OGIO is one of the best brands at creating sport-specific bags and luggage and, with the new Renegade RSS 17 laptop backpack, they have their sights set on students and young professionals. So how does it hold up?
The OGIO Renegade RSS backpack is technically just a laptop backpack, which means it's meant for students and young professionals looking to carry a computer, other various electronics, and notebooks or a binder. OGIO also makes a line specifically for motorcycles, with the Mach 1, 3, and 5, and we plan on getting our hands on one of those soon.
One of the things I love about this backpack is the dedicated and armor-protected laptop compartment. It fits "most 15 inch and a select thin 17 inch laptops" and OGIO uses a genius system which keeps the laptop about 1 inch from the bottom of your bag, padding and protecting it when you put the backpack on the ground. While lots of backpacks have a laptop compartment, it's usually just an open sleeve in the main compartment and I really like how the OGIO system keeps your computer safe and away from anything else in the bag.
From back to front, the next area on the Renegade RSS 17 is the main compartment. My favorite thing about the main compartment is that the walls, while not rigid, do have some padding and are given additional support by the structure of the outside pockets. This creates an almost camera bag-like interior, with a soft but sturdy structure. That, with the addition of zippers that run almost all the way to the bottom, makes this a perfect backpack for packing a few days worth of clothes in and then being able to get to what you want once you reach your destination, without unpacking the whole thing. No more shoving things to the bottom or reaching around for things you can't see; you're able to pack it like a suitcase.
They call the top pocket a "crush proof tech vault" and it's another brilliant addition to this bag. It has rigid walls/floor and a soft liner so it won't scratch your gear, and is my favorite place to store my iPod and sunglasses. The use of different materials throughout the Renegade RSS 17 is quite thoughtful as they thought about what you would actually be storing in those areas. Hard walls for things you don't want crushed, soft textures for things you don't want scratched, and soft walls for things you want to stretch.
On the top/front there is a fairly standard small and soft pouch like the one on many backpacks typically used to hold pens. Nothing special here, but I'd have probably taken off points if it wasn't included. Nothing to see here.
The next pocket, again moving from back to front, is a medium sized pocket attached facing the front of the bag. Inside, there is only one pouch and it has a picture of a tablet on it. The interior of the compartment is nylon, and the back of the padded pocket has a soft coat. Any guesses what goes here? This compartment also runs the full height of the bag, despite it looking like it only runs up to the aformentioned pen pouch. A nice little touch should you need to put carry something tall but keep it away from stuff in the main compartment.
The front pouch mirrors the shape of the tablet pouch, but is slightly smaller. Inside, their are 4 main sections. A mesh one with a picture of a computer mouse on it and a nylon one with a zipper on top, and a mesh one with a picture of a passport and a few pen sleeves on bottom. All straight forward and all useful for carrying pretty much anything, extra useful if you're a journalist who often works from lots of strange places and carries these kinds of things around often.
The sides of the Renegade RSS 17 each have two compartments. The top two open to the front, the bottom two open to the rear (this doesn't really effect the use at all). The walls of each, both inside and out, are padded to keep things safe from general use. Looking at the face of the bag, the top right one is empty and has a picture of an iPod in it. The top left is also empty and has a picture of a camera in it. The bottom right has an elastic strap in it and a picture of a power cable, and the bottom left has a mesh webbing and bungee cable in it with a picture of two water droplets, and is designed so you can stick a bottle of water in there with the bungee around the top to keep it secure.
The back of the Renegade RSS 17 has a rigid center with padding at the shoulder and hips. The shoulder straps also have padding, include a sternum strap, and the left side has a zippered mesh pocket for your phone.
Overall, the bag is 19.5" tall, 14" wide, and 10" deep. It weighs 3.5 pounds, and has a volume of 1800 cubic inches. The exterior is made from 600D Polyester Pindot. If you are looking at the Revzilla listing for it, the bag has now been updated to a black interior. The Renegade RSS 17 retails for $150.
Overall, this Renegade RSS 17 is a fantastic backpack. The laptop sleeve is absolutely perfect (unless you have some monstrosity that won't fit) and I love that the main compartment is just as capable of holding a binder as it is a few days of clothes. I took this backpack to the Hayabusa launch in San Diego and it was absolutely perfect for a computer, a power cable, a tablet, a phone, a water bottle, some sunglasses, and a few day's clothes. The side pockets are a little excessive for me, but they don't actually get in the way and so I don't mind them.
Aesthetically, the bag is not very nice looking, though it manages to be subtle enough to not really matter. The hardware feels adequate and the zippers pull nicely, but the sternum strap connector seems a little flimsy and is a little difficult to operate. It doesn't quite get tight enough, but I'm also the size of a 10 year old, so it shouldn't be a problem for most of you.
I've really enjoyed using the bag, and it has become my go-to (which surprised me). My only real issue has been that the shoulder straps connect a little too closely together and the shoulder straps are difficult to get over a bulky jacket with armor in it. Now that it's summer and I'm wearing a lighter jacket, it is a little bit easier, but I would really like to see OGIO put more thought into that to bring it up to par with the rest of the bag.
The Renegade RSS 17 carries the weight of your stuff adequately, though it won't make the weight disappear like a Kriega will. The rigid structure and supple padding in the back and shoulders do a very nice job though, and it's about as much as you could ask for from a bag that hasn't utilized any strategies to help improve how the bag feels while on your back on a motorcycle.
Since this is not a dedicated motorcycle backpack, it obviously was not designed to be able to slide down the road at speeds faster than you can throw. If you're carrying anything that is REALLY important, we suggest looking into a backpack that is made to withstand a great deal more punishment. If you just need a bag for weekend trips or light commuting or your computer is insured and none of the files are matters of national security, I highly recommend this bag.