I typically prefer messenger-style laptop bags over backpacks; I usually find the latter to be buky and uncomfortable. But SGP’s $90 Klasden Levanaus Backpack is neither. In fact, it’s one of the most comfortable backpacks I’ve ever used.
The pack, which is part of SGP’s Klasden series, has the same sleek, minimalist design as the Klasden Neumann shoulder bag we reviewed earlier this year. The Levanaus Backpack is compact and made out of sturdy, yet lightweight, water-resistant nylon that ensures that even when the bag is stuffed full it maintains its shape and doesn’t become oversized or bulky.
Available in charcoal, navy, violet, gray, or red, the bag is well-designed for organizing your gadgets and accessories. A faux-fur-lined interior pouch accommodates laptops up to 15 inches, and a smaller interior pocket is the ideal size for an iPad or other tablet. There are several other interior organizer pockets—two large, Velcro-closure pockets are well-suited for cables—and smaller pockets for pens, keys, and other similarly sized items. There are also four exterior pockets: a faux-fur-lined pocket perfect for a mobile phone or iPod, a larger pocket, and two very small, zippered pockets where the shoulder straps meet the bag near your waist.
Despite its compact design, I was surprised at how much stuff I was able to cram into the backpack. I was able to fit a 12-inch Macbook (in a sleeve of its own), a large book, my DSLR camera (in a bulky case), all of my charging cables, a sweatshirt, and some smaller items, including my iPod and keys. While all of this made for a heavy backpack, I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable it was to carry, even when standing in long lines at the airport.
The backpack’s best feature is how well padded it is. The underside of the straps and the backside of the pack have a thick layer of padding, keeping a cushion between you and the backpack at all times. My biggest complaint about the pack was its zippers, which felt flimsy to me. They held up just fine, despite my abuse, but I did feel as though I had to be extra careful not to yank on them too hard.
That minor complaint aside, if you’re looking for a backpack that’s compact and comfortable, but still holds plenty of gear, the Levanaus Backpack won’t disappoint.