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“Survival” is more about having the right mindset than having the right gear. But having the right gear sure can be a help. Since survival situations can occur in the backcountry and in urban environments, it helps to have gear that is fitted for both. Moreover, it also helps to have an effective means to carry whatever gear is necessary to your situation—something suitable to a variety of environments.
Pelican’s ProGear S145 Sport Tablet Backpack offers a useful means of carrying both backcountry and urban gear. I’ve been wearing one to the office, around town to a few coffee shops, and outdoors over a few trails while carrying everything from backcountry survival gear (rope, blanket, extra clothes, entrenching tool, etc.) to urban survival gear (iPad, books, water bottle, chargers, etc.) and can attest that this backpack not only looks good but also functions well.
- Impact Protected iPad/Tablet Sleeve
- Fast Access Top Load Design
- Rigid Front Plate
- 21-liter Main Storage
- Ergonomic Design with Deep Ventilated Channel Back
- Price: $109.95
Well-known for exceptionally durable hard plastic cases, Pelican’s ProGear S145 Tablet Backpack carries the reputation for durability into its backpack line. The S145 features a 420D Honeycomb Nylon material along with a polyurethane-faced nylon bottom and flap that seem just as durable as the cases for which the company is known. Moreover, all the clips, zippers, and straps are strong and functional. Pockets and storage areas are well designed and hold everything securely.
In its more urban uses, the backpack features a unique compartment in which to store an Apple iPad or other tablet. Inside the compartment is a dedicated internal sleeve that’s lined with a soft material and securable by a hook and loop strap. Two zippers offer access to this compartment and an impact-resistant plastic guards whatever is inside from the forces of the outside world.
The pocket on the top flap offers a lined compartment that’s well suited to holding sunglasses (or reading glasses) as well as a sealed zipper to keep any rain (or spilled coffee) out.
After months of repeated wearing around town, in the woods, and after being placed time and again on rocky trails and cement floors, the S145 proved to be as durable as any of the other company’s cases. The external material also sheds water with ease.
Regardless of the load I was carrying or the length of time I was carrying it, the S145’s straps proved to be well-designed, keeping the backpack balanced and comfortable. They worked well in conjunction with the deep ventilated channel back which allowed for decent air flow between the padded areas. As with most backpacks, however, whatever part was actually pressing against my back during a long hike would result in some moisture being retained from perspiration.
At first I was wary of the tablet compartment, wondering how my iPad would fare riding in what is really the most exposed area of a backpack. After a couple days of use, however, I began to appreciate the thoughtfulness of the design. The location of the compartment is perfect, providing immediate access to what is arguably my most often used tool. And the protection of the compartment was more than adequate. While I wasn’t about to drop the backpack (and my iPad) from a three-story window, the compartment provided excellent protection from all the bumps and scratches that would occur in the course of a day.
The contents of the rest of the backpack benefit from the iPad compartment’s protective design as well as from the ventilated padding on the back. A water bottle can also provide an additional side bumper to protect whatever is in the main compartment.
While other backpacks can match or even improve on the usefulness of the S145 in terms of carrying space, comfort, and durability, few can improve on the excellent design of the tablet compartment and how it integrates with the rest of the backpack. So, for “survival” situations that require the transport of an iPad around a busy town or even into the woods, the S145 is hard to beat.
If carrying an iPad or other tablet is a part of your everyday life and you’re looking for a safe means of transporting it, backpack-style, the Pelican ProGear S145 Sport Tablet Backpack should be on your short list. Not only does it function very well in this urban survival role, it can hold its own in the backcountry as well.
Images by Mark Kakkuri