Crumpler Aso Outpost Laptop Backpack Review
Pros:- Durable, stylish, great laptop protection
Cons:- Could do with a zipped compartment separator.
A modern interpretation of a classic design, complete with a funky color set. It’s stitched together well, and will be a great companion for the daily grind.
We’ve already taken a look at Crumpler’s new range – The Outpost Project, drawing on solid adventuring design cues with proper Crumpler usability. We were quite impressed at some of the interesting design features, so when Crumpler offered us a close up look at the Aso Outpost, who were we to decline?
The Crumpler Aso Outpost Backpack
The Crumpler Aso Outpost is a traditional old-school looking backpack designed for the urban adventure. Unlike your traditional backpacks however, Crumpler have added some flair and details to this laptop bag with a few design features we’ll look at in a second. The Aso Outpost features a water resistant canvas exterior that Crumpler describe as Crumpler call a 1,000D Field Twill outer and 70/160D 70 x 160D nylon interior. Being Crumpler, it has to live up to its lifetime warranty, and this is evident in the sturdy reinforcement on stress areas and general solidity especially at the bottom of the bag. Surprisingly the thing only weighs just over 1 kg. Not especially light, but pretty good given everything inside.
The Aso Outpost features a 25 litre main compartment for all your urban needs. This can be accessed by two openings – via the flap and drawstring closure at the top, or through the zipper at the front. Lift the flap and a nice outdoorsy graphic is printed into the lining for that little bit of added detail. An internal drawstring allows you to separate the compartment into two if required. Personally we would have preferred a zip here so small items down fall through from one compartment to the other. That said, Crumpler have also included a small zipped pocket on the inside of the front opening.
Turn the Crumpler Aso Outpost around, and you’ll be greeted with the smell of new sneakers (or trainers for you Brits). Get past that, and you’ll find a lockable completely independent pocket for laptops up to 15 inches. This is lined with a substantial amount of padding to protect against any knocks, with a thick zig-zagg grooved rubber piece at the back. Presumably this protects the laptop, adds a bit of comfort and prevents sweaty backs. Unfortunately its winter in Melbourne, so I didn’t get a chance to verify its airflow credentials.
Elsewhere you’ll also find a felt lined pocket for your scratchables, and on each side, two stretchy pockets that will fit drink bottles up to 1 litre.
The harness on the Crumpler Aso Outpost is surprisingly thin. That said, it is height and length adjustable, and should allow you to find the most comfortable fit. A height adjustable chest strap is also included. Chucking a few weighty items into the Aso Outpost actually proved it was surprisingly comfortable with the rubber back padding helping out a lot. Only when with frankly silly weights are thrown in (think 25+ kg) do the straps start digging into your shoulders a little and where a bit of extra padding would help, but you’ll still be fine for relatively short distances. To be honest, if you’re carrying that much weight around often, then this probably isn’t the bag for you anyway.
The Crumpler Aso Outpost brings old school adventuring design into 2013 and the urban jungle. Available in a bright modern red, a more retro green or a understated blue, there’s a colour for most personalities. It’s getting a bit pricey at $195, but you definitely get a quality product for your hard earned, with a few unique talking points to set it apart from the crowd.