My backpack of choice

BBP is having a 50% off sale on their Hamptons Hybrid Messenger Backpack. It's a great deal at half off, or $49.96 rather than it's usual $99.95. If you walk and carry a laptop in your bag regularly, you can use the coupon code 50HAMPTONS through next Monday night, Labor Day weekend. I don't earn any commission if you purchase one of these, I'm just a fan, and this is a great deal.

BBP stands for "bum back pack" and refers to the way the bag rides, low on your back. The double straps distribute weight evenly across both shoulders, like Izzo's dual straps did for golf bags, and the low hanging position of the bag reduces strain on your shoulders and back. I've been carrying a laptop for as long as I can remember, and I've tried a variety of solutions: conventional backpacks, bike messenger bags, and laptop briefcases. Comfort was always a problem. Messenger bags and laptop briefcases put the bag on one side, and eventually that leads to asymmetrical strain on your shoulder, neck, and/or hip. Backpacks often caused me to lean forward to counterbalance the weight.

The Hamptons Hybrid solved my comfort and ergonomic issues and has been my primary laptop bag for over 7 years now. There are only two disadvantages. One is that it looks a bit strange to have your bag hanging so low, but when it comes to my back fashion is a lesser concern, and you can disconnect the double strap in the middle with one click and wear it messenger bag style or grab the fabric handle at the top and carry it like a briefcase. The other minor drawback is that the bag has a lot of padding built in and is heavier in its base configuration than, say, a messenger bag. But I appreciate the extra padding surrounding the laptop compartment. It feels very safe, especially when jamming it under an airplane seat.  With a lighter solution like a messenger bag I'd still purchase a padded sleeve to hold my laptop, bringing the naked walkaround weight up quite a bit.

As laptops grow lighter, or as some people transition to using tablets for travel, perhaps the need for a bag to distribute heavier weights diminishes. I think we're still a ways off from that day, though, and when I travel I still find the sum total of my laptop, chargers, and miscellaneous knickknacks to be uncomfortable to carry for long periods. I've had the same large Hamptons Hybrid for years now, and it's a testament to the enduring utility of the design that it hasn't changed one bit, as far as I can tell. Now that I no longer carry a 17" laptop, I'm grabbing the smaller and lighter medium size at this sale price.