Bag It: Packs for Your Portables and Gadgets

So you’ve got a bunch of gadgets and are mulling the best options to take them with you.

Sounds like you need a bag, my friend.

Then again, figuring out what bag works best for your depends on what your needs are. Is maximum space your raison d’etre? Perhaps you need something waterproof? Maybe you’re just looking for a more compact option to store a few things.

Here’s a sampling of bag options to fit every gadget need.

1
Booq Cobra Pack

Booq Cobra Pack
Booq Cobra Pack. Booq

Ah, yes, the cobra. An animal that exudes deadly calm, swift strikes and poisonous venom. In one bag maker’s case, however, it’s also the name for its flagship backpack, the Booq Cobra Pack. Designed for heavy gadget users, the Cobra Pack features a plethora of what portable electronics look for in a bag: pockets. Oodles and oodles of pockets. Unlike typical backpack designs such as my personal daily workhorse the Ogio Gambit 17, however, the Cobra Pack places almost all its pockets on the inside. This leads to a much cleaner design although getting to gadgets can take longer since you have to go through its interior compartments. Other features include weatherproofing, tough build quality and a generous amount of padding to protect your precious portables. It might be a bit big for some folks, however, and it’s definitely pricey.

Cost: $295 (Official site)

2
Ogio All Elements

Ogio-All-Elements.jpg
The Ogio All Elements Backpack is designed to protect your laptop and other gadgets from the elements at the expense of fewer pockets. Ogio

Just like oil, gadgets don’t usually mix well with water. If you like checking out the great outdoors, like to travel on your bike or live in an area that gets a lot of rain, one option is to get a waterproof bag such as the Ogio All Elements backpack. The All Elements uses waterproof materials plus a folding top design to prevent water from entering the inner compartment. The result is extra piece of mind if you find yourself in wet conditions while you’re out and about hiking or riding your motorcycle. Downsides include a low pocket count and minimal padding with the exception of the inner pouch. If you place a premium on staving off water, however, the All Elements is a potential option. 

Cost: $130 (Official site)

3
Bracketron Xventure SmartCord Sling

Bracketron Xventure SmartCord Sling
Bracketron Xventure SmartCord Sling. Bracketron

Backpack too big for you? Then you can go a step down via a mini messenger bag — or sling bag for dudes who don’t want to call it a man purse. The Bracketron Smartcord Sling is just big enough to fit an iPad but small enough to easily take with you on a bicycle ride without weighing you down too much. It also has one zipper pocket plus an open pouch up front as well as an extra inner zipped pocket for storing other electronics such as smartphones, MP3 players, adapters or portable storage batteries. Rounding out the feature set is a curious looking outer bulb for easily storing your earbud headphones. Admittedly, it’s not the most fashionable looking bag but it gets the job done and it’s affordable to boot.

Cost: $25 (Official site)

4
SPIbelt: Small Personal Item Belt

SPIbelt Small Personal Item Belt
SPIbelt Small Personal Item Belt. SPIbelt

Sometimes, even a sling bag might still be too big for some folks. No I’m not talking about Keebler elves. Runners, for example, might want to bring a small personal item like their phone during their runs but still want to keep things as light as possible. That’s when a waist strap such as the SPIbelt can come in handy. Designed to act like a belt around your waist, the SPIbelt comes with a pouch that’s large enough to fit an iPhone 6 Plus or miscellaneous items such as nutrition bars, keys and cash. This is especially good if you’re wearing clothes with no pockets or happen to be a dude who likes to flash your pecs in full display while jogging shirtless. You know who you are. Just in case you’re curious, the SPIbelt is designed to fit waist sizes from 29 inches to 52 inches.

Cost: $20-35 (Official site)

 

5
Pet Pods Pouch

Pet Pods
Pet Pods. Pet Pods

Wait, you want something even smaller? For an even tinier option for packing little gadgets, you can take a look at the Pet Pods pouch. Shaped in the form of cute animals, this is a product that’s more geared toward children or dudes who are super comfortable about their own masculinity, judging eyes be darned. Due to its size, Pet Pods are more suitable for keeping little gadgets that kids might misplace like earbud headphones, mini USB drives or what have you. Well, that or for Lilliputians looking to make a move.

Cost: $6-16 (Official site)

6
Slappa Chaos

Slappa Chaos
Slappa Chaos. Slappa

Forget those teeny, tiny bags, dude. Give me the ginormous stuff. If that’s your mindset, then you can consider the Slappa Chaos stovepipe backpack. Marketed as a 17-inch laptop bag, that measurement is actually just for its inner pouch. The bag itself is certifiably humongous, allowing you to bring a laptop and a ton of other gadgets both big and small with you on the go. One time, I used it to bring two laptops, their power bricks, several gaming controllers and a bunch of other items I don’t even remember for a gaming session at someone’s house. It’s also good for working folks such as DJs who need to bring all sorts of equipment with them during a gig. Just note that the pouch style opening isn’t conducive to keeping water out. And oh yeah, watch your back. It can get pretty heavy if you load it to full capacity.

Cost: $72 (Official site)

Jason Hidalgo is About.com’s portable electronics expert. Yes, he’s easily amused. You too can be amused by following him on Twitter @jhidalgo. For more reviews of nontraditional gadgets like portable batteries and chargers, check out the Other Devices and Accessories hub