Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In the Bag

Before I bought all this cool technology my typical load out for work consisted of my Baggallini bag (in purple), my lunch cooler and my knitting bag (a small custom color boat and tote from LL Bean.

When I got the Kindle I tucked it into my knitting bag. No big deal. The Kindle is small and light and didn’t take up much room. When I got the Dell Mini I tucked that (and the charging cord) in the knitting bag as well. That made it a wee bit heavier, and combined with the Kindle was starting to eat into the knitting project space. What to do.

Well, once again, my techie friend Terry came to my rescue. He pointed me to the Waterfield Designs web site where all manner of bags can be had for your cool techie toys.

First I bought a sleeve case and Vertigo bag for the Fujitsu Sytlistic. I haven’t used it much, yet, mostly because I haven’t had the occasion to. The Sytlistic lives under my coffee table or in my lap.

When I got the Dell Mini I purchased a sleeve case for that as well. At the same time I picked up a slip case and bag for the Kindle. I haven’t used the Kindle bag yet either, other than to store accessories in, but I am keeping the Kindle in the slip case rather than the cover that came with it. I like the Kindle cover that comes with it, but when I’m reading the Kindle I found that the cover got in the way, so I got the slip case instead.

Unfortunately, while these bags were great for toting the technology, none of these fine bags could replace my purse and knitting bag. The search continued. First I looked at knitting bags. They all featured lots of pockets, but none of them seemed to have a mesh pocket for my water bottle, an absolute must. I tried a Baggallini messenger bag. It had lots of pockets and it even had a mesh pocket, inside the main compartment, that I could just fit my water bottle into. It required a bit of surgery before I used it – they had magnetic clasps and I didn’t want those near my credit cards. I used it for a week or so and it worked…okay. But I really wanted something that was just a wee bit deeper front to back and not quite so long side to side (between the shoulder strap ends).

I was feeling pretty frustrated and discouraged. I dug through the closet stash of old bags from my college days, but nothing would work. Then I came across an old LL Bean bag from my grad school days. It was called the Traveler. It had some distinct possibilities but was somewhat the worse for wear. So I went back to the LL Bean site and found the Travel Touring Bag. It has sturdy construction, an ample mesh pocket on the outside for my water bottle; a front pocket with flap that can hold the stuff from my purse; an inside zipper pocket that holds the Dell Mini with its charging cord; adequate room in the main compartment for my knitting; and a pocket on the back that holds my Kindle and iPod.

It still is not a perfect solution. Now I have the problem of what to do when I just need a purse. Sometimes I pull out the old Baggallini purse and stuff what I need in it, sometimes I just grab my wallet and cell phone and stuff it into one of my LL Bean custom boat and totes that I use as knitting bags. But really, some kind of modular system would be ideal, where I could detach the purse portion, or the technology portion or the knitting portion but I have yet to see that kind of design approach being applied to bags. We tend to approach bags from the single use perspective. Hmm, I know a woman who used to design bags for a living, and she usually comes to Bead and Button, maybe I’ll have a little chat with her this year…

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