This backpack makes lugging life light work [Review]

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Shift Pack
The Shift Pack by Alpaka.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

My closet floor resembles a bullpen. But instead of pitchers, it houses a rotation of backpacks and bags ready to be activated for work, day-long excursions or extended travel. Depending on the week, I could shift between four or five bags.

But when Shift Pack recently arrived for a tryout, it threatened to retire a couple of my veterans. It is a single backpack that aims to cover all the bases, work, play and travel or all at once if necessary.

Baron Fig packs max features into minimal bags

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Slim, yes, but this bag can haul your daily carry.
Slim, yes, but this bag can haul your daily carry.
Photo: Baron Fig

Baron Fig, the brand that achieved a cult following among designers and artists with high-quality notebooks and pens, has come up with a thoughtful way for you to carry their tools.

Its new line of bags is called Bags for Thinkers, but the thought put into the function of each bag – a backpack, messenger bag and tote – goes beyond a clever name. How each works was created after soliciting the input of the fans of its other products.

This laptop bag’s a lifesaver — it stops bullets

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This shoulder bag protects your laptop - and body in case of gunfire.
This shoulder bag protects your laptop - and body in case of gunfire.
Photo: Force Training Institute

We plan for when our batteries run low, packing our shoulder bags with laptop cords and external batteries for our smartphones. But should we also plan for an active shooter?

Believing it is better to be safe than sorry, the Force Training Institute has created a bulletproof laptop bag that instantly deploys into a 3-foot shield to defend against gunfire.

Has it come to this, that we have to carry a bag called the MTS, short for Multi-Threat Shield?

The booq bag that keeps your tech gear in a Shadow

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The booq Shadow keeps what you're carrying in the dark.
The booq Shadow keeps what you're carrying in the dark.
Photo: booq

A shadow is a form of great substance that keeps its details hidden. Such was the inspiration for the designers at booq with a new messenger bag aptly named for what it does not reveal – your expensive tech gear.

The Shadow, available in gray and black, is elegantly spare in its look, which is part of its m.o. to discreetly carry your computer and other valuables.

After 25 Years, Timbuk2 Finally Updates Their Ancient Classic Messenger Bag

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No one but actual, honest-to-God bicycle messengers had the authority to wield a Timbuk2 messenger bag. If you were an iron-assed hard case living life on a bike, you’d probably earned the right; though you might still have found yourself the target of diluted messenger disgust.

That was the pervading vibe 15 years ago when I bought my first Timbuk2 bag, a Bolo (back then, each size had a name; the Bolo was the large version). Make no mistake, these were Messenger Bags: simple, voluminous, virtually indestructible black holes, able to swallow an inordinate amount of awkwardly dimensioned deliverables, specially stabilized for use on the bike exclusively. The only grudging nods to civility were a couple of pockets sown onto the outside of the bag and an optional padded shoulder strap.

And apart from a few minor changes, it’s stayed that way. Like the coelacanth, the Classic Messenger has remained a living fossil, unchanged, while other Timbuk2 species have evolved and developed around it. Until now.

Acme Made’s Clutch Is The Best Bag For The Best Laptop I’ve Ever Owned [Review]

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One of the things I have always found interesting about bags is the way they are defined by their intent. There is more to them than their fabric and stitch. To judge a bag, you need to look beyond what it is to what it aspires to fill itself with. In other words, bags have souls, and like people, you can’t judge them just by what they are. You must also consider what they want to be.

The Acme Made Clutch is a bag that aspires to be as sleek as the 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro that it is designed to fit. At that, it succeeds. Those looking for an all-purpose laptop bag to throw anything and everything into should look elsewhere, though. The Clutch is as minimalist, meticulously organized and with as much eye to fashion and form, it’s as if Jonny Ive had designed it for Steve Jobs himself. But Steve never was a guy who needed to keep a lot of things in his bag.

HEX Recon Is A Minimal, Stylish Messenger Bag For Your MacBook And iPad [Review]

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I’ve had the pleasure of using the HEX 13-inch Recon Messenger Bag ($80) for the last couple of weeks. We at Cult of Mac love bags, and I was excited to try such a good-looking messenger bag for my MacBook.

The HEX Recon differs from many bags in its class by offering a pouch specifically designed for holding and offering quick access to an iPad. With it’s top-notch build quality and minimal design, the Recon bag is an attractive option for everyday use.

Arnald Work Bag Cradles Your Macbook with a Modern Touch of Vintage Style [Review]

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Arnald Work Bag


If you’re someone who has even the smallest regards towards fashion, then you’ve probably given some serious thought as to which bag to use for toting your precious MacBook around. What you wear says just as much about you as your MacBook does. If you’re looking for something that looks great for casual occasions but can also feel dressed up enough for business meetings, then you need to consider the Arnald Work Bag from The Property Of. We were lucky enough to receive a bags from the Amsterdam based company and here’s our take.

The Crumpler 8 Million Dollar Home is a Rugged, Charismatic Rogue of a Camera Bag [Review]

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There’s nothing like traveling with several thousand dollars worth of expensive photo gear to kick up the ‘ol stress levels: Will I be able to pack all my stuff, and will it ll be easily accessible? Will any of it break? Are colleagues or clients going to laugh at me because it doesn’t look pro enough? If it does look pro, will it make a tempting target for thieves? Can it fit into the overhead bin or under my seat on a plane? And what the heck am I going to do with my laptop?

So it’s always a welcome relief when a bag answers those questions soothingly, in a way that sets the mind at ease — which, except for one or two of those questions, Crumpler’s $172, ruggedly adventurous 8 Million Dollar photo/laptop bag does.