Seaside – Jan/Feb/March 2018
Olympia – Jan/Feb 2018

ECBC Hercules Laptop Backpack Review

ecbc backpacks

Photo by ECBC.

I have to admit, I am a pocket freak. The more the better. I once owned a ski jacked with 21 pockets and, honestly, I did tend to lose things in it. I once found a 7-year-old trail map from Switzerland tucked far, far away. But with a backpack, it’s safe to say, lots of pockets mean lots of seriously usable places to stash things. And that’s exactly what you get with the EC BC Hercules Laptop Backpack.

The Hercules laptop backpack from ecbc has, yes, 21 assorted pockets and nooks for stashing.

And even better, it’s TSA approved, which means (in the U.S., at any rate), you don’t have to take out the laptop going through security. Just zip open the pack and lay it flat on the scanner belt. And in another country, it’s easy enough to slip out the laptop. The downside is if you do open the bag to lay it flat, all those magazines and papers you stuffed inside will have to go somewhere else, though there IS a second pocket for some of it.

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Backpack from ECBC stuffed with travel gear. is TSA approved so the laptop doesn’t have to be removed in the USA. Photo by ECBC.

So when I field tested the ecbc Hercules Laptop backpack, here’s how it went for me.

The laptop pocket is designed for a beefy, 17-inch compute,r but if you have a micro thin 13-incher like me, there’s a “modular insert” to take up the extra space. I pulled that out immediately because I prefer to have my laptop securely seated all the way down in the pocket. Even with the extra room, there’s enough padding to keep the laptop safe.

And speaking of pockets … there are actually more than I need. But, as with all spare spaces, I’m sure I will fill them soon. There are two easily accessed front outside pockets for stuff you need in a hurry (say, travel itinerary, boarding pass) and more inside with zips and velcro closures. The two side pockets expand to hold a water bottle and zip shut when you just want to stuff other things in it. The one thing I would have liked is a thin vertical pocket on the front for an instantly accessible pen.

The Fit

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The wide straps and adjustable chest strap mean comfort. Photo by ECBC.

A female friend told me the 2.5 inch wide straps on the Hercules backpack were a bit wide for her. Not for me. But I’m not exactly small. I started to criticize the chest strap for being placed too high … until I discovered it’s adjustable. Yay designers. And at 2.7 pounds empty the pack is way lighter than my briefcase.

The one thing I would have added is a waist strap to take a bit of the weight off my shoulders. ecbc’s Lance Executive Daypack has a waist strap, but it’s also a much larger bag (28 liter capacity vs 20) and, for a women, even a larger woman like me, that would be overkill.

The bag comes in five colors– black, blue, beige, green and an understated red. I went with the red, figuring mine wouldn’t disappear in the welter of dark-colored packs.

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The 21 pockets in this backpack means there’s plenty of places to stash stuff. Photo by ECBC.

The bag itself is made of waterproof fabric, a truly useful feature.

Am I FINALLY giving up my tattered, so-out-of-date briefcase? Well …. yes, this ecbc Hercules Laptop Backpack could just make me do that. – Review by Yvette Cardozo, RFT Ski & Dive Editor

Hercules Laptop

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Yvette Cardozo, RFT Ski & Dive Editor

Yvette Cardozo from the Seattle, Washington area, likes to visit interesting places and learn about interesting cultures and, if a tasty local dish is involved, so much the better. She’s eaten everything from gourmet food at the world’s finest restaurants to native food in Asia, the arctic, and all kinds of places in between.Yvette recalls being in Antarctica and going out on the land with Inuit elders in arctic Canada , then bagging a caribou. They dragged it back to camp and ate it on the spot raw. She quips, “Hey, if you like steak tartare….”Yvette, who is a veteran skier and diver, is RFT’s Ski & Dive Editor.