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Carrying Your IT Equipment With You?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the manbags-for-non-metrosexuals dept.


dada21 asks: "As an on-the-go journalist, IT consultant, entrepreneur and blogger, I find myself with way too much stuff. About 5 years ago I started to downsize and cut back to just 2 PCs total (small laptop and PVR desktop), 1 PDA, and 2 cell phones (main and backup). The laptop goes everywhere (doubling as a great GPS center in the vehicle for those long road trips), the PDA does, too. Traveling with all 4 electronic devices is a mess of cables: power/charger, USB, and the like. Everything is light and small but the bulk of all of it adds up. I currently use a Toy Machine messenger bag but it just doesn't work when you're trying to shove a file folder, pen/appointment selection and a day-timer in it. I'll spend the cash, even if it is really expensive, for the convenience, speed and quality for a jack-of-all-bags that can handle the jack-of-all-trades. What bag is the best solution?"

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Star Trek linked to pedophilia? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15258825)

This has very little to do with the article, but the L.A. Times recently published an article regarding the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit [] that focused on their fight against child pornography ("Sifting Clues to an Unsmiling Girl" [] ). They are the law enforcement organization that photoshopped the victims out of child porn photos in order to get the public's assistance in identifying the backgrounds (it worked). In any case, the article had this amazing claim:
On one wall is a "Star Trek" poster with investigators' faces substituted for the Starship Enterprise crew. But even that alludes to a dark fact of their work: All but one of the offenders they have arrested in the last four years was a hard-core Trekkie.
Wow. All but one in four years. Seemed rather unlikely to me.

So, I called the Child Exploitation Section of the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit and spoke to Det. Ian Lamond, who was familiar with the Times article. He claims they were misquoted, or if that figure was given it was done so jokingly. Of course, even if the figure was given jokingly, shouldn't the Times reporter have clarified something that seems rather odd? Shouldn't her editors have questioned her sources?

Nevertheless, Det. Lamond does confirm that a majority of those arrested show "at least a passing interest in Star Trek, if not a strong interest." They've arrested well over one hundred people over the past four years and they can gauge this interest in Star Trek by the arrestees' "paraphenalia, books, videotapes and DVDs."
Det. Constable Warren Bulmer slips on a Klingon sash and shield they confiscated in a recent raid. "It has something to do with a fantasy world where mutants and monsters have power and where the usual rules don't apply," Bulmer reflects. "But beyond that, I can't really explain it."
I asked Det. Lamond if this wasn't simply a general interest in science fiction and fantasy, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter or similar. Paraphrasing his answer, he said, while there was sometimes other science fiction and fantasy paraphenalia, Star Trek was the most consistent and when he referred to a majority of the arrestees being Star Trek fans, it was Star Trek-specific.

Is that IT equipment in your pocket ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15258836)

or you just happy to see me

already covered? (2, Informative)

SecureTheNet (915798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258848)

Granted it wasn't an Ask Slashdot, but this seems to have been discussed here already: 256&from=rss

Re:already covered? (1, Funny)

hector_uk (882132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258909)

i carry with me: ibook g3. ipod, newton, airport express, external modem, 2x usb 2 cables 2x firewire cables one 6-4 pin adapter, an ipod psu and dock, ibook charger, spare battery, backup HD, first gen 5GB ipod with extra long 21 hour battery, xbox 360 headset and memory card with my profile and portable saves, 360 games in a cd book with OS X disks windows 2k, XP 2k3 server, office 2003, office 2004 mac, adobe creative suit 2 full, DVD with random usefull utilities, external bluetooth usb adapter thingy, bluetooth mouse, toothbrush, toothpase, spare pair of boxers and socks, 5m cat 6 ethernet cable with crossover adapter, modem cable, null modem cable, 25 pack DVD cake, 25 pack CD cake, mini ITX pc i build from a K6-2 mobo 1.8" HD and slimline slot loading dvd drive inside a fake book. yet i still dont have a mobile phone.

Re:already covered? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259115)

i carry with me: ibook g3. ipod, newton, airport express, external modem, 2x usb 2 cables 2x firewire cables one 6-4 pin adapter, an ipod psu and dock, ibook charger, spare battery, backup HD, first gen 5GB ipod with extra long 21 hour battery, xbox 360 headset and memory card with my profile and portable saves, 360 games in a cd book with OS X disks windows 2k, XP 2k3 server, office 2003, office 2004 mac, adobe creative suit 2 full, DVD with random usefull utilities, external bluetooth usb adapter thingy, bluetooth mouse, toothbrush, toothpase, spare pair of boxers and socks, 5m cat 6 ethernet cable with crossover adapter, modem cable, null modem cable, 25 pack DVD cake, 25 pack CD cake, mini ITX pc i build from a K6-2 mobo 1.8" HD and slimline slot loading dvd drive inside a fake book. yet i still dont have a mobile phone.

Is your luggage cart self-propelled too?

Re:already covered? (1)

billster0808 (739783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259639)

What are you, a mobile-techno-hobo?

Re:already covered? (1)

hector_uk (882132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260788)

not really, it all fits in my bag/pockets. i just like to be prepared

That is (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260867)


Why, yes, I do. (3, Funny)

trs9000 (73898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258851)

I don't have no purse or nothin in my pockets and I still carry all my IT equipment with me, if you know what I mean.

Make one yourself (1)

Nanpa (971527) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258866)

If a general backpack wont do, grab some vanvas and adapt/make one for yourself. You'll learn something in the process, and you'll have exactly what you want.

Re:Make one yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15258933)

did you mean canvas? or is there such a thing as a do it yourself, compartmentalized bag?

Re:Make one yourself (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259739)

Apparently if you can grab some vanvas you'll learn something and know something.

Re:Make one yourself (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259998)

I'll learn something new the moment someone explains to me what vanvas is. ;-)

If money is no object (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15258877)

Have you considered a man-servant? As the commercials used to say, just Ask Jeeves.

Re:If money is no object (2, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260083)

Have you considered a man-servant? As the commercials used to say, just Ask Jeeves.

This might sound foolish, but I have, and am actively looking for someone to be my personal assistant. In the old days, businessmen took on younger entrepreneurs to mentor to in exchange for assistant services (don't read into that). From laundry to note-taking to writing thank-you cards, the assistant did a lot.

I looked into hiring a driver/assistant and realized that the cost (US$30,000 a year) would pay for itself quickly. If you bill at a reasonable rate (let's just throw out US$150 per hour), you'd make up their salary in 200 hours, or 4 hours saved a week! VERY well worth it.

That being said, US$30K sounds cheap until you realize that you're also teaching and mentoring and eventually helping them become what you are.

I know you were joking, but it is a great idea that shouldn't be ignored.

Just a Thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15258883)

Maybe you should just take the stuff you need instead of the stuff you think is going to impress the dorks you run into.

Re:Just a Thought (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260124)

Maybe you should just take the stuff you need instead of the stuff you think is going to impress the dorks you run into.

A few weeks ago I found myself in New York with no notice. Tomorrow I might have to go to San Fran and I am not home right now. If I leave all my stuff at home, I'll be without a tool that could make me more cash on a job, or possibly cause me to lose out to some other freelancer.

I would LOVE to trash everything and just rent whatever I need, but it doesn't work very well. The more you travel to find better work, the more you realize how important it is to have a home/office-on-the-go. For a while, the HoOf (Home Office) was key, now it is the HoOfOnDaGo, I guess.

I really don't like it, and I try to hide as much geek-junk as I can. My customers don't hire me for my tools, they hire me for my knowledge. It is the tools that help me finish a 20 hour-bid job in 5 hours, and keep the 15 hours profit for myself!

DIY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15258891)

Prada bag? Are you fucking joking?

Sew your own own bag out of sturdy material like nylon reinforced rubber (waterproof) or canvas. Or are you not man enough to do sewing?

Use a doffal bag or other large army bag.

Or perhaps a nut-sack. You know, the tough burlap bags nut harvesters use.

VNC or Remote desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15258913)

i can log into my home pc via a account and vnc, and from there i can log into all my clients networks via remote desktop. i haven't had a client yet who hasn't loved my ability to access fix anything from anywhere i am and i don't even have a laptop.

Re:VNC or Remote desktop (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259417)

I second this technique. I use VNC and can take a 233MMX cheap laptop with me to get almost whatever I want done while on the road. When there's no spot to plug in the laptop, I just pop my USB key into a willing computer online, and open my my VNC.exe viewer file and plug away.

I've not considered this before, but if there was an authentication scheme for VNC using a unique key on a USB drive, plus a password, then even if there's a keylogger on the computer you're using VNC on, it won't be able to connect to you again when you've moved on.

Re:VNC or Remote desktop (1)

Jjeff1 (636051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259651)

There is a VNC like that. Get ultra-vnc along with the [] rc4 plugin. [] Generate your very own secure key and away you go.

Re:VNC or Remote desktop (1)

Soruk (225361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260866)

There's a build of PuTTY that refers to config files instead of the registry (though at the moment I can't find it...) That combined with a stored key on the USB drive, then the only place you need to VNC to is Your VNC desktop doesn't even need to be directly visible to the internet then, only the machine (or port) that listens for on the public internet is for SSH sessions. Oh, and SSH's compression might speed things up a little too and it's end-to-end encrypted.

Re:VNC or Remote desktop (1)

clydemaxwell (935315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261216)

You're thinking of PortaPuTTy [] , I'm sure.

Twisty Ties (2, Informative)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258917)

As most of the comments so far are of the "how big is YOUR equipment" variety, I'll shoot.

You may be out of luck as far as a jack-of-all-bags. It all depends on how much mobility you want from your mobiles. Can you leave the phone/PDA and its charger close to the wall? Twisty tie the cord on the charger, plugs out for a nice, tight package. Maybe you could invest in retractable cords.
If you have the cash, you could set up "modules" of wires. Need a portable wireless point for the laptop/PDA? Strap the router/power cord/cat5 cable together.

My solution has typically been a compartmentalized cardboard box in the back seat of the car. 1/3 of it for network stuff, 1/3 for power, 1/3 for random widgets. Subdivide into network(PDA,laptop) and different power sources, mix, repeat. YMMV.

USB thumb-drive? (0, Offtopic)

corychristison (951993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258919)

5 simple steps:

  1. Obtain 2GB usb thumb drive
  2. partition 512MB[FAT/FAT32] and 1.5GB
  3. install DSL [] on 1.5GB partition; store windows utilities on 512MB partition
  4. ...?
  5. Profit!

Re:USB thumb-drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15260920)

install DSL on 1.5GB partition

Back in my day we had to configure our linux to fit on 1.4 MB disks!
That being last week.

Small linux indeed.

Redundant (2, Insightful)

lucm (889690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258937)

The laptop goes everywhere [...], the PDA does, too

Why do you need a PDA if you have your laptop with you all the time? If you really, really want a small and clunky GUI for your address book or calendar, I'm sure you can find a PDA emulator somewhere.

Re:Redundant (2, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259078)

1: Speed. From walking down the street with everything put away, one can get out a PDA and look up (whatever) faster than stopping, opening the laptop, probably brining it out of hybernation, and launching the application you need.

2: Utility. A modern PDA doubles as either an iPod, a camera, a GPS, or all of the three.

3: Safety. The most expensive PDA on the market is about $400. A geek's laptop is probably anywhere from twice to five times that expensive, and a fair bit harder to fix if broken, to boot. (A replacement PDA screen runs about $50, and Palm at least sells a "one-screen" replacement plan.)

Re:Redundant (1)

Vorondil28 (864578) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259874)

I agree with all of what you said except:

The most expensive PDA on the market is about $400.

A brand new Sharp Zaurus SL-6000 [] runs about twice that. Here's why. [] (Good thing I snagged mine for ~$375 used on eBay. ^_^ )

Anyway, yeah, I agree (since most PDA's are $400 or less).

Re:Redundant (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15262037)

"2: Utility. A modern PDA doubles as either an iPod, a camera, a GPS, or all of the three."

Get a smartphone that also acts as a PDA, Camera and mp3-player. They can also act as GPS-devices if you get an external bluetooth-GPS (which you could leave at the car). And drop that "backup-phone". So instead of having PDA, Laptop and two cell-phones, you would just have a laptop and a smartphone.

Re:Redundant (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259104)

I was thinking he can ditch the big and clunky laptop, PDAs can do so much that laptops aren't that necessary. Besides, a PDA is almost instant-on, laptops are not nearly so quick.

Re:Redundant, but necessary (2, Informative)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260043)

You'd be surprised, actually. For me, my laptop is mostly for keeping track of everything I need, while the PDA just doesn't accomplish as much on the tiny screen. My PDA and laptop are very well sync'd (Bluetooth and WiFi), but they both are unique and separate entities. If someone needs to tell me something, I jot it on my PDA and follow-up on my laptop.

My current phone (Samsung t809) works great but it isn't there yet. I'm awaiting the Nokia N80 to arrive to see if I can replace my PDA and phone in one fell swoop. Until then, the laptop is a necessity for about 40% of my work.

Re:Redundant (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259461)

A better question is why a PDA when you have a cell phone or in your case two? I use my cell for my appointments, surfing the web, watching tv, and maps, and making calls.
Some of the Sanyo phones even have a good GPS built in. Or you could get a Treo and drop the PDA.

Too much redundant junk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15258951)

Why do you have both a PDA and pen planner? Why do you have a PDA and laptop if you carry your laptop everywhere you go? Why do you have a phone and PDA when there are convergent solutions from either end? What are you, stupid?

Re:Too much redundant junk. (2, Informative)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260093)

Why do you have both a PDA and pen planner? Why do you have a PDA and laptop if you carry your laptop everywhere you go? Why do you have a phone and PDA when there are convergent solutions from either end? What are you, stupid?

Very good question, and one that I have battled with for years. I was an original Newton MessagePad user with an old brick cell phone and a Compaq luggable (120V powered only).

Laptop: Perfect for handling my server, major e-mail tasks, long term scheduling, CAD, big spreadsheets and databases, and web design.

PDA: Posting to my blogs, reading e-mails quickly, scheduling tasks, to-do list, and viewing data I've entered on my PC.

Pen: I write down notes for other people. I write thank-you notes that I mail after a discussion or a check is written or I learn something new. I may write a note to put with my business card to give to someone. In meetings, a PDA is attracts too much attention but a Day-Timer doesn't. In court, you can't bring electronics in.

I forgot to mention that I bring my D50 camera with 3 lenses with, everywhere I go. In the first 4 months I had it, it paid for itself (sold news-worthy photos to local papers). I also carry a digital voice recorder (my PDA has a terrible mic).

Two cell phones: easy to figure, a cell phone is best as a phone, everything else it does is lame. I'm awaiting the Nokia N80, though.

Make more sense?

Try a camera backpack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15258976)

I tend to use a camera bag for all my stuff. I've got a "Quantaray Urban Gear U100 Pro Backpack".

Not all the pictures show it, but it's got a good space for a laptop, and lots of room. It's very armored. ntaray%20Urban%20Gear%20U100%20Pro%20Backpack%22&b tnG=Search&sa=N&tab=wi []

Easy solution (1, Funny)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258984)

Have your house boy carry it behind you, generally 5 paces is considered respectful. Barring that, you can just have the limo driver deliver it to the place you are going while the throngs greet you upon making an appearance. That always gives me enough time to say hi and to have my stuff unpacked and booted up on my arrival.

It really isn't so hard if you put your mind to it, why do you act so 'working class'?


Tech tools (1)

kaptink (699820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259020)

I carry just a CD wallet to support jobs which has a pouch for a 3.5" drive and IDE cable, holds 20 CD's and a pocket for a receipt book. It also fits a screwdriver in the top. All in all it cost about $10 and is great for first inspections and is usualy all I need for most jobs. I also have a 2gig memory stick on my keyring for transfers. Any other tools & components, network test/crimpers, cables, spare drives, ram, etc I keep in the car as they are usualy only needed for specific applications. I also carry a PDA with GPS to find places and record job info and it also has wireless for emergency googling. I have a laptop as well in a small road case for network troubleshooting but that is something I would only take if required. Travel lite is the trick and take only what you need. The more you take onsite the more you have to carry or accidently leave behind.

STM (2, Informative)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259037)

I'm a big fan of STM bags [] . I use the Large Loop backpack [] for my 17" laptop, with enough room to easily store (and organise) pens, wallets, ipod (with headphone hole, cellphone, camcorder, you name it. Plenty of pockets and such, and not just for the sake of them, but with specific purposes, and well built. I've also used their shoulder bags too, with good results.

STM uk (1)

johnjones (14274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261660)

yeah you can get these in the UK as well they are nice and I have one that has taken a bashing

STM uk bags at Laptop:Essentials []

but again it depends on what you want personally I have one strap metal, one strap flexible and a backpack


John Jones

Mini-Laptop (2, Interesting)

rlp (11898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259056)

Have you looked at a mini-laptop - 1/2 way between a laptop and a PDA. For instance, the Toshiba Libretto is about 2 lbs.

Tenba (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259122)

I have a Tenba attache that I've used for several years. It has proven to be very versatile and durable. It has literally circumnavigated the planet with me on two occasions.

Re:Tenba (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260106)

I love the quality of Tenba but haven't found a model I like. Which one do you have? It is possible that they've discontinued the better models, since I have seen interesting ones from time-to-time.

Thanks for the info.

Day Timer? (0, Offtopic)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259132)

I know it's a minor point, but why on Earth do you need a Day-Timer if you have a PDA? Or, to look at it the other way around, why the hell do you have a PDA if you are already carrying a notebook PC and a Day-Timer?

Also, Day-Timers suck. Get a Franklin. In fact, get a Franklin PDA and you're all set.


Re:Day Timer? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260074)

I know it's a minor point, but why on Earth do you need a Day-Timer if you have a PDA? Or, to look at it the other way around, why the hell do you have a PDA if you are already carrying a notebook PC and a Day-Timer?

Actually, I converted my Day-Timer to an uber-PostIt/mega-notepad. My PDA is great for leaving notes to myself, but terrible for leaving notes to someone else (in paper form). I am an appointment-afficionado [] , and I write many thank-you notes and "Don't Forget" notes that I hand out as needed. The little Day-Timer leather-bound system works great because I can take it with me to meetings where a bag won't do, and a PDA is a bit too attention-grabbing.

For me, something that can be broken down to individual, smaller parts is key. I forgot to mention that I also carry a D50 with me at all times, so having a bag within a bag within a bag works best.

(That was a lot of hypenated words, but it was necessary.)

Re:Day Timer? (0, Offtopic)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261377)

Adam! I didn't even notice it was you asking Slashdot.

Have you considerd dumping the PDA? Move the digital functions to the PC and use a paper Day Planner?


Re:Day Timer? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261908)

I've tried, repeatedly. The PDA has many functions that neither the laptop nor the paper-form works well for me in. My PDA is my billing tool (I keep VERY copious details for invoice submittal and prelaxing (my word) punchlists. I also have a digital signature grabber that I use when I am done with a project (rather than signing paper they sign the PDA which is encrypted and sent to my server and invoiced). My PDA also is a better reminder tool than either the laptop or the Day-Timer. I have complete A.D.D. (actually, D.A.D.A, which is worse, hah) so I need something that pops up reminders with a Bing! sometimes days in advance.

I think I just need to dump it all and get a reason assistant. I'd be more productive and it would be cheaper, too, heh.

Thanks for the help.

Crumpler (2, Informative)

fean (212516) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259140)

Well, considering that most people have been recommending everything EXCEPT for bags, here's my $.02...

I have a wonderful backpack that holds my widescreen 15" laptop, my D70 SLR camera, two extra lenses, power adapters, my PSP (even bigger than a PDA), and all the cables I need to hook up any of my electronics to anything else I might find (so many adapters and cables!!!)

I HIGHLY recommend Crumpler [] Bags... I have one called (IIRC) Brian's Hot Tub, but sadly it doesn't look like it's for sale on their site (they have an australian site too, it might be there).... This bag is so big that when I load it up with everything, my girlfriend honestly couldn't carry it... I've had it for three years, and it's still in great condition, no broken zippers, no ripped fabric...

I'd take a look at the messenger bags they offer, you can't get a higher quality bag, and they're aimed very squarly at people with digital lifestyles.

They have little mini "digits"... they're like padded pockets you can attach to anything (PERFECT for cellphone/mp3 players, anything you need in access to in less than 10 seconds)

Re:Crumpler (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260053)

That is awesome, I'll order one tomorrow. I was hoping for a messenger bag made of more spandex than fabric, but this looks like it might work. The messenger bag has more panache (especially the one I linked to at Bluefly), which can gain points with the customers, but I think a backpack-like bag like you linked to would do fine.

Appreciate the link!

Re:Crumpler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15261440)

I Also highly reccomend OGIO. I have the "metro". It is the best laptop bag i have ever owned; It has plenty of room, pockets all over, a few water resistant areas, and will carry 2 laptops comfortably. The construction is absolutely first rate. My favorite part of this bag is that the main laptop compartment opens on the side of the bag, allowing easy access without having to empty the bag out. (Think airport security here... )

Heres a review of this pack from some random guy on the internet: []

My solution. (1)

gklinger (571901) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259170)

One of these [] (which may only be available in Canada but I'm sure you can find an equivalant somewhere near you), one of these [] and a bunch of these [] and I'm good to go. The Carry-All has pockets for pens, passports and even one that fits every PDA I've ever tried. You can open a zipper to double its capacity and they're built like brick sh^h^h, uh, outhouses.

Peripheralitis (1)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259188)

What bag is the best solution?
An empty one.

Re:Peripheralitis (1)

Monkeys!!! (831558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259447)

That's only a temporary solution. As soon as he puts all his crap in the bag, it becomes full and he is back to square one!

Victorinox leather laptop cases are the way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15259307)

This [] or something similar is what you need. (No endorsement of implied, I bought mine from a store locally.) Many times I took mine back and forth from Boston to LA, jam packed with a laptop, papers and manuals, lots of fiddly little data and power adapters, etc. It would barely fit under the airplane seat in front of me (and I'm using a loose definition of the word "fit"). If the laptop had broken, I would have been toast. No problem. The laptop sleeve is incredibly well made, and is like a padded hammock for your laptop. The full bag was very heavy; no female except Olga on the Soviet Olympic weightlifting team would be able to lift it. But the handles stayed on. That was a year ago, and I'm still using it for lighter duty locally. But if I had to pack it up again and hop a flight to LA, it would still do the job. I wouldn't trade it for anything (within reason :-).

Re:Victorinox leather laptop cases are the way to (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260134)

Weight isn't a problem, but this looks great and very reasonably priced, too.

I'm going to order about 10 bags from the various comments in this thread, and keep one :) I'll give the rest as "executive gifts" at Christmas time, hah.

I appreciate the link, it really looks amazing. I'd like some spandex expandability, though, how well does it hold together when stuffed or overstuffed?

Re:Victorinox leather laptop cases are the way to (1)

dietlein (191439) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260224)

Victorinox in general, actually! It took me a while to notice, but everyone who actively uses a laptop in my research group has a Victorinox case/bag of some sort. None of us have the same model, and we all swear by them.

Mine is the Web Messenger [] - works well for a laptop up to ~15.5" (the GP's hammock comment is dead on), as well as some file folders, laptop accessories (charger, wireless mouse, etc.), headphones [] , and so on and so forth. I've had it for over 2.5 years and have yet to see any wear. The ballistic nylon is invincible.

Regarding overstuffing - being that it's a messenger bag, the outer flap folds over and locks to two adjustable straps. I've filled it way too full on many occasions, and neither the bag nor the contents suffered at all. Additionally, the padded strap is amazing; it has never cut into my shoulder like backpacks or other messenger bags tend to do. It's overengineered, without a doubt.

Targus (3, Informative)

crossmr (957846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259330)

Is there some reason you can't use this? CG650 []

I use this for college and its incredibly roomie and will carry everything. Yes its not hip and european, but it carries a ton of stuff. I easily carry:
antec coolign pad
1/2 dozen CDs or so in the slim CD insert
cell phone in the cell phone pouch
USB mouse in the side pouch
water bottle on the side
2 textbooks
a notebook
several network cables
a binder
my lunch
a stapler
a calculator
several pens and pencils
it should easily hold everything.

Re:Targus (1)

billster0808 (739783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259689)

I second the backpack idea. tegory=backpacksmessengersbackpacks&product=31141& [] I've got one of thier older backpacks that's similar to that one, and I couldn't be happier with it. After 2 semesters with my 15 inch laptop and a calc book or two I've seen no rips or tears, usually I go through a backpack every semester or so. Its reinforced like crazy, the straps have elastic on em and are extremely well padded. The top handle (usually the 1st thing to go) is reinforced by a steel cable. No zipper jams at all in about a year. has a very handy top pocket for PDAs, phones, and the like. I've even dropped it once from 5 feet or so, and several from less, with no real damage to anything inside.

Re:Targus (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259736)

Mine has also stood up very well. I got it about a month into the first semester and not a single problem with it yet. The college gave us these targus euro-bags, but honestly they were garbage in comparison, at least for students. They could hold your laptop..that was it. You couldn't put in a text book, notebook, etc. Some students started carrying a backpack in addition to it, but no way was I going to drag two bags around. This was a far superior choice.

Re:Targus (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260062)

Hmmm, Targus - apropos of anything else, the first thing you do when you get a Targus bag is remove any and all visible branding.

Targus is universally known as the "LAPTOP! STEAL ME!" brand.

Re:Targus (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260177)

or just don't leave it around ;) As far as I know we haven't had any trouble at my college at least with laptop thefts this year. The one I have has actually become more and more popular of the year, I've gone from no one to seeing at least 20 different people with that particular one wandering about towards the last month. thats just people who I cross paths with anyway.

Good question (0, Offtopic)

karmawarrior (311177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259381)

I think most of us find ourselves in your position. The fact is that today's world is technologically driven. People rely upon technology for critical communications, communications we're expected to be able to make today that, perhaps, five years ago we wouldn't have been. We're expected to have access to what you might term a digital hub, not, as Steve Jobs would put it, of the livingroom (for entertainment, for consumerism), but for our lives. We carry around cellphones, and PDAs, and MP3 players, and voice recorders. Most of us wear digital watches, or quartz-based fakes.

But as time has gone on, while we've become more reliant, dependent, and expectant, of technology, the technology itself has become no more practical. The integrated device is far away. While systems like the Nokia 9500 have gone so far, the fact is we can't rely upon such technologies for everything. Just entering text into any mobile device, for instance, remains a pain, a crucial barrier to the integrated digital world.

In some ways, the question may be raised: is this the direction we want to go in? The truth is, yes it is. We're expected to have this degree of communication because the world is becoming more complex, because as we gain efficiencies through our increased knowledge, we find ourselves having to manage the data flow.

And so, right now, we have to lug laptops around, with wifi and bluetooth connections, and cellphones, and iPods. Will this end? It has to. Because unless it does, we'll never be able to realise the next step of total information connectivity. Our ability to learn, and to take advantage of the information available will be decreased.

This quagmire of people being unable to take advantage of information while the technology itself remains a hinderance will not disappear by itself. Resources need to be devoted, and unless people are prepared to actually act, not just talk about it on Slashdot, nothing will ever get done. Apathy is not an option.

You can help by getting off your rear and writing to your congressman [] or senator [] . Tell them that there has to be a nationwide program that provides technology at the point of need, ensuring total connectivity. Tell them this is important to you. Tell them that you appreciate the work being done by good, American, companies from Cingular to Motorola, from IBM to Dell, from Apple to Microsoft to support you with the technology you need in your life but that without a government mandated technology supply, ensuring those who need information can get it without the need to lug around laptops, you will be forced to use less and less secure and intelligently designed alternatives. Explain the concerns you have about freedom, openness, and choice, and how a government program of technological availability will help all three. Let them know that this is an issue that effects YOU directly, that YOU vote, and that your vote will be influenced, indeed dependent, on their policies on funding such a network.

You CAN make a difference. Don't treat voting as a right, treat it as a duty. Remember, it was thanks to ordinary people like YOU that we are now seeing such innovations as SMP in OpenBSD. Keep informed, keep your political representatives informed on how you feel. And, most importantly of all, vote.

Re:Good question (1)

ThePuD (743548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259660)

are you high?

Re:Good question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15259917)

Jesus H. F. Christ in a chicken basket, what are you smoking and can I have some?

Re:Good question (1)

AsbestosRush (111196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260705)

The free market will sort this out in a much better manner than any government implementation can ever dream of, if the market demands it.

Re:Good question (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261369)

Yeah, just like the free market sorted out the American cell phone industry.

That sound you hear is me rolling my eyes.

Re:Good question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15260950)

Apathy is not an option.

The hell it's not. Watch me.

Parent is JUST.....JUST on-topic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15261189)

I saw it - paragraph 4, sentence 1 - it was definitely on-topic there. The rest was just pure stoned genius. +5 Funny IMO.

USB for Power/Charge (1)

Mignon (34109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259440)

Not much of a bag suggestion but power supplies are indeed a pain in the ass. My phone can charge via the USB data cable so I take the cable with me to work and top off as needed. I suppose I could also just leave a charger at work but I don't have an extra. If I'm traveling and I'm taking the laptop it means I don't need the phone charger. That would apply to your situation. Not a big difference between the two but every little bit helps. I usually use a Gap messenger-style bag which has lots of pockets.

I'm pretty sure I've seen articles about building more general-purpose power supplies and/or chargers that are USB-powered. Probably on Hackaday but maybe here. RadioShack has some kind of universal power adapter - I assume it's AC-powered wih several voltage settings and tips. If something like that could cover your devices, that could help a bit.

Re:USB for Power/Charge (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260150)

This is an great idea, and I wish it worked.

My PDA is an HP iPAQ, with a proprietary power cable. I can charge it with USB but I still need a proprietary cable! My cell phone is a Samsung t809, with its own proprietary power cable (that no Samsung that I know of shares with it). Another proprietary cable. My GPS also uses a proprietary cable. I have no idea why these devices don't standardize on mini-USB (or is it micro-USB?) tha tmost cell phones use, there is more than enough pins to cover anything. Ugh.

I seriously have no less than 7 cables that I seem to always need. It is ridiculous, and it could all be fixed with Bluetooth if it worked well enough (it doesn't, not yet), and a universal power cable. 3A/12V is more than enough for any device, I'd say. Let them trickle charge if it isn't.

Don't forget to bring a towel (1)

neuro.slug (628600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259444)

A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker (or IT geek) can have

-- n

Here's what I use.... (1)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259492)

Like you, I have a large assortment of items I need to carry with me on a daily basis for work and the occasional play.
After several years of trial and error and looking at bags, I found these: []

I have the Python XM System with the 17" Powerbook sleeve. Everything fits perfectly in the bag, including laptop, AC adapter, assorted console cables to connect to my servers, file folders, webcam, you name it. The laptop sits a padded compartment separate from all the other items in the bag, and you can easily fit laptops up to the 17" widescreen ones (not using the powerbook sleeve, of course) in that compartment.
You can fit a PSP in the Logitech case in one of the side pockets.
The zippers have a special 'flap' over them that make them nearly waterproof, so you don't have to worry about water seeping into the bag thru the zippers. It's very nearly the perfect bag, IMHO.

I hope this helps you.

Re:Here's what I use.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15260829)

Agreed. I've got the same bag (2 hour commute to London everyday) and it's been fantastic (I've got 17" lappy as well, just not the apple one, so it's really heavy). Got everything in it with room to spare.

Jack of all trade bags (1)

bikeidaho (951032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259513)

Go "custom" or there will be a bag going to market shortly that is adjustable, carries everything, and is fairly custom. Check out or send me an email and I will fill you in more.

Re:Jack of all trade bags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15259882)

WTF .. thats just a damm canteen .. what does that have to do with carrying a laptop ?

always prepared (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259538)

Left cargo pocket: Sprint HTC PPC6600 (Windows Mobile 2003 SE, 128M RAM, 64M ROM, 16M Flash, 512M SD, 256M/802.11b SDIO, MS Terminal Services Client, putty, and its a phone)
Right cargo pocket: Backup cheapo Samsung generic cell phone
Bag 1: Dell Inspiron 7500 (P3-750) dual booting Win2k and Linux with Cisco Aironet 352 802.11 DS card, Toshiba Portege 2000 (P3-750) on WinXP
Bag 2: IBM Thinkpad 380XD (P233MMX) on Debian with Cisco Aironet 352 802.11 DS card
Right ear: Motorola HS-850 bluetooth headset associated with the PPC6600.

Good to go.

Custom made (1)

shoolz (752000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259575)

You want to buy a sturdy leather (no frills, no compartments) laptop bag, and a sturdy leather (lots of frills, lots of compartments) video camera bag. Take them to your leather smith (can often be found at shoe repair shops!) and have him sew the backs of them together.

It's not crazy, I've done similar things.

Bag for laptop + SLR? (1)

sakusha (441986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259625)

I have a different problem, I need a bag for traveling, something big enough to carry the gear that's too precious to check in during an airline flight, specifically my laptop and a big digital SLR camera. There are plenty of good laptop bags, but none of them seem to be large enough to carry an SLR too. And I hate backpacks.

Re:Bag for laptop + SLR? (1)

sheldon (2322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259911)

LowePro makes Notebook/Camera bags... []

I just bought one of their Tropolis 1250 backpacks, and they're extremely nice. LowePro has always made good camera bags.

Re:Bag for laptop + SLR? (1)

mojotunes (111461) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260059)

You might find that this bag works for you: MEC Carry On Travel Pack [] I use one of these as my everyday laptop bag and for travelling. Depending on the location I'm travelling to, I'm usually good for a few days to a week with just this bag for my clothing + electronic gear (TabletPC, cellphone, PDA, iPod, GPS, batteries, chargers and a few cables) plus pens, business cards, etc. I know you say you hate backpacks, but the backpack straps do stow away neatly when not being used and it has a padded shoulder strap and grab handle as well. I use it mostly as a shoulder bag but the backpack option is nice for carrying it longer distances with a full load. I use the snapcord on the outside to pop in a jacket or hat when it's not needed immediately but I want to keep it handy, like when trudging through airports.

Re:Bag for laptop + SLR? (1)

mojotunes (111461) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260072)

Oh yeah, forgot to mention. The outer pocket is also big/expandable enough to carry an SLR and a couple extra lenses as well.

Decent bag for the tech gear (1)

no_such_user (196771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15259662)

The eBags Downloader backpack [] has served me well for over a year now. I'm in a similar situation -- I carry a ton of gear, as well as cables and spare batteries for everything. It's not perfect, but short of designing a custom-made bag to fit my specific set of items, I'm fairly happy with this bag.

The two main compartments each have sub-compartments, including a laptop section with foamy padding. There's a decent sized pocket on the front (in which I store my iPod and PDA), two on the sides (good for a cell phone or two in one, and a small umbrella in the other), and the zippered subpockets in the smaller of the two main compartments are perfect for batteries and cables.

I was skeptical about purchasing an eBags branded bag, but so far I'm impressed with the quality. The biggest indicator for me? The zippers never stick. The regular price is reasonable, but it's easy to find coupon codes to bring it down a few dollars more.

One other suggestion: get some retractable cables (i.e. ziplinq [] ) to replace anything in your bag longer than a foot.

hmm, this is invented already... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260063)

It is called the rigid bag container, or briefcase. A briefcase with additional clip on adjustable shoulder strap for really long walks perhaps. A briefcase is nice and stout, locks, it is "professional business acceptable" looking, is a nice flat surface for a handy portable "table" to set things on, and certainly has enough room for what you are looking to carry. 15$ for a good sized one at most *mart brand department stores, plain jane aluminum. Spend what you want after that I suppose, virgin lizard leather interior or whatever.... here's a thought, knowing how you like neat stuff, you can always measure it and find a nice solar panel that fits that you could screw to the outside of the side that faces "out" when you are carrying it, probably the "top" of the case when you set it down. Drill a hole and snake in the connector, be trickle charging some gadget as you travel around. I have several small ones sort of that size, none of them are all that heavy. The unisolar flexi panels I have are the lightest. In fact, there's a product right there (might exist but I haven't looked either), a briefcase where the sides *are* solar panels to begin with, those are the sides, just find an existing one that has good frames, use two obviously, what the heck, a nifty "power black" color is an added "high tech geek fashion" bonus. elegant, yet practical...

Re:hmm, this is invented already... (1)

ManiaX Killerian (134390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260413)

You have to be kidding. I carried just my laptop on one bag with a shoulder strap, and had a lot of pains in the shoulder for the duration. For most of the techies using just one shoulder to carry all the stuff can be murderous, and this still doesn't solve the problem with the space (I haven't seen such big briefcases myself).

The backpack is probably the best choice, most techiesh use it instead of anything else, last year I met Larry Lessig at an event here, and he was also using backpack, as was RMS and some other people. I myself switched to a samsonite backpack two years ago and I'm still happy with it (I was able to put in it my laptop, a DV camera, 20m of VGA cable amd some extra clothes, just in case).

crumpler (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260336)

These guys make a variety of bags for cameras, laptops, phones, etc. Weird website, but pretty good bags. They're an Australian company, I think. presumably they export to the U.S (where, I assume, you live ;-) []

Spire (1)

Delta (16579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260346)

I'm *very* pleased with the Spire products: []

They're great for use, and abuse. I've rolled over it several times rollerblading, with the laptop still on, and so on. Never any problems. I've had mine for 3-4 years now, and while it is showing slight wear, it seems to be good for another 3-4 years without a problem.

You should peek around their site, and pay attention to the details, like the laptop room not being all the way against your back, so it's a very comfortable fit.

Use low-tech equipment (1)

Tux2000 (523259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260428)

I use pen and paper for a large part of my job: Notes, ideas, tracking working hours, appointments. No cables, no empty batteries, no chargers, weights less than a PDA and can be bent without loss of data. What else does a PDA offer? A calculator - also offered by my cell phone, and my brain can also shuffle around some numbers. A phone book? In my cell phone, and more convienient. E-Mail addresses? On my laptop. "Pocket Office"? A full-featured office package runs on my laptop. MP3 player? On my laptop. Perhaps, some day, I may buy an iPod.

I use an old (should I say antique) Nokia 5130 cell phone with a third party li-ion battery, giving me at least a week runtime without needing a charger. When I'm longer away from home, I can pack the small charger somewhere into my luggage; when I travel by car, the handsfree car kit charges the cell phone battery. And a second cell phone "as backup" is just nonsense. The last time a 5130 refused to work was when it fell into a bucket full with dirty soap water, about five years ago. It has no camera, no color display, no "screensaver", no fancy ringtones, it can't even show a custom logo. But I can use it to call people. That's why I bought it.

Sure, I also need to work with a laptop, but I don't carry a PVR around. Why should I want to do that?

I also have a GPS for my car, based on a cheap PDA, but that stays either at home in its cradle or in a locked box inside the car. I don't need the PDA features, just the GPS software. Inside the car, the PDA is powered by the car. So I don't need to carry around a charger. The cradle stays at home. The GPS software does not need to be backed up or synced, so I use the cradle just as a charger. The USB cable is plugged nowhere.


Spire bags - Rough, tough, intelligent (1)

Betabug (58015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260620)

Years ago - so many years that I don't remember exactly, must have been around 2000 - I got a laptop backpack from Spire [] . I used it for daily commutes, travelling all across Europe, and generally carrying my laptop everywhere. It still looks like new (well, like new but *dirty*).

These bags are so tough I was afraid the company was going out of business, they can't have that much of repeat buys that way. Really recommended. They have *huge* bags too.

Modify a nasty canvas satchel or military daysack (1)

AEther141 (585834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260678)

Stitch some dividers into the most nasty-ass bag you can find, perhaps put a bit of upholstery foam at the bottom if you're clumsy. If you buy an $850 prada bag, you won't keep it for long. Your odds of being mugged for your laptop are inversely proportional to the amount you spent on the bag it's carried in. Anything that looks designed for the job is going to vanish the first time you doze off in an airport lounge. As a bonus, military-issue rucksacks are usually immensely comfortable for monster loads and the only thing I'd want to regularly carry much more than a single laptop in. Just avoid the ALICE packs, they're shit.

billingham bag. also, too much stuff! (1)

will (6647) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260679)

Come on. 12" powerbook and a phone (which can also be gps and pda, if you like). What else do you need?

As for the bag, if you want to carry a load of fragile equipment in comfort and safety, ask a photojournalist. They've always had to do it, and to my mind the best equipment bag you can buy is a billingham [] . You could fit everything in a Hadley [] and not even look like a geek*, or add an SLR and some clothes and it'll still fit in a 445 [] . Mine is over 20 years old and only just broken in.

*If that's a drawback, consider a Lowepro [] instead. But do you really want that 'this is where I keep my expensive laptop' look?

Came free with my Radeon (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15260706)

I got a Powercolor X800 PRO with the backpack; []

It's the "Assassin edition" some way down the page. The backpack is THE best laptop bag I have ever had.. it has a little soft pocket with velcro strap for the laptop, and plenty of space for my scanner (Canon N650U) and graphics tablet also (Wacom Graphire 3), document pockets in back, straps, shoulder straps, top handle, in the front are 4 pockets which fit my IRIVER player, digital camera, mobile phone, all my chargers, a battery charger (Radioshack 2-AA), null modem cable, two mice (graphire and travel), lik-sang mousepad, ethernet cable, selection of pens (from sharpie to fineline to mechanical pencil), spare extended-life battery for the laptop (mmm 12h..) and my glasses cleaning kit (alcohol spray and microfiber cloth), condoms and a travel toothbrush :)

Yeah it's heavy with all that stuff in it, and a bitch to get on a plane, but it's so convenient.

I guess my question is, where did they get that backpack from, because I would recommend it in a heartbeat, if it didn't need you to buy a $500 graphics card to get it..

Swiss Army works for me (1)

onedobb (868860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261374)

I have the Swiss Army bag and it works well for me. If your notebook is not any longer than 15.4" you shouod be fine. I carry my laptop, external DVD burner, Power supply for each device, cd case, and also my mouse. With all of that, i don't get close to filling the bag. The link below is to Best Buy's website showing the bag. Since it is a backpack it has some security straps on it to keep it from falling off of you, or really straining your back and sholders. It's another bag to consider. 747&type=product&productCategoryId=cat08003&id=107 7630480948 []

James Bond style (1)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261439)

There was a geek bag set posted late last year. I can't for the life of me remember what it was. But it sounds like you could use it, at least in addition to a good laptop case. It was a modular bag system that allowed to you carry it in any of a number of configurations, even James Bond style underneath a suit.

Gah, and I was even gonna buy one and it's just out of my memory. Anyone?

My soluution (1) (213219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261490)

When traveling for work, I frequently found myself packing two laptops, a printer, a switch or two and about a half a mile of cables, a couple of cel phones, digital cameras, disks, papers, tools and you name it. At the time, I would be hitting the road for a few days every week. Everything was as compact and as light as I could make it but it all still added up.

One day I was in the grocery store and stumbled across the solution. This particular store had an area where they sold odd-ball stuff that you don't usually find in grocery stores - they offered these things at really low prices and I picked up a three piece American Tourister soft-sided luggage set (in a maroon color) for next to nothing. They "nested" one inside of the other and had wheels. I used the biggest one to tote everything. I used pieces of foam backed carpet glued onto luan plywood as separator pieces and stuck a piece of this into the pocket in the inside lid of the case and a piece in the back, between the frame thing for the handle. What I ended up with was a "semi-soft-sided" piece of luggage that was better able to protect the equipment. It held everything I needed to carry and even allowed me to use the outside pockets to store things in.

I've never had any damage, I check it when I get on the airplane and when it comes off of the baggage thing at the airport, I can tell immediately that it is mine, there are so few maroon bags that I can find mine right away.

Also, these bags can snap together one piggybacking on the other so that I only have one thing to drag through the airport. This is a feature that I love because when you try to drag two side by side you look like a one person Laurel and Hardy show.

Fight-or-Flight for Daily Life (1)

OrangePeril (739827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261593)

I highly recommend Maxpedition bags and kit. Everything is heavy-duty nylon which makes the bags very solid. They also have pouches and pockets for everything you need, and nothing you don't. []

I personally have the MPB (MultiPurpose Bag) and it has served me well carrying my various electronic equipment for nine months of business travel in 13 countries. []

depends on what you want ? (1)

johnjones (14274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261617)

it totally depends on what you want one strap or 2 for a mac or PC do you want to carry a mouse as well ?

check out laptopessentials UK store []


John Jones

Kensington! (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261732)

I love my saddlebag [] . They also make it in black now, and Kensington also has messenger and executive bags now labeled under the "Saddlebag" name. While those may also be excellent bags, I have experience with the old-faithful -- the brown/black model. This was the very first laptop backpack (that I'm aware of).

When I travel, I can easily fit two laptops, a multitude of chargers, cell phones, cables (including 25ft cat5), a mouse, a soda, camera, and some snacks. Easily, I can bring it to a weight that could easily break a smaller man's back.

Re:Kensington! (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261764)

Btw, the inside has vertical dividers which are great for keeping files/folders/papers straight. I've been using my bag since 2000 without any signs of wear and tear. This bag has survived a year of full-time college, two years part-time college, and international travel (every 6mo).

swiss gear (1)

fusto99 (939313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15261994)

I just bought a Swiss Gear Synergy backpack [] for a trip to London that I just got back from. I was amazed at how much it would expand and contract depending on the load that I put in it. The outer pocket is a special section for just about anything smaller such as a cell phone, pocket knife, usb keys, business cards, etc. It even has a place to thread headphones though in case you want to listen to an MP3 player while you're wearing it. Even though I found out about it just a few weeks ago, I was amazed at how many people at the airport had similar ones as well. Best of all, it was only 80 dollars.
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