I'm so pleased that my friend, Raul, has written a guest review for Funchico. I don't often get a guy's perspective - so really pleased to have it here. Enjoy!
Frankly, I don't really recall the last time I had a portfolio-shaped laptop bag, much less the last time that I loved it as much as I love the Jett Laptop Bag by Spire (read Kate's review here). For the most part, I had always used a backpack-style laptop bag (for at least the past 10 years, considering that I was a PhD student, but then I also ended up staying with the backpack laptop style for long).
I've reviewed laptop bags before (you can read my review of the Kensington Contour, which I owned until it was stolen from me at a theatre function - I know, it sucks), but this is perhaps the first time I own a laptop bag (courtesy of Kate's review stash) where I feel professional in the academic and consulting context. Let me explain. I didn't realize how unprofessional I felt using a backpack laptop bag until I arrived earlier this year (a couple of months ago) to a meeting of experts at the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Montreal, dressed in beautiful suit (Zara, if you need to know) ... trucking along my 17" laptop ... in a backpack laptop bag. OUCH.
I really did feel horribly unprofessional. And while I know that as a consultant (and heck, even when I was a student), the backpack-style laptop bag is perfectly acceptable, I really needed a portfolio (also known as messenger) laptop bag. Because of my academic and consulting (and even my travel blogging) activities, I need an air transportation-friendly laptop bag, which will allow me to get the laptop out of the bag really quickly.That's where the Jett Laptop Bag by Spire comes in. I have used it already to travel and definitely feel way more professional. While I could say that for the summer, I miss having a backpack-style laptop bag.
I do feel more confident when travelling to the university or at a high-level client meeting where I need to be dressy and show up with a more professional-looking bag. On to the specifications. The laptop bag can hold up to a 17 inches' laptop, but since I got a new laptop (Acer again), I ended up using only 15" of the 17" alloted. And as an academic geek, I love the ample space that I have to carry books (I have been trucking along 2 review copies of books for my upcoming fall teaching term, along with lots of other handy stuff, including an HP TouchPad, notepads, Canon digital cameras and pens, Logitech wireless mouse, and the list goes on. This Jett Laptop Bag by Spire seems not to ever get fully filled. And that's A GOOD THING, trust me.
Ergonomically, because the shoulder strap adjusts with full mobility, I feel that I can walk considerable distances without feeling exhausted. And did I mention ALL THE SPACE and many pockets this laptop bag has? Seriously. Unbelievable. And I think it looks good on me. Thanks Kate for the laptop bag!
As far as content goes, the fact that the Jett Laptop Bag by Spire offers two side pockets for a water bottle is extremely positive (particularly because I hate forgetting my water bottle!). You could of course put your cell phone there, but if it's an expensive one you might want not to do that. The fact that I am almost always cold means that I could definitely pack a change of clothes or a sweater on one of the pockets without interfering with my books.
NOTE: Usually I try to provide a price point for comparison for the laptop bag. Unfortunately, it looks like this particular model of the Spire Jett Laptop Bag may actually not be in production anymore. I searched the United Kingdom site for Spire and found a similar one which you can compare by clicking on this hyperlink. I think it's safe to say that this laptop bag might be in the $100 Canadian dollars price tag and I'd be comfortable paying that much.
Disclosure: Raul's bag was a gift from Kate's review stash. Raul is neither obligated nor expected to write a review, but he loved the Jett Laptop Bag by Spire that he had to write this review. A copy of this review will appear on Raul's personal blog Hummingbird604.com in a couple of weeks or so, in case you see it duplicated (e.g. the text wasn't stolen from Kate's FunChiCo site.)
Raul Pacheco-Vega is an academic, educator, researcher and consultant by day, and a socialite by night. He teaches courses at UBC on public policy and environmental politics, does academic research on environment and public policy, consults on social media implementation in higher education, non-profits and academia, and writes about food, theatre, travel, dance and fine arts on his personal blog. In his (non-existent) spare time, he volunteers for charities on HIV/AIDS, mental health, cancer and women empowerment. Raul also tries to devote time to his friends although he’s not often as successful at this as he would like to. Raul has a split personality disorder, with an academic Twitter (@RaulPacheco) and a personal Twitter (@hummingbird604). Same with his Facebook pages (Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega and Hummingbird604.com).