Slappa M.A.S.K. Jedi Mind Trix Backpack Review
When I had to take a quick trip out to New York for the recent Lumia 920 announcement, I knew I would be bringing two things: the staff SLR, and Slappa’s M.A.S.K. Jedi Mind Trix Gamer backpack. Slappa, you see, makes some awesomely gigantic bags that are ideal for gamers, DJs, and journalists who are traveling cross-country in a single bag. Fortunately for me, the M.A.S.K. Jedi Mind Trix was able to stand up to all the abuse I could throw at it during my 72-hour, 6000-mile trip.
The M.A.S.K. Jedi Mind Trix backpack, like much of Slappa’s lineup, is made from 1680 denier Ballistix Nylon, which is both water-resistant and puncture-proof. Slappa’s bags are also unique in that they feature the company’s “patented MASK technology,” which means each bag has a variety of faces that can be easily removed or added onto the bag, providing different storage abilities, looks, and functionalities. The M.A.S.K. Jedi comes with about seven different faces, as well as options for changing out the rip-stop nylon insert you see when the faces are removed. Currently, Slappa has about thirteen different inserts with different artwork options. I stuck with what the bag had come with: the Jedi Mind Trix face and the Slappa Crest insert.
Style options aside, this backpack is also extremely functional, comfortable, and well designed. The main compartment can hold up to four gallons (ideal for game consoles or sound equipment), and has a large zippered pocket as well as three pouches for accessories and a Velcro loop for headphone storage. The super-cush lining on the laptop sleeve has the same half-inch-thick padding as every wall of the bag, and will fit laptops up to 17 inches. The smaller compartment has two pouches and a zippered pocket; the Jedi Mind Trix face also has a small zippered pocket on the front, a vertical zipper to yet another compartment, and a zippered pouch ideal for small items like pens, flash drives, and SD cards.
There are plenty of well-thought out features to this bag, such as QuickScan access which allows you to unzip the main compartment and lay the bag flat for airport scanning, the thick, reinforced handle, and the two outer carry straps which allow you to slip a keyboard, skateboard, bike lock, or jacket through the straps for easier carrying. The zippers are designed to overlap, so locking them is simple, and there are eight, count ‘em eight, D-rings set along the outside of the bag so you can hang even more stuff off the bag. There are also chest and waist straps for support. Slappa is well-known for designing bags with gamers, DJs, and photographers in mind, and it shows in the M.A.S.K. which is Slappa’s best-selling line. It’s easy to see why too: The backpack is exceptionally well made, feels sturdy, and is extremely functional.
It is also a total beast—measuring 13 inches wide by 18 inches tall by 11 inched deep and weighing 3.35 pounds empty, it was more than capable of carrying everything I could pack into it yet still remained comfortable to carry and wear, thanks in part to the padded mesh Slappa logo in the middle of the back of the bag. I’ll admit, I was initially skeptical about this feature—it looked strange and I don’t like getting poked by “features.” However, once I was wearing the (very-full) bag, the logo provided cushioned support exactly where I need it. While the M.A.S.K. is a little on the premium, price-wise, it’s well worth laying down the cash for the only backpack you’ll ever need again.
Things I carried in this bag: one Dell XPS ultrabook with power cable, Ethernet hook up, and HDMI cable. Two smartphones with charging cables, an iPod, earbuds. Two notebooks, two issues of Rolling Stone magazine. One pair of jeans, one pair of leggings, one tunic, two tshirts, one sweater, undergarments. Toiletries case (full-sized) with glasses, face wash, contacts, make up, deodorant, and hair brush. Snacks bought at airport.