Enter to WIN: Hercules Laptop Backpack from EC-BC

*****THANK YOU WE HAVE OUR WINNER, THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! CONGRATS TO FAITHFUL MACENSTEIN READER BOB!******
ECBC Hercules laptop backpack 02

For months I have been the subject of ridicule by my co-workers, family and, yes, even strangers, who have all deemed my current laptop backpack “girly”. Sure, it has a nice plaid pattern to the front and a couple pink bows and a small unicorn on the pocket, but I like it. However their constant torment HAS gotten me to think perhaps something a little cooler in order for the good Doctor, so when our good friends over at EC-BC asked if I’d like to take a look at their new line of TSA-compliant laptop backpacks called The Hercules, I said “Not so fast ECBC! You got to sweeten the deal by giving away one of them $139 bad-boys to one of my faithful readers too!” (actually, I said “yes please!” and they were nice enough to offer to throw one in for one of you poor saps as well.)

So while I will be reviewing my sample over the next couple weeks, I figured I might as well get the ball rolling on handing out YOURS. My first impression is quite favorable. The Hercules is fairly manly – heck, it even SOUNDS manly! – although it does come in 5 colors so if you aren’t afraid of style, you ave options. It has a nice padded section that can handle up to a 17-inch laptop (remember when Apple made those?) and a bunch of pockets and such for all your cables, chargers, and My Little Pony figures. And best of all you don’t need to take your laptop out of your bag when going through the airport, so they’ll never see the My Little Pony stickers you have slapped all over it! (Am I projecting here?)

ECBC: Hercules Laptop Backpack
Large interior storage space features the TSA-compliant FastPass laptop compartment, pockets for all your personal and work items, as well as dual ‘hide away’ zippered beverage pockets

• High quality Kodra exterior with water repellent coating and YKK zippers
• Front zipper pocket for ticket/passport and ECBC FastPass system for quick security checks
• High Density protective foam compartment fits most 17” laptops
• Air mesh back panel with adjustable sternum strap and dual ‘hide away’ zippered utility pockets
• Padded iPad/tablet pocket and a fleece-lined pocket for mp3 player or sunglasses
• Available in Black, Blue, Green, Red and White. Size: 18.4” x 12.13” x 7.1”

ECBC Hercules laptop backpack 01

To Enter:

Traveling these days can be a hassle, so having a TSA-compliant laptop bag is a must. Of course, even breezing through Airport Security isn’t enough to save SOME trips, so to enter, just leave us a comment telling us: What is your WORST travel experience?

Winner will be picked randomly. Contest open to all readers world-wide, and ends Tuesday, April 16th at 11:59PM EST. Good luck!

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Comments
79 Responses to “Enter to WIN: Hercules Laptop Backpack from EC-BC”
  1. Chris says:

    Im not a good flyer, so flying to California for work was interesting in itself. But the flight back was a nightmare. Red Eye from Cali to CT, Lay over in Vegas where they filled up an already crowded flight. Had a couple sitting next to me making out and being loud. As we took off again towards CT, the girl (middle seat) starting violently vomiting. She did this for about 30min on and off before handing the barf bag to her boyfriend and falling asleep on him. Meanwhile Im trying to overcome the stench of vomit and actually rest. She woke up screaming when we actually started our final approach for CT, startling her sleeping boyfriend who then dropped the barf bag he was still holding onto the floor. Not fun.

  2. Chad says:

    Motor blew on the way to the beach.

  3. Chris Justice says:

    I was stuck in Istanbul airport for two days.

  4. McPerlt says:

    Having to travel from Greenland to Denmark in the middle of winter for a doctor’s appointment. We had set aside 7 days, so we’d have time to visit family too, but ended up taking 5 days just to get to the international airport in Kangerlussuaq, due to being stuck in inclement weather. We made the appointment, but had to rush from the airport to the doctor’s.

  5. Ed says:

    None real bad.

    1. Fat guys taking up more than their share of the armrest.
    2. Cell phone yappers within earshot.
    3. People in front reclining their chairs all the way.

  6. tim says:

    Nothing special, just a trip by car of approx. 800 km in approx. 12 h,
    hottest Day of the year, no air condition after an endodontic treatment.

  7. Sean says:

    Sitting in the very back of the plane, between two very fat men one being my boss, from the east coast to the west. Non reclining seats and no room to move what so ever, it was the longest day of hell.

  8. Alan says:

    I was stuck in Doha, Qatar for 4 days with one set of clothes. I was wearing shorts there and it went and got cold the second day in (mid November). Man that sucked!!!

  9. Bálint Major says:

    Visiting Vienna on a rainy day with a guide, who always said: “This is a very interesting place/building, so when you are here next time, you should definitely see this from the inside, but know we have to move forward…”

  10. Mike says:

    I once took a contract in what was then Irian Jaya. The first leg of the trip was SF to LA. Not bad. The second leg was LA->Biak via Honolulu. They overbooked the flight, bumped me from business to first class, where neither the champaign was properly chilled.While the flight wasn’t bad, I had to get off the plane and back on again in Honolulu, but wasn’t allowed out of the airport gate, as that would have required going through customs both ways, and the layover wasn’t long enough for that.

    The real problems started in Biak. The last leg of the flight was supposed to be on the client’s corporate jet, but it was busted. So they put me on a local flight to Tembagapurah leaving about 3pm. Except I’d just been on a plan for 14 hours, and it was 7am. I rented a room and tried to sleep – but there was no AC, and it was far to hot. I hired a taxi for a tour of Biak, but, well, that was mostly dull. The flight sucked – Indonesian domestic airlines are _not_ designed for westerners, and at 6’5″, I was just way to tall for it.

    The last leg was the scary part. That was the drive from Tembagapurah to the mine. This runs from sea level to 6000 ft, and it seems like mostly straight up. It was raining so hard – I couldn’t see from one side of the road to the other. The driver was sliding back and forth across the full width of the two-lane, dirt road. On the trip back down, it was clear. So we stopped on that two lane road to take some pictures. One side of the road was a near shear drop of over 3000 feet. Across the road wasn’t quite so bad – it was only 2000 feet. I nearly had a retroactive heart attack when I realized how we had drive up that road!

  11. Alejandro says:

    traveling 12+ hours on a full bus, next to a really fat man, really close to the bathroom and my seat wouldn’t recline. I remember getting home and kissing the ground.

  12. Mike says:

    I had to spend the night in LaGuardia after a nearly 6 hour delay that became a cancellation.

  13. Howard says:

    Having to overnight in a closed train station in London with some creepy old guy hitting on me.

  14. Joshua says:

    My father died so I had to fly to Ohio for his funeral. My daughter was about a month from being two, and kids under 2 fly free as long as you hold them on your lap… So I decided to save the $ and hold her even though she was probably too big to hold for a 5 hour flight.

    The flight to Ohio was good. There was an empty seat next to me so she got to sit there and play her DS. The way back though… The whole flight was packed. I had a middle seat between one man that probably should have paid for two seats, because parts of him were spilling over into mine, and another man that thought his legs belonged in my personal space.

    So she’s squished on my lap, 3 hours in, I’ve lost all feeling in my legs and am getting claustrophobic. It’s hot and the fat guy is sweating on me. This is when my daughter decides its time time to drop a deuce. I guess all of the odd casseroles and funeral home food got to her stomach because it was the most horrifying, rancid diaper poo I’ve ever smelled. The fat guy was asleep and I couldn’t get out of my seat to change her. I could have woke the guy up, but thinking about navigating past him and half the plane while my legs were asleep made me decide to wait out the 45 minute panic attack until the plane landed.

    The smell started to get around and while no one said anything to me, I got some dirty looks. Also for the last 20 minutes of the flight she decided to start yelling, ‘DADDY I HAS POOP!!!”, so that the entire plane could hear. The fat guy never woke up though; I guess he was used to rancid poo smells.

  15. Mykelbee says:

    I was called for further inspection in a private room by security at a Swiss Airport and they only spoke German!

  16. Rattus says:

    Stuck in a middle seat on Ryanair 737-500 (as in passengers on board, resulting in the tightest seat pitch on Earth…) from the old Frankfurt airbase to an equally decrepit airport near Helsinki, crippled by a 36-inch inseam. Literally took weeks for my knees to return to normal.

  17. Ste7en says:

    All flights from our airport were cancelled after we had gotten to the gate so we had to drive to another airport and go through security all over again.

  18. Josh says:

    When I was a kid we left California to head to Washington State. We forgot to tie down the lawn furniture on the top of the truck shell and they all flew off tearing up our pop up trailer. We get to Washington and start to get our tents ready for the night since our trailer was messed up and we had to leave it behind. We completely unload the truck to get out the tent since it was the first thing packed and we get hit with a torrential downpour. Everything we brought was completely soaked. It was raining soo hard we couldn’t put up the tent due to the 2″ of water on the ground.

    The next day was beautiful. We caught some trout and had a great breakfast. We continued north towards Port Townsend and everything is going fine. We have about 2 hours till the last ferry leaves when all of the sudden we see a flash. The truck comes to a screeching stop. We hit a full grown buck. The whole front end of our F-150 is totaled. Thankfully a nice man stops and radios the local sheriff (pre-cell phone days). The sheriff loads up our stuff and our 2 dogs and tells us he will have our truck towed. We pull up just as the ferry is getting ready to leave and the sheriff flags them down. We start to load up when this nice man comes up and says here are the keys to your rental car. The sheriff had radioed ahead and had his friend open up his rental car business just to get us on that ferry.

    We make it to our destination just in time for my the christening of my Dad’s best friends son.

    The people of the Pacific Northwest are usually know as the people that live in the rain. When they should really be known for the people with huge hearts. I have been back there a few times as an adult and have always received the same kindness. A little kindness goes a long way.

    What could have been a horrible vacation turned into a wonderful life learning experience. I volunteer hundreds of hours every year at my church and local community, and whenever I see someone in need I always lend a helping hand. If someone ever asks me why I am so willing to help, I always answer because some was once kind to me.

  19. John Carter says:

    Got a 20 euro day flight from Dublin to London(Luton) and back. Planned on a 9 hour excursion.
    -Rental Car was Towed (300 Pounds Stirling)
    +10 phone calls to impound lot (10 Pounds)
    +Various taxis and tube tickets looking for the impound lot (40 pounds)
    -Hit a curb racing for Luton
    +Tire Blew (50 Pounds)
    +Broken jack (30 Pounds)
    -Missed the last flight out of Luton
    +Flight rescheduling Fee (200 Pounds x 4 travelers = 800 pounds)
    +Overnight accommodations (80 Pounds x 2 couples = 160 pounds)

  20. Radek Jonas says:

    Further inspection of my luggage at Atlanta airport first time in US for me… I was kinda scared at that time… ;)

  21. Dave says:

    Spent Christmas with family in Hawaii. Halfway to LA they told us the deicing valves weren’t working. We turned around and went back to Hawaii (~8 hour flying, still in the same place). After a few hours we took off again for LA. Halfway there they told us the deicing valves weren’t working. This time it was warm enough in San Diego, so we landed there. They routed me directly to Minneapolis from there, but my bags went on to LA. When I arrived in Minneapolis, I took the SuperShuttle home. First though, we got stuck in the snow in another passenger’s driveway; and I ended up helping to push the van out. And my coat was in my bag in LA.

  22. INTK says:

    Spent a night in Logan Airport to catch a morning flight to Texas. Once the plane was loaded, the captain decided the plane was frozen so they kept everybody sitting there for three hours. Missed a flight to Japan so have to spend another night in Dallas.

  23. Facto says:

    I once went in a 9 month trip that ended through a one way tunnel with blinding light. Guess it’s still not over since all those years.

  24. Jon says:

    A Spirit Airlines flight to Chicago a couple of years ago. They delayed the flight for hours. Then they put us on the plane where we sat for more hours. I would rather take a bus than fly Spirit again.

  25. Mark says:

    In 2002 I was in Cairo as part of a round the world backpacking trip with small group of friends when I experienced possibly THE worst bout of diarrhea I’ve ever, ever had, to the point that I got to the stage where I’d lost all control over my bowel movements and became completely incontinent. I found this out the hard way when I unknowingly realised that I had fecal matter pouring down the inside of my right leg out the bottom of my shorts whilst on the steps of the Egyptian Museum. Fortunately one of the girls we were traveling with had some tampons, she gave me one and I duly inserted it up my rectal passage and left it there until such time as I felt confident enough that I was going to drop my guts in public again.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures and it could have been a lot worse, remember 127 Hours…

    • Mark says:

      Should read:

      “she gave me one and I duly inserted it up my rectal passage and left it there until such time as I felt confident enough that I WASN’T going to drop my guts in public again.”

      Doh!

  26. Chuck says:

    Took 6 hours to get home from work (normally 40 mins) after a major accident closed a major bridge on the beltway.

  27. Jim says:

    Radiator blew as I got into Vicksburg MS with wife and two children on our way to Huntsville, AL. No hotel would let us even raise the hood to add water and all shops were closed.

  28. Christine M says:

    Worst was my gas gauge breaking while attending my grandma’s funeral and my hubby being TDY on the other side of the US. I got ripped off by a mechanic when turns out it was covered under warranty. I was without my van for 2 days.

  29. Lars says:

    It’s not THAT bad… but it was annoying.

    Once, we were flying to LAX and had to switch planes at JFK. There would have been plenty of time, but our plane was a bit delayed. And getting our luggage took like one hour or something due to some technical difficulties.
    So this friend of mine got all freaked out and whiny ‘OMG we’re sooooo gonna miss our flight!!!’.
    She forced us to run like crazy to the other terminal.
    When we got there… there was still plenty of time left. So… she decided to get a coffee and do some shopping in the airport. She took AGES and kinda went MIA. When she returned with full shopping bags… it was just like 2mins too late to board the plane. All of this… was apparently our fault… she whined and bitched :D

    In retrospect kinda funny. When it happened… not so much.
    Everything worked out in the end… and we DID get to LAX (our bags too). We were just about 10hrs late :D

  30. Andrew says:

    When I was in the third grade riding the bus to school, Alan Ford threw up on the seat across from me. Yuk, I hate puke and there it was a big steaming pile of it sitting there festering away and just laughing at me. The driver stopped at a house down the road and got the woman who lived in it to keep Alan until his Mom could come and pick him up. She gave the driver a rag which he used to wipe the up the slop off the seat. Since this was at the near the beginning of the bus route, the driver told us not to tell the kids getting on down the road about the seat being freshly barfed on. And so we picked up the kids at the next stop, and one of them sat in the seat. I didn’t say anything. I live with the guilt every day. I am truly damed to go to hell.

  31. Lindsay says:

    Plane broke when i got on it, was stuck in the airport all day/night

  32. John says:

    All of my worst travel experiences include one of my children puking. Worst was on drive when he puked all over himself and the carseat…and we still had over an hour of driving left. Worst plane flight included puking baby…as we were taking off.

  33. Chris L says:

    On my wife’s birthday flying out of LAX, moving further and further from food, water, and bathrooms, into what I would graciously describe as a shed on the airstrip in the middle of summer. Not cool. Literally.

  34. David says:

    TSA agent confiscated my tube of Tom’s Toothpaste because it was over the ounce limit.

  35. Hanan says:

    My worst experience traveling is when I got Typhus in India, even though I got vaccinated… The vaccine was bad :(

  36. AllM1ghtyOne says:

    Driving down to Boyne from a small town in the north of Ontario. Finally nine hours later we get to the border and my mom forgot her passport. She has a huge panic attack and freaks out on my father. We almost had to drive all the way back and scrap the ski trip. The guard there was nice enough to let us through anyways. phew.

  37. Oscar deBarge says:

    traveling 27 hours in a small, 44-seat bus, where the occupant of the seat in front of me, a very cute girl, insisted on reclining her chair all. the. way. back.

  38. Grant says:

    Worst travel experience would be having my mother who was holding on to our passports leave them, along with her purse on a bus in Cancun. We spent the next while franticly trying to hunt down the bus, talking to police who couldn’t understand us and using our last but of cash to get a taxi to take us in the direction the bus went.

    We managed to luckily catch up to the bus, and the driver had put the purse aside and all was well in the end.
    That said, I felt sick the entire rest of the night.

  39. Dan Rodriguez says:

    I travel every week for work. I normally carry plenty of electronic equipment so as you can imagine TSA loves me.
    Well, they love me so much that after a screening I picked up my bag, thinking it was closed and it was not. ALL OF MY CRAP ALL OVER THE FLOOR. And yes, in hand were my shoes and of-coarse belt…. Did I mention that ALL OF MY CRAP was all over the floor?

    Yup.
    D.

  40. Paul Laincz says:

    My worst experience traveling was several years ago when from California to Minneapolis, Mn when it was time to land the pilot informed us we would be circling the airport due to the inclement weather (it was icy & snowing)! After circling for over 2 hours, we made our final descent. We hit the runway so hard all of the air masks popped down from the overhead compartments. The front of my shirts was bulging out from my heartd beating so hard. It turns out they were circling the airport to use all of the fuel so if we did crash the fire wouldn’t have been as bad as it would of with fuel!

  41. scarlco says:

    Coming home from NY to Vegas… first flight was delayed, missed the connection. Had to be rerouted through 4 different airports to make it back. 23 hours. Not a good time.

  42. Patrick says:

    Worst travel experience was being on a dual prop plane during a wicked thunderstorm while flying to Kansas. It’s not even like the destination was going to make up for the flight!

  43. Felix says:

    A couple of years ago I was in Vail, CO for a ski trip with my family. The night before we were going to go back to Denver to fly home there was a massive snowstorm and I also woke up in the middle of the night and began uncontrollably vomiting. It turns out that I had gotten food poisoning that was now attempting to empty my stomach of everything that it was worth. In the morning we took a bus to Denver airport that was sliding around because of the snowy conditions, movements that only ameliorated my sickness. So as to not go into too much more detail I will summarize: my trip back consisted of vomiting in every moving vehicle involved in the rest of the journey. I was sick for about two full days but the worst feeling was, by far, the turbulence on the plane….

  44. James says:

    When I brought a typewriter through security and they took me aside and had a worried look on their face like I was going to blow the joint or something.

  45. Jordan says:

    Wife and I were traveling to Florida and an older couple was holding up the line. It was almost as if they had never been to the airport before. They couldn’t understand why you had to take off your shoes, belts, etc and I’m pretty sure while about 20 people in the line next is went through we still hadn’t made it through. They finally figured it out and we literally ran from one side of the airport to the other and almost missed our flight. It was ridiculous.

  46. Teegan says:

    Airline lost my bag, with all my clothes in it, on the way to Europe for a 2 week trip! It was terrible, I had to buy a bunch of stuff to replace everything until they found my bag.

  47. John Mcalister says:

    On a West Coast to East Coast plane trip, stuck in a middle seat with a sick and screaming infant & mother on BOTH sides of me!

  48. Adi says:

    Flying to Chicago with airplane full of coughing passenger…makes me feel like a lab rat..:(

  49. scott says:

    The first time we traveled with our infant son the airline lost our car seat on the return trip. We had to drive home from the Dallas airport sans car seat in Dallas traffic.

  50. Rita A says:

    We paid to upgrade to first class and there was a baby in front of us with mom. Dad was on the other side of the aisle. The baby would not stop screaming. Dad did not want anything to do with it and put in earplugs. The screaming never ended and the flight attendants even tried to quiet the baby. Then the worst happen – the baby threw up all over the seat. It smelled so bad! My husband and I had to leave the seat while it was all cleaned up. YUCK!

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