Solo New York's Backpacks Are Perfect For Megalith Laptop Toters

solo new york elite backpack
The Elite backpack from Solo New York. (c) Solo New York

When I first read about Solo New York’s Elite and Altitude backpacks, which are branded as “contemporary tech backpacks for gamers,” I admit I was skeptical. A lot of things branded “for gamers” are ugly, overwrought, overpriced design fails.

I had no desire to carry one of those monstrosities on my back in public, even if it was for a review. But the Solo New York Elite and Altitude backpacks are different. The Elite backpack comes in a cool, muted but appealing burgundy-and gray-colorway as well as black:

elite backpack 04
The Elite backpack from Solo New York. Photo: (c) Solo New York
elite backpack 03
The Elite backpack from Solo New York. Photo: (c) Solo New York
elite backpack 02
The Elite backpack from Solo New York. Photo: (c) Solo New York
elite backpack 01
The Elite backpack from Solo New York. Photo: (c) Solo New York

As for the Altitude backpack, it comes in four utilitarian colors:  Navy, Grey, Olive and Black.

altitude backpack 04
The Altitude backpack from Solo New York. Photo: (c) Solo New York
altitude backpack 03
The Altitude backpack from Solo New York. Photo: (c) Solo New York
altitude backpack 02
The Altitude backpack from Solo New York. Photo: (c) Solo New York
altitude backpack 01
The Altitude backpack from Solo New York. Photo: (c) Solo New York

There’s no Death Lava Blood Red or Radioactive Goop Green or fiddly bits that glow in the dark or Mountain Dew co-branding. These backpacks look respectable. You can take them to work, the gym or your home without feeling embarrassed.

But the best thing about both of these laptops is this: they have a fully padded 17.3" laptop compartment. Do you know how hard it is to find a backpack, briefcase, messenger bag or any other form of non-suitcase that can carry a 17.3” laptop in a manner that doesn’t cause immense inconvenience or physical pain?

The computer I use for everything—work, play, love — is a MSI GE72 Apache Pro-029 gaming laptop. It measures 17.3" of screen size and a hearty 5.95 pounds. Its charger is a literal brick. I could take someone out with it. Yes, my laptop is technically portable but it is a pain in the ass to port. Whenever I travel, I have to bring a small rolling suitcase with me and strap my laptop to the bottom of it, even if I’m bringing nothing else but my laptop and a change of clothes.

Because no backpack, no duffel bag, no messenger bag, no briefcase, no manner of carry-on luggage has been able to comfortably fit my laptop in its protective case and my mouse and the charger and my clothes, toiletries, my 3DS and its games, my Switch and its games, all the assorted junk I toss in my purse and everything else you need when you’re traveling.

Until now.

The Elite backpack is a revelation. Thanks to an ingenious and convenient shoe/laundry department, this backpack makes a particularly thoughtful gift to anyone whose New Year’s resolution is to hit the gym and get healthy. Check out this list of features:

  • Fully padded 17.3" laptop compartment

  • Internal iPad®/tablet pocket

  • Large side pockets

  • Large capacity

  • Separate shoe/laundry compartment

  • Internal organizer section

  • Padded back and backpack straps for added comfort

  • Sports zipper pulls

  • Smooth nylon fabric

  • Ultra-lightweight

The padded back and backpack straps feel amazing and comfortable, yet the Elite backpack itself is very lightweight. I don’t toss around “lightweight” lightly, by the way, since I am a professional weakling who strains to pick up her six-pound laptop. But somehow, when it’s in this backpack, it’s a piece of cake.

As a bona fide stationery nerd, I adore the internal organizer section. I can keep my pens separate from the rest of my stuff! I won’t lose my chapstick in this thing! And as the owner of an itty-bitty chromebook, I love being able to easily take both my Mondo Grande laptop (which fits in the laptop compartment) and my Itsy Bitsy chromebook (which fits in the iPad/tablet pocket) with me.

The shoe/laundry compartment is the most clutch part of the whole backpack for me. If you’re making a few stops throughout your day or flying on a business trip, you can bring everything you could possibly need in this backpack and skip luggage claim.

feels goodman meme
Pure. Good. Photo: Credit: The Internet

The Altitude backpack has a few subtle differences, most notably the lack of a shoe/laundry compartment. That’s fine, though—it means the Altitude backpack is great for a day where you’re only going one place (to and from work, skipping the gym; spending all day at a convention; running a quick grocery errand). It features the following:

  • Fully padded 17.3" laptop compartment

  • Internal iPad®/tablet pocket

  • Front zippered organizer section

  • Side pockets

  • Aviator inspired hardware

  • Military grade Velcro with New York patch

  • Lightweight parachute nylon

  • Padded back and backpack straps

The Velcro is a little corny, but I don’t mind being able to put some personal flair on my backpack in an easy fashion. (So if you’ve just got to have your Mountain Dew G-G-Gamerzzz co-branding, that’s how you do it.) Again, I love the laptop compartment, the tablet pocket, the organizer section, the lightweight feel and the sleek look.

Despite how much stuff you can cram into one of them, they don’t look crammed. They don’t bulge with items no matter how poorly you stuff your belongings into them. Somehow, they remain looking streamlined and effortless. They are amazing backpacks and well worth the investment, especially if you need to travel with your own personal megalith. Finally, I can leave the rolling suitcase at home for good.

My only quibble with these backpacks is the marketing, which is pretty aggressively male-oriented. I can only assume my icky female dollars are still welcome, but an indication of that anywhere on the site would be nice.

Both backpacks cost $79.99 and can be purchased directly from the Solo New York website. The Elite is available here and the Altitude is available here. If you pick one of these up, please let me know in the comments section below because these backpacks have permanently changed how I travel and I’m feeling evangelical. Speak to me, believers!

Join the Discussion
Top Stories