A pitch recently landed in my inbox that didn't make a lot of sense. Some designers were working with Freitag, a Swiss company that makes bags out of old truck tarps, and they were launching a Kickstarter. The product: the Zippelin, a foldable suitcase with bike tubes that inflated to create a frame. It sounded so weird it just might work. And it does.
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Every week a handful of emails hit my inbox about a new backpack on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, complete with a flashy video and promises of revolutionising how I carry all my toys. I'll be the first to admit that I've been tempted to donate to quite a few of them. But it's hard to be pulled away from the Lowepro camera bags I've owned over the years. If you're a photographer, there's a good chance that at some point you've carried a DSLR and a myriad of lenses in one of Lowepro's packs. The company's spent the past 45 years coming up with ways to protect and haul camera equipment. With its new Urbex bags, the company reinvents that camera-focused legacy with a line that's focused on being the bag for all of your gadgets, and the clutter that comes with them.
In Australia, laptop bags and backpacks are usually unreasonably expensive for the quality that you're buying -- you're paying more for a brand name than you are solid construction and protection for your expensive gadgets. Belkin's first bags are less pricy than some of its own battery packs, but at the same time you're not just buying throwaway trash.
Let's get the bad news out of the way first. This Space Invaders-themed backpack only looks like a miniature replica of an arcade machine -- it doesn't actually let you play the classic video game that has you fending off alien invaders. But we'll happily turn a blind eye to that oversight, because everything else about this pack is fantastic.
When you're storming into battle brandishing a Bat'leth, Daqtagh, Mek'leth and other traditional Klingon weapons, you're going to need an easy way to carry all those armaments -- plus maybe a few snacks. This lovely messenger bag might not be part of the official Klingon uniform, but who says a warrior can't also be organised?
If you're not careful, photography can become a black hole of never-ending accessories and camera gear that you can never escape. You don't always need to bring along an entire studio's worth of gear to get a great shot, and Betabrand is making it even easier to travel light with a new camera bag featuring a reflector built right in.
I have a bag problem. It's rivaled only by my shoes and my jacket problems. I collect the things. I throw away too much money every year on the quest for the perfect bag for travel, or every day, or evening, or conventions. I have four different bags just for lugging my camera equipment around. But I only have one backpack in regular use (the other is from high school and covered in X-Files quotes). It's specifically a backpack for cameras, and unless I need to haul a multitude of lenses around it never leaves my closet.
A backpack is a great way to carry a bunch of stuff while keeping your arms free. That's why they can be a great photography accessory. The fact that it's always out of reach on your back is annoying, though. This is surely why Wolffepack has created a photography-focused pack that you can access without having to remove it.
Once a brand tailored to those who'd rather spend their weekends exploring the great outdoors than bingeing on Netflix, North Face is now creating packs designed for those who only ever hike to work. Its new Access Pack is engineered to safely carry and provide quick access to all of your gadgets. The backpack excels at that -- but not much else.
If you've ever found yourself crammed into a packed train carriage, right up against another rider's backpack, you've probably realised just how easy it could be to sneak open a pocket and swipe something. So to help protect expensive photography gear, Manfrotto's new backpack makes lenses and cameras only accessible while the pack is removed.
If Ocean's Eleven taught us anything, it's that planning heists is tough but entertaining. The authorities have all kinds of devices that can be used to track your stolen loot, so item number one on your planning list should be this cash-carrying sack that blocks any and all wireless tracking signals.
Centuries of gender role reinforcement have ingrained the idea that women carry purses, while men stuff everything they need into every last pocket on their person. But with this R2-D2 dome purse that ThinkGeek is now selling, there's finally no reason for anyone to feel embarrassed about carrying a handbag.
What good is a set of wheels on the bottom of your suitcase if somewhere between checking your bag and retrieving it from a luggage carousel one or two of them have been broken off? Your bags are actually harder to transport after that happens. But since standing spinner suitcases are just so convenient, Heys has introduced the first set of retractable wheels on its new Stealth that keeps them safe and out of the way while a bag is being handled
A laptop bag can protect all of your electronics as you bump into other passengers on a crowded subway, or simply get caught in the rain. But the MTS Multi-Threat Shield briefcase goes much way further than that -- it can also protect you from gunshots, knives, and even physical attacks when unfurled into a three-foot long shield.
Unless you're just wandering off into the wilderness for a week, there's often a lot of waiting involved when travelling -- whether it's for a flight, a hotel room, a taxi, or even dinner. So for all those times when you're stuck in line with no place to sit, the Bagobago might actually be the best travelling companion since it's a lightweight backpack with a compact stool built right in.
Say goodbye to your current backpack, purse, or messenger bag because once you lay eyes on this amazing R2-D2 carry-all nothing else will ever satisfy your carrying needs again. Hand-made by the talented folks behind Krukrustudio, this Artoo is entirely made of felt and can be purchased on Etsy for $243.