Archive Reviews

Review: iLugger II - iMac Bag

Notebook bags aren't in short supply. I review them all of the time, and there are many styles to suit anyone. What about the select few who want to take their iMac with them? Take your desktop? Absolutely. There are plenty reasons to do so - especially now that they can run Windows. How about the LAN parties the gamers are so crazy about. What about a mobile editing station for audio/video. I teach Mac classes, and our facility is short on Macs (they have 0) and I need to take my iMac to teach with.

ilugger

The iLugger itself is derived from a need. Blimp manufacturer, Steve Garner, needed the processing power of his G5 iMac at home and in the hanger. According to him, his balloon manufacturing expertise translated well into making carrying bags.

Features:

The bag fits the new Intel iMacs as well as legacy iMac G5 machines, in both the 17 and 20 inch configurations, without the need for different sized bags. The iLugger II is made from 1000 Denier Cordura fabric and is available is a variety of colors. For an additional fee, it can be made in the color of your choice. ilugger side The iLugger II is designed for transporting your iMac in a variety of ways. You can use the handle at the top of the bag, use the included shoulder strap, or even use it as a backpack, with the hide-away backpack straps. shoulder straphandle backpack Inside are two padded pockets to accommodate your keyboard and accessories, and a plastic shield sewn into the fabric, which helps provide added protection for your LCD display. The side that your LCD faces is also a velvety fabric, which will help keep your LCD from scratching. inside On the other sides, Your iMac is surrounded by 3/4 inch medium density foam, which is more than adequate to protect your mac in all but the most severe situations. Use: The iLugger II was a breeze to pack my 17 inch iMac into. You simply unplug your Mac and its peripherals, and slip the iLugger over the top of your iMac, while it is still on your desk. Next, you hold the bottom of the LCD, while you flip it over, and then you slip your accessories (keyboard, mouse, power cable, etc) into the padded inside pockets. Pull the top down, and fit the duckbill top correctly, and zip it up, and you are ready to go. The whole process couldn't be any quicker or easier. The iLugger web site says you can do it in about 30 seconds, and that's true in my real world testing.

Caveats:

The first thing I thought about when I saw this bag was the comfort level. This isn't a 8 lb. notebook I am going to be toting here.. it's a 20+ lb. machine. Padding is a must. If you are moving it from the house to the car, it's not so important. But, if you are standing in line at the airport, some level of comfort would be nice. - hand strap For starters, the hand strap has no padding whatsoever. Last time I checked, the iMac was bulky to be carrying by one hand, even under 20 lbs. Add on some accessories, and you could be toting 20 - 30 lbs. without any padding at all. - backpack I love the hideaway feature of the backpack straps, but it is plagued by two flaws. One, there is minimal padding on them. Once again, it's a comfort factor. One more problem area are the plastic clips that feel very low quality. I don't hold a lot of faith in them for toting around my $1500 iMac on my back. clips - shoulder strap The shoulder strap is decent quality, but has minimal padding as well. However, I am very impressed with the oversized quick release connectors. These feel very sturdy, and I would like to see a smaller version of this on the backpack straps. shoulder strap quick release - zippers The large zipper teeth that are used to close the top of the bag are sometimes troublesome. You have to go fairly slow, and be extra careful when zipping around the corners to keep it from snagging. The actual zipper grab is generously sized, and easy to grip.

Final Thoughts:

Toting around anything that is 20+ lbs is never pleasant, but the iLugger IIs does a good job at fulfilling a niche that I haven't seen anyone else cover. Hopefully, the next iteration will refine the rough edges, and add some additional padding to the bag. While the iLugger II is currently fulfilling this niche market, I would imagine if they don't add some comfort features, someone else will. The iLugger II is a high quality bag that you can trust to keep your Mac safe while you transporting it via land, air, or sea. It may not be the most comfortable bag, but it doesn't have to be -- its the only one. For those looking to transport your iMac, the iLugger is the safest way to do it. Up iLugger is now available in sizes to accommodate the 24 inch iMac