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ECBC Poseidon Messenger Bag: Rugged functionality for little laptops

For commuters, students, and others who rely on keeping their MacBooks securely stowed during travel, a comfortable notebook bag with a lot of padding isn't a luxury; it's a necessity. ECBC recently released the new Poseidon Messenger Bag (US$99.99) as part of its K7 series, and it looks like a winner for those who want a rugged MacBook bag that looks good while it protects your investment. We're giving away a Poseidon Messenger Bag, but check out the features first.

Design

This particular member of the ECBC family is designed for the 11" and 13" MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models. To start with, it's covered with an "Outdoor Industry Tested" material called Kodra that resists abrasion and water. That covering comes in five different colors: basic black, blue, green, berry (red), and linen (white).

The front of the bag features a ticket and passport pocket containing a sub-pocket to hold your iPhone in place, while the back has a pass-through sleeve for sliding the entire bag over the handles of rolling luggage. You can stay hydrated by popping a small water bottle into the elastic sleeve on one end of the bag, and make sure you don't lose your sunglasses by placing them into the small zippered pouch on the other end.

The Poseidon Messenger Bag will easily fit under most airplane seats; it's 11.5" high, 14.5" long and 2.75" thick. Empty, the bag weighs in at a featherweight 1 lb., 11 oz.

On the inside, the Poseidon is all business. The front flap of the bag is held in place by two monstrous strips of Velcro and a pair of side-release buckles so it doesn't fly open when you're whizzing through the streets on your bike or skateboard.

Under that flap are three layers of pockets of various sizes for holding papers and pens. There's a strap with a link on the end of it for holding onto keys. As you move back closer to the computer compartment, there's another zippered pocket that's perfect for holding cables and chargers.

Now we get to the meat of the Poseidon -- the computer compartment. It's big enough to hold up to a 13" MacBook Pro, and well-padded on both sides. The bottom of the compartment holds an inch-thick modular padded insert that's removable if you're using a 13" MacBook Pro and stays there if the bag is holding an 11" MacBook Air. That's not all you can put in the computer compartment, though. It has enough room to hold an iPad or two, and there are more pockets.

Finally, there's the long strap for carrying the messenger bag like ... well, a bicycle messenger. That means you can sling it around to your back or side while the strap goes over the opposite side shoulder. The pad on the strap is one of the thickest I've encountered on a computer bag. To adjust the strap, there's a big cam buckle that loosens to give you more or less strap, then clamps down to hold the strap in place.

Functionality

Did I mention that the Poseidon has pockets? I'm almost wondering if the designers at ECBC were going for a record or something, 'cause this bag is crazy with pockets. Those big Velcro pads and the buckles that hold the case flap down are excellent for keeping the bag securely closed, and the water repellent coating on the Kodra exterior will make sure that your electronics remain dry even in pouring rain.

The construction of the Poseidon is excellent. The sewing, use of heavy duty zippers, and the hardware are all top-notch, and Velcro patches are scattered throughout to keep some of the smaller pockets closed.

Seriously, I usually use a good sized SwissGear backpack to carry all of my stuff, and I found that I can put all of that gear and more into the Poseidon.

Conclusion

ECBC has a winner in the Poseidon Messenger Bag. Anyone who has one of the smaller MacBooks who wants protection for their mobile electronics in a stylish and functional bag should take a look at this bag.

Pros

  • Well-padded to protect your MacBook
  • More pockets than you can shake a stick at
  • Excellent rugged construction
  • Comfortable and adjustable carrying strap
  • Luggage trolley handle pass-through makes it easy to place the Poseidon onto your roll-around

Cons

  • None to speak of

Who is it for?

  • The owner of an 11" or 13" MacBook who wants the ultimate in protection and carrying capacity for their precious notebook and accessories.

Giveaway

Well, the TUAW Labs have put the ECBC Poseidon Messenger Bag through the rigorous testing, and now it's time to give readers a chance to win a black Poseidon of their very own. Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before March 31, 2013 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected and will receive a black ECBC Poseidon Messenger Bag valued at $99.99
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

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