I have been in the market for a new laptop backpack for quite a while. I have tested The Arc’teryx Blade 20 for the past month and can say that, although it has a few issues, it is simply the best laptop bag I have ever used.

Arc’teryx Blade 20 Backpack

Back of the Blade

The Arc’teryx Blade has a unique look, similar in design to a parachute pack. This give the pack a sleek, sporty look that differentiates it from the run of the mill laptop bag. I took the bag on several business trips and for once didn’t feel like a college intern walking into the meeting with a backpack. The feature that makes all the difference is the backpack straps tuck neatly into a strap on the back of the bag. There is a strap on the side designed as a handle that lets you carry the bag like a traditional briefcase.

My full size 15″ Mackbook Pro fit perfectly in the protective sleeve which opens in a full clamshell that makes organization a breeze. I was able to take my laptop, kindle, iPhone and chargers along with a change of clothes and sundries on an overnight trip to Chicago last week and was thrilled to leave my suitcase home.

The internal organizer pocket has all the usual pockets plus a stretch mesh pocket specifically designed for a smartphone. There is a zippered security pocket and a brilliant stash pocket with a cable pass through so you can keep your devices charged and accessible. I keep my high capacity secondary battery recharged with a cable into the stash pocket so I can keep my iPhone charged up and in reach. Finally there is a external pocket on the back that’s perfect for my passport when going through security. There is the usual water bottle pocket on the side and a convenient key clip.


There are a few things about the pack I found irritating. The design of the pack makes it perfect for short trips but the storage is a bit limited if you have a lot of gear you want to take with you. In addition the side loading clamshell makes getting to your gear on an airplane a bit tough. Finally the straps are a bit small and became a bit uncomfortable when I wore the pack for an entire day.

The Blade retails for $169, which is admittedly high for a backpack, however if your looking for a stylish, professional laptop backpack you will have a hard time beating the Osprey Blade 20. It comes in a variety of nice colors including the steel-blue Nightshade color that I have.

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