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Choosing the Right Light Bag

I like to travel light, so I try to carry the smallest, lightest bags possible. However, I tend to carry a lot of gadgets, which can include any number of the following:

  • Cel Phone
  • PDA
  • Laptop
  • iPod
  • GameBoy (or DS / PSP)
  • Digital Camera
  • Assorted Cables
  • Various Power Converters

When I need to carry all of the above, I use a small backpack. The Sumdex Neo Metro Commuter backpack weighs only 2.6 lbs, but was built to hold a bunch of gadgets as well as protect a laptop in a padded sleeve. The top exterior pocket is designed for a music player and even has a pass-through hole for an earphone wire. The comfortable shoulder straps double as hand-grip when you aren't carry this on your back.

For my daily commute, I usually just need to carry a laptop, PDA, phone, and game machine. For that, I use the Sumdex Metrobrief Lite. I chose this tiny 1.5 lb briefcase over the usual "courier bag" as I can't stand having to open the whole flap of those courier bags just to get a pen. The Sumdex bag has an easy-to-access compartment on the front which can hold pens, PDAs, phones, etc. Below is a separate compartment for cables and power supplies, and inside is a padded sleeve for a laptop. I replaced the included shoulder strap with a more heavily padded strap from JanSport.

When I don't need to carry a laptop, I use the Tumi Charlton Organizer Tote. This tiny bag is organized like a briefcase in miniature, with business card slots, pockets for PDAs and notepads, and plenty of room for a camera, game machine and more. And best of all, it looks good… meaning, it doesn't look like a purse!

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Oh yeah! Well I happen to like the Spire Zoom (http://www.spireusa.com/products/ZM5.html) backpack. It's got an innovative laptop sleeve that sits in a hard shel and mounts against a middle partition, rather than against the the wearer's back. The laptop is much more accessible for TSA checkpoints. It's also got an extra chest-strap for more vigorous use (it's perfect for motorbike riding). Otherwise, looks to have most of the same features as the SNMC, but most of the items are sequestered on the inside, rather than exposing multiple pockets.

posted by: Chris Weiss | URL: stickyc.com