To safely transport your laptop from point A to B, you’ll want something tough–but easy on the shoulders too. Business travelers, students, and commuters alike prefer backpacks because they fit both their day-to-day belongings as well as the tech for which are looking to protect. Finding the right one will make life just slightly easier when it comes time to go on trips or commutes!
But I found it challenging to find something satisfying my tastes. Tired of the bulky sports-style and urban briefcase-style bag, I was yearning for something classy and lightweight to pack my 13″ MacBook Pro.
That’s when I came across the Harber London Slim Laptop Backpack. I feel like if Apple were thinking about creating the perfect premium Macbook backpack, they would have somehow ended up with this bag. I’m a fan of high-quality leather bags, but to see a laptop backpack in the material is alluring.
The styling, stitching, and finish on this Harber backpack are nothing short of exquisite. The handcrafted construction reflects the quality you expect from European manufacturing standards, and there’s plenty of room for your devices and personal items.Harber London Slim Laptop Backpack comes in two sizes for 13″/14″ inch and 15″/16″ laptops, and in three colors: Tan, Black, Deep Brown. I tested the large deep brown model, and this review gives you my experience carrying this backpack around for the week.
Harber London – A Short History of the Brand
Founded in 2013, Harber London is a family-owned brand specializing in designing and manufacturing high-quality, handmade leather products.
The founders started the venture after noticing a surprising lack of premium aftermarket laptop sleeves. The company launched its first model focusing on using high-quality materials used in the design and construction of its debut sleeve.
Harber London relies on materials like 100% full-grain leather; wool felt, cotton twill, and microfiber fabrics. After the success of its initial product launch, the company branched out into a comprehensive line of laptop carry accessories.
First Impressions – Design, Looks, and Features
The Harber London Slimline Laptop Backpack (large) measures out at 15.74″ (Height) x 11.02″ (Wide) x 1.57″ (Depth). The shallow slimline effect of the depth in the backpack gives it a low-profile form factor. I found it was useful for easy pickup and movement, with total control when placing and removing it from my shoulders.
The minimalist design accommodates a surprising amount of devices and accessories, with a large main compartment and a smaller outside pocket. The entire bag features construction with full-grain cowhide leather and impressive stitching.
Harber London utilizes Spanish manufacturing partners, with the high-quality construction standing out when taking a minute to examine the craftsmanship. The exterior leather is soft and supple, providing a sleek appearance to the bag.
The backpack’s functionality complements its classy looks, with interior compartments for your laptop, phone, and personal accessories. I was impressed by the spacious interior and the ease of access to my MacBook Pro 13 inch and iPhone. The phone compartment was big enough to fit my iPhone 12 Pro Max, and my Ridge Wallet slipped into the second slot with ease.
The internal stitching on the zips is top-notch, with no visible stitches or seams. When zipping up the bag, the rubber strips on the sides cover the zipper tracks providing a water-tight seal to protect your laptop.
The exterior pocket on the pack is a great place for stashing cables and power banks. There’s even an outer magnetic key holder for easy access.
The outstanding stitching continues throughout the shoulder straps and the drag handle. You also get a handy travel strap on the center of the rear panel. Just slip the bag over your luggage handle when passing through the airport; this feature is super-useful for frequent flyers.
The Harber London Slim Laptop Backpack Experience
Using this product was a dream. I took it on the subway, in a taxi, and on the bus and had a great experience with it on all forms of public transportation. While it’s not suitable for carrying your gym gear, it’s a great grab-and-go bag for taking tech on the road.
The slim look and feel of the bag make it ideal for any commuter or traveler. My bag didn’t bump into people in a crowded car on the subway, and it’s easy to dismount from your shoulder when getting into a taxi.
You would have no problem going through airport security and stashing the bag in the overhead compartment either.
What about drop protection you might ask?
I love how lightweight this bag is, but I was slightly disappointed to find that it lacks the thick padding on the bottom. If you drop your laptop by accident, there’s a chance of damaging its edges because they are exposed to impact with concrete or other hard surfaces.
However, the sturdy leather and light inner padding do provide a moderate amount of protection from knocks and low drops.
I enjoyed wearing this backpack in a single-strap and double-strap configuration, with easy adjustment to customize my fit. It is just so comfortable!
Harber London Slim Laptop Backpack Vs. the Competition
When we look at the competition for this backpack, there are a few models that stand out. However, I feel that Harber London might be the best of the bunch. Some of the other similar products I looked at when deciding on a model for this review included the following.
Frye Logan Backpack
I like the worn and authentic look of this pack. It’s functional, but I think it lacks the same slimline, elegant design of Harber London. The rustic look just doesn’t scream urbanite traveler to me.
Dr. Martens Vegan Backpack
Doc Marten’s is an iconic British brand, and this pack was a close runner-up to the Harber London model. I like the formal look and the polished finish, and it’s a good choice for vegan leather options if you want a cruelty-free bag.
Samsonite Business Slim Backpack
This model was another great choice, but it’s a little big for my 13″ MacBook Pro.
Pricing and Final Thoughts
Harber London retails the leather backpack on their official site for £279.00 for the small size and £299.00 for the larger size with free shipping worldwide, but you can also find US-based retailers offering it for $390 to $400. If you subscribe to their newsletter, you can get a 10% discount. It’s a steep price tag, but I feel like you’re getting what you pay for with this backpack.
Considering Apple dares to charge $199 for a leather laptop sleeve, this pack seems like a great deal in comparison. I like the designer look and the slimline appearance of the bag – There’s just nothing out there quite like it in design and functionality.
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Price last updated on 2023-06-03. Links & images are from Amazon Product Advertising API. Our editors independently research, test and recommend the best products and services. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article at no additional cost to you.