Provides: Laptop transportation and protection
Minimum Requirements: 15.4″ to 17″ laptop
The first thing that impresses you about the SLAPPA Velocity SPYDER Pro Laptop Backpack is its unique styling. The second will likely be the sheer volume of capacity this bag contains.
I’ve reviewed a lot of computer bags and backpacks over the past 15 years, and the SPYDER PRO is definitely the biggest of the backpacks, rivaling the large size Waterfield Cargo bag for sheer interior volume. The Velocity SPYDER PRO Laptop Backpack can accommodate a 17-inch MacBook Pro or PowerBook with plenty of room to spare, so we can safely say it will happily accommodate any Apple notebook in its “Super Padded,” soft, jersey-lined computer sleeve. I have long arms, and can make mine disappear up to the elbow in the Spyder Pro’s computer sleeve, which features a padded security flap with Velcro closure.
This bag features SLAPPA’s patented CORE3 protection, which utilizes a thick molded rubber exoskeleton plus hydro-repellant and puncture proof BuckBlast suede, plus Slappa’s Xtreme internal padding. CORE3 is SLAPPA’s patented protective triple-layer that provides excellent protection.
The outermost layer provides protection from bumps while also maintaining the structural integrity of the bag. Layer #2 is the puncture-proof BuckBlast z-suede, and the inner layer is thick shock padding.
BuckBlast suede is rugged PVC material that is rainproof and puncture-proof, providing secure protection for your gear when you’re on the road. It’s easy to clean with water and a soft cloth.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Starting at the outside front and working our way in, the Velocity SPYDER PRO’s front panel—with that rubbery molded EXO Skeleton appliqué—has a central pocket with a vertical, double-zipper opening. As with all (save one) of the rest of this bag’s internal compartments, the pocket is lined with a soft jersey fabric that will be kind to your computer and other stuff.
There are also two elastic-closure pockets flanking the front panel.
Immediately behind the front panel pocket is the first of—count ’em—four full-depth gear compartments. This frontmost one unzips on three sides, and has an internal zipper-closure pocket on the backside of the front panel, another on the compartment’s rear bulkhead, plus Velcro-closure expander pockets and a handy swivel key fob sewed to the case with nylon webbing. Oh yes, there are a couple of pen/pencil sleeves as well.
The middle compartment has no zip or Velcro closure pockets, just one small, open net pocket toward the bottom of the yawning cavern. This is the compartment for your largest, bulkiest stuff, and there is plenty of space (and then some) to carry a second laptop or an iPad with stand and keyboard in there if necessary.
The third compartment has the previously-described computer sleeve, plus another full-depth cave that looks like a bottomless pit. It really is a long reach to the bottom. “Roomy” really isn’t an adequate adjective to describe it.
And for good measure, there is yet one more full-depth compartment accessed in this instance through a zipper closure at the top of the Velocity SPYDER PRO Backpack’s back panel. Unlike the others, this compartment is lined with a STAY COOL inner lining for storing cold goods, rather than the jersey fabric.
On the back outside panel is a foam pad that contacts the small of your back molded in the shape of SLAPPA’s stylized open-hand logo. Different and striking.
But we’re not quite finished with pockets yet. There is one more small external compartment that fastens to the front of the right-hand shoulder strap and is sized to fit an iPod or cell phone. It has a Velcro-closure flap that allows an iPod earphone cord to be connected with the iPod and the flap fastened. The pocket is lined with soft Jersey.
The shoulder straps are robust (rated for a claimed 80 pounds pack weight), comfortably padded with foam and faced with nylon mesh on their contact surfaces. Oddly, there is no belly strap, but the shoulder straps can be adjusted snugly, and the sheer length of the backpack stabilizes it.
Another thoughtful touch is a carry handle with a rubber comfort handgrip sewn to the top of the bag for easy one-handed carriage without resorting to the shoulder straps. The bag’s zippers all have a reassuring feel, and the metal zipper pull-tabs are generously-sized and have both the look and feel of quality.
While my description probably makes the Velocity SPYDER PRO Laptop Backpack sound enormous and and ungainly, it is actually surprisingly light in weight at a modest 4.5 pounds, and doesn’t give the impression of great bulk outside.
Overall this backpack is an impressive piece of work, the flamboyance of its unusual styling balanced by its subdued charcoal color. It is attractive and classy-looking without being overstated, and the quality of materials and workmanship appear to be first rate.
At a list price of $99.99, the Velocity SPYDER PRO Laptop Backpack isn’t cheap, but I’ve not encountered anything quite like it. If you need a computer backpack that can comfortably swallow a 15-inch or 17-inch notebook along with a lot of other gear, this is one you should really have on your short list.