Manufacturer: Solo
Price: $79.99
Dimensions
Body size: 21″ x 13″ x 8″
Weight: 2.40 lbs

Disclaimer: Sample product was received by the manufacturer for review purposes.

I used to love spending the night at my grandma’s house. This most likely meant that I would be able to stay up late, eat what I wanted to, and of course, rent a video game and play until my heart’s content.

What this also meant was packing up my gaming system to take with me to grandma’s house. Lugging consoles like my PlayStation or Dreamcast meant utilizing every single space in my backpack to fill it with cords, controllers, and maybe a backup game or two in case the one I rented—wasn’t exactly that great (thanks, Blockbuster video).

There is more to packing than meets the eye. So much so that there is video, after video, after video, of the best ways to utilize space in your luggage. And, if you do any sort of business travel or attend any expo for gaming, you realize that the list of essential items never really seems to get any smaller. Cameras, phones, tablets and laptops need battery like humans need oxygen. With that in mind, there’s a reason why the Solo Everyday Max backpack exists.

As I grew older, when it was time to stay at a friends house, I would bust out my Santa Cruz skate backpack and fill it to the gills. The single side-pocket fit my skate tools, while the main bay held water and whatever else I was lugging around that day. When it came to college, I sort of missed out on the extra space my old backpack had and opted for something a little less clunky. But, I couldn’t help but miss the storage and functionality that a skate backpack brought, especially when it came to an ergonomic design and fit.

The Solo Everyday backpack brings back the utility feel without sacrificing comfort or support. And, to my surprise, I found myself using it more than I had anticipated.

Design

Throughout the year I attend various trade shows. I have been used to lugging around a side-bag at the Consumer Electronic Showcase, or bringing all of my chargers and laptop to events like the Game Developer’s Conference. Regardless of the show, I often was reminded that I sacrificed comfort for style in choosing to haul everything over my shoulder in a single bag. I fit in with the rest of the folks scurrying around the event to make appointment times. But, there was always the constant struggle to bring the necessities, especially when you consider the toll its going to have on your body. Getting old is awesome!

The Everyday bag is the perfect companion for events. There are side storage bays for cables, chargers, or even a wireless mouse. The contents can be zipped away and not left to slide around one large compartment. The interior hosts a laptop sleeve that was able to easily fit my Dell 13.3” laptop. The total size of this storage portion can fit a 17.3″ laptop, which is great for some larger gaming hogs. This was the kind of thing I liked to see, being that, where I would be taking my laptop, I needed to make sure it was secured in the sleeve while the other items in my bag were able to be stuffed in to fit.

The portion of the bag that rests against your back is fitted with a firm, comfortable and breathable material that delivers some great support. The same padding is featured in the straps.

During this time, I also hosted a small fighting tournament for Street Fighter V. The event took place at a small venue, housing three TV’s and consoles. This was the perfect time to see if I could load up my bag and put it to work.

Calling back to my younger console-packing days, I was able to utilize a ton of space in the bag. A PlayStation 4, controllers, power cord, HDMI, fliers, chargers, USB and raffle tickets easily fit into the bag–with space left to boot. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the chest strap that locks in for additional stability.

Comfort

To really get a feel for the way the bag held up, I decided to take my laptop with me on a 10-mile bike ride, throwing in all my chargers and cords for weight. As mentioned before, I was really impressed with the comfort and support of the back and shoulder strap pads. The true test would be for a decent ride with some cargo in it. After zipping my phone in the top-center pouch in order to jam out to my playlist—I was on my way.

I have had a lower back problem stemming from an old football injury. Yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard this story a million times. But, the irritation in my lower back makes it almost unbearable to walk or stand, and some cases, even ride my bike for long periods of time. But, having the support of the chest strap and the hugging design of the bag left me with zero issues. This is, of course, my personal experience with Solo bag, so, results may vary.

Versatility

I honestly could see a million different uses for the Solo Everyday Max bag. And, with E3 coming up, I’m definitely looking to see how the bag stacks up against the expo floor. Glancing over at it right now leaves my mind wandering. I mean, the person that bikes every day to work, the one that rides from work to the gym, or even the gamer that lugs their keyboard and other peripherals to an upcoming DOTA tourney—there’s a lot of functionality to be had here. This is particularly the case giving the side-handle for a briefcase type carry or the light, wide design of the shoulder straps. There was a lot of thought put into this design from Solo and it shows externally and internally.

The only one real gripe that I have about the bag comes in the bottom drop out portion. Everything from the inside plastique zipper pockets to the outside two-tone material screams “quality”. When you unzip the base of the bag, a mesh pocket extends out, allowing you to pack more contents into the base of the bag. However, I do feel that one snag on this could send all of your precious materials flying onto the open road. I would have either liked to see more of a fold out pocket mirroring the same material of the bag or simply doing without this design at all.

The Solo Everyday Max backpack bag has a lot of hidden abilities. There are interior semi-see through pockets to stash any number of utensils you made need quick access to, or the external pockets to slide in your phone or chargers. Both side-pockets are symmetrical, and the top-center zipper allows for a shallow stash to stow slim items.

When I would take my gaming console to my grandmother’s house as mentioned before, I would utilize every nook and cranny to cram all of my belongings into any given bag and be on my way. I can say that I would have loved to have something like the Everyday bag in my younger days.  Nevertheless, a now older gamer like me still appreciates the utilization of space for laptops, chargers, phones, controllers, keyboards—ya’know, the essentials.

Written by Gregory Bargas

Gregory Bargas

I love anything retro! Gaming since the Nintendo Entertainment System. Frequent video game player. Feel free to follow me on twitter @me4uu4me or any of my other corresponding blogs.

Current Build
Processor: AMD FX8350
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
RAM: 24Gb
Mouse: NAOS 7000
Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition
Headset: Turtle Beach X12


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Final Score:  9.5 / 10