Pelican ProGear U140 Urban Elite Tablet Backpack Review: Flak Jacket for an iPadS

If you travel with technology, you need a bag that can take a beating. You don't want your iPad to get busted in crowded gym locker or on an airline's crammed overhead bin. Is Pelican ProGear's resilient new Urban Elite Tablet Backpack tough enough?

What Is It?

A backpack with a built-in watertight and crushproof tablet case.

Who's It For?

Commuters, business travelers—anyone traveling far, frequently, and with multiple gadgets. Steve Wozniak, perhaps?

Design

The all-black satchel has a heavy-duty plastic case for a tablet or ultrabook. A main compartment stows odds and ends, and there are two hidden zipper pockets on the back, one on the side (maybe for a camera?), and a front section with spots for your your pens, phone, and keys.

Using It

Your back might ache, but this backpack fits a lot of crap. All that stuff gets pretty heavy and hard on the spine, in spite of the padded back panel and soft straps.

The Best Part

Definitely the hard shell that envelops your precious (expensive) tablet.

Tragic Flaw

Lacks wheels—if it had just two it would be much more mobile.

This Is Weird...

The latch on the case isn't all that secure. Although it probably wasn't made to be dropped off a roof (see below).

Test Notes

  • Put a dinner plate in the case and dropped it off the roof of our four-story office building. The plate was unscathed, and the bag sustained minimal damage—just a little crack and a few exterior scrapes.
  • During the roof drop, the latch popped open.
  • Comfortably stows a MacBook, iPad, iPhone, and miscellaneous things like sunglasses, a wallet, and a portable charger. But it's heavy!
  • The protected case isn't big enough to hold a laptop, though it will fit in the bag.

Pelican ProGear U140 Urban Elite Tablet Backpack Review: Flak Jacket for an iPad

Should You Buy It?

Is your name Jason Bourne? $260 is a jaw-dropping price for a backpack. As something to get you to and from the office—provided that the commute doesn't involve jumping from a moving vehicle—you probably don't need this bag. Still, the roof drop was quite impressive, and it's good to know there is a product ready to protect the technology of, say, members of law enforcement and other real-life action heroes. But it's a niche product that isn't really appropriate for the typical tablet owner.

Pelican ProGear U140 Urban Elite Tablet Backpack

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• Price: $259.95
• Material: Nylon and plastic
• Exterior dimensions: 19.5 inches by 13.6 inches by 11.5 inches
• Case dimensions: 10.5 inches by 7.5 inches by 1.68 inches
• Capacity: 18 Liters
• Storage: Four compartments, a side pocket, and a hard case
Gizrank: 3.0 stars