The padding is only about 1cm thick on all sides - little protection should the bag receive any sort of serious impact. The padding on the base of the compartment, where damage is most likely to be inflicted, is similarly limited with spots where serious damage could be inflicted to your laptop if the bag was dropped from any substantial height. Protection we have seen on other similarly priced backpacks, such as the Cocoon system seen on the Pakuma Akura and the more enveloping protection on Dicotaâ€™s own BacPac Xtreme is simply better.
The rest of the main compartment is made up of a large pocket attached to the foam divider and two mesh pockets, again designed for CDs. While at a conference in Las Vegas, where we tested the backpack, we had to carry quite a bit of "stuff" around the convention centre, and we found the Take.Off Sport has more than enough room to accommodate all we needed without ever feeling as if we were stuffing things in. The problem, as with almost all backpacks of this type, was that things tended to get lost in the nether regions of the main compartment, but this is not something Dicota can be faulted for too much.
Simply carrying and wearing the Take.Off Sport is a high point. Well-padded shoulder straps make for a very comfortable experience while wearing the backpack. Even when we loaded it up, the extra weight was never that obvious. The padding on the back of the bag comes in the form of two foamy side panels and a semi-circular section at the bottom for lower-back support, which adds to the feeling of comfort.
The carrying loop between the backpack's two straps is also well padded and we never felt as if we were straining the bag when carrying it like this. A height-adjustable chest strap is attached to the shoulder pad, providing extra support should it be needed, but we found this unnecessary for the most part. There is no waist strap or padded side section - something the Akara K1 had, but not an essential addition. Adjusting the shoulder straps is very easy, with solid and responsive straps, and there are elasticated bands that can be used to prevent the straps from flapping around annoyingly.
This bag is a solid performer, allowing for comfortable wearing over extended periods of time and lots of compartments to store whatever you need to lug around with you. However it is a rather large, the protection the bag offers to laptops is poor . When using the bag to lug around a laptop it is advisable to be very careful not to drop it onto, or bang it off, any hard surface. For Â£42.99 it still represents solid value though.