Mobile Trek WC

The base and wheels contribute further to an excellent rolling experience. I was initially sceptical about Brenthaven's patented 'SoftDrive system', but amazingly, it actually works. You know that infernal racket many wheeled bags make when driving across hard surfaces like paving? Well, it's reduced to the point of being bearable with the Mobile Trek. The solidly-constructed wheels have an outer coating of a rubber-like substance that's both soft enough to dampen noise and small bumps (also making drops off pavement onto road or from small steps less jarring), yet seems durable enough to not get overly damaged by wear and tear from rough surfaces. It helps that they're also far enough apart to maintain stability at all times.

When not in use, the pulley system folds neatly away below a zippered, waterproof 'lid'. For added carrying comfort, meanwhile, there's a padded section between you and it when it's collapsed, meaning it doesn't dig into your hip or side. The bag's base is reinforced with hard plastic, though I did find that getting marked and scratched after some wheeling it about.

The Mobile Trek WC has a few features the Pro 15/17 Backpack lacked, such as an external side half-mesh pocket for your water bottle (hidden and protected by a solid zipped overlay when not in use), an easily accessible notebook compartment that zips open all the way to the bottom and collapses partially out for easy access, and the ability to stand upright by itself.

The insides of the sections are lined with a smooth grey material. At the back there is a thin pocket for newspapers and magazines. The main compartment has five deep elasticised pockets for things like cables, power adapters and batteries. The secondary compartment has a wealth of small pockets and compartments for things like pens, mobiles, cards, wallets, USB-sticks, etc., including one zipped and one Velcro pocket. Finally there is a relatively small compartment at the front that offers room for a few odds and ends, including yet more pen-holders.

Being one of Brenthaven's new bags, the Trek falls under its Zero Impact guarantee, as described in the introduction. Like the Pro 15/17 Backpack, it's well-made, looks good if you like simple and black, and very comfortable in use. It also comes in at exactly the same price of £130 direct from Brenthaven's website.

Verdict

A very comfortable and solidly constructed wheeled notebook bag whose look matches its designation for "urban professionals", Brenthaven's Mobile Trek WC wheeled laptop case is easy to recommend. The only niggles are a lack of shoulder straps and the high price, but then in this case you get what you pay for. The green-minded will also like this bag for its 'zero environmental impact' policy.

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