bag

The Novel backpack oozes with awesome tech

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Novel backpack
Pack everything and keep it all powered up.
Photo: Visvo

Why bother with basic backpacks when you can buy one oozing with tech designed to make life a whole lot easier. Meet Novel, a new generation of bags that come packing everything you need on the road in the modern age.

Pare down your travel kit with this shoulder-saving MacBook Pro sleeve

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Holds just enough to stay productive. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Waterfield's MacBook Outback Solo holds just enough to keep you productive. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’ll admit it — I’ve got a thing for these waxed canvas and leather bags from Waterfield. I’ve ended up using the impeccably designed Staad backpack and the classy Nintendo 3DS case long after my reviews of them were published. These bags and cases from the San Francisco design collective are warm, inviting and just get better with age and use.

Let’s face it, though: Sometimes you only want to carry your laptop and a couple of accessories, and that’s it. Waterfield’s latest design, the MacBook Outback Solo, is a minimalist sleeve made of the same strong canvas material and rich, thick, buttery-smooth leather as the other bags in the line. It can be paired with a carrying strap that turns the sleeve into a messenger bag. While our very own Charlie Sorrel called the iPad version of this bag a man-purse, I’m thinking of this more as a shoulder-saving device — the fewer things I end up having to carry, the better.

This little sleeve is perfect for exactly that.

Lowepro’s Messenger 150 Bag Totes An iPad And Camera Gear [Review]

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Looks smallish, holds a lot: Lowepro's Event Messenger 150
Looks smallish, holds a lot: Lowepro's Event Messenger 150.

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.

Montgomery Street Pack Keeps Your Camera Close And Your Macbook Safe [Review]

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Even prettier than Seacrest: The Montgomery Street Backpack
Even prettier than Seacrest: The Montgomery Street Backpack

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.

New ‘Velocity’ Travel Gear From Pocket-Crazy, Aussie-Based STM

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The fast-looking STM Impulse.

We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again — simply because we enjoy repeating things: STM makes a %@$# great bag. And they’ve just unveiled a revamp of their flagship bags in the form of a new family of gear they’re calling the Velocity Collection. Which is actually pretty damn apt for this line of fast, light, grab-and-go bags.

You Could Carry Every Gadget You Own In iHome’s Smart Brief Bag, But I Wouldn’t [Review]

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When iHome designed their Smart Brief computer bag ($99), they had the good idea to create a product with pockets for all of today’s modern-day computing devices and accessories. Problem is, like every good idea turned product, execution is everything, and that’s where the Smart Brief starts to get a little lackluster.

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Airport Commuter: A Compact Camera Bag With Space For Your Macbook And Your iPad [Review]

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Think Tank’s new Airport Commuter camera bag ($199) is something of a paradox: Though it’s the size of a normal backpack, it manages to fit an abnormal amount of glass, gear, a full-size a Macbook Pro, and an iPad.

But could such a compact bag hold so many precious items in harmony? I packed it up, strapped it on, and set out to find out.

Men, Take A Holiday Hint And Buy Your Lady The Knomo iPhone Bag [Review]

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Do you smell that? Over the intoxicating aroma of gingerbread lattes, there’s another scent. The smell of fear and anxiety.

That can only mean one thing: the holidays are upon us. And if you’re anything like me, this time of year fills you with dread… the dread of picking out the perfect present that will delight yet not break the bank.

As someone who also feels the stress of holiday shopping, let me give you some advice: if you have a special gal in your life and no ideas on what to get her, consider the Melissa cross-body iPhone bag by Knomo. It’s an excellent choice, and she’ll probably love you for it.

Retrospective 50: A Bag Where Your DSLR And 15-Inch Macbook Pro Can Live In Harmony [Review]

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“OMG—it’s huuuuge…” That’s what my friend said when she first saw me holding the Retrospective 50 camera bag from Think Tank Photo ($240). My ego properly boosted, I heartily agreed with her.

But besides being the size of a japanese automobile, the Retrospective 50 (R50) is a continuation of functional, understated, vintage-looking camera bags from Think Tank. And unlike the other smaller bags in the Retrospective line, this one has a special space reserved for your 15-Inch Macbook Pro, which I discovered in testing, can be both a pro and a con.

On Trains, Planes, Or Automobiles, Airport International Keeps Your Camera Gear Safe [Review]

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Think Tank International
The Think Tank International is ready for stow in a carry-on compartment near you.

A mere 6 months ago, I moved my glut of photography gear into a new, portable home: the Think Tank AirPort International Rolling Camera Bag ($350). Since then, I’ve been able to tote my equipment around easily, in style, but most importantly, packed snugly in a vault of total security.

I immediately loved it.

But as with most reviews, time tells how a piece of gear will really work. And now, with six months of carting the Airport International to and fro, I’m ready to report how it has performed over the long haul.

The Crumpler Nhill Heist Is A ‘Slim-Line’ Laptop Backpack With Plenty Of Space [Review]

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The Nhill Heist has plenty of structural support.
The Nhill Heist has plenty of structural support.

The Crumpler Nhill Heist is a laptop backpack that “allows you to step off your bike and into work, without looking like you’ve just stepped off your bike.” Built from water resistant 900D/300D rip-stop nylon, with reinforced stitching on all stress points, it aims to outlast its lifetime guarantee by being super tough.

Think Tank’s Retrospective 5 Is Still My Favorite DSLR Day Bag [Re-Review]

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Retrospective 5 from Think Tank
Retrospective 5 from Think Tank

Back in early April, I got to review the Retrospective 5 messenger-style camera bag from Think Tank Photo.

I loved it.

But you know how it is; using something for several months offers a lot more perspective than merely reviewing it for one or two weeks. So I decided to give the Think Tank Retrospective 5 another look, and with six months of use under my belt, I’m ready to tell you how it’s really performed.

Somersault Slim Bag Protects Your iPad While You Use It On The Mean Streets [Review]

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iBackflip's Somersault Slim bag for the iPad
iBackflip's Somersault Slim bag for the iPad

Back in June, I reviewed the Somersault from iBackFlip Studios, a novel sling-style backpack built to give you quick, on-the-go access to your beloved iPad. I liked the Somersault’s unique iPad-centric design, and so when the iBackflip guys asked me if I’d like to peep their new smaller and lighter Slim version ($79), I said “righto guv’nas!” Which of course, in colloquial British, means yes.

The Lowepro Flipside Protects Your DSLR While You Search The Forests For Bigfoot [Review]

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Because Bigfoot isn't going to photograph himself: Lowepro's Flipside Sport 15L

Few camera bags are built keep your camera gear safe while you hike, bike, and conquer the wilderness like the manly man that you are. But the Flipside Sport 15L All-Weather camera bag from Lowepro ($135) was designed to do exactly that, and comes standard with some tricks you won’t find on your everyday camera sack.

Retrospective 7: A Sexy Camera Bag With Space For Your Macbook Air [Review]

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In Slate Blue: ThinkTank Photo's Retrospective 7

Not so long ago, I reviewed a beautiful new DSLR bag from ThinkTank Photo called the Retrospective 5. I loved it, and it has been my favorite DSLR day-bag ever since.

But the Retrospective 5 is only able to carry a DSLR and a lens or two, so often times, I need to slug along my iPad in yet another pack. I hate that.

No longer! ThinTank’s new Retrospective 7 camera bag ($157) allows me to carry my photo gear along with either my iPad or an 11-inch Macbook Air, all living together in perfect harmony.

Brains, Brawn, And Sex Appeal: Retrospective 5 Is A Camera Bag You’ll Want To Carry [Review]

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The Retrospective 5 from ThinkTank

I love the look of old canvas camera bags; they have a style and charisma that the bags of today can’t touch. But the problem is, canvas bags often aren’t comfortable to wear, and they also lack the padded protection of today’s more modern sacks.

With the Retrospective 5 ($137.50), ThinkTank aimed to blend the vintage look of yesteryear with the comfort and protection of today’s modern bags. They were trying to meld the best of both worlds when they created the Retrospective 5, and I think they succeeded.

The Alix Leather Laptop Tote Is One Big, Beautiful Bag

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If you’re a packrat like me, and you need a really big bag for your MacBook plus everything else, you should seriously consider the Alix Laptop Tote Bag from J’Tote (pronounced zhe-tote).

I have been toting the Alix around for a month now. I have to say that this bag is my new favorite. It can take a beating and still looks great. If passion is your fashion, this bag is your match.