ROCCAT Into Street-Proof Messenger Bag ReviewWesstron - August 21, 2013
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ROCCAT Into Street-Proof Messenger Bag Introduction:
Founded in 2007 in Hamburg, Germany, ROCCAT has established itself as a ferocious player in the gaming peripherals world. Any enthusiast knows the feline-looking logo and the ROCCAT products are up there with the big boys on the shelves of most computer-parts stores. The review section here at OCC has a plethora of articles featuring ROCCAT products; some impressed us, but some also left us with mixed feelings and wanting more. Overall, a fairly young company like ROCCAT is doing a good job collaborating with the gaming community and investing in innovation. Concepts like ROCCAT TALK, POWER GRID, or SDMS are very original and will probably mature into something great. Visiting the company's website shows that since the introduction of the Kone gaming mouse a few years back, the arsenal of peripherals available now will get you fully geared to wage the fiercest battles in the cyber-battlefields.
When I received the fairly large brown cardboard box holding the review unit, my first reaction was to ask my wife if BluePanda & Waco moved in without me knowing. The shipping label showed my name but the description of the item was "Gaming Mouse" and "ROCCAT"! Whoever reads OCC reviews regularly can do the math. After making sure that we are clear and there is no OCC staff invasion, I decided to open the package anyway just to satisfy my curiosity. The box was too big for a single mouse and it felt very light for its size. Instead of a cyber-rodent, inside I found the ROCCAT Into Street-Proof Messenger Bag that I will be reviewing today. Will this heavily branded laptop bag be the next cool thing to get? Let's check it out!
ROCCAT Into Street-Proof Messenger Bag Closer Look & Features:
The ROCCAT Into Street-Proof Messenger Bag is geared towards laptops that are 15.4-inch to 17.3-inch in size and it measures 320mm x 475mm. Made of a combination of 70% Cordura nylon and 30% Polyester, this bag should let you carry your gear in style for a long while.
I already described the ROCCAT Into Street-Proof Messenger Bag as heavily branded; in the below pictures you will see just why. Compared to the discreet ECBC POSEIDON Messenger Bag K7202 that I reviewed a while back, wearing the black and blue themed Into is pretty much free advertising for ROCCAT. Don't take me wrong here; I personally like the looks of this bag. The cat-like logo on the front is actually embroidered and roars quality; it will not fade or peel and is cool enough to make you oblivious of it covering 50% of the front. The color theme adopted by ROCCAT is a winner; the blue accents and the colored sections positioning make the Into a great looking bag. On the left side of the front are located a small pocket and an earphone cable slot. The back is very sober with no action going on; all black, tough nylon, with no color accents or special features.
Going back to the front, the first feature that attracted my attention is the easily accessible front pocket. Some great workmanship was put into this product and it's shown in the implementation of this type of feature. The pocket is recessed, which will hide the zipper away and gives a great clean look. I used an iPad Mini to test the size of the pocket and how it felt to carry a cellphone or tablet in it. It turns out that the pocket is about the same dimensions as an iPad Mini. As a matter of fact, the zipper will not go anywhere if you have anything other than the very slim cases covering the tablet. I had a Mini with a Survivor case installed and as you can see on the picture below there was no room to maneuver the zipper. With the slim case, all worked well and I was able to fasten the zipper all the way.
Right next to the pocket opening, we find an earphone cable slot. Made of soft plastic with a cross shaped cut-out in the middle, this slot will let you keep your precious phone/tablet safe inside the front pocket while listening to your favorite tunes. The opening will accommodate thicker cables ususally featured in high end gaming headphones, as well as the increasingly popular earphone flat cables.
Carrying a laptop and a few peripherals around will put a certain strain on the bag and might cause damage if the shoulder strap loosens by accident. ROCCAT will have none of that happening under its watch. The Into comes equipped with a permanently connected shoulder strap that's firmly sewn to the bag at a 45 degrees angle on each side for better carrying position. The loose side is secured by an oversized snap-clip sporting the ROCCAT logo, while the extra length is tucked away to the side thanks to a little fixed strap. The clip does have enough bite to it to get the job done even under heavier loads. Unfortunatly the shoulder strap is a real pain to conceal if not needed. Due to the angle at which it's connected to the bag, hiding it inside is not an option and the stiff material doesn't play well with any folding attempt.
To provide better comfort for the wearer, the ROCCAT Into Street-Proof Messenger Bag comes equipped with a long adjustable shoulder pad measuring roughly 36cm in length. The inside bottom part is blue to match the color theme. The top part is made of two pieces that attach together with Velcro. Here is also located a nice ROCCAT logo made of the same plastic that's used for the earphones slot. I found the padding to be lacking. After using the bag for a few days, it was obvious that the stiff sides of the pad and the thin padding are the culprits. If the whole thing doesn't soften up with use, it will be a major issue with comfort.
Towards the top of the bag, ROCCAT opted for a pretty unique design to implement a carrying handle. It's actually part of the front piece of Cordura nylon fabric that's left open and stitched around to create a handle. It feels sturdy enough but only time will tell if the concept is durable. I will make sure to update in the forums if anything happens. The top also sports a large zipper that gives access to a huge pocket. ROCCAT calls it a "Quick-Stash" back pocket for a reason; it makes the whole back side of the bag available for storing large magazines or documents. It was even able to fit in the AVATAR Mercury Ultrabook that I reviewed previously without any issues. It's not the intended purpose, but if you can carry two laptops in one bag, why not!
Upon opening the bag, we notice the two large Velcro strips on each side. Paired with the two small Velcro strips on the flap part, they make a fairly flexible closing system where a larger than usual item can be carried with the top secured. A large, adjustable-length clip is also available for those that do not believe in Velcro power!
The main feature inside the bag is the padded laptop chamber that can accommodate devices up to 17.3-inch. It also has a large Velcro strip for a secure fit. Since there is no way to adjust the width, laptops smaller than 15-inch will move around in the compartment. The inside of the bag per say looks like a half cylinder lined up with small pockets. There are three large pockets towards the front; two of them can be partially closed with Velcro. Towards the back there are two Velcro-equipped pockets and three pen holder slots. The bulk of the space available is a free-for-all kind of concept with no segmentation whatsoever. If you just start dumping stuff inside it may get chaotic in no time. The picture to the right shows the shape of the bag when it starts to fill up.
Overall, the ROCCAT Into Street-Proof Messenger Bag is a nicely made product, but certain aspects of it might be a game breaker for some.