I am now the owner of an eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack (Thanks mom and dad and brother! Happy Birthday to me!). A quick review:
4 Things I like:
Orange! All backpacks should be orange inside. It makes it way easier to find things.
Compartments. Everything can have a place. My old backpack was just a sack. I was constantly digging around trying to find things.
Visual Management. Do I have a pen? Yes!
This hard case for chargers. I thought this was going to be pointless, but I think that this protective case is going to let me use my taped up charger for another year at least.
4 Things I don’t like:
Why did they use these cheap feeling plastic clips? Especially when they put a nice metal one inside to hold your keys.
Size. Most of the time can I fit what I need, but I think if I was going to do it over I would get something a little bit bigger. Trying to fit a planner, notebook, computer, book, and lunch is a bit tight. And hauling a bunch of kids’ books home from the library is a no go. Sometimes you just need to be able to cram in a bunch of stuff.
Openings. I wish all the zippers opened on 3 sides instead of two. Sometimes it seems hard to get things in and out.
Aesthetics. I like the look overall, but sometimes it gets a bit lumpy looking and the lines don’t stay clean. See “Size” above.
This is not a gear blog though. I am supposed to be writing about creating value as a family by living life intentionally. I think there are some lessons to be drawn from the experience of different types of backpacks. My old backpack was a hiking daypack. It had one big storage area and one small one. It seems great to just have open space. Freedom! I can do whatever I want! The problem is that papers get lost in the bottom, books crush your computer charger and break the cables. There is no way to know if you have everything before you leave the house, and you just fill up all the space with things you don’t need. My new backpack gives structure to its organization. Things become easy to find, I spend less time searching for what I need, I have to be intentional about what I pack for the day, and my investments in gear are protected.
We are learning that this is true in our household, time, and budget. Our rooms without organized storage quickly become cluttered when nothing has a place. When we are not intentional to plan how we will spend our time at the beginning of the day the easy but unimportant things fill it (three episodes of Dr. Who? Sure why not!). Not planning how we will spend our money feels like freedom, until there is no money left. How we manage our stuff, time, and money are core to allowing our family to create value in the world. We have a lot to learn, this backpack is not going to change my life, but it is a small reminder that we can find ways to be intentional, and be better for it.