Review: Trager Courier Laptop Brief

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Date: Tuesday, August 10th, 2004, 22:59
Category: Archive

Trager Courier Laptop BriefJudging by your feedback you seem to be as fanatical about PowerBook luggage as I am, which is a good thing. (I thought I had a problem there for a minute…) That out of the way, why don’t we have a peek at doozy of a PowerBook bag that recently arrived at PowerPage headquarters in Philadelphia: the Trager Courier Laptop Brief. Read More…


Judging by your feedback you seem to be as fanatical about PowerBook luggage as I am, which is a good thing. (I thought I had a problem there for a minute…) That out of the way, why don’t we have a peek at doozy of a PowerBook bag that recently arrived at PowerPage headquarters in Philadelphia: the Trager Courier Laptop Brief.
Your computer bag can be an important part of the ever-important first impression that you leave on a person – so you want it to be a good one. PowerBook luggage will often ask its owner to choose between form and function: you need a bag that is going to carry your gear securely without looking like you bought it at a Star Trek convention. (Which I have done, but that’s another story.)
Although readers of this site know that I am generally partial to backpacks, I have a thing for messenger bags too. Enter the Courier Laptop Brief (US$150) from Trager, a 1700 cubic inch messenger-style bag with great protection for your PowerBook (or almost any laptop, really) with good looks to match.
The Courier Laptop has tons of pockets and easy access to every major area of the bag by opening two large molex clips. Once you open the flap you’ll find three zippered pockets and at least a dozen more pockets for small gear (pens, business cards, accessories) inside the first compartment. Bonus points to Trager for not making the entire inside of the case black. The orange lining in the first compartment makes it easy to find small things when it’s dark. Extra points for the long keyring clip too, nice touch.
The main compartment of my slate/citrus colored bag is black with several roomy compartments for the required litany of AC adapters, wall warts and other vampire devices required to keep all our batteries charged. Inside the main compartment is the hard-sided removable TransPorter (US$30). Trager’s rugged inner sleeve functions "like a helmut" for your laptop. The TransPorter on its own makes a practical way to carry your PowerBook from home to work or for short trips when you need your PowerBook and don’t need the bulk of a full bag.
The TransPorter sleeve fit my PowerBook G4 15-Inch alumium no problem. Laptops from 12" x 9.5" x 2.5" up to 13.5" x 11" x 2" will fit, for other sizes, check out the six different sizes of BrainCell sleeve from Tom Bihn. Tom’s site also has a helpful Laptop Fit Finder if you’re unsure as to which size sleeve you need.
The outside of the Courier Laptop features a strong foam handle, good shoulder strap and reflective strips to ensure that motorists can more easily see you at night. The outside magazine pocket is a nice touch often overlooked in other shoulder bags.
I find it curious that Trager didn’t make the inside of the main pocket the accent color (orange, in my case) like they did with outer pocket. I was also wondering about the shoulder strap’s lack of a detachable Molex connector – but then again, how often do you need to remove the shoulder strap from a messenger bag, anyway?
Trager’s fit and finish is on par with other bags that I have liked over the years and the Courier Laptop gives me the impression that it will withstand a pretty solid direct hit. The zippers are large and heavy, and the Courier doesn’t rely too much on Velcro closures which can attach to and destroy sheer fabrics.
Overall the Courier Laptop brief is well-built and its solid contruction makes it highly recommended for any PowerBook. The TransPorter sleeve is among the best I’ve seen rounding out an excellent overall package.

Rating: Four out of Five Bolts
Trager Courier Laptop Brief
US$150
www.TragerUSA.com
800-548-5484
Tom Bihn Brain Bag Laptop Backpack
Figure 1. The Courier Laptop Brief has a three zippered front pockets and a large velcro side pocket – perfect for a phone or PDA.
Tom Bihn Brain Bag Laptop Backpack
Figure 2. The first compartment is lined in orange (instead of black) making it easier to find small items in the dark.
Tom Bihn Brain Bag Laptop Backpack
Figure 3. The full-length open top back pocket is mistakenly overlooked by many bag manufacturers. Perfect for stashing a magazine and boarding pass.
Tom Bihn Brain Bag Laptop Backpack
Figure 4. A rugged bag all around whether you’re carrying your PowerBook or your vegetables from the farm :)
Tom Bihn Brain Bag Laptop Backpack
Figure 5. There is room to spare in the Courier Laptop and the reflective strips will help keep you visible at night.

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