ecbc Trident Messenger Video Review (Features Score: 19.0; Access. Score: 8/10)

Posted by Deron Chang on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 with No comments
ecbc Trident Messenger Video Review




Overall:  

With pros = 27.5 points, cons = -8.5;  The ecbc Trident earns a Features Score of 19.0  and an Accessibility Score of 8  (see details below).


Pros:


Well built, with a durable  Cordura-like outer material and ripstop nylon liner and pockets. +3

Superb hardware that exude quality (waterproof zippers, nicely designed zipper pulls) +1

The bottom of the bag has a reinforced heavier nylon to combat abrasion. +1

A handsome, professional (as opposed to sporty) look. +1

External access to laptop compartment. +3

Front flap large zip pocket contains a small fleece-lined slot for iPhone 5S. +2

A side mounted, velcro secured pocket that could contain your iPhone 5S - though it is a bit tight and fussy.  +1


The bottom of the bag is flat and perpendicular to the sides so that it stands with only a slight forward tilt. +1

Shoulder strap attached low on the sides of the bag to allow the cover flap to remain in place (preventing water ingress) +2



A wide shoulder cushion with sticky underside to keep it on your shoulder +1

Well placed organizer panel with more options than most. Right behind the flap means easy access. +1

More pocket options than any bag I have reviewed - in terms of number, design, and size.  +1

Two open pockets (both inside main compartment) for carrying file folders/papers. +2

Back designed to slip over handle of rolling luggage. +1

Interior is lined in a light grey ripstop nylon or light grey fleece material making it easy to locate your items in the deep, darker corners of the bag. +1

A waterproof zipper on the flap gives you access to the main compartment of the bag without having to unclip the flap.  Handy!  +3

Excellent three-dimensional handle that would allow you to carry the bag without too much hand fatigue.  +1

The handle is centrally located, back to front, allow the bag to hang straight down when holding.  +0.5

TSA friendly fold out flat laptop section. +1



Cons:

The fleece-lined pocket inside of the larger flap zippered pocket is a little hard to get to and is too shallow.  It should have been slightly closer towards the center of the pocket so that the edge of the flap does not impeded access. -1

It does not easily fit my 15" MacBook Pro.  I can get it to fit, but it takes too much effort and I am afraid that the process could damage the edge of my laptop.  A half in wider and taller would have eliminated this problem and there is clearly room on the back of the bag for this.  -3

No dedicated iPad pocket.  There are lots of pockets that could easily fit a tablet, but none are fleece-lined or padded. -2

No external water bottle pocket.  There is a mesh pocket on the side, but it is so small that it would only be able to fit a set of keys. -1

No lash points to attach accessories (such as my retractable ID lanyard).  -0.5

Velcro closures for the main flap are large and loud.  They do not allow you to quietly access your stylus or mute your phone during a quiet meeting.  This is somewhat ameliorated by the zippered access to your main compartment, however.  -1


Nice but not necessary:

Shoulder strap adjustment cam is a cinch to use.  Nicely done.  Of course, I only adjust this once and then I am done forever. 

Thick padding on the back with mesh covering to encourage air flow.  Nice touch and it does serve the dual purpose of protecting the laptop, but it is thicker (and therefore heavier) than it needs to be.

Accessibility:

A bag's accessibility is rated on a 1 - 10 scale (10 = most).  Three major compartments are judged.  The accessibility score for this bag:

Organizer pocket(s) = 9. While there is a flap, the organizer is right there under the flap. No separate pocket to unzip.  The only issue is having to hold the flap up while you get your item out of the organizer.  It's better than most, but the flap still makes it less than perfect.
Main compartment = 10. While there is a flap, these folks were brilliant and built in a zipper on the top of the flap that gives you direct access to the main compartment.  Love it.  All flapped bags need to steal this idea.
Laptop compartment = 5. I hate to do this because it really is a marketing problem more than a design problem.  Though the company claims that it does, this compartment does not fit a new (thin) 15 MacBook Pro without a serious struggle.  It can fit, but only after really pushing and pulling.  That means low accessibility.

Overall accessibility: 8 out of 10.

Photos:


Front flap of Trident

Rear of bag

Zippered pocket on front flap

Organization panel under front flap

Zippered pocket behind organizer pocket

File folder pocket and two mesh pockets along front wall of main compartment

File folder pocket along back wall of main compartment

Looking into the main compartment

View into main compartment from access zipper on bag flap

Top of the sleeve allowing bag to slide over handle of rolling luggage

Laptop pocket in external compartment shown in TSA friendly mode

Small side pocket with flap held down with Velcro

Small side mesh pocket