The Network has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best lumbar/hip packs for 2023.
On a long search for a cool looking laptop bag with outdoor versatility and durability, I came across the Mountainsmith Network at North Cove Outfitters in Old Saybrook, CT.
The Network has a front organizer compartment with room for all your computer accessories, and a padded sunglasses or mp3 player holder. There is a large central zippered pocket with room for plenty of textbooks, files or a change of clothes. The coolest addition is the third computer pocket.
The Network has a third pocket with a padded sleeve that is about an inch from the (padded) pack bottom. This gives plenty of protection for even the largest of notebook computers. But to sweeten the deal, the Network comes with a removable black neoprene sleeve that can protect your notebook computer in any backpack that can accomodate it. It's cool to get that extra bonus. Plus, you get plenty of extra room for other files, etc. in the third internal pocket.
The Network has a sweet padded adjustable shoulder strap and an adjustable external bottle holder that can hold 20 oz pop/soda bottles or a smaller size Nalgene.
The bag is constructed out of ripstop material throughout with a reinforced padded bottom.
I had a customer service issue due to my own ignorane with the bag, but Mountainsmith's service was AWESOME and they took care of me, even due to my own fault.
On the downside, it's not nearly as ergonomic as a backpack. It would be hard to hike three mikes with the bag bouncing against you, but it looks awesome and is absolutely great for school or the commute.
Design: Multi-compartment shoulder bag
Size: 1600 Cubic Inches
Number of Pockets: 3 plus internal laptop sleeve and removable neoprene laptop sleeve
Max. Load Carried: 20 Pounds
Height of Owner: 5'10"
Price Paid: $100 plus tax
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Historic Range: $98.95
Reviewers Paid: $100.00