Of course, I have no way of knowing whether space aliens actually had a hand in designing the Booq Boa Squeeze. I ran into a couple of Booq bigwigs in an elevator at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas once, and they seemed pretty cheery, completely normal, and not at all alien-like — too not-alien-like, considering Booq is based in Southern California (I consider myself a Southern Californian; we’re all weirdos). And Booq’s Sierra Madre HQ is suspiciously close to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories…
Anyway, whether or not of alien origin, what’s clear is that Booq’s bags are unlike any others on this planet — and their new lightweight, zillion-pocketed Boa Squeeze laptop backpack is no different.
Gadgets! Camera bag crafters know that, these days, if you’re carrying photo stuffs, you’re likely also bringing some kind of computer, and other electronic knick-knacks, along for the ride.
Lowepro Event Messenger 150 by Lowepro Category: Backpacks Works With: DSLRs, lenses, iPads Price: $70
A lot of bags concede that means a small Macbook Pro or Air will need a lift, but Lowepro’s Event Messenger 150 bag knows true technorati stroll with only the essentials: a lens or two, a camera body, and an iPad. So that’s what the sleek-looking Event Messenger 150 (EM 150) was built to transport. I took it for a spin to see how it performs.
With an urban, brushed-metal look, premium construction, and space for your camera and Macbook Air or 13’ Pro, Acme Made’s Montgomery Street Backpack is no doubt a great day pack for city walkers. Its side-sitting camera pouch is the standout feature of this bag, though, allowing quick retrieval of your mirrorless cam or DLSR without having to take the bag off.
Montgomery Street Backpack by Acme Made Category: Backpacks Works With: Macbook Air, 13’ Pro, Smaller Cameras Price: $100
The Montgomery however, while well suited for those with petite electronics and a taste for the more hipster things in life, mightn’t perform as well for those with a larger Mac, a full size DSLR, or a fear of wearing a pack so cute the girlfriend might want to borrow it.
Sometimes, a product can really sneak into your heart. Such was the HEX Drake Origin backpack, which I gave a positive review.
Cabana Laptop Duffel by HEX Category: Laptop bag Works With: Up to 15-inch laptops Price: $100
Although I loved it from the first for being a backpack that a fashionably-inclined, full-grown man could wear without looking like a slobbering, buffoonish manchild — no mean feat — the Drake Origin has become even fonder to me in the months since, until I found that I was more inclined to hoist it up onto my shoulder as I left the house than I was some of my other cherished messenger and satchel bags.
What I loved about the HEX Drake Origin wasn’t just its incredibly solid stitching and construction, but the way it made me feel when I picked it up, I felt as if I suddenly went back in time, and becamed a dandyish Oxford student in the 1910s lugging a tweed backpack full of natural philosophy texts across a blustery, autumn-strewn quad. This may seem precious, and is in fact precious, but the way we all look at fashion is through the romanticized lens of nostalgia. Fashion is a way we tell other people a story about ourselves, and I liked the story I thought the HEX Drake Origins told about me.
I don’t feel the same way about the HEX Cabana Laptop Duffel, but it’s not really the bag’s fault. If the Drake turned me into an Oxford student from a hundred years ago, the Cabana Laptop Duffel turns me into that Oxford student’s girlfriend on a day out at the beach. It’s a very feminine bag that I love, but perhaps not the right bag for me.
Face it. Camera bags are dorky as all get-out. I avoid them entirely, either dropping my camera into the pocket of a regular bag with a pair of woolen socks underneath for padding (true, and it works great in my Rickshaw Zero Messenger) or putting it and its accessories into a padded liner that slips into any other bag I might want to use.
But Manfrotto (Bogen in the U.S) has hit on the formula for cool camera bags. The secret? Calling them “Stile” bags and taking photos of them being used by young people in leather jackets.
If it isn’t already obvious: I’m a huge bike nut. I’ve sold bikes, fixed them, raced on them and even slept on one once (hey, cycling is tiring). So I get pretty excited when fellow bike nuts make something ingenious that’ll let my bike haul my Apple gear. Case in point: Timbuk2’s new Basket Case duffel and their Cog Pannier.
One type of bag was conspicuously missing from the lineup when Pelican released its ProGear line a few months back. There was a smorgasbord-like selection of tablet- and laptop-toting bags — but nothing for camera gear. Now Pelican has filled that space, integrating their vault-like case technology in the new S130 ProGear laptop/camera backpack.
You know those cool old waxed canvas bags which used to keep things dry before miners discovered nylon in a cave in Papua New Guinea1? Now you can make your own! Well, technically you could always make your own. But now Photojojo has provided a guide for you. Spoiler: it’s dead easy.