Spire USA Volt Laptop Backpack Review (pics)

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By Antoine RJ Wright

 

Tools are important. Without the right tools, one will not be able to perform as expected with a particular job function. Within this review, my tool (my Dell 600m laptop) was needed to be carried with me to and from work. I have no car, so I have to bike a lot of places, including work. Having a sturdy laptop bag is essential for me to get the best out of my tool. My job includes teaching and grading papers. That would be easy to do if I were not such the guy for not wanting paper, and for wanting my students to use Blackboard to send me their assignments. For that reason, my PDA just was not enough for the job. Therefore, there were some days that I had to take my mini-office to work and grade some papers. The bag that I used to have was a waterproof piece of fabric that is very strong, just not good for carrying a laptop in. It had no support, only two pockets, and was not very much larger than my laptop. The Spire USA Volt Laptop Backpack was a godsend for me; and very much showed me that with the right tools, that I would be able to be more effective in my teaching this summer.

 

Spire USA Laptop Backpack with Dell Inspiron 600m

 

Specs

So what makes the Spire USA Volt so effective, and comfortable? First, here are its specs:

Boot Sizes

XS, S, M, L

External Dims

18.5 x 12.0 x 8.0

Capacity

1600

Weight

2.80

External Fabric

1680 Denier Ballistic Nylon

Internal Fabric

210 Denier Silver (Gray)

Nylon Padding

Yes

External Pockets

1

Waist Strap

1.5″

Nylon Removable Strap

No

Hideaway Harness

No

Top Handle

Yes

Side Handle

No

Framesheet

No

 

As seen in the specs, the weight and dimensions of the Volt Backpack are large enough for most laptops, and at the same time small enough not to be in way. I found the weight very manageable, and almost so that I did not notice the bag on my back, except for the comfort padding on the shoulders and the back of the bag (extremely comfortable and breathes well too).

 

Back view of the Spire USA Laptop Backpack

 

One other mention should come in about the boot. When I first got this bag, Spire USA was running a promotion of getting the boot free with the backpack. The boots cost a little under $40 and provides extra protection for your notebook. If you are like me and purchases this backpack as a means to get your tool from one place to another, then you will want to make the additional purchase of the boot. I use the medium-sized boot for my laptop and it fits very well. There is a size chart on the website so that you can get the correct size boot. If your computer is not located there, chances are that you will find a model that is close enough in size to yours so that you can make the right call on the size of boot.

 

Spire USA Backpack and optional Boot for protecting your laptop better

 

Usage

The reason that I wanted this bag, first of all, was because during my time teaching this summer, I needed a tool to take my laptop to and from work. Because I bike, I needed a backpack that would be protective, yet at the same time comfortable. It means nothing to me to have a large sized bag, and then it would be uncomfortable for a 8mi each way bike ride. The Spire USA Volt backpack fits that purpose more than I could have thought.

 

In terms of just being a backpack, it excels well there. There are two main pockets and one additional outside pocket. The smaller of the main pockets has two mesh pockets that are suitable for carrying additional pens, pads, or USB/power cables. For me, I used that pocket to hold an extra shirt and rag, my USB cable for m PalmOne Zire71, the power cable for my laptop, and food. I used the larger pocket for carrying the laptop and a jacket, and it was large enough to do so without making a dent into my back with a bulge. The outermost pocket is good for bike tools, loose change, and other small objects that one may need. There are no pockets on the side of the backpack, and therefore wanting to carry a water bottle, or cell phone on the backpack is not an option. Of all of my using of the Volt backpack, this is its only low points.

 

A view inside the Spire USA Volt Backpack

 

Besides just carrying my laptop, I wanted to make sure that it had ample protection. When using the boot, you have an extra few layers of protection. The boot has a plastic piece that fits within it that keeps the shape of boot, and provides decent shock protection. The next layer is the boot itself, it feels soft to the touch and can be a laptop bag (or a purse in some people s case) without the backpack. The Volt backpack s largest pocket has padding on the area that touches the back. There is also a thick layer of padding on the bottom. Usually, padding means uncomfortable, but Spire USA found a way to make the padding feel less like padding for your laptop, and more like padding for you. Very innovative, very comfortable, very nice.

 

 

Conclusion

My call here, if you need a comfortable and usable bag (and do not mind the lack of a side pocket), get this bag. It is expensive (for me the recent, graduated college student and entrepreneur), but well worth it. The Volt backpack with boot can be purchased from the Spire USA website (www.spireusa.com) for $145.


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