Hey folks, Valkor here. I had the pleasure of meeting with the gang of Speck back at CES 2009, which you will find a brief TechGear Preview [HERE]. Well now they've braved their latest, the CorePack Fly Notebook Messenger bag, through the Val-cave and it passed with flying colors. Read on.
The CorePack is not just a messenger bag, its TSA friendly meaning the bag is divided into two compartments, making it so you don't have to take your laptop out of the bag as you pass through airport security. The basic features of the CorePack Fly are its cushioned shoulder strap, which makes carrying the heaviest items really comfortable. A neon green lining, this makes it easier to see inside the bag, in the dark. (Not complete darkness people.). The notebook compartment has a thick cushion, making it so that any slight bumps, your laptop will be at its safest. Finally you have plenty of storage areas and small pockets, and if you know the Val-man, he loves pockets. It doesn't have as many as Targus's TK Messenger, which has more pockets than I know what to do with them, but there is enough in the CorePack Fly for storing most of your daily items. Finally you have a side compartment for a water bottle, even a latch strap for your keys, and a pouch for your iPod (or any mp3 player) where you can string your headphones through a hole and listen while you walk without having to hold the device.
Let's get it on!
First the overall design is most impressive; I love the "retstart grey pixel" pattern than the coffeehouse brown bags shown at CES (there's also a black pinstrip that looks equally good). And not only was I impressed, but those who've seen the bag in my travels were impressed too. Second, though it's stated that the bag is security-friendly, what Speck documentation doesn't mention is that the bag has a great grab and go feature (Unless I totally missed it), which is far better than CaseLogic's because the CorePack Fly has Velcro between the main compartment and the notebook compartment so that when you pick up the bag, it automatically holds together, so you don't have to latch it later. Awesome! Finally I love the smaller pockets and have made use of most of them for small needs such as holding business cards, pens, etc. Overall it handles comfortable, looks great, and great for getting through TSA.
I like the flap over, however I'm more inclined to lean more towards the top-loading bags, simply because they work better when you're on the move. Now this is more my preference than anything else, and not really a negative towards the CorePack Fly. However I would love to see a version of the CorePack Fly with a top-loading compartment, if it hasn't already been done.
Speck has an amazing line-up up bags and accessories to fit just about any need and the CorePack Fly Messenger is a great addition to their lineup. It's versatile, comfortable, and great for air travel. Out of TOV 5 stars I give Speck's CorePack Fly Messenger a 4.5 and it's been Valkor tested and TOV Approved.