded and made with a seatbelt-like quality that is very comfortable. The TuckPack Sleeve is available in Speakeasy Black Pin Stripe or Coffee house brown plaid and retails for $39.95.
The AftPack Backpack and TuckPack Sleeve are both testimonials to the kind of products Speck produces. This may be new territory for the company venturing into bags, but they’re doing it right. Each laptop bag consists of details and finishes that many other products of this nature simply to not have. When you hold the backpack or sleeve you can understand the thought that went in to them, and the many meetings and designers who looked at this product before it was released to the masses. It’s the little things that count and both the AftPack and TuckPack have that and so much more.
The Good: The AftPack and TuckPack are made extremely well and have features that are lacking with its competitors. Great for both students or professionals. Lightweight and durable.
The Bad: Would have liked a little more color/pattern choices for both items. The AftPack Backpack may seem pricey for those looking for an economical choice.