With the large array of laptop backpacks available, consumers are spoilt for choice.
This may be the reason every single manufacturer in this field seems to be trying to target a specific lifestyle aesthetic with every bag that rolls into circulation. Whether you’re the outdoors type, a thundering geek or someone who wants to carry their workstation around on their back, there’s a backpack that’s aimed squarely at you.
With that in mind, the Targus CitySmart Professional Laptop Backpack seems to have been designed with the suit-and-tie crowd in mind. Unlike a lot of carry-alls that look as though they’d be more at home on a hike, the CitySmart’s front pockets are covered in a light-grey felt, making the bag look as though it’s made to blend in with a three-piece charcoal grey.
Not only that, but the bag’s compartments are big enough and varied enough for anyone who lives and breathes the rat race. The back sleeve can house a laptop rather snugly and the back cushions provide protection from chafing. The front pocket contains a mesh zip compartment for loose items, two small sleeves and a hanging clip for keys. It even has several slots for pens, if you’re the sort of person who still needs those for work.
The main compartment sits neatly between the back and front pockets, providing a gaping pouch where one could put a silly amount of items. Containing sleeves for a tablet and documents, the remaining space could be crammed with anything ranging from unwieldly objects that don’t slide in neatly, to clothes, to large lunchboxes. Oh, and the bag has space on the panels for two water bottles too. This is a bag that works as well for daily commutes to the office as it does for short business trips.
Our road-test, for example, involved loading a laptop, a tablet, a PS4 with all its cables, power-points and controllers, a packed lunch and gym gear (minus shoes) into it. It all fit and there was no strain on the zips at all.
If the CitySmart has one weakness – and it does – it’s the bags flimsy straps and grip. While the stitching doesn’t look like it’ll give under consistent heavy weight, there’s zero padding on the straps. If the bag is full to bursting, the straps can feel like they’re cutting into your shoulders, which for short periods is uncomfortable and in the long term, starts to hurt quite badly.
Similarly, the grip at the top of the bag has no padding, which once again, makes carrying heavy loads problematic. If your hands are covered in calluses, this might not bother you, but if not, you may want to consider lightening your load – or wearing gloves.
This is a real pity, because it’s the only bad point the CitySmart has, and given the price of this item, this bag really should be perfect. The massive container space simply begs to be filled, but once it is, your shoulders and hands will feel a strain.
It’s still a really great backpack, though and if you don’t pack your life into the CitySmart, it’s certainly worth investing in. Here’s hoping that Targus takes some pages out of UnderArmour’s book the next time it decides to build one of these beasts. More padding would go a long way.
Compatibility: Up to 15.6″ laptops
Material: Poly/PU Laptop
Compartment Dimensions: 38.7 x 2.5 x 26.5 cm
Exterior Dimensions: 33 x 16.5 x 47 cm
Price: RRP R 999.99. Available online at Makro, Takealot and First Shop