For anyone who bikes to work with their laptop, soft bags with weak straps are the stuff of nightmares. The idea of having to pick pieces of a hard drive out of the gutter might actually be more cold-sweat-inducing than the fear of broken arms or legs. The only remedy for these dark fantasies is a ridiculously strong and secure computer carrier like Chrome Industries' Welded Postbag.
The aggressively priced $80 satchel can hold 100 pounds without its wearer worrying about the strap breaking. The "welded" part means that everywhere a stitch is put into the fabric, a patch is welded from the inside for strength (and to keep water out). Of course, the woven fabric is waterproof and all but tear-proof as well.
Even if it never makes a two-wheeled commute, the bag is perfect for trips to the beach or to the park. It is unexpectedly voluminous and flexible. Take out the padded laptop sleeve, and you can stuff an entire weekend's worth of clothes and supplies. The bag's style lies in its efficiency. Thanks to its incredibly clean lines, the postbag has an all-business aspect that makes it a totally viable boardroom staple.
If you prefer a backpack style, Chrome offers the same design with two straps instead of one in its $110 Welded Rucksack. [$80, chromeindustries.com]