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Slappa Ballistix Aura Pro-Tour Backpack Review Discussion

Discussion in 'Notebook News and Reviews' started by Jerry Jackson, Dec 20, 2008.

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  1. Jerry Jackson

    Jerry Jackson Administrator

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    As the shopping deadline for Christmas fast approaches, Slappa comes to the rescue with one of the best laptop backpacks we've ever reviewed. This isn't an ordinary notebook backpack, folks. This backpack has padded storage and dividers for all your digital lifestyle needs; from notebooks and digital cameras, to iPhones and USB flash drives. We also happen to love this backpack because Slappa contacted us after reading some of our other laptop bag reviews and asked for our help in designing a backpack that will comfortably carry everything a modern tech-head needs. Is the Slappa Ballistix Aura Pro-Tour Backpack as good as it sounds? We put it to the test to find out.<br /><br />Read the full content of this Article: <strong><a href='http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4740'>Slappa Ballistix Aura Pro-Tour Backpack Review</a></strong><br /><br />
     
  2. adyingwren

    adyingwren Notebook Evangelist

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    Sorry to spoil the atmosphere but isn't there a conflict of interest somewhere if you guys are reviewing a bag that you helped design?
     
  3. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Interesting, and it seems to have a place for most things. It must be quite bulky when full with all that padding and a claimed usable volume that is 27 litres (or 40% of my medium-sized suitcase).

    17" x 19" x 19" means an enormous thickness. Anyone wearing this is going to look like a snail! How much does it weigh when empty?

    John
     
  4. nic.

    nic. Notebook Evangelist

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    This bag obviously is not something that normal consumer would like to carry from day to day. Nevertheless, there's people out there, who will find this bag to be god send and I would gladly like to support the effort of any company that listen and stay so close to consumer.

    Great review!
     
  5. Jerry Jackson

    Jerry Jackson Administrator

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    Perhaps, but we just as easily could have reviewed it without disclosing that information.

    We felt that it was important to disclose that information ... and I will also disclose the fact that we received ZERO money from Slappa and that we receive no financial compensation in any form whatsoever.

    We agreed to work with Slappa in the creation of this bag because we haven't been happy with many of the laptop/camera bags we've reviewed in the past and it seemed like an opportunity to help create a bag that met our personal needs.

    About the only thing remotely close to financial compensation that we received was the discount code for our readers ... but we don't get any money from that and I suspect Slappa offers similar discount codes to other sites.

    Bottom line, is it a "conflict of interest" that we reviewed this bag? Maybe. But considerably less of a conflict of interest since we make absolutely ZERO money from this bag ... and we still called out the potential problems/cons in our review of this product.
     
  6. jonhapimp

    jonhapimp Notebook Virtuoso

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    nice review the bag looks nice. to bad it's 135
     
  7. SLAPPADom

    SLAPPADom Notebook Guru

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    John, The product dims are actually 17" high X 9.5" deep (front to back) X 12.5" across. The weight is 4.5 lbs empty (including the inner bag).

    Adyingwren, we did approach Jerry when we were making our first prototypes because we know that he see's most every bag/case come across his desk, and we figured he had better insight as to the shortcomings of other bags AND the needs of notebook users and SLR photographers.

    As he stated in his above post, there is absolutely no remuneration or compensation of any sort. We simply asked for his advice and he graciously provided it. If you know anything about SLAPPA, we are ALWAYS asking for advice from customers, experts (which is what we classify Jerry as), resellers and sales people. When I am in retail stores I ALWAYS ask people what they like, what they don't like and what they want to see. At first people think I'm insane, but when I then explain to them why I ask these questions, 99% of them appreciate the fact that I'm trying to build products based on feedback.

    Jonhapimp.....$135 is alot for a pimp like you :no: ??? I really believe that for what we've built into this bag (and the fact that it's a 2 bag set) the price point is a steal (but of course you would expect me to say that since it's my brand)

    Thanks

    Dom at SLAPPA
     
  8. zfactor

    zfactor Mastershake

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    slappa i awesome and this is for sure i nice bag.. i use slappa on a daily basis and i wouldnt want it any other way. i may consider this one now
     
  9. David

    David NBR Random Reviewer

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    Nice review Jerry! Although the aesthetics isn't quite my cup of tea, I do appreciate the ruggedness this backpack offers. One quick question (for either Jerry or Dom): When you mention that the bag is water resistant, do the zippers also resist water seeping into the inside compartments? From experience, I've noticed that one of the easiest ways for water to enter the inside cavity of the bag is through the zippers and the surrounding area. I have the Tom Bihn checkpoint flyer bag and that bag uses some sort of nylon lining that covers the zippers and does a fantastic job repelling water. For any bag that carries expensive electronics, I feel that is an important feature that should be incorporated in all laptop/camera bags.
     
  10. Jerry Jackson

    Jerry Jackson Administrator

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    In this case the materials for the backpack itself are water resistant, meaning if you pour water (or coffee) over the surface of the bag it won't go right through the material and onto the contents of the bag.

    However, the zippers are not fully weather sealed ... meaning if you poured water directly over the closed zippers some would get through.
     
  11. Cin'

    Cin' Anathema

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    Nice review....this wouldn't be my choice, but it will work for plenty of peep's out there.

    It, looks to be a very durable and long lasting backpack :D And, the Slappa brand is known to be very reliable :D

    Cin ;) :)
     
  12. SLAPPADom

    SLAPPADom Notebook Guru

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    David

    I like these types of questions because it gives us the ability to explain why we do what we do (and opens the doors for suggestions and input).

    The zipper tapes we use on this bag are nylon and water can seep through if the bag is submerged in water (IE dunked in a pool and held under water) or if the user is in a situation where exposed to extreme water conditions for a prolonged period of time (IE if you are caught in a rain storm for a very prolonged period of time without cover).

    When making this backpack we thought about whether or not to use "water resistant zippers" (which means the zipper tape is made of a coated PU instead of uncoated nylon or polyester) and there were a couple of reasons why we didn't go with the waterproof zippers.

    1) "water resistant" zippers are relatively expensive for what they actually do (and don't do). While "water resistant zippers" do provide "more" water protection, there really are no zippers that are "waterproof" to the point where water will not enter the bag if submerged, and while the user will get the perception of "my bag is waterproof" that's not really the case. So we had to make a hard decision of "is the cost worth the perception VS. the reality".

    2) the design of this bag (with regards to the main section storing SLR gear) is a "bag within a bag" concept, so when we tested the bag for water under extreme conditions, we saw in instances when there was slight leakage (when the bag is submerged into water or kept in simulated rain for extended periods) the small amount of leakage that occurred would be protected (or should I say the gear within the bag would be protected) by the inner "gear bag"....and the amount of leakage was minimal to the point where the outside part of the inner bag was wet with a few drops of water, and the inside of the inner bag was completely dry.

    3) For the laptop section, the zipper is actually not "immediately" exposed to the outer elements, and is protected by the flap--so again unless the bag is submerged there is no worry for the dedicated laptop section to have water penetrate.

    I hope this answers your question

    Dom
     
  13. J.R. Nelson

    J.R. Nelson Minister of Awesome

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    For what it's worth, I think it's cool that you guys are willing to take what critics have to say to heart. It's hard to see how that's a negative for users at large.
     
  14. Theros123

    Theros123 Web Designer & Developer

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    Hey, a happy Slappa user here. I've been shoving my Asus G1s into a backpack of your for around 1 and a half years no without any problems at all. It's much easier to pull out a laptop out of a backpack than to carry around another over the shoulder laptop bag.

    This bag looks quite sweet...too bad I'm no photographer.
     
  15. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Thanks for this clarification. I see the dimensions in the review have now been edited.

    John
     
  16. David

    David NBR Random Reviewer

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    Jerry and Dom, thank you for your replies :)
     
  17. J.R. Nelson

    J.R. Nelson Minister of Awesome

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    Would it be possible to build an item with secondary zippers? If a user was just running the bag somewhere, they could zip one set of zippers, and if they wanted a little more protection, they could zip the other set of zippers. I suppose you'd have to stagger them so they weren't located one right beneath the other.
     
  18. SLAPPADom

    SLAPPADom Notebook Guru

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    JR

    I'm going to work on a couple of samples using your idea and will test it out to see how it works.

    I'll report back to you in a few weeks

    THANKS!!

    Dom
     
  19. dtwn

    dtwn C'thulhu fhtagn

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    I use a Slappa as well, the Velocity Matrix. Excellent bag, but the zip sliders for my first bag were not as good as I hoped. The second has held up rather well so far.
     
  20. luke123

    luke123 Notebook Guru

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    Hi

    Can Dom or a representative from Slappa possibly provide the names of retailers in Hong Kong which stock Slappa notebook backpacks and bags?

    Thanks!

    Luke
     
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