I recently admitted that I have a bag tree in Mobile News Manor, complete with a bunch of gear bags hanging from the limbs. That prompted some to charge me with sharing my favorite gear bags that I regularly use, so here they are. These three bags are my go-to bags, each with a specific purpose it fills for me. I am also sharing an honorable mention bag, as one of my bags is no longer available for purchase.
My philosophy for gear bags is simple: I want the smallest, lightest bag that will serve the particular function assigned to it. I have streamlined my gear needs over the years, and the bags to carry them have evolved in form too. I immediately discard bags that are bigger than needed, and that are heavy when empty, as the full weight is going to be too much. I travel light, even when the trip is just across town for the day.
The gear bag I use for extended trips has been with me for over 5 years and is no longer available for purchase. The Booq Boa XS backpack is the smallest backpack I own, and it will carry all of the essential mobile gear for a trip while remaining as small and light as possible. It will carry a laptop up to 13 inches if it is thin, but nothing bigger. The various pockets are well distributed for weight and for keeping accessories organized and easily accessible. This bag has thousands of travel miles on it and due to the quality of workmanship that Booq puts in all its bags it is still in great shape.
Honorable mention trip bag: Booq Mamba Shift M. This backpack is an updated style, and just a bit bigger than my beloved Boa XS. It is a great travel bag that I purchased for a special trip to carry more gear than the Boa could handle.
Day field bag
When I head out across town and don't need to take a laptop, I take the Fossil Nevada field bag. No man purse this, it's a field bag. The canvas construction means the Fossil is as light as possible, and the leather trim wears well. It is a simple bag, and will carry an iPad, Galaxy Tab or even a small netbook, but not much else. It has a few pockets to keep stuff organized, along with the main compartment for the gear. This bag is no longer available from Fossil, but you can still find it online if you check carefully.
Day trip laptop bag
Many times I carry a laptop with me on day trips, and I want a comfortable bag to carry the gear. The Muzetto bag from Waterfield Designs is my favorite laptop bag, as it is stylish while serving my needs nicely. It will handle a laptop up to 13 inches or maybe a little bigger, along with a small amount of support gear. The messenger bag form makes it comfortable to carry, and the flap cover is easy to get in and out of the bag. I've owned my bag for a few years, and I see they now make the bag in 5 sizes. My bag is the 13-inch laptop size. The smaller size looks like it could replace the Fossil bag.