If you like pockets, padding, and protection, this urban backpack is ideal for traveling with tech
You like getting organized, right? You like a backpack with lots of small pockets for stuff like sunglasses, earphones, bottles of water. Oh, and an expensive laptop you’re obsessed with protecting while traveling? If that’s you, then TravGear urges you to investigate the Renegade RSS Laptop Backpack, OGIO’s latest that’s aimed at those who like to keep everything separate and secure. Made from 600D Polyester Pindot, the Renegade RSS instantly feels tougher than most urban backpacks, which is what this is. It’s absolutely packed with pockets, with no less than seven pockets, and that’s not including the three main compartments.
OGIO Renegade RSS Laptop Backpack: the main compartments
Let’s begin with the main, inner sections that will house most of your stuff. The cavernous central pocket is roomy and certainly big enough to stash a pair of shoes, and/or clothes for at least an overnight trip, and probably four or five days for sensible travelers. However, it’s the rear laptop pocket that is this backpack’s USP. It’s big enough to fit a 15 inch (or super-slim 17 inch) laptop, but more than that, it can protect it if you drop the backpack. BTW, the RSS in Renegade RSS stands for ‘reactive suspension system’, which comprises some tough plastic panels that prevent your laptop from striking anything directly, thereby absorbing the impact. Despite its tough construction, everything is covered in a soft fleece-like fabric.
OGIO Renegade RSS Laptop Backpack: front pockets
The biggest additional pocket is on the front of the backpack. It’s a U-shaped zip-around style that reveals an area for storing a tablet, but there’s not much protection for this one. In front of that is a smaller version, another U-shaped pocket that this time gives you no less than four small organizational areas; two mesh pockets, one zipped area for coins, and a bank of four pen slips. Now comes the really unusual pockets; a flat sunglasses-shaped pocket (which actually has two mesh pockets stored inside), and on top an actual compartment for sunglasses, which has a properly hardened, curved shape. There’s also a tough grab handle arching over this pocket.
OGIO Renegade RSS Laptop Backpack: side pockets
Now, it’s the side pockets that truly make this backpack unusual. On both sides are two pockets obviously for stashing water bottles, but they’re optional and can stay closed using zips. When open it has a mesh panel, so behaves much like a permanent pocket. On the other side is a near-identical pocket, this time with an elastic band; it would make a good place to stash a small hiking umbrella or another water bottle. There are two similar-sized pockets above each, which make great places to stash things like mobile phones, or compact cameras. They can even fit a small tripod.
OGIO Renegade RSS Laptop Backpack: in use
A lot of thought has gone into what the Renegade RSS is like to wear. Not only is the rear padded, but the higher and lower portions have U-shaped foam that slightly lifts it away from the back. They make it very comfortable to wear, creating a gap in the center of the backpack’s rear that increases airflow. As a final flourish, there’s a pass-through design that means you can hook the Renegade RSS onto the telescopic handle of rolling luggage. The backpack straps proved functional, too; one contains a small pocket for storing earphones or keys.
However, the way the straps are attached to the bag’s top, using a U-shaped panel, means the bag tends to sit lower on the back than we were completely happy with. However, it proved comfortable during humid conditions for a three-night work trip, during which TravGear was able to carry it through airports and train stations very smoothly indeed.
OGIO Renegade RSS Laptop Backpack: conclusion
The only thing we don’t like about the Renegade RSS is its empty weight. At 3.5 lbs/1.6kg when empty, it’s heavy duty stuff. However, if you like a backpack that has dozens of separate areas for storing all of your gadgets and equipment, the Renegade RSS is hard to beat.
Price as reviewed: US$159.99