Altego advertises the Polygon Sunfire’s “clean angular lines” and endorphine-inducing “aggressive looks,” but the real genius of this bag are the myriad thoughtful details that make it a great hauler for your MacBook, iPad, and other gear. I used the Polygon for over a month as my primary commuter bag, and I found each of the bag’s features to be well thought out, genuinely useful, and, most crucially, perfectly suited to the task at hand; helping me schlep all my stuff.
Get a Grip
Behind the Polygon Sunfire is a basic design decision that makes it fairly unique. Rather than being a messenger bag with a laptop sleeve inside, it’s a well-padded laptop sleeve out back with a messenger bag bolted on the front of it. That’s an important distinction when it comes to the amount of space you’ll have for your gear, because there isn’t a big, bulky, laptop sleeve taking up storage space. The main compartment of this bag offers plenty of room, whether you’re carrying books, folders, or electronic accessories like chargers and cables.
Inside the main compartment you’ve got got a long, slim zippered compartment, business card holder, fleece-lined iPad pocket, pen holder, and two flap-covered pockets. On the outside of the messenger bag you’ve got a small zippered pocket perfect for a wallet or smartphone, while on the outside of the flap you’ve got another zippered pocket that can almost hold an iPad Mini, as well as a larger zippered pouch that’s a perfect catch-all for keys, a pack of gum, etc.
The placement of the handle on this bag also takes advantage of its laptop sleeve+bag design. The handle is actually attached to the top of the laptop sleeve just behind the flap of the messenger bag. This is unlike other messenger bags, where the handle is attached to the flap that covers the bag. Altego has made the handle useful because you can pick up the full weight of the bag without putting stress on the closure mechanism that keeps the flap in place. Given the amount of stuff you can cram into this bag, you wouldn’t want to carry it briefcase-style very often, but it is nice to have the option when needed.
Altego makes a big deal out of their Fidlock magnetic closure straps, and I admit I didn’t really get it until I used them. Unlike most magnetic messenger bag closures that are fairly weak, the Fidlocks really do lock in place securely; no amount of force will pull them apart. You can pull and pull and never get the clasp open, yet a simple sliding motion with two fingers easily disengages them, which means you can easily get into your bag with only one hand free. This was great in a number of situations: riding public transit, wheeling a suitcase, and holding a cup of coffee, to name a few. The straps on the clasps are also generously sized, so you can expand them to carry anything or cinch them down to secure the contents of your bag.
In addition to the clasps, Altego’s put a number of other great features into this bag, like self-tucking corners. The corners of the bag fold in on themselves and are secured with Velcro, ensuring the flap completely covers the contents of your bag. This helps keeps the elements out and contents in, while the bunching-resistant clip and removable shoulder padding make slinging the bag over your shoulder easy.
At the end of the day, carrying around a 15″ laptop, iPad, lunchbox, accessories, etc. isn’t a terribly fun task. But Altego’s Polygon Sunfire messenger bag does make it easier, with compartments for just about everything, smart design features, and good looks that belie its utilitarian nature. This bag is well worth the price for keeping your gear safe, and whether you’re obsessively organized or the messy genius type, the interior storage space will easily accommodate all your gear.
Buy the Altego Polygon Sunfire 15″ Messenger Bag
Provides: Laptop, iPad, and general gear protection and storage
Maximum Capacity: 15″ laptop (e.g. MacBook Pro) and full sized (10″) tablet. General storage also provided for smartphone, wallet, accessories, etc.