Review: Compact Backpack by Incase

Review: Compact Backpack by Incase

When thinking about Apple accessories, the first company that often comes to mind is Incase.  A 1997 startup, Incase creates products that not only protect, but also enhance our electronic user experience.  With the intent to create products that appeal across demographics, nations, and professions, Incase uses creativity and user-based knowledge to design, create, and produce quality accessory lines for all Macintosh products.  The Compact Backpack is a testament of time-tested craftsmanship and is my preferred mode of on-the-go MacBook and iPad protection.

Designed With Detail

The nylon Compact Backpack is excellently crafted with every detail in mind.  Utilizing a tailored, ergonomic, and minimalistic design Incase created a pack that feels custom-made.  The form, however, is only the beginning of perfection.  On the outside, there are a host of little details that make this pack stand out in a crowd of other shapeless-sacks-with-straps… Targus comes to mind.  The Incase pack is the epitome of form and function.

On the Outside

Offering comfort for heavy lifting, the arm straps are lined with mesh cushion, which matches the two mesh vented back pads.  The pads lift the pack just enough to let a little extra air between the wearer and the pack, resulting in a slightly cooler feel.  The right arm strap offers a small loop for attaching small items while on-the-go such as clipping keys or a water bottle for quick access.  On top, a padded luggage handle makes the pack easy to carry by hand or load into an overhead compartment.

Three smaller zippered pockets offer quick access and options for storing several items.  One pocket is located near the right hip, offering easy access while worn and is exactly large enough to hold an iPhone.  The second is a front slash pocket which exactly holds an Apple trackpad.  A feau-fur lined top pocket is designed to specifically offer protection for iPhones and iPods, but is large enough to carefully carry a pair of sunglasses, if necessary.

The details are all apparent, even at quick glance, right down to the oversized zipper dongles, which make getting in and out of the pack easy.  Also, it will not hang loosely off one’s back, as the bag is made with a form-fitted frame, preventing a loss of shape when empty or sitting in the floor.

On the Inside

The fourth and final zippered pocket is the main compartment, complete with a faux-fur storage compartment for a 15″ MBPro and a dedicated slip sleeve for iPad.  In addition, there are two pen slots, two medium size pockets for cords or a Magic Mouse, and one larger pocket for the AC adapter.  While the pack offers dedicated storage for your computing and accessory needs, the main compartment is still large enough to hold a couple medium size text books and spiral notebooks.

In particular, I appreciate the space between the bottom of the computer sleeve and the base of the pack.  The added space prevents your devices from slamming down on hard surfaces if you accidentally drop your pack or set it down too quickly.  In addition, the extra dedicated pockets make storage simple and items easily accessible.


[rating: 5/5]

The Incase Compact Backpack ($79.95, order page) combines minimalistic elegance without forgetting all the trimmings.  The precision cut compartments and pockets make the pack a must-have for discriminating tastes.  …or, if practicality is your cup-of-tea, the streamlined nuances of this pack will pique your preferences.  Having used Incase products in the past, quality craftsmanship defines their product lines.  Do yourself, and your back, a favor and pick one up in any of 12 color assortments from Incase’s online store or check any major electronic retail store.


  • Form-fitted, just the right size
  • Holds its shape, even if it is not loaded up with stuff
  • Luggage top handle
  • Dedicated faux-fur compartment for  up to a 15″ MBPro
  • Dedicated sleeve for iPad
  • Interior pocket system for accessories
  • Dedicated faux-fur pocket for iPhone/iPod
  • Small hidden hip pocket for smaller accessories
  • 12 color assortments


  • The excess straps from the shoulder adjustments dangle freely.  Earlier models provided a small ring to contain the excess strap.
  • Hip pocket could be a little larger