Wenger 2

Wenger Swissgear SYNERGY 16″ Laptop Backpack Review

Over the last 10 years I’ve worked with and met a lot of IT professionals. They tend to fall into two camps – those who carry around the smallest possible bag with the smallest possible (usually Apple) laptop and those who carry every form of cable they might need and usually at least two separate machines. The completionists very often seem to have a Swissgear bag and almost invariably they swear by it both for it’s ruggedness and the organisation it can offer.

I was getting to the point where although nowhere near as bad as some I was carrying around enough gear to need organisation and protection and Swissgear seemed the best place to start. The Synergy is their midline bag and has storage spaces for up to a 16″ laptop, tablet and a whole lot more besides.

Wenger 1 Product Information

Retailer: Amazon +

Price: ± £50
Delivery costs: Free Delivery
Ships to: U.K., Europe. U.S., Canada

About Swissgear / Wenger

Wenger was formed in 1893 and is probably best known for making Swiss Army Knives. The company hit financial problems in the early 2000s is now best known for it’s brand names of Swissgear and Victoriox. They make a variety of luggage, bags, cutlery and watches and in particular very reputable IT laptop bags.


The Synergy is designed for two things – protection and organisation. There are eight separate zipped pockets accessible from the outside plus two elastic pockets and each of these split down into several inside pockets. In order from the back there is a laptop pocket that has all round padding and holds the laptop suspended an inch or so above the base of the bag and has a net pocket for power bricks.

Next is a vertical pocket for small tablets, phones or e-readers with a extra internal pocket inside it. Thirdly is the largest pocket with a solid base that can be folded away, a padded subdivision, and a zipped net pocket. Fourth is a padded large (10 inch) tablet pocket. Fifth is an organisation pocket with a number of smaller compartments designed for cables, pens, keys, a phone and so on. Finally working outwards is a padded smaller pocket which I’ve found ideal for batteries. On both sides of the bag are two more vertical zipped pockets that work well for cables or power bricks and two elastic pockets designed for bottles or coffee cups.

The bag has three handles. On the top is a fabric wrapped wire handle that’s riveted down the side of the bag for strength. There are the two traditional shoulder straps that are quite adjustable and surprisingly padded and comfortable. On top of the shoulder straps is a fabric handle designed to let the bag slip securely over a trolley.

The bag is padded on all sides including the top and bottom and individual pockets are often padded as well. There is a rubber waterproof base that weights the whole bag and means it stands upright even if it’s not packed evenly.

  • Target age range: Adults, Older adults
  • Target Market: IT professionals and those taking short business trips
  • Indoor and outdoor use, will withstand inclement weather to some degree but isn’t something I’d be comfortable with using in a prolonged rainstorm.

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Environment & People

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The Synergy is available on Amazon for around £50 and I’ve seen it drop a little further in price in the occasional sale. I’ve been using it for a couple of months and thus far it’s stood up extremely well – and the 3 year warranty implies a long lifetime.


Product dimensions: 35.6 x 30.5 x 48.3 cm
Capacity: 27 litres, 15.6″ Laptop
Item Weight: 1kg – empty
Colour: Black, grey and red
Materials: Nylon and metal
Made in China

Warranty: 3 Years

Wenger 3 Verdict

If you’re an IT professional who needs to carry a lot of gear and travels overnight the Synergy would make a great choice of bag. It’s over engineered to a degree that’s reassuring when you are proposing to keep your important tech inside it and has decent sized pockets that can handle overnight gear well. It’s not ideal as a carry on bag due to being slightly larger than the standard size allowed on airlines but is comfortable to carry. A recommended and sensible option for IT professionals – just as their reputation suggests.

The review is based on the Wenger 600635 SYNERGY kindly provided by Swissgear. Read more about Ergohacks’ eco and access icons used in reviews. This article was first published on 10th August 2016.

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