Universal Laptop Backpack
Availability: On Backorder, ETA: 1/15/24
• $5.05 flat rate U.S. ground shipping
- Compact, Extremely lightweight design featuring new "Diamond Weave" nylon fabric
- Fits all current generation Apple laptops and all generation iPads
- Holds portable computers up to 15.4" + all tablets
- Top of the line YKK zippers with soft touch rubber pulls
- Waterproofed fabrics provide outstanding protection from rain, snow, etc.
- Twin side reflective insets provides safety
- New Cyan / White BrightSight interior design makes it easier to find your stuff
- Fully lined and padded interior
- Main compartment features "Tilt Away" design making loading and unloading easier than other packs
- Main compartment with dedicated laptop compartment and dedicated tablet compartment
- Front compartment with 4 high mounted pockets
- "X" Brace air mesh rear panel provides outstanding comfort
- Padded "shawl style" shoulder straps
- Integrated top handle
- Twin side mounted H2O bottle pockets
- Heavy duty textured bottom panel for long wear life
- 16.75 x 13 x 6 / 18oz
- Optional Accessory Pouch available for cables, chargers, adapters, etc. (6.5 x 6.5 x 1.25)
- Pouches feature top of the line YKK zippers with custom rubber pulls
- Pouches are perfectly matched to the Universal Laptop Backpacks
- 1 Year Limited Warranty / 14 Day Return Policy
- International Customers: Complete shipping costs and import duties will be shown at checkout. You will incur no further costs to receive your MacCase than those shown.
- Any questions? Call 760 729 0620 M-F 10-4 PST
What's the Best Small Laptop Backpack?
Whenever we develop a new model we try to make it the best of it's kind in it's class. When we developed the Universal Backpack we wanted nothing short of creating the best small laptop backpack available for the money.
Of course we can pat ourselves on the back and tell ourselves what a wonderful job we did and how successful we were at achieving our goal. But you know were are wearing the myopia glasses so patting ourselves on the back is somewhat expected.
And hey, we worked hard and we want you to like our work. It's a good sign when someone creates something they're proud of. The world could use with a bit more product quality to be proud of vs. being proud of a marketing campaign for a mediocre or weak product.
The Universal Laptop Backpack is for the person that appreciates subtleness and quality in design and execution of an idea. This little pack is dense with features yet is surprisingly simple when first observed.
If you're someone looking for a pack for commenting to work or school, as a day use pack for traveling or even a portable workstation when in the field, this pack is perfect.
For years it has been accepted belief that BMW made the best small sport sedan, their venerable 3 series. I believe it's the longest running car on Car & Drivers 10 best list. It's the benchmark.
If you're a car company and you want to make a small, sporty sedan and be taken seriously about it, you buy a 3 Series, tear it down, copy it if you can and put your logo on whatever it is you create.
When a car company launches a new small sporty sedan to the press they always reference how much better their new offering is than the 3 Series. "We have this, and this and this and this and they don't", the typical pitch goes.
The whole press briefing is spent taking up the new car vs. the 3 series. Then they let the press drive their new car and go back and write their articles (or edit the video footage they've shot).
Then we read the pieces and the conclusions are almost always the same, "Yeah the new car is good but it's not a 3 Series". " Yeah this is nice and that is nice, but overall the 3 Series still reigns"… and so on.
Did the car company that built the 3 Series fighter think they did a great job? Of course they did. It may be the best small sporty sedan in the company's history. But the journalists and more importantly, the customers have the last word.
Customer Small Laptop Backpack Reviews
Which brings us back to the best small laptop backpack. If you check the MacCase Universal Backpack page, there have been two reviews posted as of this writing. One for 4 stars and one for 5. And we'll take that. Here is the 5 star review -
"Great solution for a light weight, mid-sized bag for my new MacBook 12" and other toys. I needed a small to mid-sized bag for around town coffee shop runs and some light, casual travel. I was pleased to find the Universal Laptop Backpack!
My first impression during unboxing was how light the bag is, second is how well padded the bag is. Currently I have these items in the bag with a LOT of interior room to spare... MacBook 12", iPad Mini, Canon G7x camera, Think Tank Cable Mgt 10 small pouch full of cables/chargers/etc., a full size and a mid-size Moleskine notebook, two pens, Beats Studio headphones, iPod Nano and a microfiber cloth.
The bag holds way more than you think it will, it's quite amazing despite the modest exterior size. I prefer a subtle look for my bags, nothing flashy that screams "steal me, I'm full of electronics!". The Universal Laptop Backpack is stealthy and beautiful at the same time.
My items are well protected and the bag doesn't weigh a ton. I love the padded handle on top of the bag, great for flying and in/out of the car. The best part about this bag is everything above, but for less than $100... simply awesome. A few more pockets would have been nice, but that is by no means a complaint. This bag balances minimal with functional very well. This is my first MacCase bag and I am already contemplating my second one!"
For Scott, our product was the best small laptop backpack. Everything this customer mentions above was in our brief for the new design. It's very rewarding to read such a review because, like the car company trying to make a 3 Series fighter, the sub $100 backpack market is very crowded and very competitive. But quoting happy customers on a company website is well, easy if you have a good product.
Third Party Website Laptop Backpack Reviews
What about a third party website that specializes in only selling bags whose customer base is particularly knowledgeable and extremely critical about the bags they buy. This would be the equivalent of the launching the 3 Series fighter and seeing what the world thinks. If you had hopes of making the worlds best small laptop backpack, this would be the place to prove it.
Well the customers on ebags.com have spoken. 100% recommended, 4.8 stars out of 5 which is even higher score than the 4.5 on our own site. Some of the comments include,
"The bag is very nice. I love the zippers which allows the bag to open wider than other backpacks. The cushion is also outststanding."
This little pack from MacCase really spoke to my needs. It's light, compact, and kind of round in a way that doesn't say you're carrying a laptop. I have to walk at night a lot so the reflective strips on the sides are an extra safety bonus."
"There are a lot of clever details all over this bag. I think the thing that makes this pack so good is the way it puts all these things together. It seems very tough but also very refined. Overall I can see using this bag for a long time. So far it's been a great companion and a great value. Highly recommended!"
Does a little company like MacCase build the worlds best small laptop backpack? Well "best" is a very subject term and even when people try to objectify it, it still causes arguments.
They key takeaway here is than we know our little Universal Backpack is not the best small laptop backpack for everybody, the only person it has to be the best solution for is you. If you're looking for a lightweight, compact day use pack, have a look at our Universal Backpack. And let us know (and the rest of the world too!) if you think it's the best small laptop backpack.
For insight into how and why our Universal Laptop Backpack was designed the way it was, continue reading.
A Better Laptop Backpack - Behind the Design
For this interview, we are again speaking to MacCase President and Chief Creative Officer Michael Santoro about the company's new Universal Laptop Backpack.
JKD - What was the design brief for the new Universal Laptop Backpack?. What did you want to accomplish?
MS - The backpack market has changed so much. With advent of smaller, lighter, thinner devices, MacCase laptop backpack design needed to change. The 17" MacBook Pro is long gone. We loved the 17" and did many form factors for those customers. But as stated, the market is now about phones, tablets and lightweight, thin laptops.
Laptop backpacks are as ubiquitous as laptops themselves and they fall into several categories. Some look like you are going camping. Others look like you are going to hike around Europe for a month. Some scream, "Hey I've got a really expensive laptop in here, come and steal me!" Our new backpack is none of those things. It's compact form perfectly aligns with the compact devices it's designed to carry.
It's organic shape belies the fact there is a laptop and tablet inside, increasing your security. You security is further enhanced by the reflective Scotchlight inserts. The list goes on. We've been designing laptop backpacks since there's been laptop cases. All our best ideas are present in this model.
Our job is to figure out the best way to protect and transport this new generation of smaller, lighter devices. What are the newest materials we can use to make it light and add function? How big or small should it be? What about security and comfort?
What we set out to accomplish, and I know it sounds lofty, was to design the best small laptop backpack for the price. You need to address so many issues with a lightweight laptop backpack design and this little bag does an incredible amount of things really well for a very reasonable, sub-$100 price.
JKD - So how'd you do it?
MS - We started with a form factor that is reflective of where we see the market going. The overall size is about 4/5 ths the size of a "normal" backpack. Not only does it make for a very compact form, but it's incredibly light weight as well.
This might be the best lightweight laptop backpack out right now. At the same time, the customer can still safely store both a 15.4 laptop and any tablet inside. This gives the bag a very broad appeal.
Another thing we addressed was security. So many laptop backpacks look like laptop backpacks. They send a clear message that you're carrying a computer and that becomes a risk. We wanted to take protection and security to a new level. The Universal Laptop Backpack doesn't look like a laptop backpack. It's visually too small. The design deters theft and lowers your risk of being a target.
Moreover, there are reflective inserts on each side so you can been seen at night crossing a street. This is important if your riding a bike or motorcycle after dark. So yes, the backpack is padded and will hold your computer and tablet and phone. We're going beyond that.
I wanted a design that showed that we care about our customers, about keeping them and their stuff stuff safe. That's taking this type of general use backpack design to a whole new and different level.
All in the Family
JKD - The finished product looks like the sibling to your new Messenger Bag. Why the similarity?
MS - They were designed at the same time. We ran the Messenger program and the new lightweight laptop backpack program simultaneously. We wanted a clean break from the older MacCase designs. The new lightweight laptop backpack reflects the new black - white - cyan blue visual vocabulary. They share materials, construction and details like our new molded rubber zipper pulls.
It's a smart, cost effective way to design products and it allows us to use much high quality fabrics, foams and hardware and meet our price point. Another thing that was important to establish with both models was that they are both universal. Our older messenger bag and laptop backpack are Apple specific. These are for everyone.
Anyone can put any hardware in them and they work great. We wanted to launch them as a pair, as a symbol of a new direction for our standard line. That's not to say the new model is not the perfect 13 inch MacBook Pro backpack because it's in excellent one, especially if you have an iPad to carry along with it.
The Laptop Backpack with BrightSight 2.0
JKD - Again, like the Messenger, the interior is radical.
MS - A few years ago MacCase started "designing" the interior of laptop cases and bags. For years laptop cases and bags had black interiors. Manufacturers use black fabrics because they are cheap and readily available. Moreover, who cared about what the interior looked like anyway? Well, we did.
Our first "BrightSight" interior used a fluorescent lime green fabric. This reflected ambient light down inside the bag. For the first time you could see what you were looking for. It worked and everyone copied it.
With our new backpack model, we are introducing BrightSight 2.0. Our latest take on our own innovation, this time using a beautiful pure cyan and white palette. The new colors light up the interior space with even more reflected light. Once you use a BrightSight equipped bag, you'll never settle for a laptop backpack with anything less.
I love the interior of this backpack. The BrightSight 2.0 works so well. A 13" MacBook or iPad Pro look great inside and the fabrics are easy to clean. The whole thing looks very upscale, expensive and very futuristic. When I'm out a some big box store and check out their bag selection, the black interiors look incredibly dated to me. This is the future and for under $100 you can have it right now.
I don't know if anyone has ever done a white interior in a laptop backpack before. Our BrightSight interiors were radical when we first introduced them. This carries on the tradition of making a statement with the interior of the bag. It's highly functional. BrightSight works.
It makes the user experience better. The new cyan and white interior is the purest interior we've ever done. The exterior of the laptop backpack is a bit more conservative than the Messenger. We wanted the backpack to be a bit more stealthy.
The Laptop Backpack Where Form is Function
JKD - How did you get so much functionality in such a small form?
MS - The way the surfaces are handled makes the volume appear much smaller than it actually is. I have been working with smaller forms for some time. Our Premium Leather iPad Flight Jacket was an exercise in how to make something small yet functional.
When looking at lightweight laptop backpacks, it was just a matter of looking at what the customers were going to need the bag to do and what I wanted it to do, and put all those ideas into it.
I think customers we be extremely surprised by just how much they are going to be able to cram in there. There are plenty of pockets inside and out. Like all MacCase designs, we tend not to over design the storage.
>So many soft good products design a place for every paper clip. That kind of central planning of the space is very Orwellian to me. I like to give customers more general spaces and the freedom to do what they want with them.
JDK - Can you tell me about the rear of the bag? What was the thinking that led to this design?
MS - Many companies treat the rear panel as an afterthought. MacCase has always spent vast amounts of time developing the rear panel to manage air flow and provide comfort. On this bag, we designed an "X" brace padding configuration which allows vertical air flow to keep you cool but more importantly it removes any pressure on your spine.
My chiropractor likes this feature a lot. Customers will to. I took the opportunity to use the rear panel to highlight our new MacCase logo and add some color to the exterior. If you don't like color or big graphics, it's OK because no one can see the logo or color when it's on. Again, it works for everyone.
JKD - Lastly, how do you think the market, the customers will respond to the new design?
MS - It depends on what they are looking for. We feel we have done the research to move forward with a new design that reflects the values of the market: Lightweight, compact, safe, secure, protected, comfortable, functional and finally universality. Fortunately for us, those are our values too. We've been lucky that way. In essence, we are the customer.
Everyone at MacCase uses one of these and so do their kids. It's called the Universal Laptop Backpack not only because it'll carry any type of hardware, but because it should be universal in it's appeal.
If you're between 10 and 60 and need a bag to get you back and forth to school or work safely, want it to be lightweight and compact, don't want to look like you are going camping, want it to be comfortable, protect your stuff and want it to look cool, our new laptop backpack is your bag.
Universal Laptop + Tablet Messenger Bag - Unboxing Transcript
The Universal Laptop Backpack is quite deceptive. At first glance it appears very simple and minimal. Upon further review, as shown in the video, the product is rich in features and functionality that belies it's compact form and sub $100 price.
In this episode of MacCase Unboxing we are looking at the new Universal Laptop Backpack. The first thing you notice is how compact it is. It's about 4/5 ths the size of a standard backpack, and visually looks much smaller. This is achieved by doing new things to the surfaces that allow the form to "disappear" in certain views. This minimizes the appearance of volume.
Despite it's diminutive appearance, the backpack will hold laptops up to 15.4" as well as all tablets up to 10". Moreover, the round, organic shape doesn't telegraph to everyone that you have a very expensive laptop inside. So the shape of the backpack itself is a security feature. This is very important to anyone moving through or spending their day in crowded, urban environments.
The fabrics are a nice mix of a diamond weave nylon and matte polyester so even though the bag looks small, it looks expensive. The expensive feel is more than skin deep. The lightweight laptop backpack uses top of the line YKK zippers with soft touch pulls.
Another nod to safely and security is the twin reflective inserts on each side. These are an added measure of safety if your walking or riding a bike or motorcycle at night. Many other products have some form of reflective material or lighting on the back. Very view have anything along the side. Our new model removes that vulnerability. Below the inserts are twin water bottle pockets.
The bottom panel is constructed from a durable, rubberized, waterproof material. Many companies use a standard polyester fabric for the bottom panel to cut costs. They typically wear out quickly and then you can throw the bag away. This is not what we wanted. So we took steps to insure the bag will last.
Around back, the rear panel has air mesh padding designed in a "X" pattern that provides excellent comfort while allowing air flow along the spine. The hollow area over the spine also takes pressure off the spine, which will make your chiropractor happy.
The shoulder straps use the same air mesh padding. Both the straps and the top handle use the same diamond weave nylon as the front panel. This integrates all the elements creating a clean, professional appearance making the laptop backpack feel and look much more expensive than its' sub $100 price.
For the main compartment, MacCase utilizes zippers that go all the way to the bottom of the form instead halfway down like most other laptop backpack manufacturers do.
Zippers tend to be expensive, so the less of them you use, the more money you can save. Again, this is not an approach MacCase takes. By maximizing the size of the main compartment opening, you make it so much more accessible, making it easier to get your stuff in and out.
Unique Interior Design
Inside you'll find MacCase's BrightSight 2.0 interior which reflects ambient light to fill the bag making it easier to find your stuff. There are separate laptop and tablet compartments with plenty of room for other items in between.
Everything is padded and lined, again reinforcing the high end expensive feel. Up front, there is a secondary compartment that can store other items like pens and books. A matching, optional accessory pouch is available to keep all your small stuff safe, clean and organized.
If you looking for a compact lightweight laptop backpackthat looks just as as home in the classroom as it does in the boardroom, doesn't advertise your carrying a laptop, and has all the functionality you need in a day use pack, look no further than the Universal Laptop Backpack from MacCase. It's a a whole lot of backpack for under $100 bucks,