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ECBC Harpoon Daypack B7101 review: Little hold-it-all

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The Good The ECBC Harpoon Daypack B7101 has tons of storage pockets, feels very lightweight, packs extremely flat, and bears weight well.

The Bad It won't hold a 17-inch laptop, but it comes close. It's a little more expensive than the average backpack.

The Bottom Line If you're interested in carrying the maximum amount of gear in the slimmest backpack, the ECBC Harpoon wins out with ample pockets and convenient design.

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8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8

Review Sections

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.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Still not convinced? Look at the picture: I fit all that into the Harpoon and still had some room to spare. The ECBC Harpoon has two main zippered areas, each with its own zippered subcompartments and Velcro flaps. The laptop sleeve can accommodate nearly any laptop, except for a 17-incher (though I tried, and it came close). Small subpockets can hold an iPad, or several iPads.

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