I'm not normally one to get utterly excited about laptop bags, but then again, I find a good bag to be incredibly important; and few bags out there seem to offer what I'm looking for. I need a bag with many pockets. I need one that's lightweight and packs flat. I prefer something that can be discreet, go with me from work to wherever I might be next, and carry a laptop, an iPad, or whatever else the day might surprise me with. Having room for an umbrella is a nice plus.
The $99 ECBC Harpoon Daypack B7101 surprised me, because the first time I saw it I felt it was utterly generic. The black nylon backpack is slim-looking, and almost too slight. It didn't seem heavy-duty, or particularly versatile. I was doubtful. ECBC is a relative newcomer based out of Southern California, making a modest collection of basic-looking but not unattractive backpacks and messenger bags.
After several months of use (yes, this review is overdue), I've come to realize the bag's genius. The ECBC Harpoon (the smallest in ECBC's line of backpacks) has more pockets than I've ever seen in a bag this slim. It carries its weight well, and even fully loaded with cargo, it's not so hard to shoulder. And it does the best a bag can do: it takes your gear and somehow finds a way to let you pack more into less space. The Harpoon comes in black or gray, outfitted with water-repellent nylon and water-resistant zippers. On walks through rainy New York, its contents stayed safely dry.