Finding just the right backpack is quite a difficult task. Unlike laptops, very few backpacks are reviewed, and there are plenty of packs that never see a store shelf, but must be bought online. Burton is known as a snowboard company, not a company that makes computer accessories, which is the exact reason this pack is appealing. For those of us who want something to carry a very expensive little box around without shouting, “There’s a computer in here!” this pack fulfills its purpose.
- 27L [19in x 12in x 8in] [48cm x 30cm x 21cm]
- Hideaway Skate Carry
- Easy-Access, Side-Entry Padded Laptop Compartment [Fits Most 15 in. Laptops]
- Oversized Studio Headphone Storage Pocket
- Fleece-Lined Sunglass / Sound Pocket
- Signature Shaun White Pinstripe Lining
- Price: $89.95 MSRP
I’ll start with comfort because it is definitely this backpack’s low point. Not because it’s an uncomfortable pack (quite the opposite, really), but because everything else is so great. The backpack is noticeably lacking in the chest and waist straps department. Actually, I was surprised to see that there wasn’t at least a chest strap on a “skater” type backpack. The straps are slightly curved, which definitely helps. I stuck a textbook, a large manual, and six medium sized paperback novels in it, and even though it was pretty heavy, it still felt quite comfortable. It didn’t pull me way over backwards like some backpacks do.
The black padding covers almost the entire back area
The back is thoroughly padded, as it should be to protect the laptop, but it manages to have an air vent as well. Honestly, there could be a little bit more venting, but I’d rather they skimped in venting than on padding.
The White Collection backpack comes in three colors: a brilliant white, “Rock Salt,” “Black,” and “Roasted Brown.” I opted for the white color. Upon opening the side pockets, I found a satiny zebra pattern on the inside, which appeared on the inside of every pocket. I anticipate that within a week, my slightly-shiny backpack will look scuffed, as every white backpack eventually does. I was impressed that instead of using plain black zippers, Burton used white to match the rest of the pack.
The first criteria for deciding which backpack to buy for myself was whether it could successfully hide a laptop without looking like it was carrying a laptop. This pack passes with flying colors. It looks like a skater backpack.
The backpack fits snugly and doesn’t bulge, despite its heavy load
The backpack is made for 15.4” laptops, so it’s a fairly large backpack. Looking at it, I’m somewhat amazed how large it is. However, when I put it on, it fits my back and doesn’t bulge way out. The exterior pockets give it a “lots of accessories” look, and there are really tons of places to put stuff.
There is one large main pocket which includes a sleeve (almost as if you were supposed to put a laptop there), a mesh zippered pocket, and a couple pen holders. There is plenty of room for your books, sweatshirt, Xbox 360, and kitchen sink. Well, maybe not the kitchen sink. There’s even a little carabiner for keys.
A textbook, large manual and six medium sized novels fit inside comfortably with plenty of spare room
On the top, there’s a zippered slit that could comfortably house a pair of studio headphones. In front of that, there’s a Velcro pocket for an iPod or cell phone, as well s a zippered pocket of similar size for other small items. Below that is a huge external pocket that can hold anything short of a full size textbook. Two Velcro-and-zippered pockets on either side are available to hold more misc. items, although I doubt they would be secure enough to hold a water bottle.
This backpack offers a multitude of accessory pockets
One of Burton’s best ideas is offering hidden pockets for the skateboard straps so they aren’t hanging out when a skateboard isn’t strapped on the back (or for those of us who don’t skateboard).
The skateboard strap is easy to hide away
The dedicated laptop pocket is the closest pocket to the user’s back, with a zipper that goes from the top of the backpack down one side. Sliding a laptop in or out is smooth and easy, and there’s also plenty of room.
The dedicated laptop compartment
The dedicated laptop pocket has over half an inch of stiff padding against the user’s back, and another quarter inch or so between it and the main compartment.
An entire half inch of padding.
The bottom of the laptop compartment is bordered with an elastic strip above even more padding. The laptop “floats” within the backpack, so it’s very resistant to the bumps of moderate physical activity. I’m not afraid to go biking with my laptop or even make a short sprint across a parking lot to catch up to someone. Even the sides have some foam in them, although not as much as the main panels or the bottom (probably about 1/8 inch). I feel that my laptop is completely safe in my backpack.
Burton’s The White Collection pack is an excellent pack for those who like a casual look. This pack emphasizes a “skater” style, disguising its true purpose of protecting a valuable machine. I would especially recommend this backpack for college students looking for another way to not get ripped off.
Pricing and Availability
The Burton White Collection pack can be purchased directly from Burton online or at various e-tailers for around $89.95.