Targus 15.4″ CityGear Chicago Notebook Backpack Review

by Reads (16,923)

by Vivek Gowri

The Targus CityGear Chicago backpack is a spacious and professional high-end bag intended for carrying notebooks up to 15.4”. It is very durable and has numerous compartments and innovative features. Although somewhat high priced, it is worth the cost due to the quality and features.


  • Color – Black/Gray/Yellow
  • Exterior Dimensions – 15 x 9.5 x 18.75”
  • Device Compatibility – 1 4.2 x 2 x 11.6”
  • Material – Nylon
  • Weight – 3.2 pounds
  • Warranty – Limited Lifetime Warranty

Reasons for Buying:

I was using a smaller Targus backpack, one which fits only notebooks up to 13” screen size, so I needed to get a larger one for the new Sony VAIO FJ 14” screen notebook I had bought. I also found the older Targus backpack to be a bit small for even my regular load of textbooks, so I really wanted to replace it. I liked the quality and reputation of Targus, so decided to stick with that brand. I was originally considering the Targus Gravity that costs around $45, because I felt that the CityGear’s $60 price was too much, regardless of whether it was actually worth the money. However, when CompUSA put a sale of 50% off on all Targus notebook cases, I immediately bought the CityGear for $30. It was a screaming deal at that price, and was a good investment.

Front view of Targus CityGear 15.4" backpack (view large image)

Design and Build:

This backpack has a distinctly professional look and feel. It is primarily black, with gray and yellow accent trim. It’s a pretty conservative and traditional design, but it exudes quality, and the bits of yellow add some flair to it.

(view large image)

The CityGear Chicago is constructed of high quality nylon, and there is contoured, breathable mesh on the shoulder straps and back.

Back view of Targus 15.4" CityGear backpack (view large image)

I can attest to the durability of the CityGear, as I have taken it to school daily for the last 6 months or so (purchased it in June) without putting so much as a scratch on it. There’s no ripped fabric, no discoloration or water leakage problems from the Seattle rain, nothing.

My average load (the bag, laptop, power brick, 1 textbook, a binder full of papers, and lunch), with this bag, is a bit heavy for me, but I think that it will be fine for most people, as I weigh under 100 lbs.

Storage and Features:

There are many features included in this bag: a removable mobile phone pouch, side water bottle pocket, rubberized zipper pulls, reflective material on the front panel, removable 8 disc CD/DVD sleeve, a CD/MP3 player compartment with a headphone port, a side pocket with protective nyflex lining, and numerous other pockets with accessory storage (elastic pockets to hold things down, pocket for documents and files, etc).

Left side view of bag (view large image)

Right side view of bag (view large image)


The amount of stuff this bag can hold is amazing. I knew it would be ample, but I managed to fit the following:

  • Three very thick textbooks (two were around 1000 pages, the other was around 1800)
  • A 1.5” binder
  • Three CD cases plus 8 DVDs in their 8 disc holder
  • My 1.2” thick Sony VAIO FJ
  • A massive AC adapter for powering the VAIO FJ

All this was carried without putting undue stress on the notebook.

All this fits in the Targus CityGear 15.4" notebook backpack (view large image)

The compartment for the notebook (which fits up to 15.4” screen laptops) is very well padded, but since I am extremely paranoid and had extra space (my 14” notebook is smaller than the 15.4” compartment), I put bubble packing inside for extra protection.

A look at the notebook compartment in the backpack (view large image)

Purchase Info:

The Targus CityGear Chicago backpack is available online and retail stores from between $50 and $70.


The Targus CityGear Chicago Backpack is a terrific backpack, with excellent build quality and storage capacity, combined with premium features and professional style. It is a great choice for students or professionals who want to carry a lot of things and want a long lasting bag. The Targus CityGear Chicago combines features and functionality with professional design and durability, and is definitely worth consideration.


  • Durability
  • Storage capacity
  • Laptop protection
  • Amount of features
  • Professional style


  • Slightly expensive
  • A bit heavy



All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community.