This appears to be REI day – as what started out as a simple listing of an excellent laptop bag has become a 3 separate posts. I like REI so I have set aside a section particularly for them as I likely will be featuring some of their product catalogue in the future.
I started to buy REI products by default – at the time they were one of the few online retailers who were shipping internationally. I needed hiking gear and they provided some great product quickly and relatively cheaply. Naturally one of the most important parts of your travel kit are some t-shirts that allow moisture to wick away. Most types of organic materials are quite difficult to travel with when you are working hard in the heat. You just don’t have the time to wait for your soaked cotton Tee to get dry. The REI Sahara Tech Tee was one of a few t shirts that never stayed wet allowing me to hike and not worry about staying wet when it got cooler in the evening. The sweat literally evaporates off your body. The Sahara Tech Tee shoulder seams are rolled forward, reducing bulk at the top of the shoulders for non-chafing comfort under backpack straps. Machine wash cold, tumble dry low; do not use bleach or softeners; when on the road simply rinse with water and it will dry quite quickly.
Pick one up from REI.
Defunker: Get t-shirts no one else has!
REI has a short entry in their Travel Expert advice section detailing some ideas to think about when considering various types of briefcases. It’s a quick and worthy read.
“Besides the standard office briefcases, you can choose from casual courier bags or computer packs to organize your files and protect your laptop. While personal preference plays a big part in determining which style is best for you, there are a few key features you should look for.
- Business travelers will appreciate a briefcase with a back sleeve designed to slide over the handle of wheeled luggage for easy carrying.
- Those with laptops should consider either a computer briefcase or a computer pack with a padded insert to protect your laptop.
- Courier bags are more casual. They’re designed to be worn over the shoulder and have multiple organizational features for your files, disks and other office materials.”
One of my first laptop bags was the Kensington Saddle Bag which main selling point for me was that it didn’t look like a laptop bag at all. As I was just about to start traveling with my new Powerbook this was a concern for me. This format of bag can be useful as you have the choice of either carrying it on your shoulder or using the built-in straps to carry it on your back. Unfortunately I soon got rid of this bag due to a rather poor fit and the fact that it does not keep your laptop securely in place. Opening the bag to get access to other objects risks having your laptop fall onto the floor, which if I remember correctly it did.
If you like this format pay a bit more and buy the REI Vertical Computer Brief from rei.com. REI’s bag fixes many of the errors apparent in the Saddle Bag. It features a zippered back compartment with a removable computer insert (holding your laptop securely in place), shoulder straps are completely removable from brief for weight saving options, separate front pocket contains the complete business organizer, holding PDA, sunglasses, business cards, pens, keys and even spare change, and lastly a back slot pocket keeps a magazine or book within easy reach, or unzip top and bottom and slide briefcase over the handle of your wheeled luggage. It’s about $89.00.
See more or buy on their site.