Solo sent over its Altitude backpack just in time for this year’s E3, so I left my Oakley Kitchen Sink bag at home and packed up Solo’s lightweight pack made up of parachute material and military grade velcro with all the gear needed to cover the show as a media member. Thanks to the Altitudes 17.3″ laptop pouch and iPad container I was able to protect my tech while also filling the bags other two large compartments with items I needed for the show, as well as those for traveling. These included a notebook, a DSLR camera, a battery charger, and of course various USB cables for all of my tech. I also crammed in food in the form of beef sticks and fruit ropes, as well as a pair of headphones, the Nintendo Switch, and two Egg Attack Star Wars figures to shoot with my DSLR camera. Oh yeah, I also had a container of fiber powder in the Altitude, so as you can imagine this small-sized backpack can handle enough content for a week long trip without the need of another carry on just for your gear. It allowed me to go to E3 with just a backpack, and a carry-on backpack, which was also from Solo.
What I liked most about the Altitude — outside of its ability to contain all of the tech and gear I needed to cover E3 — was its relatively small size and lightweight feel. I’m a shorter man, so I appreciated the fact that the backpack didn’t look like a turtle shell on my back, and actually didn’t add a ton of bulk to my profile. This helps to navigate the crowded halls of the L.A. Convention Center without knocking people over, or getting stuck in tight spots because of your backpack. Of course the parachute material that is used to create the backpack also makes it super light on your back, so again, after eight or more hours wearing it I didn’t nearly experience the shoulder and neck fatigue that my old over-the-shoulder messenger bag used to cause after a day at E3.
I also loved all of the pockets and how easily accessible they are. There is a great large compartment pocket that is sealed with a clasp instead of a zipper, so it was great for items that I needed to get to right away on the show floor like my notebook or camera. I didn’t have to mess with unzipping one of the large compartments to get to these items, I just had to lift open the unclasped lid to get to my gear very easily.
The velcro on the front of the backpack at first seemed silly to me, but after finding an old Mass Effect velcro patch and placing it on the Altitude, I realized that having the ability to display different brands on the bag was cooler than I thought. You can definitely give the pack a bit more of your personality with this strip, so while at first I thought it to be gimmicky, I did ultimately find it to be a cool touch.
The Altitude from Solo is definitely a fantastic backpack for all aspects of your life, but I can confirm that it’s an excellent pack to use for a show like E3. It allows you to cram enough crap in to use as a carry-on for long and short trips, but it also is small and light enough to make for a great backpack to wear on the show floor. It must be popular because it’s currently sold out on Solo’s site, but you can still order one through Amazon if you liked what you read. Solo has once again created a functional and stylish backpack for the modern geek, so like the Max, I also recommend the Altitude to anyone looking for a new backpack for their daily needs.
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Review Statement: The author of this review was provided a PS4 code by the publisher for the purposes of this review.