capsule review

GreenSmart's Kea Laptop Daypack is comfortable to wear, but lacks style

At a Glance
  • GreenSmart Kea Laptop Daypack

    Macworld Rating

GreenSmart’s $55 Kea Laptop Daypack, a medium-sized backpack with a built-in laptop sleeve and plenty of smaller pockets, is so comfortable to wear that it’s difficult to believe the bag is made from recycled plastic bottles.

GreenSmart proudly constructs all of the company’s bags out of materials made from recycled plastic bottles—every inch of the Kea was once a bottle that’s been ground up, spun into yarn, woven into fabric, and then sewn into the bag. The end result is a flexible material that feels like a soft canvas or nylon. The Kea is available in Ocean Blue (blue and grey exterior with an orange interior) or Mocha (two shades of brown with a grey interior).

The backpack has a 14-inch, padded laptop sleeve that really is for 14-inch (or smaller) notebooks—I tried to cram a 15-inch MacBook Pro into it, just to see if I could, but was unsuccessful. It’s a great fit, however, for a 13-inch MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, either of which fits snugly inside the sleeve without much wiggle room, so it feels quite secure. A 13-inch MacBook inside a thin sleeve or case would even fit. The Kea of course can be used with an 11-inch MacBook Air or an iPad, but there’s quite a bit of wiggle room—I’d recommend putting one of these smaller devices inside an additional case or sleeve just to add a bit more protection.

Apart from the inner laptop sleeve, the Kea’s main zippered compartment has two smaller mesh pockets (either of them great for an iPhone) and one larger zippered pouch (perhaps for your MacBook’s charger). There’s also a zippered pocket out the outside of the bag; this pocket hosts a mesh flap, four slots for cards, two pen slots, and another pocket.

My only gripe with the backpack is its shape. The Kea has bottom panel that’s about seven inches deep, front to back, so you might assume that the bag would expand to up to seven inches deep most of the way to the top. But once you zip the pack closed, the front-to-back depth at the top is much smaller. While this is a common design for backpacks, for whatever reason it gives the Kea a particularly unbalanced appearance. And since the material isn’t stretchy, stuffing the pack with books or other rigid items leaves a gap of open space at the bottom-front of the backpack, and this space is nearly impossible to access once the bag is full. I also didn’t find the Ocean Blue option to be particularly stylish—either the color or the overall design.

GreenSmart’s Kea would be a great option for students who take their MacBooks to class, or as a carry-on bag—the bag’s comfortable, airmesh padded shoulder straps and back cushion make carrying it a breeze, and the built-in laptop sleeve keeps your MacBook safe.

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At a Glance
  • GreenSmart Kea Laptop Daypack

    Macworld Rating
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