by Sarah Meyer
The new compact Tri-Pak backpack from CODi features numerous storage pockets, plenty of padding, and a simple design. The Tri-Pak is designed to accept up to 15.4" screen-sized laptops or smaller and has a professional yet stylish look so it could be used by students or business people alike.
- Dimensions: 15.75" x 12.5" x 7"
- Weight: 2 lbs. 9 oz.
- Made from ballistic nylon
- Padded back and straps made from neoprene materials
- Limited Lifetime warranty
Design and Aesthetics
The Tri-Pak is a black with a few red accents on the zippers and where they stitched on the name brand, CODi. The two front pockets have arched zippers but other than that, the Tri-Pak looks like a normal backpack.
The color and style of the bag is more targeted to males than females with the mostly black color and red accents. CODi does not currently offer any alternative colors that might appeal to females more. All the same, the black color is a good one to go with for a professional look and for hiding dirt and wear that a bag will collect over time.
But what it might lack in style, it definitely makes up for in design. CODi says on their website that the Tri-Pak or the Triple Compartment Backpack has "11 distinct organizer compartments in addition to the padded notebook section." They weren’t kidding; this bag has more pockets and compartments than any other bag I’ve reviewed. And they are actually useful.
Starting at the front, there are the two arched zippered pockets I mentioned earlier. The smaller one is just big enough for Chap Stick, an extra pen/pencil or a small bottle of hand lotion/sanitizer. The larger pocket could hold a cell phone, wallet, pocket organizer, or an external mouse. But neither pocket can hold anything too thick without the pockets bulging.
(view large image) The front compartment
These two pockets are located on a larger zippered pocket or the front compartment. Inside this compartment there are three mesh pockets. Two of the mesh pockets are the same and are the perfect size for a checkbook, billfold, or graphing calculator. The third mesh pocket has a place for pencils, markers or lip-gloss, as well as a business card pocket and a key fob.
The middle compartment has four mesh pockets: two zippered pockets and two elasticized pockets. The top zippered pocket has a small pass-through for MP3 or iPod ear buds. The pass-through is protected from the outside by a small Velcro pocket. The second zippered pocket would be great for an AC adaptor cord, an external mouse, or graphing calculator. It could also be handy for storing make-up or snacks.
(view large image) The middle compartment
In the middle compartment there is also a large padded file organizer. I used this to store a hardcover novel I was reading; it would be equally useful for a textbook or a notebook.
(view large image) The "secret" compartment
Between the middle and main compartments there is a quasi hidden compartment that can be opened from two small side zippers. The CODi websites suggests that the extra storage is "perfect for snacks or other soft items." I feel like if you put snacks in this pocket they would get crushed so store these at your own risk.
(view large image) The main compartment
The main compartment is where the laptop is stored. Besides the padded laptop sleeve and buckle, there is a large nylon pocket and two smaller nylon elasticized pockets. With the laptop in the bag, these pockets would be better to store loose papers, a thin spiral notebook or a folder.
The laptop sleeve fits most 15.4” notebooks according to the CODi website. It fit my Dell Latitude D620 perfectly. The sleeve has a thin layer of padding that surrounds the laptop and an adjustable buckle strap to secure the laptop in place.
(view large image)
The back of the Tri-Pak is padded with "various neoprene materials." The same material is used in the curved straps. The straps are ergonomic according to the website. CODi provides a six-page PDF on their site providing information about their ergonomic research and recommendations. So if ergonomics are important to you, CODi products are a perfect match.
Using the bag
The Tri-Pak was great for the organizing! Everything had its place in the backpack; the only downfall was it was almost too much for me. (CODi has a smaller version called the Sling-Pak with fewer pockets.)
The laptop is definitely secure in the bag, thanks to the adjustable buckle and there is a thick liner at the bottom of the backpack that seems to absorb the shock of setting the backpack on the ground. I wasn’t chucking the backpack around with my laptop in it but I felt assured that my notebook was well protected from minor bumps and obstacles.
But my favorite part of the Tri-Pak was how comfortable it was to carry around. The padding on the back was especially nice because you didn’t get book corners or other pointy objects stabbing you in the back.
Although it wasn’t quite my style, it would suit many people that would enjoy having just a plain black backpack.
The Tri-Pak would be a great backpack for college students with laptops. It’s functional as a notebook case, as well as great for staying organized. The only downfall would be the $148 price tag, but with the warranty and quality materials, it’s a bag you could use for all four years of school.
- Comfortable straps, back padding
- Great for staying organized
- Laptop can be secured in bag
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Style may not appeal to all demographics
- No color options
Pricing and Availability
The CODi Tri-Pak Triple Compartment Backpack can be purchased via the CODi website, or by calling 1-800-263-4462. The Tri-Pak is $148.