Samsonite Xenon 2 backpack – exterior
My favorite computer bag is the Samsonite Xenon 2 backpack. My wife found this for me when we were stuck in Fort Lauderdale after all outgoing flights got cancelled.
What I love about it:
- Travel friendly – the computer section unzips to lay flat for airport X-ray machines
- Five compartments – this bag has two bottle pockets (I use these for an umbrella and my coffee mug) on the exterior and 5 zippered compartments (2 tiny compartments, 1 iPad-sized compartment, and 2 large compartments)
- Huge – I have squeezed a Lenovo T430, a Lenovo x220, and an HP Stream 11 in this bag at the same time along with all the other stuff I normally carry
- Nooks and crannys – the interior sections are split to keep things organized
- Carry handle – there is a comfortable handle at the top of the bag for times when you don’t want to sling it over your shoulder
- Sits upright – more than any other bag, this one can sit upright pretty well as long as the laptop section zippers are not completely unzipped
- Easy access – it is very easy to get stuff into and out of this bag using only one hand
- Stackable – this bag has a loop that will fit over your rolling bag’s handles
- Padding – there is thick padding on the side that comes in contact with your body
- Lining – the two tiny pockets and the computer sleeve have a very soft lining
What could be better:
- Zippers open on their own – I have had zippers on the 2 largest compartments slowly unzip many times. I remedied this by hooking the two zipperheads on each compartment together with mini-caribiners
- Key hook – there is nothing to hang your keys on – weird since even cheap backpacks come with a key hook these days
- Computer padding – although there is padding around the laptop section, it could be thicker – especially at the bottom of the bag
This bag has been my daily carry bag since the beginning of 2014. I have taken it on every trip that I have taken. It continues to serve me well. If you are looking for a well-made and well-designed computer backpack, consider this Samsonite Xenon 2 backpack.
Samsonite Xenon 2 backpack – padding
Samsonite Xenon 2 backpack – exterior
Samsonite Xenon 2 backpack – handle
Samsonite Xenon 2 backpack – tablet pocket
Samsonite Xenon 2 backpack – middle section
Samsonite Xenon 2 backpack – side view
Samsonite Xenon 2 backpack – laptop compartment
I flew to Toronto from Boston on Porter Airlines this week and I had a great experience all around.
Both flights were on a Bombardier Q400. This is a little turbo-prop plane that can hold 78 passengers. My flight to Toronto only had 18 people onboard. Although I am normally hesitant to fly on these little planes, I really have no complaints or regrets about choosing this flight/plane combination.
Credit: Francis Mariani
Porter has some nice little service perks. For example, they serve drinks in a real glass instead of cheap plastic cups. Also there was complimentary wine – though I did not partake.
In addition to the experience of Porter Airlines, the airport experience was also great. The location of Billy Bishop Airport (code: YTZ) in Toronto is crazy-convenient. It is situated on a little island a couple hundred feet offshore from the city. You only have to take a short ferry ride (departs every 15 minutes-ish). There is a free shuttle bus that takes you from the airport to Union Station in the heart of downtown Toronto.
Billy Bishop Airport
The only airlines that I noticed that service this airport are Porter and Air Canada – though there might be others. The international waiting area was very nice.
Billy Bishop waiting area
credit: Christopher S. Penn
The main waiting area consists of groups of partitioned off sitting areas. Each area has six arm chairs, coffee tables and reading lamps – very nice. There is even a business centre containing two rows of Apple iMac computers (here is an image of one row). I’ll get more images next time.
Billy Bishop business centre iMac
Credit: Eduardo Sanchez
Another plus about this airport: no naked-body scanner!
If you are flying into Toronto I highly recommend Billy Bishop Airport.