After much debating, I purchased a 5.11 Rush 12 bag in June, 2014. It's been 10 months and I've used it through all the seasons, as my Every Day Carry bag.
On an average day, I carry-
- My 11" Macbook Air, in a sleeve
- MBA charger and odd cables
- An A5 folio case with my notebooks and work papers
- A Maxpedition case with all the little odds and ends (pens, pencils, USB keys)
- Leatherman Wave
- Box of business cards
I store my laptop in the hydration pouch, which is located closest to my back, underneath the straps. It makes it easier to pull it in and out- while I take my charger out when I get to my office and plug it in, I tend to pull my laptop out at home and at external meetings, and it's easier to have it readily accessible in it's own section.
The bag looks deliciously black and tactical, and the quality is fantastic- sturdily built with tough zips and buckles. With the heavier nylon, it has some serious heft, which is a drawback, but I'll touch on that in a minute.
There is plenty of space in the bag, but in use, it definitely is more suited to carrying a full load of gear, not just a laptop and accoutrements. I took it to the Inis Oirr for a few days and it held enough clothes for four days (albeit t-shirts and shorts).
The main section of the bag opens up fully, allowing easy access to all of the gear within, while the admin pouch on the front makes it easy to get at all the little bits and pieces. I haven't used any MOLLE attachments yet, but with the summer looming, I might get some for additional gear or water bottles, handy to have the expandability.
The bag is heavy, even when empty. This is more a testament to the materials more than anything else, but I found, in use day-to-day, that the bag weighs more than the contents it held. I guess this is the price of water resistant nylon.
I am happy with the bag, if you need a good backpack, then I would recommend it wholeheartedly. The thing is, I'm not sure whether I need it for my day-to-day anymore. I've just finished moving house, further away from my office, so cycling isn't really an option- I'll be driving to and from work. This immediately negates the need for both a very-waterproof bag and a back pack. I could easily get away with a messenger-style bag.
Maybe I need to start looking around again...