Review: Burton Fader Pack Rocks Back-to-School

The Burton Fader Pack is a neat new daypack from a company more commonly associated with snowboarding equipment. Confession time: I’m not into snowboarding and don’t know much about Burton as a brand. I do, however, know what I like in a backpack, and that is utilitarian, comfy, cool-looking and durable.

Let’s start with the last two. One of my gripes with kids’ backpacks is that they’re not made to last. These days, you’re lucky if they’ll survive a single school year. I’m pretty sure the Burton Fader Pack will hold up to the day-to-day chaos of a student’s life. It’s constructed from very realistic faux-leather as well as a 85/15 wool/nylon blend attributable to Burton’s collaboration with Johnson Woolen Mills of Vermont, known for their plaid wool stuff. The pack is heavy-duty and weighs about 3 pounds unladen. In terms of style, I appreciated the pack’s low-key look. The one I played around with was black and dark plaid, not attracting a lot of attention but still looking good.

In terms of utility, the pack has tons of pockets and compartments, including a sleeve for a 13″ laptop — apparently the different models of this pack can accommodate different-sized laptops. And because you’re going to packing ‘tronics, the inside is heavily padded. One of the best features for me was the full-zip back panel, allowing you to access your bag from both the front and the back — no more digging! Additionally, it includes an oughta-be-de-rigueur audio plug in the shoulder strap, so you can keep your MP3 player safely inside while listening to your tunes.

Finally, there’s comfort. The fader pack, as I mentioned, is durably built and that means you’re likely to be lugging a bunch of stuff in it. Fortunately, Burton came through with nigh-execessive padding on the back panel and straps, meaning that you’ll be able to wear it all day with minimal discomfort.

Wired: Durable construction, multitudinous pockets and understated appearance will rock your fall ensemble.

Tired: Relatively steep price ($179) might tempt you to buy a nylon throwaway pack instead.

Note: GeekDad received a free pack for review purposes.

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