Well first off , i wanted a bag that was not quite a briefcase , not quite a "casual" messenger bag. this is perfect. i was skeptical because i have used a back pack for many years (north face hot shot , good-- but probally will ebay now). i found most messenger bags look girlie, but this one is awesome. The black color is very un-assuming. very low profile. i reccomand the large size (really it seems normal sized) for guys, and/or those with 17"/gaming notebooks. the materials are very high quality, i think this would repeall water well. i really dont have time to say more but this is great alterntive to backpacks and briefcases... really one of best purchases. of course backcountry had cheaper shipping, and it was on sale. deff would recommend this site and the bag fully. great great product.