longskate88, do you think you could post some pictures of your filson 256, preferably with some things in it? i'm contemplating buying one in my final year of undergraduate studies, but i want to make sure that there's enough room for my laptop/binder and maybe a thick textbook. i don't want to have anything bulky. ...or could someone talk me into buying the bigger 257 model? thanks for the input. Here ya go, you could squeeze in a thin laptop in addition to what's in the pic. I'm having a hard time figuring out how to carry mine, it can get heavy with all the stuff in it, and it's a little bulky to carry via the shoulder strap since it's a rigid bag. I walk a few miles a day carrying it around our large campus, and it works. I don't carry a laptop though, and rarely any sizeable book. I use it more like a purse, it has water, food, sunglasses, iPod, phone, flashdrive, pencils, calc, then a spiral notebook and various loose papers. To be honest, I don't know how I would get through the long days without something to carry that stuff in. I'm currently beating the crap out of it (wadded it up into a ball and sitting on it right now, it's slowly loosening it's structure). I'd avoid the 257 unless you like a heavier bag, and will be able to carry it fully loaded. More room= more stuff. Minor thing, I like how the 'flap' on top is short. It doesn;t reach all the way over the front of the bag, so it's easier to access the bag this way. Also, no velcro is a plus. You don't have to snap the flap shut, it carries perfectly well with all the zippers and flaps open.