Mobile Edge Express Backpack Review

by Reads (1,756)

by Sarah Meyer

The Mobile Edge Express Backpack is a recent addition to the lineup from a company known for making solid, affordable notebook bags and cases.  At first glance, the Express Backpack has a sporty look and a ton of pockets.  On the outside alone it has five pockets plus the main compartment.

But is there anything underneath the flashy exterior of the Express?  I decided to see if this backpack would really protect a laptop and provide plenty of room for books, or if it was all show, no substance.

The Express Backpack Specifications

  • Dimensions: 20" x 16" x 8.5"
  • Compartment Dimensions: 13.2" L x 11.7" H x 1.9" W
  • Weight: 2.65 lbs.
  • Heavy-duty Duraflex fittings
  • Ergonomic Cool-Mesh ventilated back panel
  • The SafetyCell computer protection compartment
  • Reflective safety material
  • Dedicated media pocket w/ headphone port
  • Lifetime replacement warranty


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Design and Aesthetics

The outside of my Express Backpack definitely looks good in a mix of black and grey ballistic nylon.  There is touch of yellow running up the sides of the backpack, highlighting the two side pockets as well as on the zipper cords.  The logos on the dedicated media and water bottle pockets also have yellow in them.  The back of the backpack is also black and grey with some yellow on the shoulder straps.

If black, grey and yellow aren’t your first choice in color combinations, have no fear, the Express Backpack also comes in four other combinations. But don’t get too excited, all of the combinations are in shades of black.

The Express has four zippered pockets on the outside. There are two pockets on the sides of the bag that run the length of the backpack.  You can’t fit really large items in these pockets, but they would be perfect for a 12" ruler and other design materials that long and skinny.  Or they could be used to keep cell phones, pens/pencils, school id, and other items you might want to keep handy.  On the right pocket, there is also a smaller pocket specifically made to hold a water bottle. 


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Moving to the top of the Express, there is the dedicated media pocket.  On the outside of the pocket there is a headphone/ear bud port.  On the inside, there is a mesh pocket that Velcro’s shut to keep your media secure.


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The main compartment of the backpack is where Mobile Edge’s SafetyCell Computer Protection Compartment is located.  The SafetyCell is made for up to 15.4” notebooks and has about a inch of padding surrounding the laptop except the back panel, where the padding seems to be lacking.  There is a Velcro strap to hold the notebook in place. 

Besides the SafetyCell, there is a lot going on in the main compartment.  There are four large pockets that close and four CD sleeves, one larger sleeve, and three pen holders.


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On the outside of the SafetyCell, there are two pockets that Velcro shut.  Below these there is one of the zippered pockets.  The Velcro pockets are large enough to hold a digital camera, keys, post-it notes, and other office supplies.  The dimensions of these pockets are about 4" x 4".

The zippered mesh pocket below these is large enough for a graphing calculator, external mouse, power cord, and other accessories.

The second zippered mesh pocket is on the other side of the main compartment.  This pocket would be great for holding pens, markers, a checkbook, wallet, keys, etc.  Below this pocket are the sleeves. 

There are four CD sleeves, pockets that you could slide a CD case or other similar sized items in.  The larger sleeve would be perfect for loose papers but is not quite large enough to slide a folder in. 

The main compartment is also great for storing books, folders and even small purses.  I fit my laptop, several folders, my small purse and the latest Harry Potter novel (which is pretty thick, I might add) in the main compartment with ease. 


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The back of the Express Backpack is designed to be ergonomic and ventilated.  The straps are adjustable to fit your back and there are three sections of soft, mesh like, padding at the bottom and sides of the back panel.  They pop of the back to help with ventilation (no more back sweat) and keep the laptop from being directly against your back.  There is also a small mesh pocket with an elastic top on the left shoulder strap that Mobile Edge suggests using as a cell phone pocket. 

Using the bag

The Express Backpack was a roomy backpack, I didn’t have enough stuff to fill it up; but I’m not a student lugging around huge textbooks. Despite being so big, the Express was still comfortable to wear.  I liked that you could adjust the straps to fit your body and the ventilation feature would definitely come in handy during the fall and spring when it’s still hot and students are walking to class.

There are plenty of pockets to stay organized and I think the dedicated media pocket would be a big hit for all of those iPod/MP3 users out there. Since I’m an iPod shuffle user, and it’s already pretty wearable, I didn’t have much use for this feature.

My biggest complaint was that the SafetyCell didn’t seem to protect the notebook as much as other bags I’ve seen.  It would have been better if the padding had been thicker on the back and if the strap securing the laptop was adjustable, insuring a tighter hold. I feel comfortable recommending the Express, a notebook is definitely safer in this backpack than inside a normal one, but I see room for improvement in this area.

Also, the Express Backpack is definitely more of a man’s bag, I mean I didn’t feel weird carrying it, but ladies will prefer more style options.  All five of the color combinations of the Express were dominated by black and grey, the most unique using cameo as an accent.

But don’t fret ladies; Mobile Edge has a section on their website completely geared towards female tastes!

Conclusion

The Express Backpack was comfortable and sporty, perfect for a student and it won’t break the bank at $60! 

The Express definitely proved to be more than just flash but if you’re overly concerned about padding for your notebook, or if you’re a giant klutz, you might want to look into purchasing a different bag.

Pros

  • Comfortable straps, back padding
  • Great for staying organized
  • Very affordable
  • Lifetime replacement warranty

Cons

  • SafetyCell lacks in-back padding
  • Limited color options

Pricing and Availability

The Mobile Edge Express Backpack can be purchased via the Mobile Edge website, or through an authorized vendor. A list of vendors can be found on the Mobile Edge site. The Express is $59.99.


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