DOUCHEBAGS SCHOLAR LAP­TOP BACK­PACK: THIS IS ONE DOUCHEBAG YOU’LL WANT TO BE SEEN WITH

Macworld (USA) - - Macuser - BY LEIF JOHN­SON

The first thing you need to know about a Douchebag is that the word it­self ap­pears nowhere on the bag. The most you’ll find is a sleek Db logo peek­ing out from no less than six spots across the bag, along with a mas­sive 2.5-inch mono­gram that hugs the small of your back when it’s worn. True, it looks a lit­tle like the Op logo that dom­i­nated T-shirts in the early ’90s. Did those count as “douchey”? That’s some­thing you’ll have to de­cide.

A DOUCHEBAG AND A SCHOLAR

For my money, though, this is a bag that has no right call­ing it­self a “douchebag.”

That’s not the case with some of the com­pany’s other bags, ad­mit­tedly, as it some­times em­braces style over sub­stance. The Scholar, though, is prac­ti­cally un­der­stated; its only flam­boy­ance be­ing a bright crim­son shin­ing from one of the main front straps and the ny­lon zip­per tog­gles. (Ear­lier mod­els don’t even have that.) It’s so rec­tan­gu­lar it’s al­most square. The very name de­fies ex­pec­ta­tions. With a brand name like Douchebags, a name like The Nerd likely isn’t too far from the realms of pos­si­bil­ity.

Here’s the big plus: Yes, there’s a nice, comfy pouch in­side for hold­ing our Macbooks or Macbook Pros (or even our 12.9-inch ipads). In fact, it fits the 15-inch Macbook Pro so well—even with a case!— that I sus­pect the whole bag was de­signed around it. This ini­tially sur­prised me, as the bag’s 10.8-inch by 15.7-inch di­men­sions don’t look all that big from the out­side. That, of course, means that you shouldn’t try to stuff any­thing larger in there, but I’m happy to re­port that it’s padded well enough that or­di­nary bumps shouldn’t hurt your de­vices.

Al­most ev­ery­thing else goes in­side the four-gal­lon main com­part­ment, aside from a top zip­pered pouch that’s big enough to hold a Mole­sk­ine pocket notebook and some Air­pods (and which some­times makes re­mov­ing a Macbook from the sleeve a tiny has­sle if it’s too full). There’s also a slightly larger zip­pered com­part­ment in the

The Scholar, though, is prac­ti­cally un­der­stated; its only flam­boy­ance be­ing a bright crim­son shin­ing from one of the main front straps and the ny­lon zip­per tog­gles.

front that’s ca­pa­ble of hold­ing larger items like a Macbook Pro charger and a small book, but that’s about where the ex­tra stor­age space ends.

THROW YOUR WEIGHT AROUND

I ini­tially wor­ried about stuff­ing it too en­thu­si­as­ti­cally. The ex­te­rior is clad in polyurethane leather (which looks bet­ter than it feels), but even with that it only weighs in at a mere 1.65 pounds. If we found the Sad­dle­back Slim Front Pocket Back­pack ( go.mac­world.com/sdle) a tad too heavy, this one’s a feath­er­weight. For that mat­ter, I wor­ried that I’d quickly start see­ing those ugly white scuffs you of­ten see with polyurethane leather, but for­tu­nately that hasn’t been the case.

It’s tougher than it looks. In fact, I of­ten for­get how much I have stashed in it. Some­how the bag with the silly name is a mar­vel of weight dis­tri­bu­tion. It prac­ti­cally dis­ap­pears.

This hit me like a reve­la­tion when I sat down at a cof­fee shop think­ing I’d left my wa­ter bot­tle and bat­tery pack at home be­cause I didn’t “feel” their weight pulling on my back. But no, there they were, along with a pair of head­phones I had no mem­ory of pack­ing. Most of my wor­ries about the Douchebag Scholar died in that mo­ment.

FOR STRAP­PING LADS (AND LASSIES)

Douchebags would have you be­lieve that the op­tions above aren’t your lim­its for stor­ing items, but they’re stretch­ing it. Some­what lit­er­ally, too. A pair of inch-

The ex­te­rior is clad in polyurethane leather (which looks bet­ter than it feels), but even with that it only weighs in at a mere 1.65 pounds.

wide ad­justable straps reach across

The Scholar’s face, each 9.5 inches apart, with the idea be­ing that you can use them to tether some­thing in case of an emer­gency. Okay, sure. I tried it with a rolled-up hoodie.

It works fine.

But Douchebags’ mar­ket­ing talks about slap­ping skate­boards in­side the roughly 10-inch space, and well… no. I couldn’t sum­mon the courage to try it. The straps aren’t garbage and they’re held in place by metal fas­ten­ers, but it doesn’t take great leaps of the imag­i­na­tion to en­vi­sion the skateboard rip­ping from the PU leather and slam­ming on the toes of a nice old lady be­hind me on the sub­way. And then, my friend, wouldn’t you feel like a douchebag in that mo­ment? I thought so.

But by all means, take it on the train. (It’s up to you if you want to bring the skateboard.) I love that the depth of a mere five inches keeps the Scholar close to your back, which en­sures other pas­sen­gers won’t think I’m a jerk for tak­ing up too much room on a crowded San Fran­cisco street­car. Other peo­ple will barely no­tice it. And again, you’ll barely no­tice it, so im­pres­sive is the weight dis­tri­bu­tion.

So con­sid­er­ate. So un­der­stated. Again, it al­most feels in­sult­ing to call a bag this good a “Douchebag.” If the com­pany is out to reap­pro­pri­ate the term, then it’s do­ing a fine job of it. ■

The pad­ding is pretty nice, too.

The lin­ing (which in­cludes the Macbook sleeve) is en­tirely made of polyester.

There was still some room in it, even with all this.

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