Water-Resistant Commuter Bags
Even in sunny Southern California, I don’t trust a commuter bag without water resistance. This is because my preferred mode of transport is by bike, and though I live in a desert, I still manage to get caught unprepared for the occasional rainy commute. Since I am not willing to gamble with my laptop's moisture tolerance, I prefer the insurance of a weather resistant bag. Here are 5 options to protect your laptop and other belongings, no matter what your commuting climate is.
1. Chrome Mini Metro Messenger Bag. This Bay Area classic (in black/white) was my love and workhorse for many years. At $120, it’s a little on the small size for the price (larger options are available), but it’s a very well-built bag that will keep your computer dry even in heavy rain. With the classic Chrome seatbelt lock, the cool-factor is almost unmatched.
2. Octovo Backpack. With sleek, clean lines and a minimalist profile, this is a truly gorgeous bag, albeit with a few caveats. Though its fabric is water resistant, I’m not sure how well the Italian leather straps will fare with repeated water exposure. This number comes with a hefty price tag – at $250, you will pay for every ounce of chic, hipsteresque beauty.
3. Timbuk2 Spire Backpack. After using this bag (in black) for over a year, I couldn’t be happier with it. At $99, it’s a steal for what it offers – lots of space, external fabric loops for a bike u-lock and rear lights, accessible outer compartments, and excellent interior organization. Many bags with outer compartments can look, well, nerdy, but this one pulls it off. I regularly get compliments on it.
4. Ortleib Velocity Backpack. This company makes some serious outdoor equipment, and the Velocity backpack is no exception. It’s a nice size for those after-work grocery stops, and the geometric print is a cool design pop. At $125, this is a solid option.
5. Pategonia Black Hole Backpack. I’m loving the shiny-yet-stealthy look of this bag in black. Like Timbuk2’s Spire, this design features convenient outer loops for bike gear (seriously guys, this is sooo nice for biking because you don’t have to put your greasy lock inside with your other items). Profile-wise, this isn’t my top pick, but it’s a respectable contender for a decent price at $129.