When I opened the (huge) shipping box that brought the new Boa Flow to Cult of Mac’s German HQ, I thought I’d hate it (the bag, not the box). But it turned out to be one of my favorite bags for lugging a lot of gear with me.
The Boa Flow is made for “creative professionals.” That is, it’s for anyone who needs to carry computers, cameras, headphones and other accessories, and to this end it had zillions of pockets and storage sections. The best part is that there are many options for every kind of item. You can put your MacBook in the separate slot by your back, for example, or you can slip it into a pocket in the main chamber.
Fresh photographic equipment stole the show this week, but we also got wind of some great new outdoor gear (and some stuff for desk jockeys).
First the camera news: Sony is coming on strong with the amazing R100 III camera, while Nikon’s most exciting new gadget is an underwater flash. On the outdoorsy front, San Francisco is gearing up for summer with new bags from my favorite bag makers Rickshaw and Waterfield, and if you’re out in the warm/cold spring on your bike, you might like to do it wearing the beautiful Vulpine merino wool cycling jersey. If you’re not the outdoors type, we have you covered too — you can stay home and organize your desk with a handsome wooden pen and phone holder.
You’ve probably noticed Booq’s odd penchant for naming their strange, sophisticated baggage after snakes. And if you’ve really been paying attention, you’ll have noticed variations on one species crop up over and over again: The Booq Boa.
The Boa’s DNA has mutated into a variety of different forms, all with the purpose of carrying a MacBook and associated equipment. But the newest iteration, the Boa Flow Graphite, may be the most perfect yet — especially for those of us who lug a MacBook and DSLR on adventures.
Each week we pull the best Apple-related gadgets from the Cult of Mac and collect them here for your perusing pleasure.
On a Bags is at it again, launching three new bags for the laydeez and gennelmen out there. Do you like leather and canvas? Do you like style? Do you like protection for your camera gear and iOS devices? Then read on.
Works With: Anything
WaterField’s Rough Rider is just about the best looking leather bag I’ve hung over my shoulder. It’s also the toughest. And it’s also one of the heaviest. So you see, the bag may be perfect for you, or it may not.
This week we look at lightweight, easy-to-carry camera bags that are perfect for carrying a mirrorless camera, an iPad and a couple of other bits – because the days of crushing your shoulders with a giant backpack filled with DSLRs and MacBook Pros are over.
This is the Gallery Waist Pack. It’s the answer to the question, “What if we made a fanny pack for the iPad?”
That’s not quite as simple as it would seem. After all, the fanny pack is the preferred bag of the middle-aged and style-free. It’s the bag for somebody who values practicality over everything else.
And while the iPad is not completely the opposite of this, it is at least opposed to the beige pleated-pants crowd.
Mixing the two is like crossing the streams.
I wonder why every backpack doesn’t use a roll-top. They’re waterproof, they’re mechanically simple (and therefore they never go wrong), they let you extend the size of the bag and they form a handy grippy handle.
They also look cool, and the Becket bag has one.
This little baby launched its Kickstarter on April 1st, but as it’s still there a few days later (and as Brian from Pad&Quill says it’s legit) it’s time for a write-up. The Micro Field Bag is a miniaturized version of the Field Bag, the heavy monster I reviewed a few weeks back. It’s tiny, cute, and built for the iPhone.
Photojojo’s new iPhone Lens Wallet is a safe place to store the entire Photojojo lens lineup, and it’s small enough that it can live in your daily murse/purse. It even holds a tripod, and can be bought either empty or fully loaded.
Works With: Cameras, iPad mini
I have a kind of standing checklist of things I like and things that annoy me in bag design. Booq’s Python Mirrorless Bag flags just one of my “annoyances,” and that’s a purely aesthetic matter. That’s not to say it’s perfect, but it’s pretty damn good at what it does.
The Photographer’s pouch is a boiled-wool pocket that will stick inside any camera bag thanks to the velcro strip on its back. And of course you’re not limited to cameras, or even camera bags – anything that will fit fits, and any bag with velcro can be used.
I’ll admit it. I was about to pass on writing up the OGIO Ruck Pack because it looks like a dorky kids bag. And then I noticed it also looks like the pack on the back of a space suit. And then I saw the pocket on the side, stuffed with my favorite water bottle, the Klean Kanteen, and I was sold. So here it is: The dork-tastic, space-friendly water-carrying Ruck Pack.
Works With: MacBook, iPad, paper
You need to know two things before you read this review. One is that Pad&Quill’s The Field is one of the best-made bags I’ve ever tried. It’s solid, tough, and will ages way more gracefully than I will.
The second is that it’s exactly the kind of bag I will never use: heavy, full of handy pockets and able to put enough weight onto that one strap to crush your shoulder. So bear both these points in mind as we continue.
This is just about the easiest DIY gadget project since the I put an iPad into a Ziploc bag and called it a kitchen-proof case.
It’s called the DIY Camera Wrap Bag, and it is one of the coolest ways to protect your camera whilst making very little effort to do so.
The Ember bag is a Kickstarter that – at first glance – seems to be a bag out of some first-person-shooter. It’s a modular backpack design, which starts out as a “20-liter urban pack” and can be extended by adding all manner of sleeves and pockets.
If you’re a normal human with normal human needs and desires, I would imagine that you want this bag like now. It’s called the Berlin, and it is a special edition from ONA made to celebrate 100 Years of Leica.
This is pretty neat – it’s a clutch bag for a lay-dee, and it has a pocket for the iPad, as well as a spot inside for your iphone. If you were to lead it up with your cash and credit cards too, you could get one step closer to losing all of your valuable at once.
When Heidi from Waterfield Bags wrote to tell me about the Rough Rider, I had no choice but to write about it. It’s called the Rough Rider after all, which pretty much means I can make as many “going commando” and “bareback” jokes as I like.
It’s almost too easy.
Works With:iPad Air, Mini
Price: $108 as tested
If Indiana Jones carried an iPad, he’d carry it in the Outback Solo. It’s a beautiful, tough waxed-canvas and leather number, with a padded lining for an iPad, pockets on the front for an iPhone and a wallet or a charger, a little loop on the front for handing your whip and a leather flap that closes with a magnetic clasp to keep out snakes. It’s pretty great.
Another camera bag? Yes. The Roamographer is pretty much the complete opposite to the Booq Python Mirrorless also featured this morning. It’s big, it’s made of lovely bison leather, and it’s huge. It’s also frikkin’ gorgeous, and equally frikkin’ expensive.
If somebody were designing a camera bag just for me, it would probably look a lot like the Python Mirrorless from Booq. It’s small, but holds just what you need, and is designed to carry a mirrorless-sized camera, an iPad mini and a few accessories, form a paper notebook to a spare lens to your house keys.
It’s also $80, which in the realm of camera bags is roughly equal to free.