I travel quite a bit and have the need to carry a bit of equipment with me. This includes a laptop with the latest version of SQL Server 2008 (spatially-enabled, of course) and a geospatial data capture device - a Nikon D300 equipped with a special GPS receiver (di-GPS, described later). As many of you may know, traveling with a digital SQL and a laptop can be a difficult proposition. I have been searching for a backpack which can hold a laptop, a digital SLR, a lot of ancillary "stuff" (power supplies, cables, books, etc.) and can fit under the seat of MD-80's, 737's, etc.

I recently purchased a Lowepro CompuTrekker AW and it fits my criteria almost perfectly:

IMG_0058

The backpack has 3 compartments.  One that holds the laptop (and a magazine or two), one that holds documents, pens, etc. and the main section which is designed to hold photo equipment.  The next photo show the backpack's main compartment loaded with my equipment:

IMG_0059 

To show how much stuff the backpack can hold, here it is unloaded:

OpenBag_ContentsExternal

Here is the backpack under the seat of a 737:

UnderSeat_1

It can even be stuffed into the incredibly tiny space under some 737 and MD-80 seats. Here is the backpack stuffed into the small space under a 737's isle seat:

 UnderSeat_2

For those of you with questions on the di-GPS unit, check out http://www.di-gps.com/di-GPS/n2.htm.  The unit only works on selected Nikon digital SLR's.  It draws power from the camera's internal battery and writes NMEA-based GPS data to the EXIF metadata of the Nikon's JPG, NEF (raw) or TIFF image files. A nice feature of the di-GPS unit is that it can be mounted on the camera strap:

 

This allows the GPS receiver to be exposed outside of the Lowepro backpack, while the camera is safely ensconced inside. This can be done placing the GPS receiver between the two zippers securing the main compartment holding the Nikon camera. The picture below shows the GPS receiver on the outside of the pack, if you look carefully (I've placed a red circle around the unit):

External_GPS