Wondering Whether or Not Should You Buy the Incase Nylon Campus Pack?
Incase mainly focuses on creating products for Apple consumers. Incase is also well-known for their laptop backpacks, laptop cases, and camera bags. The Incase Nylon Campus Pack is a convenient and nifty laptop backpack that is perfect for light travel and going around campus.
Incase Backpack’s Specifications and Features
Incase Size and Dimensions
Side views of the backpack can expand to about 7” – 8” (contains rain jacket and the other items inside).
The backpack is about the size of a regular backpack; about the same size as the Just Porter Hazen Professional. From personal measurement, I found that the size of the backpack is about 18” in height, 10”-11” in length, and 7” in width. That makes the average volume of the backpack to be around 1300 in3.
Laptop Fit Size
I have a 15” Acer laptop and it fits into the laptop pocket nicely; not too loose and not too tight either. The 15” MacBook Pro will definitely fit nicely into the pockets. However, anything bigger than a 15” (like gaming laptops) would most likely not fit and have to be stored outside the laptop pocket.
Number of Compartments and Pockets
There are 3 compartments: main, medium, and small. For all, the inside of the pockets is made out of nylon-like material.
- Main: The biggest compartment contains the laptop pocket, folder pocket, 2 pencil pockets, and 2 wallet pockets.
- Medium: The medium pocket is on the lower side on the front of the backpack. It fits a few medium sized items like a Kindle or an iPad mini.
- Small: The smallest pocket has a vertical zipper and holds small items like lip balm, phones, keys, etc.
Materials of the Incase Bag
The zippers are made out of YKK zippers and the handle of the zipper is made out of rubber. The vertical zipper on the front of the backpack has a small protection pocket like the ones on the Just Porter backpacks. Also, I have had no problems with the zipper getting stuck or falling off, which is great.
The handle on top of the backpack is made from the same material as the rest of the backpack, which is nylon. It is durable and I use the handle to hang my backpack on hooks all the time (like in my locker). It has not broken and is still intact.
Image of the backside of the backpack and the straps. The backside and the underside of the straps has a breathable foam mesh to allow ventilation.
The outside of the backpack straps is made out of nylon while the inside of is padded with foam. This creates comfort on the shoulders and the straps don’t dig into the shoulders. Furthermore, the length is easily adjustable for different shoulder widths.
The backpack has a breathable mesh that allows for air circulation and extra comfort. This foam pad is on the backside of the backpack and on the backside of the straps.
Style of the Bag
The soft rectangular shape of the backpack adds further to the minimalistic quality. Furthermore, the color of the backpack doesn’t give a “boring” vibe to it; it attracts people’s eyes to it while not making too much of a show. Furthermore, this backpack might seem small but it can fit a significant amount of personal belongings. This backpack is not too bulky and not too small, which makes it the perfect size for a laptop backpack.
The backpack has enough pockets and compartments to keep the backpack organized. Even though the compartments does not provide much protection, the small and medium compartments allow quick and efficient access to your belongings.
The pencil pockets inside the main compartment are useful because if you only carry a few writing utensils, like me, they allow for easy and quick access to the writing utensils. Personally, I find the pencil pockets useful because I don’t have to dig into my pencil pouch which takes a much longer time.
Inside the main pocket, this is what I usually carry to work or study at the library. Inside I have my laptop, bike lock, headphones, book, folder, and a few other smaller items. The main compartment can fit 3-4 more notebooks, a rain jacket, and a small lunch bag before it starts to get packed.
One thing that slightly irks me about the pencil pockets is that even though the pencil pouch is pretty deep, sometimes the pencils come out of the pouch and gets lost in the backpack. I believe this problem can be reduced if there was a strap that prevents the pencils/pens from getting fished out of the pocket (like when I pull out a huge binder).
Also, I like the wallet/mini-pouch because I can easily access my wallet or phone without going through too many zippers. Even though this does not provide with the highest protection for valuable items like wallets and phones, they provide quicker access if you’re in a rush to get your bus pass or wallet.
Space and Access
Not only does the pockets inside the main compartment provide quick access to pencils and wallets, but also quick access to the laptop and folders. Additionally, the fact that there are no additional pockets in the small and medium compartments prevents confusion. Additional pockets would be useful for organization or protection (like a hidden/zipped pocket inside the middle compartment), but probably not for more efficient accessibility. As long as you don’t put too many items in the medium and small sized pockets, accessing your belongings should be convenient.
Besides the foam for the laptop pocket, there is nothing else that protects the laptop inside the backpack. There are no straps to close the pocket, therefore, it makes the laptop more vulnerable to water spillage and such. The material that covers the front of the laptop pocket, the nylon, is good at being water resistant. I’ve spilled water several times in my backpack and only the laptop cover got wet. The fuzzy inner padding is also a neat feature.
What About Water Resistance?
The nylon protects the insides of the backpack from getting wet from light to medium rain. However, even though it protects the contents, the inside lining of the backpack gets wet. Furthermore, living in Minnesota means that this backpack has had many experiences with snow – lots of it. The material of the backpack does well at keeping the contents of the backpack dry. It does not insulate well, but it does a good job of keeping it dry.
Comfort and Padding
This backpack is very comfortable to use. The foam padding on the back and the straps puts less stress on the shoulders and back. However, since it doesn’t have straps with the springs technology thing (like the Adidas backpacks for example), it does strain the shoulders after a long day of carrying a bag full of textbooks. For my longer 9+ hour school days, the load I put in my backpack can easily reach 10-15 lbs.
Best Features of the Incase Campus Pack
Fuzzy Laptop Padding and Foam Padding
One of the features that I like about this laptop backpack is the fuzzy padding covering the inner pocket of the laptop pocket. The fuzzy padding does not serve many purposes but it gives a sense of security for the laptop; it seems that it won’t get scratched and that it will have a smaller chance of cracking when the backpack falls or hits something hard. Additionally, I like the foam padding on the backside and under the shoulder straps because it provides comfort for my back and shoulders
This backpack provided me with something simple but also something that can carry more than just a laptop. The minimalistic quality of the backpack (only three zipper pockets: a large, medium, and small) was one of the reasons why I purchased it. I wanted a backpack that had enough pockets but not too much that I would get confused as to which pocket I placed my stuff in.
Drawbacks of the Incase Nylon Campus Backpack
One drawback this backpack has is that it doesn’t have a water bottle pocket on the side. For someone who carries a water bottle a lot, like many other people on campus or traveling, a water bottle pocket comes in handy.
Since this backpack does not have a bottle pocket, I usually put my water bottle inside the bag or hang in on the strap with a metal clip.
Putting it inside the backpack takes a lot of space, however, and if the water bottle spilled (like what happened to me several times), it poses a risk of ruining the other items inside the backpack (like the laptop).
I usually dangle my speakers and water bottle on the straps. Since there is no water bottle compartment, I have to hang my Nalgene bottle on the outside because it takes too much space if I put it inside the main compartment.
When water spilled inside my bag, my books got wet but the nylon material of the laptop pocket prevented the laptop from getting heavily soaked.
One other thing worth mentioning is the breathability of the foam padding. For those who are active and sweat a lot during the day, this backpack will not hide, but just slightly camouflage, the sweat stains on the foam padding.
While bike riding, my backside gets sweaty and the sweat stain can be seen of the back foam padding. Despite the padding providing comfort and breathability, sweat stains still show up.
Who should buy this backpack?
This backpack is perfect for those who travel light to work or school. If you’re going around campus or traveling with mainly a laptop, 3-4 notebooks/small-novels, a water bottle, and a few other small miscellaneous items, this backpack will do the job. On the other hand, if you’re constantly having to carry a 20 + lbs load and for 5+ hours, a rucksack or a bigger backpack with more support and pockets will do a better job. This backpack is probably not best suited for those who are daily and serious bike commuters.
Is it worth the money?
For a compact laptop backpack, I believe this was worth the $30. It has lasted me for 4 years and I am planning to continue to use it. I will most likely not use it for school but will use it for work or bike riding around Minneapolis.
How long have I had it?
I bought this backpack about 4 years ago. I purchased this from Marshalls for about $30, which was affordable. Although this backpack has been mainly used for school and work, I have used it for other occasions like packing for badminton tournaments, biking around the city, mini-hiking /camping trips, etc. You can’t pack your whole wardrobe in there but it’s nice to put extra items that didn’t fit in your gym bag,
Wear and Tear
Besides getting dirtier and having the water stain on the bottom of the backpack, this backpack is still about 95% intact.
There are some holes on the back foam pad; I noticed that the back foam pad became an issue when I had to put my backpack inside my locker.
The foam mesh is somewhat susceptible to damage; this is an image of the holes caused by getting stuck on the locker door hinges.
The foam pad kept hooking to the locker door hatch and thus ripped/protruded holes in the foam padding.
Another thing that has started to fall off is the Incase sign on the front of the bag. It has started ripping since last year but it has not fallen off yet. I found the stitching to be very sturdy because I put a lot of items in the front pocket, making it bulky, thus further stretching out the fabric attaching the Incase logo.
Incase provides a 1-year warranty for its products against defects in materials and workmanships. To activate this warranty, you must go to their website and submit a warranty form. The 1-year warranty starts the day you purchase the backpack.
Final Thoughts on the Incase Nylon Campus Pack
Overall, the Incase Nylon Campus Pack works pretty well as a backpack for college students. It’s comforatble and spacious enough to handle your schoolwork. The only drawback is that there’s no water bottle exterior pocket. So if you want to carry a water bottle with you or double this bag as a gym bag, you’ll have to get a bit creative.
Hope this helped you narrow down your backpack choices and decide which bag is right for you. Still not sure? Then check out my blog’s other backpack reviews to see if there’s another bag out there for you.