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GadgeTell Review: OGIO Renegade RSS Backpack

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When you’re addicted to gadgets, you need something that will not only carry them all, but also assure the  safety of your precious. The Renegade RSS backpack from OGIO is a serious piece of equipment at $150 so I gave it a run-through.

The big draw on this backpack is protection. OGIO makes it easy, anywhere you see red is a safe area for your electronics. The double-secret probation, extra-protected area is the RSS (Reactive Suspension System) laptop sleeve. This pocket is tight, and every side is tough reinforced material. This pocket is a full-length neoprene sling that provides shock absorption, and should fit up to 17-inch laptops.

In front of the RSS sleeve, there is a pretty large compartment for general storage. and in front of that a smaller storage compartment that includes a felt-lined tablet sleeve. Finally in the very front you have the organization panel compartment with mesh holders for a mouse and wallet, pencil/pen holders, and a zipper pocket.

One feature I haven’t seen done well in a backpack until now is the top pocket. OGIO calls it the Tech Vault, and this pocket is just big enough for a smartphone, has a felt lining, and has an extra soft insert with velcro on each end to hold your phone in place. also on the top front portion of the bag there is another quick access pocket with two mesh holders that could keep a phone or small camera in place.

Another unique phone feature is an expandable pocket on the shoulder strap. If you manage to squeeze your phone in there (it’s tight), you can actually operate the device through the stretchable mesh. There is also an accessory pocket on each side, and below each of those is a side accessory pocket with  an adjustable band to hold a water bottle in place.

Did you get all that? We’re talking four layers of large zippered compartments, the tech vault and a second quick access pocket on top, and four side pockets, not to mention the shoulder strap zippered phone pocket.

The part resting on your back is what OGIO calls the Hybrid Unibody Backpanel. Under that is a soft foam pad for your lower back. The shoulder straps are not heavily padded, but OGIO is calling them “Sweet Spot” shoulder straps. Comfort-wise, It’s amazing how even with so many pockets and compartments, it doesn’t feel bulky. I could use a little more padding high up on the shoulder straps. The backpanel makes me stand up straight, but that’s probably going to save me from the chiropractor in a couple of years so that’s not really a bad thing. The lower back padding sits nicely.

Would you take it hiking? Probably not, but for any gadget geek or college student, it is a great organizational tool, and gives you the piece of mind that you are not going to break your laptop, no matter how hard you drop it into the pocket, or how much you fling your backpack around.

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