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Finding a laptop bag that does it all is not a simple task, and we often have to make compromises between style, utility, and comfort. Speck’s CorePack Fly nails two out of those three, faltering a bit in the comfort department. The CorePack’s black-and-white pinstripe design (also available in a blue-gray check pattern) makes it a fashionable laptop bag that pairs well with our favorite--and only--pair of designer shoes. This lightweight bag also offers good protection and storage for our stuff without adding much extra heft when we’re hauling around our MacBook.
The CorePack Fly can accommodate up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro with extras. Its innards are similar to the regular CorePack Messenger Bag, which means you’ll find a full complement of pockets that provides plenty of organization for notebooks, peripherals, AC adapters, and other gear. You can unzip the side pocket to accommodate a water bottle, and the adjustable front buckle can handle any extra bloat.
The “Fly” portion of the CorePack is the bag’s most notable feature. A padded laptop compartment unsnaps to lay flat on the conveyor belt at airport security. It meets TSA requirements, so you don’t have to bother removing your MacBook from your bag to prove it isn’t a bomb. This feature is great for frequent flyers, but cubicle dwellers might find the side-loading laptop compartment a bit awkward, especially compared with standard top-loading models.
As far as comfort goes, Speck has emphasized airport-friendliness with this bag. So it’s fine when you have a rolling suitcase to plop the bag on top of, but carrying the bag over your shoulder is less than ideal. The straps are attached to the top of the bag by a pair of metal hooks, and they have a tendency to rotate from side to side, which becomes bothersome because the bag swings as you hustle down the street--or through the terminal. The tuck-away handle also isn’t much help when the bag is filled with stuff.