One thing I really love about what I do, is finding things that most sites don’t look into or review. Primarily long-term physical accessory items. By long-term I mean accessories that can be used for multiple purposes and for multiple devices. I personally like having things that will travel along with me when I upgrade or buy new toys. I also like accessories that will work for my life. Believe it or not, I don’t just sit in front of my computer all day. So when I saw the Pelican ProGear U140 Urban Elite Tablet Backpack, I knew it would be useful and something that you guys might really like to see. Lets get to it and see what Pelican has created for the urban and outdoor adventurer.
Dimensions would be a pretty good place to start. The U140 is 19.50″ x 13.60″ x 11.50″. It is pretty big. 18 liters worth of storage space to be exact. There are a total of five different zipper storage areas. On the front of the bag you have an impact resistant hard plastic cover that helps protect things that are in the first outer pocket. This pocket is an organizer pocket and is loaded full of little cubby’s and slots for a tablet if you wish, pens, battery packs toothbrush or any small items that can get lost easily inside a large pocket.
The next pocket is the main compartment. There aren’t any little pockets or zipper compartments inside at all. It is the full length of the bag.
On the side you have an easy access water bottle compartment to keep your drink handy without digging for it.
While plenty of pockets and extra attention to comfort is fantastic when looking for a high-end bag for your life, the Plican U140 has a few more tricks up its sleeves. It is called a Tablet backpack for a reason. On the top of the bag you find a waterproof, dustproof and crush proof case. Its dimensions are 10.50″ x 7.50″ x 1.50″. It has a locking hinge on the top that keeps it securely closed. As an added safety feature, there are also two adjustable straps on either side that you can cinch up tight to make sure that in the event of any failure, it remains shut. Inside you find a separator to keep a Bluetooth keyboard on one side and your iPad, Nexus 7, Galaxy Tab 10.1, other tablets or netbooks safe. There is a built-in pressure EQ for those of you who enjoy hiking up in the mountains too. The built-in case is IP67 tested to keep your electronics safe under three feet of water for 30 minutes. Pretty sure you would drown by then unless you are taking it scuba diving.
What we liked about the Pelican ProGear U140
Size is definitely a nice factor. There is ample room for everything you would need to make this a single travel carry on bag for those quick one or two day trips you might need to take. The built-in Pelican case and its shock proof, crush proof, water tight ability gives you piece of mind in any situation. The attention to comfort details with the ergonomic S-Curve back, deep air channels and breathable material will make for great hikes and long term wearing. The straps adjust easily and are padded exceptionally well. The addition of the hardened plastic rubber coated top handle makes it easy to carry with out fear of a cheaper material made handle. The extra impact resistant front plate just adds that little extra piece of mind. Who could forget the bottle openers? Silly thing to point out, but awesome to have handy.
What we didn’t like about the Pelican ProGear U140
I usually don’t have any issues digging out something i don’t like about a product. No matter how small of thing it might be. Pelican really put a lot of thought into this bag. Every usable area of the bag offers you something. I did look into user reviews from around the web and even their complaints are minimal at best. One mentioned that an iPad with an Otterbox case on it won’t fit in the hard case. That could be a negative for some, but I see no reason why you couldn’t pop off the case and place it in the rear top panel during travel.
Design – 5/5
Functionality – 5/5
Protection – 5/5
Price – 4/5
So what will this Jason Bourne backpack set your bank account back? Quite a grip actually. The Pelican ProGear U140 bag retails at $259.95 through Pelican directly. The question you would need to ask yourself is if you need what it can offer. A person can easily spend $300 on a great bag for hiking that doesn’t offer as many pockets, as much support or any protection for electronics. If you are a bit of an adventurer and like to bring your tech along for the ride, then you might consider this bag to be the best thing that has ever happened to you. Of course you don’t have to buy the bag directly from Pelican though. We all know there are plenty of outlets to get things for more affordable prices. For instance, the U140 is up for sale at Amazon for $145.15 to $165.00. That is a much better sounding price for many I assume and quite easily worth every penny.
I personally gave this bag some pretty high marks. The price is competitive and is even reasonable for what it designed to do and offer. I’d much rather prefer to pick it up for the lower price on Amazon though. The protection it offers is top notch and worth every penny if your travels are often rugged, or even if you are just scared things will break. It sure beats out a standard backpack for travel.