Pelican U140 Urban Elite tablet backpack hands on review – a biker jacket for your tech
The Peli U140 Urban Elite rucksack comes with a built-in tablet case which is both crush-proof and waterproof and will cosset any Apple tablet including the new iPad as well as a range of other tablets and notebooks such as the Samsung N145 Plus seen in the snaps.
Offering 18 litres of storage space, the main selling point of the Urban Elite is that it will protect your tablet/notebook in the specially designed plastic case which also carries the traditional ‘Pelican lifetime guarantee of excellence’.
I have lived with the Pelican U140 for a few weeks now and here’s what I think about it.
Besides the obvious benefits and comfort of a backpack as opposed to courier/shoulder bags or briefcase style cases, the hard-shelled ABS plastic tablet case offers an easy-open latch which features a pressure EQ valve to prevent vacuum lock and IP67 waterproof certification – that means your tablet or notebook will be safe should your bag end up submersed in up to 3 foot of water for 30 minutes. The backpack is crafted out of highly durable ballistic nylon for extra protection and should wear well.
“Peli Products is a trusted brand in the most demanding markets – first responders, military, aerospace and industrial –because our products excel in the harshest conditions known to man,” said Lyndon Faulkner, President and CEO of Peli. “We’ve used the same Peli DNA found in our commercial products to create a wide range of extremely tough products for consumers to use as protection for tablets, laptops, smart phones and cameras – for us it’s all about digital survival not only in every day situations but also in the harshest of environments.”
As well as the special ops style tablet case, the backpack features a well-protected front pocket for accessories and two ‘secret’ rear sections – an upper zippered tablet-sized compartment and a padded lumbar storage cavity for additional precious things such as a camera, etc. The backpack is also equipped with a concealed water bottle holder.
The back of the bag has been designed with an ergonomic and highly comfortable S-curve and the shoulder straps are padded for extra comfort.
Other key features include a front panel pocket with multi-layered organisation compartments and a hard outer protection panel. The main front compartment spans the height and width of the pack.
The U140 Urban Elite is part of Peli’s Pro range and it certainly feels well put together and that it will withstand the harshest of day-to-day use.
I am unlikely to need the built-in purge valve but if you go in for extreme sportiness then it may come in useful. I do, however, like the easy-open latch and top mounted tablet case which will save me from rooting around the bag for my tablet or notebook.
The sizing of the backpack means that it will also conform with airline carry-on luggage rules.
It is heavier than my Dakine porter laptop courier bag but then the Peli offers a lot more protection than the Dakine and, as it’s a backpack, the weight is more evenly distributed.
I can definitely see bikers and boarders using the Peli Urban Elite and should they drop their bike or crash off their board, at least their tech will be as protected as they are.
The MSRP for the Peli U140 Urban Elite Tablet backpack is €214.95 (£177.85).