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Six good gear bags for work and play (hands on)

Owning a gadget means finding a good gear bag to carry it on the road. Bags can vary in form, from the popular backpack to the simple laptop-style case. Whether your priority is cost or style, you’ll find a good gear bag here.
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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 12 James Kendrick/ZDNet

6 good gear bags for work and play (hands on)

I confess I am a gear bag addict. I have a big coat rack in my apartment that has been converted into a bag tree. I have quite a collection of gear bags, and among them my favorites that I use regularly.

The attributes I find most important in a good gear bag are size and thickness. I like thin profile bags that can still carry the gear I need to take. I have two backpacks I use regularly, a few shoulder bags, and a simple hand bag that was the cheapest of the lot.

The bags are presented here in no particular order. I rotate using them all, and have made numerous trips with each one.

If you have a favorite gear bag not included in this collection, please share it in the comments along with what makes you like it.

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Staad Slim Backpack

The Staad Slim Backpack is designed to take just the right essentials while remaining as low profile as possible. It has a thin laptop pocket that will fit any 13-inch laptop, and an organized pocket system for small gadgets and accessories.

I use the Staad when I travel and can easily stuff all my electronic gear inside. It is not cheap but is very functional and stylish. I regularly get compliments whenever I carry the Staad Backpack.

It is available from sfbags for $319, and there is a slightly wider version available for $329. The waxed canvas and leather will stand up to the bumps of the road.

Don't miss the full review of the Staad Backpack on ZDNet.

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Staad Slim Backpack

The Staad Backpack is very comfortable to wear due to the attention to the back of the bag.

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Indy Bag

This bag is made of leather and will fit the iPad Air and similarly sized tablets. It has a zippered pocket on the back and two pockets on the inside.

The company, sfbags, makes two sizes to fit exactly what you intend to carry. I like this bag so much I own both sizes, one for the iPad and another for smaller tablets like my Kindle Fire HDX 7.

It is available from sfbags for $179 for the mini Indy and $189 for the Indy Bag.

Here's the full review of the Indy Bag on ZDNet.

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Indy Bag

The soft inside of the bag has several pockets for small accessories.

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iPad Travel Express

When a laptop-style bag is a better fit I carry the iPad Travel Express. It is designed to carry the iPad and an Apple wireless keyboard for those who want a full keyboard. It fits the iPad in a keyboard case and that’s what I usually carry in mine.

It has several pockets on the inside and is a durable bag for the road.

It is available from sfbags for $69.

Catch the full review of the iPad Travel Express on ZDNet.

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iPad Travel Express

While designed to fit the iPad and Apple Wireless Keyboard, it will accomodate any tablet of similar size along with keyboard cases for them.

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Flight Jacket

This backpack will fit any laptop up to 13.3 inches and a tablet, along with assorted accessories. The fine leather used in the Flight Jacket looks good and will stand up to the road.

In addition to the pockets for the laptop and tablet, there is a detachable accessory pocket designed for the MacBook Pro charger. It will fit most chargers and small gadgetry. When a low profile is desired, just detach the accessory pocket and go.

The Flight Jacket is available from MacCase for $199.95 and the backpack straps are an extra $30.

Don't miss the full review of the Flight Jacket on ZDNet.

 

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Flight Jacket

This is one good looking bag that can function as either a shoulder bag or a backpack.

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BUILT Bag

This bag is the thinnest and lightest of this collection. It was designed to carry the 11-inch MacBook Air and a tablet. It has two pockets on the inside to carry thin accessories, such as a phone. In the photo above all of the mobile gear I carry in this bag are shown to the right.

Sadly, this bag has been discontinued but it may be possible to find remaining inventory online at retailers.

See how the BUILT bag performed on a recent road trip.

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BUILT Bag

Believe it or not, the bag shown above is loaded with a laptop, tablet, and a smartphone.

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AmazonBasics Bag

When I am heading out for a short excursion I like this bag from AmazonBasics. It will fit anything from the iPad Air to the Kindle Fire HDX 7. There is a big zippered pocket on the outside for accessories.

The best part about this bag is the price. It is available for only $9.49 from AmazonBasics and it is worth it.

Seethis bag and other must-have tablet accessories here, on ZDNet.

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