Commuters can lug a lot of stuff, and when a laptop is in the mix, having the right bag is the only solution. Crumpler's Nhill Heist laptop bag ($175, direct) is an excellent backpack for straphangers, cyclists, and pedestrians to take to the office. An inventive design connects the shoulder straps to the front of the pack seamlessly laptop keyboards , rather than stitching them to the top or rear of the bag, to evenly distribute the weight of everything you carry.
It fits laptops up to 17 inches in a well-cushioned pouch. The well in the center of the bag is spacious enough to cram much more: folders, books, a sweater, or your lunch. Four small pockets round out the interior space, but two more zippered sections—one of the top and one of the lower side—give you even more easy access storage space. The fabric, straps, zippers, and pull tabs are made of highly durable and lightweight materials.
The signature feature of the Nhill Hiest bag is the design of the shoulder straps, which are extensions of the bag itself rather than separately sewn on pieces. They wrap over the top of the Nhill Heist, securing it closed even more than the zipper alone, and help to distribute weight evenly across your back and shoulders. Twist to flip them back when it's time to open the bag. Genius.
The bag measures16.9 by 12.2 by 4.7 inches (HWD) and weighs a reasonable 1.87 pounds. It sits high but quite comfortably, in part due to additional padding on the back. However, the straps do take some time to break in. I'm 5'8", hardly petite, but the first time I wore the bag, it felt like it was built for someone with much beefier shoulders than mine. After a few adjustments and an hour or so of wearing it while walking and cycling, it felt less ill-fitting. And by day two, the Nhill Heist felt better molded to my frame.
At $175, the Nhill Heist laptop backpack by Crumpler isn't exactly an impulse buy, but it looks slick and transitions easily from the subway or sidewalk to the office. It can store loads of stuff, including laptops up to 17 inches. Fashionistas interested in the Nhill Heist will have to settle for black, however, because the bag is only available in that one color.
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