I recently received a Thule EnRoute Escort 2 Daypack as a gift. It was a perfect gift for me since I’ve decided to start hiking again and have been in need of a better daypack. What’s more is I don’t leave home without my laptop these days and have been long overdue for a daypack with a laptop compartment.
15 or 17 inch laptop?
The description on Thule.com is a bit confusing as it’s not clear from the copy that the compartment will house a 17″ Windows laptop. It turns out that my 17″ Toshiba Satellite fits just fine, though it does stick out at the top a bit. But the point is that a 17″ laptop will fit in here. Aside from the 3/5 inch protrusion. the remainder of my laptop remains protected, especially with the layered compartments in the back-pockets.
This bag has several interior pockets which allow you to carry a number of small items (tablets, notepads, pens, wifi-hotspots, etc) and flexible side pockets which can hold water bottles. There is also a large front pocket made of flexible plastic that is ideal for housing sunglasses, a smartphone, or small tablet.
By default the pack looks small and compressed (you would never guess it was 27 liters) but is actually quite flexible and expansive. If you simply take your laptop and a couple of accessories the pack will remain small and compressed. Nevertheless, you can will this bag with more items and it will expand accordingly, and even the pockets near the front are deep (in contrast to some bags where the front pockets become progressively shallow and allow for less carry items).
At 27 liters this is on the large end of the “daypack” scale and the multi-compartment construction allows you to store basic gear desperately from electronics (should you decide to take them outdoors). The laptop compartment can alternatively be used for a hydration pack. The customizable straps also include a waist strap for added hip support. There are outer straps which could conceivably serve as trekking pole attachments (which would mean this would also work for cross country trelkking) but I haven’t tried this yet.
I can’t find any room for complaint on this bag, especially when it comes to standard use as an everyday bag to transport my usual work items. As a daypack for serious trekking there are better options from companies like The North Face and Osprey but the EnRoute Escort isn’t really intended to serve as a heavy duty outdoor daypack and is better situated to internally house (and protect) a number of fragile/valuable products.