One thing about commuting with a backpack to work daily, or traveling, in general, is overall comfort. There are plenty of bags on the market that promise you the ability to carry multiple items but at the expense of feeling as though you have textbooks weighing down your shoulders. That’s not the case with the eBags Professional Slim Junior Backpack.
Slim in virtually every way is the eBags Professional Slim Junior Laptop Backpack, which is currently on sale for $109.99, I picked up the solid black color that has orange accents, and it’s slowly becoming one of my favorite daily bags. Granted I’ve said this about other bags in the past, and trust me, I’ve reviewed plenty, but what I’ve noticed from eBag’s bag that I didn’t really receive from others is not only is the bag not attempting to be overly bulky or feature friendly, but in person, the bag itself doesn’t scream “I have a lot of valuables in this”.
From the low profile stitching of the company’s logo on the front to the streamlined look of a bag you’d casually see out by tourists and passers-by, the eBags Slim Junior backpack is pretty much everything I could want or need from a bag at this price point. There’s a larger model of course that I haven’t had the opportunity to check out personally, but if it’s anything like the Slim Junior, it’s safe to say I’ll be using that one next.
Nevertheless, this particular backpack is certainly for someone who is a minimalist, but still has enough items that they don’t want to carry in their pockets. On an average day I carry with my 15-Inch Macbook Pro, my iPad Pro (for drawing, ’cause yes, I must have both with me), and since my MacBook Pro isn’t friendly enough to just have all of the necessary ports for day-to-day use, I’m forced to carry dongles with me in a bag that I purchased directly from Amazon that houses things like SD cards, USB-C and lightning cables, and knick-knacks”. Inside of the eBags Slim Junior, they not only are organized but fit in their own separate compartments courtesy of separate zippered compartments.
One concern I have about any bag when seeking them out is the compartments. I dread having my most-used things compartmentalized with things I’ll use sparingly, and eBags actually does a pretty good job with this.
On the front of the bag, there are separate compartments which makes the bag function according to the user. At the top there’s a side sleeve that you can toss your phone or passport into that zips upward which is a huge deal. I’ve had a bag similar where a similar pocket zipped in the opposite direction and I had my passport fall out because the zipper wasn’t up all of the way. Again, it’s the little things. Essentially this is the “less is more” pocket to me.
Surrounding the “less is more” pocket is actually where I put more things. It folds outwards and as you can see there’s a compartment for virtually anything from pens, to a keyring holder for your keys, and even a nifty pocket for things like change or a memory card if you are into that type of thing. It’s worth mentioning that all of the zippers on this bag are YKK zippers so you won’t catch a snag on them or worry about them breaking. In the event they do, eBags has a decent policy in terms of returns or exchanges, so I wasn’t too concerned if anything went wrong with it.
While I never sit my pens sideways as that could be a problem in terms of leaking ink, that would be my only negative about this pocket. eBags I believe was attempting to make sure everything was as organized as possible, however for a foldable pocket, once unzipped, you get five smaller zippered pockets which could be excessive. I don’t carry much that needs to be sorted that individually, but if you carry things you want to keep separate like floss, passports, and identification, then I guess it’s nice to be able to have all of these things zipped accordingly.
At the bottom front of the bag is what eBags calls the AC “garage”. This pocket is a sturdy place to put off the things you don’t want to be crushed from the things sitting on the inside of your bag. For example, headphones are a perfect place to put in this pocket. I put my glasses and battery pack into this and I’m comfortable that they won’t get crushed. The hard molded case actually does slide in and out of the bag itself so when you don’t need it, you can actually slide that compartment out, and then fold the inside of your bag down to create more space in the inside of this. But there are some compromises that you’ll have to make.
When the AC garage is in the front of the bag, the first compartment of the bag actually is about half the size. I found out the hard way about this when I attempted to put things like an umbrella into this sleeve while the garage is inside of it (it’s not really going to work). If you want to fit things larger than a 12-ounce bottle of water in the bag while the garage is in the front of the bag, you’ll have to take the garage out which is a bummer.
There’s a nice water bottle opening that you can use to slide your water bottle in, although my Nalgene doesn’t really fit the Nylon sleeve that comes with it however.
Having a compartment for my Macbook being separate from the rest actually is really helpful because I’m infamous for just tossing everything into the main compartment of a traditional bag. A coworker of mine actually uses an eBags backpack as well and praised the company’s attention to not only the details but more importantly the build quality, which I’m happy to say is fantastic as well. When on my shoulders, I don’t feel as though the bag is weighing down on me as I walk courtesy of the soft nylon straps that can also be clipped via chest strap if you want to take the weight off of your back while in motion. I admit, I never use this, and probably never will., but it’s great that the company actually did include this.
At the top of the bag, you can put things like a pair of glasses there, and the soft material on the side of the bag will protect it which is pretty much something you see out of any bag on the market today.
What I love the MOST about eBag’s Slim Junior though is simply the portability. There are not just one, but TWO grab handles on the bag, which means that when I don’t have the bag strapped to my back and want to look a bit more professional about things, I can actually tuck the arms of the Slim Junior INTO the companion sleeve on the back portion of the bag which pretty much turns the bag into a briefcase of sorts which in my honest opinion looks cool either way.
The same sleeve that you slide the arms into? Works great with suitcases so now you won’t have to walk through the terminal with the eBags, you can drop the bag around the handle of your (hopefully) eBags luggage and get where you’re going faster.
Overall, the eBags Professional Slim Junior Laptop has become my favorite day-to-day bag, and more recently it’s been my weekender bag when I can’t part with my things such as my gadgets that I don’t want to toss into my luggage itself. At $109.99 it’s a great price, and despite its small size, it’s a hold-all bag that can fit anyone’s needs.
For more information on the eBags Professional Slim Junior Laptop, head over directly to their site today.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Super portable and affordable backpack can turn into a briefcase quickly; Fits all of my gadgets; Compatible with carry-on luggage
What Needs Improvement: The “AC Adapter Garage” is a great idea but takes up a lot of internal space