Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

12Jul/06Off

Review: Ogio Metro

A month or two ago I bought an Ogio Metro backpack as a replacement for my other messenger-style bag that was all metrosexual and everything but didn't really work well as anything other than a cross body strap to carry my laptop. The problem that I have with most bags intended to transport laptops is that I carry a whole bunch of stuff.

I think the primary mistake that most bag companies make when doing design for laptop bags is that they never consider anything more than the object it is designed to carry. That means that most companies consider the laptop compartment and enough room to carry a magazine sufficient for most people. Unlike the dream consumer that most designers apparently hold in mind when laying out dimensions and shapes of pockets and flaps I occasionally do things like bring along a sweatshirt that I don't intend to wear all day, bring a book larger than a mass market paperback or (gasp!) several of them, and other assorted things that are much larger and more difficult to arrange than one of those stupid ass document folders that are always displayed in the display photographs for bags.

The really great thing about this bag is that it doesn't spend a whole lot of time looking cool or whatever. It functions as a medium-large capacity backpack that also happens to have a laptop pocket. You can fit most things in this bag in addition to your machine and not worry about it a whole lot. The other obvious advantage is that the bag is actually comfortable for more than ten minutes at a stretch. I understand the appeal of messenger bags in terms of accessibility. With a messenger bag you can flip the sucker around your body and get to the main pocket without channeling a contortionist. I usually keep the things I need to get to frequently (phone being the big one) in my pants pockets so this isn't typically an issue for me.

The one problem that I have with most bags is that they have few or only very tiny pockets. The Metro does not suffer from that problem. There are tons of a variously sized pockets on this bad boy and in a high enough number that I don't resent the ones I don't need or simply don't understand. A couple of the outer pockets are also waterproof which is a very nice feature and the other nice feature on top of this is that there are only two of the water resistant type. They're a bitch to open and close with the weird rubbery zipper protection that I assume works to keep water out of the zipper closure. One of them also has the weird cord port on top of it (this fits into the 'don't use' category for me) and seems like a good idea as most audio devices are not well known for their properties of surviving immersion and even the port is well designed to keep water out. There is also a pocket intended for a mouse and power supply which is a good idea. I've seen suspended versions of this but they're usually pretty small and don't actually hold both simultaneously. This one is actually large and not bulky at all so it generally stays out of the way.

The laptop pocket is one of the best parts about this bag. It is sandwiched between thin layers of padding between the largest of the inner compartments and the back of the bag. This is a smaller pocket than most laptop bags feature now which works great for me because it snugly fits my MacBook Pro. It isn't the incredibly tight squeeze that many have complained about because there is actually a small flap at the very bottom of the zipper that lets you crank it down another half of an inch or so. There isn't an insane amount of padding in the laptop pocket but it seems to be sufficient for my needs. I like the smaller pocket because I don't have one of the giganto screens that most manufacturers seem obligated to slap on their machines over the past few years and my laptop doesn't slide around as much as it did when I carried it in the messenger bag. If you're carrying a plasma television with an attached keyboard you're probably in the market for a larger bag.

The other nice part is that the bag is less than $70 and will hold more than your laptop and a banana. It's solidly built although not particularly attractive and doesn't look like a laptop bag which is a bonus if you're schlepping your computer around at night or you live in my neighborhood. While those weird attache looking cases all too often emblazoned with a computer company logo (the bright blue Dell ones are my favorite and when pared with a set of the bright white iPod ear-pods essentially mark you as likely target for mugging) might impress people at a meeting or something I don't personally endorse carrying anything that screams 'I am carrying a laptop' around. That's just me though. This bag is also pretty sturdy though I'm not a huge fan of the quilted thing that one of the outside surfaces has on its outside. It also has a pretty substantial handle on top that supports the full weight of the bag without feeling like it's going to break or tear.

This bag is pretty much perfect for me and looks like it will last a long time. I'm not particularly abusive but I do carry this bag with me every day on multiple bus rides and sometimes stuff it full of clothing or whatever if it looks like rain. It has most of the features that laptop bags use as marketing fodder but doesn't announce that it is intended to carry a laptop. Even the positioning of the pocket at the rear of the bag works towards making it a less obvious tech vessel. Also, if you're a fucking idiot, it comes in camouflage. What more could you really ask for?

Filed under: General, Reviews Comments Off
Comments (11) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Great review. Just purchased my Metro from ebags and I’m waiting for it to arrive next week. Can’t wait :)

  2. Also, if you’re a fucking idiot, it comes in camouflage.

    Ahahhahaa, oh you are talking about me.

    I wanted to buy this bag for school. I am not trend conscious and don’t intend on paying too much for a school bag. I like this bag a lot anyhow, will you tell me if this is an “okay bag” for school or will I look like an idiot.

    I don’t plan on getting the camo, I was joking.

  3. If you’re thinking in terms of a bag just to carry books I don’t know if I would fork over the cash or not. I was an English major and did just fine with the more standard issue backpack. The capacity is really pretty good but I’m casting that more in terms of how laptop bags are typically setup. If you don’t want a laptop bag then there a gazillion more spacious and cheaper bags out there.

  4. thanks a lot. A bag like this is worth stealing, so I don’t want to lose my bag and my books if I run into those kinds of people. thanks again, I’ll sure think about what you said before I browse ebay.

  5. Heyyyy, there’s nothing wrong with camo! Its the best color ever!

  6. Saw one of these bags at the airport a week or so ago. The owner was bragging on the fact that he had all he needed for a two day business trip in his backpack. Others in his group were carrying laptop bags and small carry-ons. I was hooked. Did quite a bit of searching on-line until I found some great photos of the miscellaneous pockets and “innards”. Your review was excellent and provided the final incentive. Ordered a brown one this afternoon….

  7. camo is for kool kids dude!!!!!!!!!

  8. I have the Metroid and it is the best backpack I have ever owned. When you hold it, right away you know it will last forever. I mean, FOREVER. I got my daughter the Metro – she loves it – after she took it from me once I got it in the mail. Handles her heavy college textbooks and MacBook perfectly.

  9. I have an Ogio Metro that is about 5 years old that I carry to work everyday. It looks pretty much like the day I bought it. It’s comfortable. Despite having it overloaded many times the zippers have all held up fine. It holds all of my stuff. It’s not a thief magnet. It protects my laptop. When mine wears out (no idea how many decades before that will happen) I will buy another.

  10. Do any of y’all also use a neoprene sleeve while using the metro? I’m wondering if the laptop compartment will fit my 15″ MacBook Pro if it is in a sleeve….

  11. It’s a pretty snug fit for a MBP pro as is so I’m not sure a sleeve would fit in the rear compartment. I recently got a Lenovo Ideapad which is the same basic dimensions as the MBP but a little thicker with the rear hinge arrangement and bought a Ogio Urboe. It’s built for a 17″ laptop but is the same solid construction.

    I have to say, though, that the Metro is still in great shape nearly three years later and after being lugged around Europe. They make solid stuff.


Trackbacks are disabled.