Hardware 2.0: What's in my gadget bag?

Find out what kit I carry around on a daily basis. This is the gear that helps me to get my work done, carry my important data, and stay connected to the web.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

I get a lot of people wondering what I carry around with me on a daily basis. Well, wonder no more. Read on and all the secrets of my gadget bag will be revealed.

But be aware - it's not a lightweight setup!

The bag

My bag is in fact a case, an SKB 3I waterproof notebook case.

SKB 3I is a mil-standard waterproof case built from ultra high-strength polypropylene copolymer resin, and featuring a gasketed, water- and dust-tight, submersible design that is resistant to corrosion and impact damage. It also features lockable TSA-compliant latches.

It's had a lot of bumps, knocks, and scrapes over the years, but it wears these like badges of honor.

Because this case was designed with old-school-style 17-inch notebooks in mind, I modified it by glueing foam under the lift-out notebook layer to make the notebook area thinner so it better fit my MacBook Pro, and at the same time gave me more room in the compartment underneath for extra stuff.


My current carry-about notebook is a 15-inch MacBook Pro featuring a 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCI-e flash drive.

It's the perfect combination of power and performance.


If I want to take a tablet with me, then I have a choice:

  • iPad Air
  • Kindle Fire HDX
  • Nexus 7
  • Kindle Paperwhite

I carry one or more depending on my needs.

Portable hard drive

Since I have a MacBook Pro kitted out with a super-fast Thunderbolt port, it would be a shame to waste it. So I use a My Passport Pro.

The My Passport Pro houses two drives. This makes them thicker, but the two drives have benefits. Using the supplied software you can configure these drives as RAID 0 or RAID 1 (depending on whether you want speed or data duplication) or you can set them to appear as separate drives.

The My Passport Pro comes equipped with Thunderbolt connectivity, and the cable is attached, which is great because it means I don't have to buy one, and won't lose the one supplied! This drive delivers transfer rates as high as 233 MB/s, so it's no slouch. The drive also gets power from the Thunderbolt connector so there's no separate AC adaptor to carry (or lose).

USB flash drive

I literally have hundreds of USB flash drives knocking about the place, but my current drive of choice is a 512GB Kingston DataTraveler HyperX Predator. USB 3.0 means I get 240MB/s read and 160MB/s write speeds, and the drive is protected by a robust metal case.

I also carry a few cheap Lexar 4GB USB drives, which only cost a few bucks so I have no problem leaving them somewhere.


While my iPhone and iPad are tied to a single carrier, I can tap into other networks using an unlocked Huawei E5776s-32 4G mobile LTE wi-fi hotspot and a handful of SIM cards.


I carry a bunch of cables, including Lightning and mini B USB, for my devices. I find the Amazon Basics cables to be excellent value for the money and just as reliable as anything else I can buy.

CompactFlash card reader

I spend a lot of my time taking photographs, and while the MacBook Pro has an in-built SD Card reader, I shoot on CompactFlash cards. I fill this gap by carrying a Lexar Professional Workflow CFR1.

Portable power pack

Low battery is probably one of the principal first world problems, and I avoid low battery anxiety by carrying with me an Anker 2nd Gen Astro3 12000mAh external battery pack. It's compact, but has plenty of power to keep my gadgets humming along.

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