I’ve used the Maxpedition Spatha Laptop Case almost every day for nearly two years. It’s my main EDC bag when commuting to the office and when traveling abroad for business. I like the compact size and storage flexibility. The Spatha carries my electronics, core EDC items and a concealed firearm with ease.
I prefer a shoulder bag for routine daily carry versus a backpack for a couple reasons.
- When using a backpack for EDC, I tend to overload the bag. Trying to pack my office, gym and EDC items into a single backpack was getting ridiculously bulky and heavy.
- It forces me to carefully consider what items I need to carry in my main bag and what items can stay in my GHB/BOB.
- Stuffing sweaty gym clothes into your main EDC bag everyday tends to make your bag smell a little funky. I don’t have the time or the desire to wash my EDC bag every week.
So, with those reasons in mind, I decided to split my EDC into multiple smaller bags. Now, on any given day, I have the Spatha Laptop Case, gym bag and a GHB/BOB in my truck. My gear is much easier to manage as I’m not lugging around 30-50 lbs of gear in a giant backpack.
The only exception to this routine is when I’m able to bike commute to work. In those cases I’m still using a Rush 24 backpack with a simplified list of EDC items.
Arguably the best feature on the Spatha Laptop Case is the large front pockets. Their large capacity gives you the flexibility to carry a wide variety of gear. The sturdy YKK zippers provide snag-free operation and a wide opening for each pocket, so accessing your items is a breeze. Plus, both pockets feature large exterior hook & loop fields, so you can display your morale patches, name tags, etc.
The left pocket features a basic admin area, with elastic storage loops. I use this pocket to store my writing instruments, flashlights and a multi-tool. I also keep business cards, a microfiber cloth and other misc items in the additional pocket dividers.
The internal pocket for each front pocket is large enough to hold a Maxpedition Fatty Pocket Organizer or similarly sized pouch. This gives me a lot of flexibility for EDC carry. I can quickly change out pouches depending on my needs. My current routine keeps a small survival kit and basic first aid items in pocket organizers.
The interior pockets for the Spatha do an excellent job of protecting my electronics. My MacBook Air is securely held in place and there’s plenty of padding on all sides to protect it from a fall. I use the smaller pockets for my reading glasses, checkbook, thumb drives, cables and other misc items.
The only change I made to the interior was disconnecting the interior retaining straps so the case can be opened flat. This allows me to run the case through airport security without removing my laptop from the case. I wish Maxpedition would have designed these straps with a quick disconnect buckle. This would give me the flexibility to easily disconnect the strap for airport scans or keep them connected to prevent the case from opening too wide. This may be a modification I attempt in the future.
Pulling (hard) on the front d-ring opens a hook & loop filled compartment for concealed carry. The large field can be used with a variety of Maxpedition’s concealed carry accessories. This compartment is my biggest negative for the bag.
I like the idea of having a concealed carry compartment, but I don’t like how hook & loop was used for the compartments opening. For starters, opening the compartment is extremely loud! Nothing screams “look at me” quite like the tearing sound of hook & loop. Secondly, it’s actually not easy to open the compartment. So much hook & loop is used to secure the closure, that you actually need to put some effort into opening the compartment. I understand that using hook & loop is faster and requires less dexterity to open than a zipper, but I still don’t like it. Personally, I think a decent industrial quality snap button(s) would be a better solution. Operation would be quiet and you would still be able to access your weapon quickly.
Similar to the concealed compartment up front, this pocket is filled with a hook & loop field. I actually use this pocket for concealed carry, because opening it is much quieter and easier. Obviously this pocket is not as “covert”, but it gets the job done. I can easily carry multiple handguns and magazines if needed.
Another convenience item is the luggage strap. I can quickly slip this bag over the handle to my rolling suitcase, which makes traveling with this bag a breeze. The stitching is well done and has repeatedly survived multiple, fully loaded, trips across the country.
My second biggest complaint about this bag is the shoulder strap. While the strap is comfortable and very robust, I don’t like how its attached to the bag. Due to the use of a d-ring and slip-tension buckles, there’s no quick or easy way to remove the shoulder strap. Plus, the strap itself becomes twisted quickly. In my opinion a quick release swivel buckle would be a better solution. You’d be able to remove the shoulder strap quickly if needed and the swivel feature would reduce twisting of the shoulder strap. This may be another modification I attempt in the future.
Overall the Spatha Laptop Case is a pleasure to use on a daily basis. It’s been subjected to moderate abuse over the years and has held up very well. All of the stitching and seams are holding firm, with zero fraying or stretching. The fabric has faded slightly from sunlight exposure, but you’d be hard pressed to tell. The bottom of the bag does show some minor soil marks and scuffs, but they’re also minor considering how much this bag has been used.
This bag does have a few minor cons, but those are easily overlooked by the other features of the bag. It’s helped me reduce the weight of my daily carry, provides excellent protection for my electronics and it’s been a trusted travel companion for nearly two years. If you’re in the market for a durable laptop case you should consider the Spatha.