After going through the last few years with a laptop that sputtered every time I tried to play 1080p video and could only run Diablo III on the lowest settings, I decided it was time for yours truly to get a new lappy. So I bought a new 17-inch ASUS G74SX “Republic of Gamers” DH73-HD to satisfy my varied multimedia needs. I still remember the excitement I felt once my package arrived and immediately started to unbox my new toy. My first reaction? “That’s a huge laptop.” So huge, in fact, that none of the laptop bags for my old 17-inch laptops could accommodate it. Like an act of serendipity, however, I happened to get my grubby paws on the new “Stovepipe Chaos” backpack from Slappa. Designed specifically for large laptops, it certainly seemed like a perfect fit for my ginormous G74SX. In fact, my initial reaction after taking off the $90 backpack’s outer cover was, “That’s a huge backpack.” Sound familiar? Read on for my thoughts about the bag:
Large storage capacity: When I say that this thing is huge, I freaking mean it. Heck, it might actually be too big for some people. Just how huge, you ask? Let’s put it this way, during a trip to see my cousins for some multiplayer PC gaming, I was able to fit in my G74SX laptop, a second laptop, both of said laptops’ power adapters — including the G74SX’s jumbo power brick — two mice, two wired Xbox controllers, a third-generation new iPad , two smartphones, an Astro A30 and Turtle Beach XP400 — and I still had room to spare. You can actually fill up this thing to the point that you might seriously hurt your back from the sheer weight. Did I mention that this thing is huge?
Plenty of pockets: If you like pockets, you’re going to like the Slappa Stovepipe Chaos. In addition to several outer pockets that can fit stuff like large power adapters and game controllers, the backpack also has smaller inner pockets for storing gadgets like smartphones. The pockets are also incorporated into the design as opposed to bulging out and getting caught on stuff.
Comfortable fit: The padded straps feel nice, especially when carrying a heavy load. The padded back also rests nicely against the arch of your back and adds comfort. In addition to being able to adjust the straps, the bag also comes with a clip-on belt and upper front clip for a more secure fit. This actually helps alleviate the back strain you can potentially get when you have a heavy backpack that’s sloshing around.
Nice design: The Slappa Chaos sports a nice pattern that’s edgy in a good way and won’t get you laughed at in public by all the cool kids.
Needs bigger inner pouch: I know it sounds weird to ask for a bigger laptop compartment in an already big bag but while the Slappa Chaos can fit regular laptops up to 18 inches, it still doesn’t fully fit chunky gaming laptops like my G74SX. I could still close the vecro flap on the inner compartment but there’s still a bit of laptop overhang.
Needs more padding: Although the inner laptop compartment has adequate padding for the front, sides and back, the seams for the compartment’s rear corners do not. Normally it’s not an issue but if you have a fat laptop like the G74SX that pushes hard against the seams, then the lack of padding becomes more apparent. The outer shell adds some protection, though.
The Slappa Stovepipe Chaos is a good bag for folks with big laptops who also need to lug around a bunch of peripherals and gadgets or even school books. The extra capacity is especially great for road trips. It might be too big for daily use if you have regular 17-inch laptop and don’t need to bring much stuff with you. For folks with something like a G74SX, though, it’s one of the few options that can fit your portable computing beast.