The Setout Laptop Backpack User Manual

This page will give you a tour of every pocket, compartment, and feature so you can make the most of your new backpack.

Let’s kick it off with an overview video of the Setout Laptop Backpack to get you acquainted.

 On to the exterior of the bag.


On the front of the Setout Laptop Backpack, you'll find a small zippered pocket. It's the perfect size for a postcard, small headphones, important papers, or other small items you might need to access quickly.

On one side, you’ll find a water bottle pocket. Unzip it to reveal an elastic panel that helps you fit larger or oddly sized water bottles inside. Zip it up when not in use for a sleek, out-of-the-way profile.

On the other side, there is a padded grab handle. Use this to grab your backpack out of a car’s trunk or the overhead compartment on an airplane.

There’s a grab handle on top of the bag, too, which is useful for pulling your bag out from under the seat of an airplane.

On top of the bag, note the webbing loop next to the zipper. Use this to hang your bag on a hook for easy storage.

Shoulder Straps

The Setout Laptop Backpack's shoulder straps are made from a comfortable, injection-molded foam that breaks in and conforms to your body over time.

It's similar to the kind of foam you see in the soles of running shoes. It might feel a little stiff at first, but that's normal. It will quickly break in and soften.

Adjust the chest strap up and down to fit your body, then tighten it to feel taut for the most comfortable carry. Chest straps help keep your backpack close to your body so the load doesn't shift as much. Similar to compression straps, a secure and nonmoving load feels lighter on your back. If you prefer not to use the chest strap, it's removable.

One of the most-requested features from our customers was the ability to stow shoulder straps when not in use. Here's how to hide away the Laptop Backpack's shoulder straps for more security.

To stow your straps, unclip the Duraflex buckles at the bottom of the bag and tuck the straps into the velcro compartment on the back panel: 

When you're ready to reattach the straps, hook the buckles to the webbing loops at the base of the bag (not the plastic D-rings).

Hideaway straps are especially useful if you're forced to check a bag at your gate. Whenever your bag leaves your hands, it's nice to stow away pieces that might get caught on something and cause damage.

Back Panel

Along with the velcro section to stow your straps, an important feature is the pass-through sleeve on the back of the Laptop Backpack.

Use this sleeve to slide your backpack on the handle of a rolling suitcase.


The zippers to the main compartment, front organization compartment, and electronics compartment are all equipped with lockable YKK zippers.

Slide a TSA-friendly lock through the loops at the base of the zipper to secure your stuff.


The Laptop Backpack's outer fabric, a 900D polyester, is treated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish for weather resistance. It's not fully waterproof, but it will protect your stuff while you find a place to wait out a drizzle.

Front Organization Pocket

In the front pocket, you'll find a panel with lots of places to store small incidentals. There is a pocket for your sunglasses, a sleeve for your ereader or a notebook, and a zippered compartment for anything else you might need to store. Slide pens into the pen holders, clip your keys to the key clip, and store cards and a passport in the smaller slots.

The front pocket is also a great place to store things you might need to access quickly like a jacket or your 3-1-1 liquids bag. 

Main Compartment

The Setout Laptop Backpack's main compartment is roomy so that you can pack a change of clothes and extra pair of shoes. 

Use the two mesh pockets to pack small things (like socks, underwear) that otherwise get lost in the bottom of a bag. They're also useful for stashing toiletry bags and accessories, like a belt.

Electronics Compartment

The Laptop Backpack's electronics compartment sits flush against your back for security and ergonomics. Your computer is often the most valuable - and heaviest - item you carry, so it's placed in the spot least prone to damage. Plus, your bag would feel heavier if the laptop was further away from your center of gravity.

Pack a 15" laptop and 9.7" tablet in the two electronics sleeves and secure them with the velcro strap.

Use the electronic compartment's mesh pocket for chargers, headphones, or a mouse.

How to Care for Your Laptop Backpack

First, make sure to wipe off your backpack any time you spill something on it or otherwise dirty it. A few seconds of effort right when it gets dirty will prevent more work later.

If you need to fully wash your laptop backpack, hand wash it. Don't put it in the washing machine.

Hand washing your backpack will allow you to target problem areas with a little extra elbow grease and prevent a washing machine from damaging the zippers or tearing the straps.

First, fill a large sink or bathtub with cool to lukewarm water. By not using hot water, you’ll avoid burning yourself or damaging your pack.

Add a gentle detergent or natural soap like Soak or Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap to the water. If you use detergent, make sure it’s free of dyes, fragrances, and chemicals which could damage your bag or irritate your skin. Soak your backpack and spot treat as needed.

Hang dry your bag in a well-ventilated place. The top handle of your backpack will fit over a sturdy clothes hanger. You can dry your backpack in a shower or bath, or in a safe area outside like a balcony.

Once your bag is dry, treat the zippers to keep them running smoothly. A non-greasy, non-staining silicone spray will help lubricate the zippers and keep them from rusting. The helpful users at Ask Metafilter recommend using paraffin wax, powdered graphite, or even a crayon to keep zippers running smoothly.

Wiping down your bag after a trip is always a good idea, but you shouldn’t do a full wash too often. Once or twice per year is plenty. Excessive washing can damage the bag and wear away its day-to-day water resistance.

Read more here about how we designed the Setout Laptop Backpack to be the ideal secondary bag for air travelers.