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Engadget's back to school guide 2013: bags and cases

Billy Steele

Welcome to Engadget's back to school guide! Today, we've got a killer selection of bag and case recommendations. Head to the back to school hub to see the rest of the product guides as we add them throughout the month. Be sure to keep checking back; in early September, we'll be giving away a ton of gear, including one of the picks in this very guide.

What's a stellar arsenal of tech if you've got nary a thing to store it in? Lucky for you, we're serving up a collection of bags and cases to protect and sort your gadget stash -- and to keep that stylish look on the up and up as well. From a case that adds some extra juice to your iPhone 5's battery to a solid rucksack that adapts to a trip as easily as you must, this collection has something for everyone -- head below to dive in.


Mission Workshop VX / R8 Arkiv Field Pack

DNP Engadget's back to school guide 2013 Bags & Cases

Looking for a backpack that can adapt to any task? Well, Mission Workshop's modular offering will do just that, thanks to a variety of weatherproof add-ons that can store gadgets from smartphones to tools and everything in between. Of course, those extra compartments can be moved or removed whenever it suits your fancy.

Key specs: 20- or 40-liter capacity, pocket for 15-inch laptop, PTFE waterproof membrane, VX70 ripstop liner.

Price: from $320+ at Mission Workshop

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DNP Engadget's back to school guide 2013 Bags & Cases

Topo Designs Trip Pack

When a smaller rucksack is needed, Topo Designs' Trip Pack can stash your slate of choice in addition to a few crucial cables and other odds and ends. This selection is made in the US, too.

Price: $89 from Topo Designs

DNP Engadget's back to school guide 2013 Bags & Cases

Thule Perspektiv Daypack

If you're the sort who lugs around a DSLR on the regular, Thule's Perspektiv Daypack can wrangle it and all of the related extras. The pack also allows for quick and easy side access to that hardware, should a sudden photo op arise.

Price: $160 on Amazon

Messenger Bags and Duffles

Timbuk2 Freestyle Plus

DNP Engadget's back to school guide 2013 bags and cases

The folks at Timbuk2 know a thing or two about messenger bags, and the Freestyle Plus is a prime example of the company's expertise. A padded sleeve for protecting a tablet and 11-inch MacBook Air, plus a waterproof liner, should keep things nice and tidy while you're on the move.

Key specs: Ballistic nylon exterior, waterproof TPU liner, padded laptop sleeve, internal organizer, adjustable cam buckle.

Price: $66.75 from Timbuk2

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DNP Engadget's back to school guide 2013 Bags & Cases

Defy Redacted Grey

Premium rugged materials that include truck tarp lining, seatbelts and Austri Alpin Cobra buckles make the Defy Redacted bag both a bold statement bag and a reliable storage space for a 15-inch laptop.

Price: $267+ from Defy

DNP Engadget's back to school guide 2013 Bags & Cases

Skooba Design Laptop Weekender v.3

Worried about carrying a couple days' worth of clothing and all of the tech you'll need for a weekend away? Fret not; with more than 12 pockets and compartments, Skooba Design's duffle will organize it all -- likely with room to spare.

Price: $115 on Amazon


Mophie Juice Pack Helium (iPhone 5)

DNP Engadget's back to school guide 2013 Bags & Cases

Day trips to the nearest national or state park can last well beyond the iPhone 5's battery life. That's where the Juice Pack Helium comes in: its 1,500mAh built-in battery will keep your social media exploits going strong for up to six additional hours -- without adding a ton of extra bulk to that Apple-flavored smartphone.

Key specs: 1,500mAh battery, 13 percent thinner than previous models, LED indicator, 1.6 ounces.

Price: $71 on Amazon

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DNP Engadget's back to school guide 2013 Bags & Cases

Otterbox Commuter Series (HTC One)

Smartphone protectors from Otterbox have been known to make an appearance in our IRL feature from time to time, and now that there's a Google Play edition HTC One, the Commuter series comes to mind again. Adequate protection without a huge amount of extra heft? Yes, please.

Price: $30 on Amazon

DNP Engadget's back to school guide 2013 Bags & Cases

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Flip Cover

Samsung's Flip Cover for its smartphone behemoth provides an added bit of protection without mucking up the hardware's natural gloss too much. It's available in a rainbow of colors, too.

Price: $15 on Amazon

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