In addition to Harodesign/Axio’s most recent, eye-catching iPod cases – Thump and Deluxe – we’ve also had a chance to check out one of the company’s new backpacks, the Fuse 06 Hardpack ($130). If you don’t know Axio’s modus operandi, the concept is generally “big” – big, rugged bags designed for hard-core users – and Fuse 06 is that in a backpack-style laptop case. Though it’s coated in a jet black polyester, the outer shell is hard enough to be inflexible at most of its points, and adorned with a metal Axio logo in its center. Two big zippers open to reveal a two-chambered interior, made mostly from red nylon, the first with all sorts of pockets.

The first zippered compartment hangs down from the bag’s front with a rubber Axio logo, immediately above paperwork and pen organizer compartments. The other two zippered sacs are on the other side, above a large Velcro-sealed, padded shell. There’s padding on both sides – some for your back, and some for the bag’s second chamber, which opens right behind the rubber Axio logo.

Inside this cavern is a padded, Velcro-tabbed spot for your laptop computer, along with an inside look at the case’s outer hard shell, here lined with more red nylon. Any Apple laptop can fit into the padded compartment, which zippers shut to hide the computer away from the rest of the goodies in the main chamber.

Equally cool is the bag’s back padding and strap design – black mesh and nice soft pads are used for your back, while the straps feature another rubber Axio logo, reflective strips, and both horizontal and vertical adjustments for a good fit on your body. A cell phone holder – conveniently large enough for any iPod, with a hole at the top for headphone cords – is attached with Velcro to either of the case’s straps, or detached if you prefer. Fuse 06 has a similar headphone cable hole at the top of the central chamber if you want to place your iPod inside one of the zippered compartments instead; this hole is lined with plastic to limit the risk that anything will leak in.

 

Like all of the Axio bags, the Fuse 06 Hardpack is one of those cases you just have to see to believe – at around 21” tall by 15” wide, it’s large enough to be a serious travel and business bag, or even a school bag for people with lots of books to carry around, but it’s clearly too big for smaller users and those with less demanding applications. If you’re looking for something smaller, but really like the style, as we do, other Axio bags might better suit your needs.