Review: Axio Hybrid

by on April 5, 2005

The first thing most people would comment on when they see the Axio Hybrid is its size. Second to that would have to be its price. At $130, this 2671-cubic-inch backpack is not for everyone, but does a good job for those it is for.

One of the largest laptop bags on the market, the Hybrid is perfect for anyone who needs to carry a lot of stuff along with their laptop. The Hybrid fits any laptop, including the 17″ PowerBook, with lots of room to spare. There are plenty of pockets all over for every adapter, gadget, and cable you can imagine. There is also a pocket on the top for a CD player or iPod.

Hybrid
Hybrid

Hybrid
Hybrid (Back View)

Hybrid
Hybrid Laptop Compartment

Hybrid
Hybrid Laptop Sleeve

Hybrid
Hybrid Cell Phone Holder

Worth noting is that the Hybrid is very well-made. The attention to manufacturing details and the excellent design help justify the price tag, especially for people who like to carry a lot of expensive equipment. We especially liked the inclusion of a fairly decent laptop sleeve and a cell phone holder.

The Hybrid pack is a very stiff backpack, but not what you’d consider a “hard-shell”. This thing can be tossed around and still keeps its shape. There are a few compartments accessible from the outside, including a small pocket for an iPod or CD player (with a headphone pass-through slot), two larger ones, and two small ones on each side. The two larger ones are where most of the items would be stored, as they open completely, allowing you to put even the most oddly-shaped things in.

In one of the compartments is the aforementioned removable laptop sleeve, which will fit even the biggest laptops. The sleeve is moderately padded, and features a soft interior, so you can rest assured that your ‘Book won’t get scratched. iBook and 12″ PowerBook users might want to look for a third-party sleeve that fits a bit more snug. Apart from that, the sleeve attaches to the Hybrid, as not to be tossed around inside the backpack.

The cell phone holder attaches to either of the straps and will hold most cell phones, or any other small device. It’s not really fancy, but also features a belt clip for when you decide that you don’t need the entire Hybrid – a nice touch.

The backpack itself is comfortable to wear, even plenty of stuff inside of it (this includes an iBook, a textbook, and a Mac Mini, and at least a mile of various cables). Without any stuff in it, the Hybrid weighs about 6 pounds.

After weeks of testing with the various extremes of Muncie, Indiana’s spring weather, the results have been fairly good. I’ve used it both on a bike and walking. The Hybrid is not waterproof and does not claim to be, but the outside is fairly water resistant. The zippers have an outside layer of material covering the teeth to prevent water from leaking and are quite stiff, but get better with use. What helps preventing water from leaking in is putting the zippers together at one end or the other when closed. The headphone pass-through could also be a potential leaking point, but we did not notice anything significant.

Overall, the Hybrid is a nice backpack for anyone who wants to carry a lot of stuff and wants it protected. Although the price is significantly higher than many other laptop bags, the Hybrid is designed for those who need more.


The One-Sentence Verdict™

Axio’s Hybrid is a great choice if you want to carry a laptop and all of its accessories, but note some of its drawbacks.

Pros: Lots of pockets, well-made, inclusion of cell phone holder and laptop sleeve

Cons: Laptop sleeve might be too big for some, possible leak points

The Facts

4/5Product: Hybrid
Company: Axio
Price: $129.95

This post has been filed in 'Book Accessories and Reviews