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.
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.
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: $100
The Montgomery however, while well suited for those with petite electronics and a taste for the more hipster things in life, mightn’t perform as well for those with a larger Mac, a full size DSLR, or a fear of wearing a pack so cute the girlfriend might want to borrow it.
We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again — simply because we enjoy repeating things: STM makes a %@$# 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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.