MAINGEAR's Classic laptop backpack review: Smartphone tracking and pockets galore

There are quite literally tons of laptop bags on the market, but what if you need something a little more... gamer-oriented?

MAINGEAR is a relatively young gaming brand starting to make serious headway in the busy gaming laptop market. The firm has launched a range of updated laptops, but also some accessories to go along with it. The first one we've been able to take a look at is this rather sexy laptop bag, which frankly, checks all the right boxes while also containing a few surprises of its own.

What you'll love about the MAINGEAR Classic Backpack

Backpack (Image credit: Windows Central)

Backpack (Image credit: Windows Central)

Source: Windows Central

At a glance, the MAINGEAR Classic laptop bag is simply that, another laptop bag. However, not only is it more ergonomic than your basic laptop bag option, but it also comes with a few hidden surprises along the way.

First, though, let's go over the basics. This laptop bag is designed firmly with gamers in mind, complete with pockets catered explicitly to up to 15.7-inch laptops, complete with additional pockets for tablets, and even a dedicated Nintendo Switch pocket, complete with iconography to keep you informed of what goes where.


Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

There are various other pockets strewn throughout the bag too, including two on the sides, two nested pockets on the back, one on top, and two hidden, RFID-resistant pockets beneath the lumbar supports on the inside front, which is a nice touch.

Speaking of the RFID-resistant pockets, MAINGEAR teamed up with Tile to include a tracking chip directly inside the bag, complete with its own pouch. The Tile fob can pair with a smartphone app on Android and iOS, ringing out when you lose or leave your backpack behind. It can also link up to a community of other Tile users in case you forget it completely, to help you track it down. Take a look at the video below for more information on how that works.

The materials MAINGEAR opted for here feel very premium, reflected in the bag's $100 price point. The interior of each pocket on the inside is lined with soft material to prevent scrapes and scratches impacting any displays and screens you might have ensconced within. And while it isn't listed as waterproof, the additional linings should help keep your devices dry unless you plan to go scuba diving with this kit. That said, the side pocket designed to house a portable battery does have a waterproofed zip, complete with a cable pass-through for charging needs. There's some great attention to detail here.

What you'll dislike about the MAINGEAR Classic Backpack

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Honestly, there's very little to poke at with the MAINGEAR Classic Backpack. The price feels fair, particularly when you count the included Tile fob, and the volume of pockets and storage features make this a clear winner for anyone looking for a simple laptop bag. However, there are a couple of reasons I'm not sure I'd take this with me on a trip to an event like E3 or something similar.

The side pocket, which, typically might be used for things like a water bottle, is simply too small for anything beyond the slimmest drinks bottles. It's also a little bit shallow, which makes me wonder if a bottle wouldn't just fall out or slip out easily when moving the bag around. They could have easily solved this by including a net-style wrap with elasticated material instead, particularly since I the amount of stuff you pack into the main compartment pushes out against the exterior pockets, limiting their own room.

This is probably solved easily by using a specifically-sized water bottle, but for any old plastic bottle you'll buy from a store, it might not be suitable on the fly. It's a nitpick, admittedly, but hey, we needed at least something negative to write here.

Should you buy the MAINGEAR Classic Backpack?

Quite honestly? Yes. It's a great product, through and through. It's lightweight and comfortable to wear, with tons of padding for those of us with lower back problems (me, me, me), and has enough storage for all but the most over-packed techies out there, complete with great attention to detail.

I wish the water bottle compartment were a bit bigger, but that's ultimately a minor gripe and far from being a true deal-breaker. If you're in the market for a new laptop bag, you have to consider this one.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!