Help Me Choose a New Bag

Rael Dornfest, Dan Benjamin, and Erin Szarpa

Rael Dornfest, Dan Benjamin, and Erin Szarpa at Railsconf 2006. Photo by Ryan Irelan

I’m in the market for a new laptop bag for daily use and occasional travel. Over the years I’ve tried a number of different bags, backpacks, and slings from a variety of manufacturers with mixed results, and this time I thought I try and get input from my readers, being such an incredibly smart and selective bunch.

This time around, I’m leaning toward a messenger-style bag, or possibly a sling-pack, but I’m going to take a break from backpacks for a while.

What I Carry

I tend toward minimalism, and I travel light, so the bag I’m looking for will need to have enough room for what I typically carry when I’m on the go, but ideally not much extra space. I’d rather compromise on space, if I had to make the choice.

What I typically carry:

When I’m traveling, I’ll also bring along a spare MacBook battery, so being able to squeeze that in as well might be nice.

I prefer interior pockets to large open spaces, just so long as the things are big enough for real-world items, such as the power adapter mentioned above.

I rarely take my camera (a Canon Digital Rebel XTi) with me unless I’m traveling or sight-seeing, in which case I bring a bag I’ve purchased just for that.

Bags I’m Considering

I’ve been researching this for a while, and I’ve narrowed my choices down a bit to the list provided below. That said, I’m still very open minded, and I’d love to hear some suggestions based on your experiences.

Under consideration:

The Tom Bihn Buzz looked interesting, but it’s not really what I’m looking for. I might have also listed Booq’s Mamba Saddle but it seems too bulky.

I’ve had great experiences with Booq’s backpacks in the past, but as I mentioned, I’m looking for a different form factor now.

I’d really love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you!

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