Reviews You Can Rely On

Burton Tinder Review

Great simple design for work, school, or play that will keep you pleased no matter how you use it
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burton tinder laptop backpack review
Credit: Burton
Price:  $95 List
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Manufacturer:   Burton
By Katherine Elliott ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 17, 2019
  • Laptop Protection - 25% 5.0
  • Comfort - 20% 7.0
  • Storage - 15% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7.0
  • Water resistance - 15% 6.0
  • Style - 10% 10.0

Our Verdict

Real talk — A lot of us care about our daily backpack's hip factor just as much as its protection or ease of use. If this speaks to you, welcome the Burton Tinder; it's a handsome blend of old school style and modern features. We think it's one of the best-looking models in our laptop backpack review, earning a notable mention. This pack is the one that you want to be seen wearing, and it is plenty versatile enough to work in almost any situation. Climbing shoes and harness? Groceries and beer? Water and a jacket? No problem! Just make sure you're gentle with how you throw it around with your laptop on board because there isn't a whole lot of protection for your most valuable possession.
No water bottle holders
Not great organizational capabilities
This pack has been updated since our testing.

Our Analysis and Test Results

We love this pack for its style and feel. Regarding practicality, it's a bit difficult to keep the plethora of items organized that most of us carry on a day to day routine. The Burton Tinder is a simple and functional everyday pack that happens to include a sleeve for a laptop. It feels somewhat like a throw-in feature and could easily be mistaken for a large pocket. So if you are looking for a daypack that looks great and happens to be able to carry a laptop, this is a fantastic choice for you.

Performance Comparison

burton tinder laptop backpack review - although not the best for laptop protection and storage, the tinder...
Although not the best for laptop protection and storage, the Tinder has a style that most of us couldn't resist, even while out of the trails.
Credit: Bligh Gillies

Laptop Protection

This pack has very few features that help to protect a laptop. In our opinion, it would not be wise to carry your laptop in this bag every day without a protective sleeve. The padding is thin, and the back plate pads the laptop with a single thin piece of very flexible foam. The pouch is suspended off the floor of the bag by a couple of inches, but that doesn't make up for the fact that the design left gaps in the padding, which allows a 15-inch laptop to move around freely.

burton tinder laptop backpack review - this contender has a secret zippered access compartment for your...
This contender has a secret zippered access compartment for your laptop. While it was a fun feature, it had a very thin padded back panel and laptop sleeve, making this a low ranking pack for laptop protection.
Credit: Bligh Gillies

As a result of this design, it would not be wise to thoughtlessly through this pack around with a laptop inside. It would be made better with a better suspension system and additional padding along the top and bottom of the computer sleeve.


This model is very comfortable to wear all day. In this case, less is more, and the straightforward and old-school shoulder strap system is still more comfortable than more complicated designs. The shoulder straps attach to the pack behind the neck, adequately far apart. The flexible back piece is a piece of foam for structure and cushioning, but it is comfortable and breathable. The sternum strap is well placed and adds an extra level of support to a somewhat flimsy back panel.

burton tinder laptop backpack review - the simple and sleek design made for a very comfortable fit. the...
The simple and sleek design made for a very comfortable fit. The shoulder straps don't look like much at first glance, but in this case, less is more.
Credit: Bligh Gillies

Also, the backplate is thin and breathable, making this a decent option to wear around on warmer days. It doesn't feature too much bulk, nor is there too little. Overall, a decently comfortable laptop backpack.


This contender features a simple design, allowing for 25L of storage, but less organizational options. The main compartment is large, accommodating many items. Think groceries, gym clothes, or other bulky clothing. It has an easy access compartment on the top with numerous tie-in points along the length of the backpack to attach webbing.

burton tinder laptop backpack review - the simple modern design is fashionable. unfortunately, without a...
The simple modern design is fashionable. Unfortunately, without a great organization system in place, it's more of a looker than a performer.
Credit: Bligh gillies

This model is pretty much a backpack that happens to have a laptop sleeve. The sleeve will fit a 15-inch laptop comfortably, but there is no additional storage for a tablet or other device. We didn't find this model to be the best for loading up loose papers, as there is no place to put them. Overall, the large compartment is useful for loose items, but it lacks the organization in its storage.

Ease of Use

Like many of the other laptop backpacks, the Tinder features a top-loading design. It's versatile for doing outdoorsy things, but not so great for serious work-related activities. While it is plenty large to carry books and binders on the inside, it has only two pockets and a small insert for a tablet. If you carry a lot of pens, pencils, electronic gadgets, cords, notebooks, etc., you can guarantee that they will all go into the mix with everything else. Papers might get crushed if not housed in a folder.

burton tinder laptop backpack review - the top loading cinch design made for an easy access pack. it was...
The top loading cinch design made for an easy access pack. It was nothing to laugh about.
Credit: Bligh Gillies

On the other hand, if you are heading to the climbing gym but need your laptop afterward, the Tinder is a great option. The double cinch strap design makes it easy to get into the backpack. It also hosts a side-access pocket that directly accesses the laptop, making it an excellent travel option.

Water Resistance

This pack doesn't look like it would be very water resistant, but it did very well in the "shower test." The 600D Polyester Twill material repelled the water with ease.

burton tinder laptop backpack review - even though this pack had the appearance of being fully saturated...
Even though this pack had the appearance of being fully saturated, the paper on the inside remained dry over and over again.
Credit: Kat Elliott

However, if there was a substantial amount of precipitation, it is not the best option to keep your valuable electronics safe from the elements. If a high level of water-resistance with a similar design, the Patagonia Black Hole 25 is far more water resistant.


Style is where the Tinder shines, and it rightfully receives a top score here. This model is one of the best looking the hippest bags of the bunch. Swipe right!

burton tinder laptop backpack review - the urban hip look of the tinder is a notable mention for its cute...
The urban hip look of the Tinder is a notable mention for its cute and versatile style.
Credit: Bligh Gillies

What we especially like is its minimalist look: no extra external pockets, no extra straps, and one single color fabric throughout the entire construction, with just a few faux leather flares, rather than many different swatches. Its refined look is a throwback to a simpler time. If style is your most important feature, then look no farther.

Best Applications

This contender is best as an everyday backpack that can carry a laptop. It is far more of a backpack than a laptop backpack. It's a great option for just wearing to school or around town but doesn't offer much organization or protection as an everyday commuter for those that require a little more organization.

burton tinder laptop backpack review - whether you are traveling or just headed to the office, the tinder...
Whether you are traveling or just headed to the office, the Tinder will help you look good along the way.
Credit: Bligh Gillies


This price is on the lower end of the scale, as many of the laptop backpacks we tested cost more. We feel that this is a fair price for all the attention you will receive with the stylish pack.


Whether you stuff it with fun things like climbing gear or ski goggles, or more practical work accessories like a laptop and books, the Tinder is ready to tote your schwag in vintage, trendy style. It has a padded laptop compartment, a zippered internal mesh pocket, and a top zippered pocket for things you need to access quickly and easily. A double drawstring closure keeps everything secure and takes out the hassle of sometimes sticky zippers, while brushed faux suede detailing gives this contender good looks above the rest.

burton tinder laptop backpack review - the tinder is one classy laptop backpack. it has a minimal modern...
The Tinder is one classy laptop backpack. It has a minimal modern design and that makes it unique among the rest.
Credit: Bligh Gillies

Katherine Elliott

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