When I was looking for my new backpack I had three major qualities in mind;
1) It needed to be big enough to hold all my schoolwork and extras
2) It needed to be well made and sturdy
3) It needed to look good
On all three points this bag is fantastic! I did quite a bit of research before buying, and some of the comments I'd heard about it being too small made me nervous. I'd also noticed many of the reviewers were speaking on behalf of their young children, so even if they said it was a big bag there's a significant difference between what's big for a kindergartener and what's big for me! Thankfully, as a senior in college planning for grad school and archaeological field work in the future, I am very very pleased with the size of this bag. I carry my MacBook laptop with me, two paperback books, an over-sized marker case, a sketch book, a notebook, a folder, my knitting, my laptop charger, my ipod, my keys and my phone with me every day, and most days I will end up adding a jacket, a text book, or some library books etc. etc. I have yet to have any problems making anything fit! The pockets make it easy to sort (and I'm terrible at sorting!) And I can keep the need-to-access things like keys and my wallet in the outermost pocket for very easy access. I love the cell phone holder on the strap. I've had a backpack with one before but I found it to be too small and inconvenient, but on this bag the little pocket for my phone is perfect. It would NOT work for a smart phone or an iPhone though, I don't think.
In regards to the sturdiness of the bag, It seems to be very well made. True, I have only been wearing it for two weeks at this point but my other two bags, a Ful and a no-name brand I got in Ireland, felt cheap. They fell apart quickly and I was literally using backpacks full of holes by the time I got rid of them. This backpack feels double stitched and made of a sturdy material though. It would take a lot to snag it and there's no cotton cloth, which I have had my fingers rip right through when I pull my bag around or maneuver it. I'm not gentle with my backpacks at all, but I don't think that'll be a problem with this one!
In terms of looks, I got the charcoal and chartreuse bag, and it's got fun bright colors without being childish. It stands out in the campus center so I haven't had any problem with mixing my bag up with someone else's. And I like wearing it, it's fun to have a bag that goes with the colors you like!
The only critique I have is that, when I've word short sleeves with it, the way the straps curve out at the bottom means they are running into and scraping against the insides of my arms. It's pretty uncomfortable, but it does seem to be fading now that I've had the bag a little while. Straps take some time to break in, usually, so I'm giving the bag the benefit of the doubt for the moment on that feature.
All in all, after half a month of daily operation including night classes, marathon viewings, overnight packing and of course the daily grind, this thing has performed well beyond expectations at a price that is almost unheard of. I really recommend it to college students who need a reasonable amount of space and a bag that's not going to fall apart by the end of the year!