I’ve been on a bit of a mini-break these past few days but luckily have managed to find some open wifi. It never ceases to amaze me just how cool that really is – even in Taiwan network coverage is expanding. “Awol” shared with me this guys great attempt at creating his own messenger bag from used materials. Instead of going out and buying a freitag, why not build it yourself? I might give it a try some free Sunday.
View recycled banner golden mean messenger bags.
No idea how much protection is afforded by this cool looking bag – assume none and buy a good sleeve – but there is no doubting the fact that this is a unique take on the tired laptop messenger. “What makes this bag unique is the shoulder strap, which is a genuine aeroplane seatbelt with a stregth indicator of 2500. Each bag has a unique seatbelt tag and hand stamped number imprinted on the front. All The King’s Men bags are made in Melbourne, Australia so you can be assured of a totally funky and well built bag.” I love the colors and next to leather this is one of the nicest wearing materials I have seen. Even with rips and tears they get better with age. AUD $209.00 at rushfaster.
There must be a law written somewhere that states if you look hard enough for something you will never find it. About 2 years ago I was starting a frenzy of travel and my passport was starting to show signs of serious wear. It’s hard to get a replacement overseas so I thought I would get a simple leather passport case to protect it, much like I had seen so many others using. I looked in every luggage shop imaginable and no one had such a thing. I ended up getting something from Samsonite but what I was really looking for was what I found today at Levenger. The Bomber Jacket Passport Holder is made from full-grain leather “that will mellow with use” and holds all standard passports. Finally. Available for $38.00US.
It would seem that people just can’t stop finding new ways for you to carry around your iPod. Made by Pink “London’s leading Jermym Street Shirt Maker” of 100% silk, the limited edition commuter tie features a pocket on the reverse to hold your iPod Nano and an extra fabric loop to keep headphone wires out of sight and close to your body. I’m not sure of there is something absolutely wrong with this idea or if it’s rebelliously cool. Available for about $85.00US direct from Pink.
I’m in the market for a new set of speakers. I have a number of power amps that I used in an art installation that are just sitting around doing nothing. While I am a big advocate of using headphones, especially when you consider how portable they are, sometimes you want to come home after a long trip to the incredible warmth of beautiful sounding speakers. Since I am a dreamer I think these new Reference R 909 from Jamo would look quite nice in my small home office. The R909’s go against what you might normally see in a speaker design by doing away with the cabinet you usually see on traditional sets. There is no fancy walnut cherry oak pine material around the back – just fresh or not so fresh air. Jamo says they will as a result produce a purer sound with better bass quality. For about $13,000US you can check them on that fact or buy them for me and I’ll be glad to check them for you (http://www.jamo.com).
I don’t make a point of handing out business cards wherever I go but there are times when there really is no escaping this business custom. When this happens what is more impressive passing out dog eared cards that have been in your wallet (which was likely in your back pocket) or crisp cards that were held in this beautiful business cards case? I’ve gone through the modernist metal cases and I currently use a minimalist clear plastic case from Muji but nothing beats the feel and look of leather. These business card cases by Floto are handmade iin Florence from Italian nappa lambskin and according to Floto what makes these cases really unique is the aniline dying process. Whatever the reason these look and feel great. Available in 7 colors online for $109.00US from Floto.
Singapore based Localbrand have created a small collections of Tees with funky illustrations and wonderful irreverent messages. Though I have yet to buy one, and I am sure I will, I do like them very much. My favorite is the TiT tee which exposes my secret fantasy of being a male Tai-Tai – I’ve always wanted to have a filthy rich wife who would lavish me with money to pursue my interests without having to worry about all that financial responsibility stuff. Their t-shirts are designed on American Apparel and can be had for ~$30.
Though a rather banal product this Bodum travel press is one of the best ways to enjoy your favourite coffee on the road. I live in a very “local” locale with little in the way of international foods so lately with the availability of a greater selection of beans in the foreign grocers here I have ignited my lost love of fresh brewed coffee. When I travel I can’t always guarantee that a good cup of coffee will be readily at hand for that oh so necessary morning cup, so forgoing the obvious departure of traveling light this looks like a good product for me. Likely available just about everywhere or online at the Bodum shop for $14.95US.
How many times have you walked out of your hotel room, gotten half way to the days destination, and realized that you forgot a whole laundry list of tasks? Or perhaps your camera. I haven’t much either but if you are the forgetful type like me this crisp piece of design might save your day. Shaped paper notepad with 50 sheets for $5.95US at CB2.
Timbuk2 have recently introduced their new spring `06 colors for their range of bags and accessories. 286 “fresh combinations” of color makes for a fun and unique bag to carry your laptop, gear, and other stuff. It’s a bit too fashionable for me, I’m not about to replace a good bag every season when a new line of color comes out, but if you are looking for something bright and fun it might be a good time to check them out. They do make great product. Their new spring colors.
One of the most unfortunate failings of so many bags is the use of dark colours on the inside materials. This can be especially annoying when you are looking for something in a bag with many small compartments in low light. Luckily many designers get this and you see some of the best bags with brightly colored interiors. But what if you have a great bag that is otherwise perfect? You buy a Black Hole Light. When attached inside an zipper or flap, the Black Hole (micro) Light automatically lights up the interior of your bag when it is opened. A magnetic sensor does all the work. Ingenious. Available at Sahalie for $16.00US. [Found via smartstuff.]
I don’t usually like the feel of the material, neoprene, that these new bags from Slappa are made from but the Velocity backpack and messenger have a rather unique feature that goes beyond the usual for a laptop bag. They tout a simple “stay cool” inner lining to carry your cold goods in. I’m not sure that they are intending this to be a combination cooler and laptop bag but the concept is an interesting one. This bag just might allow you to take both your laptop and your cold high-octane drinks in one package to you next LAN party. They also have the far more ordinary basic requirements of high quality zippers and plenty of pockets for your gadgets. $79.99 from Slappa.
A beautiful black leather messenger bag from Lodis with some really bright orange pockets (or blue). Orange leather sounds pretty funky. It features a magnetic flap closure, contrasting leather trim, one exterior zip pocket, two interior pockets with padded compartment for laptop. The included strap doesn’t look that comfortable but otherwise it looks like a very clean bag for the stylish urban traveller. As usual you might want to consider a laptop sleeve as many of these bags offer only minimal protection. $175.00 at Nordstrom. [Hat tip Mighty Goods]
Most phones and gadgets in general are far too feature rich, simplicity of function rules for me, so when I saw the first walkman phone I balked at what was just another cheap ploy to make sales. If I want to listen to music when I am on the go I will bring my iPod. Up until now there really wasn’t any reason to think differently. The Sony Ericsson W950i might just change my mind. The 3G phone (GSM 900/1800/1900 + UMTS 2100) offers USB 2.0, Bluetooth, 4 GB flash storage capacity, Symbian OS, MP3 and AAC support, a QVGA (240×320) touch screen display, and the Opera 8.0 Web browser. Getting rid of that annoying joy stick interface was a wise decision. Price not yet announced.
Apple has shipped it’s recently introduced MacBook Pro this week with a bit of surprise jump in processor speeds. The new laptops are available beginning this week with speeds up to 2.16GHz. Waterfield has introduced a great looking sleeve designed specifically to protect your MacBook Pro. Made from high-grade neoprene and wrapped in a ballistic nylon shell, the Sleeve can function alone or inserted into another bag. Other than Tom Bihn I haven’t seen many bag manufacturers cueing up to provide a bag that will fit the slightly different specs of the MacBook Pro. I’ve always appreciated the look of Waterfield’s cases and the “Build your Sleevecase” feature is nice contrast to the lack of sizing information most laptop bag selling sites have. It’s worth checking out. Prices start at about $40.00US at the Waterfield site.