Since I bought the Macbook Pro two weeks ago, I've had to make some other, ancillary purchases. Last week it was an external hard drive to keep at the office for backups. Tonight it was a new laptop backpack.
I have a tough time finding laptop bags that I like. I've tried standard bags that go over one shoulder, a messenger bag (first detailed here, later derided as "the Big Bag"), and several backpacks. My favorite bag was the backpack I got for attending Novell's BrainShare conference in 2002. I took that backpack everywhere for 18 months until the shoulder straps began to give and I tore a hole in the bottom two days after the NYC blackout by carrying too much weight. I had hoped to get a replacement backpack at BrainShare 2004, but they gave us rolling bags instead. Don't get me wrong: I love my rolling bag and I use it on trips out of town, but it's not much good outdoors on NY sidewalks, and forget about carrying it up and down the subway stairs. I used the messenger bag for about two years, but with everything I carry to work (probably more than I need) it was too hard on my neck and shoulder.
For the past 15 months I've been using a backpack I got at a VMWare training class, but it's starting to wear out now. I really prefer a backpack to anything else, despite how unprofessional it might look, so I looked for a tough but still fashionable backpack to hold my stuff. I settled on a black Wenger backpack I found at J&R. It's another "big bag" but this time I want something that can hold my laptop, my lunch, a book and maybe even a change of clothes if it's a weekend and I'm going away. It certainly looks sturdy enough for my needs. I'll see how well it performs on Thursday when I have rehearsal after work. If it fits my music stand along with everything else, I'll be ecstatic.
UPDATE: It doesn't quite fit the music stand, but it won't stick out as much as it did in the VMWare bag.