One big improvement for L.L. Bean will be to add another document pocket, or a stiff divider, in this area.
Small pockets on Top
The bag has two horizontally zipped small pockets on the top. One is lighted with a soft white water resistant material. This pocket is quiet deep. The other is lined with a felt like material. Both area is great for phones and other small items. I use them to hold small items like headphones, phone and wallet when I have to empty my pockets going through metal detectors.
One side of the bag has a grab handle and a hidden luggage tag. The grab handle is really handy when you have to retrieve the bag from overhead bins. This is one of the great little design touch of the bag.
The other side has a zipped pocket that is slightly too small even for a small water bottle. Maybe it is for a compact umbrella?
The other storage area is a zipped open front section that contains the usual organization pockets for pens, business cards etc. There is a small zipped meshed pocket at the front, good for storing more valuable things like passports and wallets. The sides of the half entire front section has "wings" that prevent things from falling out while the section is opened - good design.
One very nice thing about this bag is that both handles are very well padded. When you have to lift the bag to a overhead storage bin, or pick it up to walk up long flight of stairs much easier.
There is a little attachment point on the front of the bag, presumable good for attaching a small flash light or something. I have yet to use it.
There is a pass thru strap on the back of the bag that allows you to slide the bag over the pull handle of another luggage. I find that it does not fit over the very wide handle of my travel pro roller board.
The zipper pulls on the main compartment have eyelets for a lock. The zipper pulls on the smaller front compartment do not.
The telescopic handle is hidden under a zipped opening, which is nice. The handle pulls out easily, but I find that I always have to give it an extra tug to get it fully extended and locked in place. Once extended, together with the very smooth rollerblade type wheels, it rolls easily. I dragged the bag over a mile of cobble stoned sidewalk of shanghai and it worked fine.
I have taken this bag on a few long haul flights, a few short haul flights, and one train trip. It has been holding up. It is definitely better than a messenger bag in terms of comfort and capacity. Even with the minor issues noted above, I recommend this bag.