I enjoy a good bag and a good purse. I have no qualms about being a man who wears a purse, and I’ll usually correct you if you use some silly word like “man bag”, “man purse”, or even worse, “murse.” I’m not Adam West.
I’ve been using the Ristretto since 2012, and I still really like it, 4 years later.
I use the Tom Bihn Brain Bag when I need waaay more space, or am traveling.
I had tried a Tom Bihn Synapse 19, but it was just a smidgen too small for the work travel I was doing, where I needed two laptops and some equipment. The Brain Bag is big–really big–but it shrinks up better than you’d think if you don’t need it fully expanded.
The Synapse 25 wasn’t out when I bought my Brain Bag, but it’s probably the next bag I’ll try.
When I was in college, I had a Maxpedition Neatfreak and a Timbuk2 laptop backpack.
The Maxpedition Neatfreak was pretty durable, a good size (it’s bigger than it looks in this photo), and worked well, but I didn’t really like the look. It looks a little too military/prepper for me.
I’m not 100% sure which Timbuk2 laptop backpack I had, but it fit a 13″ laptop and a few thick EE textbooks just fine. It had a main pocket, and two side pockets. It lasted about five years before tearing apart.
(Photos taken from the respective product pages. Go buy the Tom Bihn ones. They’re awesome!)