With the new school year upon us, you’re very likely in the market for new bags for your brood. If you’re looking for a versatile backpack for your high school/college student (or even a day-to-day carryall for your own commute) I heartily recommend the ECBC Hercules. It’s a sturdily constructed, comfortably designed piece that’s quickly become my new favorite.
Visually the Hercules is a sleek backpack with subtle styling. It boasts some smart red contrast stitching in and around its shoulder straps and breathable back padding that really pops, particularly on the black and blue models. This also serves to guide the eye to the product’s first important feature, and whether you’re marching through the airport with the Hercules secured snuggly to your person with its sternum strap engaged or simply breezing across campus with the bag slung over one arm, you’re bound to notice the careful attention paid to its functional design.
The big selling point of the ECBC Hercules is its TSA-compliant laptop compartment. It protects up to 17″ models, and it can be unzipped to easily fit through airport scanners. I was a little worried that all this space would make my 11″ MacBook Air rattle around like the proverbial BB in a boxcar, but the included spacer – it nestles into the bottom of the compartment and is secured by Velcro – ensured that it fit perfectly.
In addition to accommodating your laptop, the Hercules also has a separate dedicated tablet sleeve, not to mention practically any other backpack bell or whistle you could imagine. There’s a spacious magazine and document pocket, multiple interior zippered mesh storage places for things power supplies and USB dongles, a three-part exterior pocket for pin and phone storage and two side pockets that double as the ever-popular water bottle holders.
Still, even these weren’t the most impressive features I discovered on the Hercules. That honor is split between its dual water-sealed zippers – one on the backpack’s top quick-access pocket, and the other on its zip-away laptop slot – and the gorgeous diamond-patterned liner that’s stitched throughout. While the former won’t exactly save your belongings from an unexpected dunk in the lake, it more than protects everything from your computer to your boarding pass from all manner of nasty precipitation. The latter, while less utilitarian than its other features, simply serves to make this one of the sharpest looking models on the market.
All these words and I haven’t even touched on the bag’s sturdily padded top handle, its robust 1000d Kondra nylon exterior or its carefully constructed pocket panels that extend fully to prevent tearing. In short, the Hercules backpack from ECBC is as strong as the name implies. In fact, the only drawback is its retail price of $139.99 – though it’s slightly cheaper at Amazon. Still, if you’re looking for a durable, flexible and stylish way to safely transport tech, books, paperwork and all the other necessities, this bag is a solid investment.
Review materials provided by: ECBC