by Ben Stafford
I recently had the opportunity to try out the Jansport Interface. It s a brief style bag (as opposed to a backpack) with emergency shoulder straps should you have to carry that extra heavy load more than a couple blocks. I can t say that I load my bag to the gills, but I usually have an IBM Thinkpad, some file folders, a Dell Axim and the various bits like pens, USB drives, business cards, and wires. The bag is nice looking, handles my load well, is comfortable to carry, provides excellent laptop protection, but lacks some internal organization , in my opinion. So don t worry, I will explain.
Features, according to Jansport:
– Airlift 2.0 – Airlift 2.0 shoulder straps with Gelastic Gellycomb , Airvent mesh and Neck Comfort Zone.
– Airlift 2.0 detachable shoulder straps for ultimate comfort
– Shockshield laptop protection system
– external water bottle and cell phone pockets
– 3-way carry hand, back pack, or shoulder
– organizer keeps essentials handy
– 2 compartments and front panel organizer
– Size: 14″ x 12″ x 5.5″
– Fits laptops up to: 13″ x 10.5″ x 2.5″
Ok, did you get your fill of registered trademarks and brand names? Anyway, here s a pic
The bag comes in black and Anarchy Green (you better believe that I m headed to the next WTO protest with this thing). Anyway, there is a nice adjustable shoulder strap with Jansport s Airlift shoulder pad which offers some nice cushion for the extra-heavy days. Also, the smaller non-shoulder handle has some nice neoprene cushioning.
There is a flap over the front of the bag with two vertical zippers providing access to a couple nice flat pockets. I found this to be great for airline tickets. The flap is attached to the bottom of the bag by your standard-issue squeeze-it-from-the-side buckle. After flipping the flap (wow that sounds funny) over the back of the bag, you now have access to a see-through mesh pocket, a zip pocket containing two internal pouches and another large pocket meant for folders, books, etc.
So at this point, you might be asking: Where do I stick that nice laptop of mine? Don t worry; I won t keep you waiting any longer. But, first things first: flip the flap (I need to use that phrase more) back over the bag like you were going to close it. You will now see a zipper towards the back of the bag. Unzip this zipper and you will see the customary padded pouch with a Velcro strap meant for sensitive electronics. Also, in this same zipped compartment, there is some more room for files. One thing that I need to point out is the padding. Not only is there nice padding around the pouch, but stick your hand into the pouch and press down. You will notice an abnormally large pad to protect your laptop from those jarring drops. This is the Shockshield system from Jansport.
Finally, in case you want to sling this bag onto your back, there is another pocket that is hiding some backpack straps. Don t expect these straps to make it down the Appalachian Trail as they don t seem to be meant as the primary means of carrying. Jansport didn t include the heavy duty strap padding that they would use on a backpack style bag.
This concludes the tour of the Interface. Let me now take you deeper into my mind, or rather, my opinions, so you can see what I think about this offering from Jansport.
Jansport does a great job of providing excellent protection for your laptop. Granted, this bag is not waterproof, but it will provide great protection from those everyday bumps and shocks. In addition to the cushioning for the hardware, they also provide nice cushioning to keep our wetware from bruising. The Airwalk shoulder strap and neoprene cushioned handle make it very cushy to carry.
I m also pleased with the laptop compartment not covered by the flap of the bag. I don t usually have to get into the pockets under the flap, so having quick access to my laptop pleases my fascination with efficiency.
Cosmetically, I think the bag looks good. There s some nice texture on the 840D Junior Ballistics/330D Dobby” fabric and the orange accents add a touch of color. The bag itself is fairly light-weight (2 lbs), so the load that you feel is your own crap.
The one downside that I see is that the bag doesn t have a lot of internal organization . In the pockets meant for the various cables, pens, pads, and headphones, I find it easier to have more internal features. For instance, there isn t a nice sleeve that is the perfect size for a pen. I think having more mesh pockets internally would be a plus.
Overall, I liked the bag and will continue to use it. The minor annoyance of not having more internal pockets is easily outweighed by the comfort and protection offered by the bag. If this type of bag is right up your alley, I would recommend that you flip the flap and check this bag out.