Originally Posted by ac_slater
There are two bags I would highly recommend to anyone in this thread. I think they are both really good choices and I've owned them both.George Guest Hillside:
I actually owned this bag before I got my Filson and it saw 3 years of heavy use before it was stolen with some other stuff in a car break in. (Still trying to track it down actually) Anyway, the Hillside is a bit different than the Filson in that it tries to cross a nice looking city bag with a technical outdoors style bag. The look of the bag is very Boston/New York with a bit of an outdoorsy flair. Despite the fashion appearance, there's a lot of very clever technical features here, especially for the price.Pros:
-The bag is pretty darn comfortable. The shape sort of molds to your body and considering the small amount of pading in the straps, I was impressed with the overall comfort on long hikes.
-Includes some very usable technical features: The main compartment is thief proof and water proof. There's an ipad sleeve. The quick access pocket is amazing. Most of this bag was very well thought out in its design in terms of being useful.
-A bit more room than the Filson. Better suited for a weekend bag probably.
-This bag can really take a beating and ages well even if you get it dirty or wet. The leather, while not terribly thick is of high quality.
-It's honestly just a lot of bag for the money. Comparable products are at least $300 and usually more.Cons:
-While certainly not ugly, it isn't a bag that's going to appeal to everyone aesthetically. The shape is a bit awkward at times depending on your taste in backpacks. That said, I still got compliments on this bag semi-regularly. So it must not be ugly. Compared to most of the junk I see these days I think it looks pretty tasteful.
-I'm not sure this would be a good school bag, as getting binders and large books down into the wide-mouth opening is a bit of a chore sometimes. It's not impossible to get these things in the bag, it's just not as easy as with a full zip bag.
-The top handle on mine did break at one point. But to be fair, I had the bag packed full and I probably shouldn't have been lifting it by just the handle. George Keeler was of course happy to fix it and he made it look new.
In closing, I think the George Guest would make a great backpack for someone who's just out of college and isn't quite ready to join the suit and tie workforce. It's a great weekend bag that can also make itself useful as a daypack as long as you don't work at Citibank. I used mine camping a lot as well with no issues. The Filson is less of a casual/outdoors bag and you could probably get away with it in an office setting if you hate briefcases. Would make a decent college bag as well, depending how much you needed from it features wise. I like both bags for different reasons. Right now I have the Filson and I'm pretty happy with it.