Finding a good backpack that can fit all of your gadgets can be surprisingly tedious, so how does the Koolerpek Gadget Backpack measure up? There are a few key factors I look for in a backpack.
1) Does it have space gadgets?
2) How does it look?
2) Does it have bottle holders?
4) Is the price reasonable?
Generally, you are going to have to sacrifice at least one of these with most products but, on the face of it, the Koolerpek backpack has all aspects covered.
Koolerpek is available on Amazon for $39.99
Does the Koolerpek have enough space for gadgets?
The most important feature I need from a backpack is its ability to hold my laptop, the biggest of which is a 13” MacBook Pro. A backpack that can’t take a laptop is not much good to anyone who needs their computer for work, especially those who travel regularly. After all, why have a backpack and a laptop case, it’s just unnecessary. This is where the Koolerpek exceeds. Not only is it able to comfortably fit my 13” laptop, but it can also accommodate devices up to 17.6”, which really is a breakthrough. The sleeve is nice and padded, meaning that I feel comfortable sliding my computer in there without a case, and the Velcro strap at the top ensures it stays in place if I take my bag off and carry it around.
So, what about everything else? Well, this is probably one of the most comprehensive gadget bags I’ve come across (and I’ve had a few). From bags meant for sport, to others that are designed for tech, this is one of the most well rounded. I find that I can easily fit everything I want to carry in the bag, but it doesn’t rattle around loose, almost everything has its own space. The tablet sleeve is a little big for my 7” tablet, but is designed to be able to hold the larger models like the iPad Pro, so it’s easy to see why my smaller model gets a little lost. The small pockets in the front section also seem as though they were designed for a portable charger. It’s at this point that I think there has been a missed opportunity. While there is a space for earphones in the top pocket, a space for a charging cable to run within the bag would have been a huge asset, as the front pocket with charger space is not big enough to also hold a tablet, or other devices.
Size and pockets – 10/10
How does it look?
The grey is the most appealing color for the Koolerpek, as the black and blue options seem a little too shiny. However, normally on a bag there is a pocket to break up the front, but that is lacking from this product, making its outward face seem vast. Though it doesn’t sound like a major downside (and realistically it isn’t) the bag is bigger than you might expect, and the front doesn’t look as good in real life as it does in the pictures, which are mostly taken side on. Another gripe with the front section is that the top lip is rigid. Although the face of the backpack is padded, which is a nice feature as it shows the designers have created it with delicate electronics in mind, the lip over the first zipper is unnecessary and unsightly. After nearly three months of using this bag I have yet to discover what advantage it delivers for the backpack, so it must be purely aesthetic and could easily have been left out. One theory is that this lip is a theft-prevention method and, although it does make the front zip hard to get to, that also impacts negatively on the owner. Coupled with the fact that this particular zipper opens from the side, rather than the top, and that the other zippers are all easily accessible, the pretence of it being a valuable security feature is painfully thin.
The last issue with the looks is that, as mentioned before, the bag is definitely bigger than you expect. It needs to be if it is to fit a 17.6” laptop but, if you are used to a regular size bag, this may feel a bit cumbersome to start with. However, once you are used to carrying a backpack of this size, that worry will dissipate as it doesn’t look abnormally large when worn, even by someone with a smaller frame.
Looks – 6/10
Does it have bottle holders?
Simply? Yes. There is a reason that this is important to me. If you are going to be carrying your gadgets around in your bag, the last thing you want to do is put a bottle of water in there with them. Even the best water bottles can be temperamental and decide on a whim to lose their contents. So, given that this bag can hold pretty much all of your beloved tech, it is for the best that all liquids can be kept on the outside and away from danger.
One thing worth noting about the Koolerpek is that it claims to be made from waterproof polyester but, in testing and in general usage, I have found some issues. Though I have never experienced water inside the bag, which is an important point, the outside of the bag is not waterproof, or even water resistant. However, it will keep the contents dry.
At just $39.99 (£32.99), it is very hard to find fault with the price. Ordinarily, the rule of “you get what you pay for” holds true but, in this case, the overall quality and design far exceeds the price you pay. Realistically, you can buy this bag without any real risk, as its only $10 more expensive than the far uglier and less efficient Amazon Basics model.
Price – 10/10
Overall, this bag is one of, if not the best gadget bag on the market right now. As it is priced at a point where it competes with even the most basic of bags, its ability to roll with the big boys in both quality and looks makes it a pack leader. You can comfortably fit pretty much any conceivable gadget in the bag, and the padded and comfortable straps and back will help prevent you suffering from lugging around the weight of all that tech.
If you like to travel with your gadgets and need a way of keeping them all in one place, with some extra space for clothes or whatever else, then this bag is definitely worth a go. Forget about the top end ones as, in my experience, they offer little more for their far higher price tag. Look no further than the Koolerpek.
Overall – 9/10