• Durability
  • Stylishness
  • Added protection
  • Price
  • Usefulness

The Targus 16″ Demolition Backpack is designed to transport a laptop or tablet to and from its destination safely, with ample extra storage space for anything else you might need to bring along the trip.

It contains pockets for a tablet or e-reader, a laptop with a screen size up to 16-inches, two expandable exterior pockets, and more little places to stash stuff away than you can shake a stick at. It has a couple of mesh exterior pockets for quick and easy access to your less-delicate items, such as a cased/protected phone, and plenty of random loops, catches, and hoops to hook to any number of things.

I honestly feel they named this the Demolition Backpack because it looks like it’s designed to carry a lot of dynamite and detonation equipment. I can fully see some action movie hero chucking a back like this over a wall and running away as the explosion goes off in the background. However, I tested this more for the tech geek who needs to haul everything, rather than the action hero, as I had a pretty bad cold and was not up to saving the world.

The product description discusses a retractable standability feature, and as far as I can tell, this entails pushing a flap down on the inside that Velcros down and makes the base a bit square. With nothing more than a bottle of Coke in the bag, it stood up. Unfortunately, any addition of tablets, laptops, etc., turned the Demolition Backpack into something that wanted to fall, constantly slamming the relatively unprotected sections of my precious electronics down onto the ground.

However, the bag screams quality construction. The shoulder straps are incredibly tight, it has the perfect chest strap for heavier items, and the handle feels like you could use it to ride a medium-sized bucking bronco. Unfortunately, the handle makes me want to fill the bag full of explosives and throw it. It located the back of my neck and kept poking me as I walked around with a load of tech. Maybe if I wore it in a little, it would be better – or  maybe if I didn’t carry so much weight, necessitating the high-strapping – but as it is, it annoyed me greatly.

The interior pocket separation in the pack is nice, but not as nice as I’ve come to expect from other laptop/tablet carrying options. I actually didn’t feel too comfy carrying my delicate tech mess around with me.

If you’re carrying some clothes and a laptop or e-reader, this thing is perfect. If you’re carrying a laptop, charger, 2.5″ and 3.5″ hard drive, drive-reading kit, tablet, tape measure, two phones, a case of CD-install disks, a voltage meter, a bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola, a travel guinea pig, a tape measure, assorted cartoon travel tissues, multiple highlighters, and a camera, it feels like you’ve thrown far too much stuff into a vaguely less-than-adequate bag.

Your travel contents may vary. I’m pretty sure not everyone needs highlighters.

One of the things that was kind of odd about the design of this is the flap at the top. When snapped down, it looks like the bottom of the bag with four little nubby feet sticking up. They’re there purely for decoration, as far as I can tell, but I’m not sure what kind of message they’re there to convey.

In the end, I’d have to say I think the Targus 16-inch Demolition Backpack provides slightly above average protection for a slightly above average price. I’d personally prefer the Drifter II Plus backpack I reviewed a week ago, which came in at the same price and seemed much more protective of my valued e-junk.

In the end, your needs for a backpack/tech carrying bundle will be different than mine. As a computer technician by day, a landlord and writer by night, and a motorcycle rider whenever I can, I carry a lot of stuff all the time in backpacks. For me, this wasn’t the one, but for you it might be.

The Targus 16-inch Demolition Backpack is available from Targus’s website for $79.99. It might make the perfect gift for your tech nerd, or it might annoy them like it did me.