Founded by the same team behind Chrome Bags—we covered one of its camera bags not too long ago—Mission Workshop has entered the market with some seriously heavy duty bags and backpacks. The whole lineup is impressive, but we were immediately struck by The Sanction Rucksack ($179), which would be considered a big bag by most standards. With a capacity of 1,000 cubic inches, it’s actually the company’s smallest backpack—but there’s plenty of room for your Mac, and all the other stuff that you’ll want to carry along with it. Updated October 12, 2011 with hands-on pictures, then on February 8, 2012 with long-term testing results!
Inside the bag is a zippered pocket large enough for a 15” MacBook Pro, but a 13” Air or even an iPad will fit in there just fine. In addition to a larger compartment for other items—books, magazines, or the like, there are smaller pockets for chargers, cables, and other small accessories. The whole thing is weatherproof and should be able to protect your valuable electronics from most of the elements. It’s available in charcoal, olive, black, and gray. For an extra 30 bucks, Mission Workshop will throw in a supporting waist belt too, handy if you’re going to load this thing up with extra weight.
Update: After spending several months with The Sanction Rucksack, we can say that we’re generally impressed by this bag: we’ve turned to it for both work and vacation purposes, and though it’s not an ideal laptop bag in some ways, it’s fantastic in others. The build quality continues to strike us as top-notch: the zippers, materials, elastic, and clasps all have the “built to last, not breaking any time soon” feel of quality, and we’ve fit so much into the various pockets that we’ve carried more than an office worth of supplies at once. Multiple iPads, a MacBook Air, chargers, spare batteries, DSLR parts, earphones, and cables aplenty, plus a magazine or two, writing utensils, and much more all fit inside at the same time. There’s only a single thing that we really wish the bag did better, and that’s to offer a dedicated padded laptop compartment of some sort. It’s easy to get everything into The Sanction, but there’s no sense of specific protection for key individual items inside, leaving you to handle padding on your own. We found ourselves dropping the Air into a zippered compartment, and hoping that it wouldn’t get damaged on the way in or out; thankfully, it was never harmed. If that’s not a problem for you, consider this bag a workhorse, capable of handling pretty much everything you’d like to tote around at once, with the durability and comfort you’d hope for from an excellent backpack.